Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix: A Beginners’ Guide to This Adorable Cross

Are you wondering how two cute parental breeds—such as a Shih Tzu and a Chihuahua—will look like when crossed? This write-up will give you the ABCs you need to know before owning a Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix (sometimes known as a ShiChi or a Chi Tzu).


Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Highlights

  • If you love small dogs, then the Shih Tzu and Chihuahua crossbreed may be your perfect option.
  • Depending on the genetic distribution, this breed may have the roundish head of the Chihuahua and the body of the Shih Tzu.
  • Developed in the United States, this breed is relatively new.
  • We recommend training your ShiChi while it is still young. Your training must be fast-paced and varied so you will get good results as this breed has a short-attention span.
  • A ShiChi does not need to eat a lot. It only needs to get the best nutrition from its food.
  • A ShiChi is generally a healthy breed, but it can inherit the common health problems from either parent. It is best to monitor the dog’s eyes because ShiChis are prone to eye problems.
  • Giving your dog proper grooming will increase your dog’s health benefits.
  • Though active and playful, it is still best to walk your dog at least 20 minutes a day.
  • A ShiChi puppy will cost $250–$500. Get your puppy from trustworthy breeders to ensure good-quality puppies.

Let’s have a quick look at each parent’s breed information.

The small and affectionate Shih Tzu is one of the favorite lapdogs among pet owners. This breed is known for its shiny lion-like hair that almost covers its face if left untrimmed. The Shih Tzu was initially bred to become lapdogs of the Chinese royalties—specifically in the Ming Dynasty. This compact cutie is such a darling. Bouncy and naughty, this dog will not only steal your heart but also your shoe.

The Chihuahua, on the other hand, is smaller than the Shih Tzu. In fact, it is the smallest dog breed that some kennel clubs recognize. Unlike the Shih Tzu, this breed is shorthaired, so its big eyes are the first thing you would notice on his look. Graceful and affectionate, this miniature canine will love to cuddle with you all day long.

What would a crossbreed Shih Tzu and Chihuahua inherit from its parents in terms of looks, temperament, and health concerns? Read further.

ShiChi Appearance

As a breed that comes from two toy dog breeds, the ShiChi or Chi Tzu is also classified as a toy breed. Depending on the genetic allocation, this breed’s ears may be pointed and upright like the Chihuahua or long and floppy following its Shih Tzu parent. The hair coat will either be long and silky-smooth or somewhat wavy and soft. In most cases, the ShiChi will inherit the Chihuahua’s roundish-shaped head and the Shih Tzu’s body form. This breed remains small even when it reaches adulthood, so if looking cute matters to you, your Shih Tzu and Chihuahua Mix got you covered.

Quick Physical Features of a Shih Tzu–Chihuahua Mix
Eye color Mostly brown, sometimes black
Eye shape Almond
Nose Black and roundish
Height When fully grown, 10–12 inches
Weight 5–18 lbs.
Color Black, brown, brown and white mix, cream, white
Coat texture Straight, wavy, curly, wiry, or corded
Lifespan 12 to 15 years

Origin of This Hybrid

This popular crossbreed developed in the United States, but similar to other mix breeds, history cannot pinpoint a specific date for the first birth of a Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix breed. Some sources claim this breed is relatively new, somewhere within the 21st century.

Trainability and Intelligence

This breed may be small, but its intelligence quotient is high. This dog can pick up basic commands easily if you start training them young. Keep in mind, though, that the Chihuahua genes may make this dog stubborn, so stretching your patience will reward you in the end. If it’s your first time to own a ShiChi, you have to start with potty training as early as two months. ShiChis can be easily bored, so make your training quick and varied.

Find some DIY ideas for your pet that will help you save some bucks.

If you stay away from long and repetitive instructions, your ShiChi will love training and look forward to it. One important tip: shower your dog with many positive reinforcements and you will get the results you want.

Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Temperament

You can expect a lively and affectionate ball of energy with this breed. This small canine friend has a big personality, and in spite of its size, it does not cower from potential threats and it is a loud barker. It will do its best to protect you and your family. Remember to manage its traits, though, if you don’t want your ShiChi to be controlling and aggressive. Our best advice is to train your dog to socialize while it is still young. Taking it to the park or organizing a playgroup is a good option you can take.

Diet and Nutrition Requirement

One likable quality of this breed is that it does not need a lot of food. Its required diet will not greatly affect your grocery budget. You just have to make sure that you pick a high-quality dog food because this bouncy dog will benefit a lot from good nutrition. Choose a trustworthy brand (follow the package instruction) to ensure your pet’s nutrition. Remember this: buy dog food that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates.

Do you want to know if beef jerky is good for your dog? Read here.

Health and Care

The health of your pet is undoubtedly your utmost concern. As much as possible, you don’t want your canine friend to get sick. Since the ShiChi is a crossbreed, you can expect this breed to inherit its parents’ health issues.

The following are the common genetic illness that the Shih Tzu and Chihuahua Mix may acquire:

  • Keratitis – an inflammation of the cornea that can develop into an ulcer
  • Proptosis – another eye-related ailment, which your dog may inherit if its facial features are similar to its Shih Tzu parent
  • Luxating Patella – a kneecap disorder that your dog can inherit from its Chihuahua parent (learn more about the Chihuahua’s most common health issues)
  • Retinal detachment
  • Third eyelid gland prolapse
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Bladder infections
  • Kidney issues
  • Obesity

Since this breed is prone to eye problems, you should pay attention to its eyes. Cleaning the corners of the eyes gently will save your dog’s sense of sight.

In general, when it comes to the ShiChi breed, you don’t need to worry much because this mix is generally healthy. As long as you are able to monitor its eating habits and exercise routines, this dog may live until 15 years. Make sure also that your dog gets all the vaccination requirements. You can discuss this further with your trusted vet.

Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Grooming Needs

One of the best ways to keeping your dog healthy is proper grooming. The texture of your dog’s coat determines how easy or hard grooming can be. Bathing once every three weeks, tooth brushing once or twice a week, and nail trimming as the need arises will give your canine friend major hygiene benefits.

If you want to know how soon you can start bathing your puppy, visit this page.

How often should you exercise this breed?

The ShiChi is a moderately active dog breed. However, it still needs regular exercise. Walking your dog at least 20 minutes a day can be a good pick. This is also an opportunity for you and your dog to share an enjoyable bonding moment.

Your dog needs mental stimulation too. This will lessen their chances of developing separation anxiety. Giving them chew toys will not only help their teeth but also rejuvenate their minds.

Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Puppies

If you finally decide to get a ShiChi puppy, your best chance of getting high-quality breeds is by looking for a reputable breeder rather than going to a pet store. This may cost between $250 and $500, but it still depends on the breeder.

Breed Organizations

The following organizations recognize the Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix as a dog breed:

  • DBR (Designer Breed Registry)
  • ACHC (American Canine Hybrid Club)
  • DRA (Dog Registry of America, Inc.)
  • DDKC (Designer Dogs Kennel Club)

All of them acknowledge ShiChi as the short name of the Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix breed.

What type of living condition is best for a Shi Chi?

This compact canine is best for both single people and married couples with children. It can also adapt well to small-space apartments.

A Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix may be tiny, but it has a big personality. It is fearless and sweet—a perfect combination that you would want for a furry companion. When you make the decision to adopt or buy a ShiChi, you can bet you’ll have one of the most loving dogs in your care.

About the author

Sarah Andrews

Hi I'm Sarah, dog lover and blogger. I was born into a dog-loving family and have been a proud doggy mommy ever since I can remember. I love sharing my dog knowledge and love being an active part of the dog-loving community.