As the name implies, the Bichon Shih Tzu is a mix breed that is a cross between the French and Chinese lapdogs called Bichon Frise and Shih Tzu respectively. Both these breeds are highly popular, as they are intelligent, friendly and loyal. The Bichon Shih Tzu shares the characteristic traits of its parent breeds, and is perfect for those who require a happy and loving pet dog.
The Bichon Shih Tzu is not a purebred dog. It is also known as Zuchon, Shichon, Tzu Frise, Teddy Bear, and Shichon-Teddy Bear. Most of the Bichon Shih Tzu dogs have fluffy, but curly coat that is inherited from Bichon Frise, and the flat face of Shih Tzus. These mix breed dogs are available in a wide range of colors and color combinations. They have a body weight that ranges between 10 to 14 pounds; and are found to have a height of 9 to 12 inches at shoulders. They are classified as small, medium and large, according to their body size. The Bichon Shih Tzu has large, brown eyes; and its nose is usually small (with a one-inch nose bridge) and flat. The dog has a gentle and friendly nature, and loves to spend time with humans.
Why to Choose a Bichon Shih Tzu
It is always advisable to understand the positives and negatives of the dog breed, before you adopt one. In case of Bichon Shih Tzu, the biggest advantage is its personality, which is often described as friendly and gentle, with a happy disposition. This makes these dogs perfect for families having small kids and elderly people. Being small, they are ideal for apartment dwellers too. Bichon Shih Tzus can also be raised as watch dogs.
Minimal shedding is another advantage of this dog breed. Though they have a dense coat, the Bichon Shih Tzu sheds very little hair. So these dogs are also ideal for those with allergies. However, regular grooming is necessary, as they have long fur that has to be trimmed in between. These dogs are often seen in short cuts, which enhance their teddy bear looks. Being a cross breed, the Bichon Shih Tzu is less prone to genetic diseases. However, it depends on various other factors, like the medical condition of the parents.
Bichon Shih Tzu Problems
In short, they are friendly dogs that are very popular as pets. However, you must have a basic understanding about Bichon Shih Tzu care, before adopting one as a pet. The most important aspect is regular grooming, which is unavoidable, as the dog has dense hair. If not groomed at regular intervals, the hair may cause irritation to the dog's eyes, and may develop mats. Bichon Shih Tzus are also susceptible to teeth problems, as they have very small teeth. It is advisable to brush their teeth as often as possible. You must also make sure that the dog is not getting overweight, as obesity can lead to breathing problems. Provide them with healthy food, so as to prevent obesity. Being playful and friendly, these dogs require constant companionship. So, they are not ideal for those people, who cannot provide sufficient time for their pets. It is not advisable to leave them at home, for very long intervals.
To conclude, Bichon Shih Tzus are adorable dogs with cute looks. However, you must understand their pros and cons, beforehand. If you find that the advantages overweigh the disadvantages, you may go ahead and get one as a pet. Otherwise too, they are ideal as pets for families with small kids and elderly people. Even those living in apartments may go for this small-sized dog breed. All you have to do is to enjoy their companionship and provide adequate care. Make sure that you buy Bichon Shih Tzu puppies from a reputable breeder.