"It's just the most amazing thing to love a dog, isn't it? It makes our relationships with people seem as boring as a bowl of oatmeal."Dogs, regardless of their breed, easily manage to take up a lot of space in our hearts. Things get better when they're really diminutive―this way, they don't take up a lot of space in our homes too.
Both, the Shih Tzu and the Chihuahua are really small dogs, and their offspring is called the Shih Chi. This dog is fragile and delicate-looking, and makes for a good pet to keep in a small household. Keep in mind though, that the dog's small size and delicate constitution dictate that it won't be a good idea to leave it unsupervised around small children.
Besides this cautionary point, the Shih Chi is a wonderful pet and a perky little companion. More information about its temperament and personality follows in the next section.
Each dog's personality is as unique as the human fingerprint, and more so if the dog happens to be a crossbreed. In this case, the dog in question will borrow traits from both parents, possibly ending up with some pretty extraordinary characteristics.
Meet the Parents: The Shih Tzu (left) and the Chihuahua (right)
► A Shih Chi dog will be playful and enthusiastic, and there will never be a dull moment when he's around.
► This dog is also very loyal, and tends to be quite possessive of his human master or of his entire human family in general.
► He'll be suspicious of strangers, and will let them know about it in no uncertain terms with his high-pitched and rather shrill bark.
► It's very easy to get this dog excited, as they've got a firecracker-like temperament. A new toy or a treat has them jumping with joy in no time.
► This dog may love to yap, which happens to be a Chihuahua trait, and if you're looking for a quiet and docile pet, you'd better bypass this one. The Shih Chi will be very expressive, especially with his discontent.
► The Shih Chi's parents are known to have big personalities, despite their size. 'Shih Tzu' in Chinese, actually translates to 'lion' in English, which should give you an idea about their personality. The Chihuahua, as we all know, is afraid of nothing, and never hesitates to stand up for himself when cornered.
► As they are very excitable and delicate at the same time, these dogs need to be monitored at all times. What may look like rough play and exercise can easily injure them, which is why the owner needs to be perpetually watchful.
► So, how big will a Shih Tzu-Chihuahua mix get? The Shih Tzu is considered to be a toy breed, and the Chihuahua is the world's smallest dog. Their offspring too is rather small in size, measuring between 7 to 10 inches in height, and weighing about 3 to 9 lbs.
► Both parent breeds are considered to be long-lived; therefore, one may expect the lifespan of their offspring to average about 12 to 15 years.
► As a crossbreed, specific health problems cannot be predicted, but the dog may inherit certain hereditary ailments from the parents. These may include hypoglycemia, obesity, eye problems, and respiratory problems.
►Their eyes, particularly, should be examined regularly, as both the Chihuahua and the Shi Tzu are prone to suffer from eye problems.
► Owing to its size, this dog should never be kept outdoors for too long, as the cold and the heat can instantly have adverse effects. Your dog may also be prone to shivering when he gets cold, excited, or nervous. Always drape him in warm clothes when you go out in cold weather.
► Your dog may have a long, short, or a medium-sized coat. He may not shed too much, but this dog, like any other dog, is not hypoallergenic. Any kind of dog does shed dander, which can trigger allergies in humans.
► In case your dog's coat is long, it needs to be brushed daily to keep it shiny and tangle-free. A bath is recommended on a monthly basis, and as and when the dog gets dirty. Ensure that you completely dry him after the bath, as this dog is susceptible to colds.
As tiny as your pet Shih Chi is, he is one dynamite who demands a lot of attention. Shower him with ample affection, and he'll be the most crazy and funny pet you'll ever have the privilege of keeping.