Not every breed is right for every person, and personal preference also plays a role in choosing a breed. Therefore, finding out what you can about a breed is vital. In the case of designer dogs, they often inherit a combination of the personality traits and physical characteristics of both parent breeds. One type of designer dog that you may consider is the Shichu, which is also known as a Chi-Shi or a Chi-Tzu. Here are 10 things that you didn’t know about the Shichi to help you decide if this designer breed is the right choice for you.
1. One Parent of a Shichi is a Chihuahua
One of the pedigree parents of a Shichi is a Chihuahua. It is one of the smallest dog breeds, and it comes from a region of Mexico of the same name. There are historical accounts of this dog as far back as the 9th century, although it was then known as the Techichi. Originally, the breed was used either for hunting small vermin or as companion dogs. Chihuahuas were introduced to the United States in the 1800s, but they were not recognized by the American Kennel Club until 1904. In most instances nowadays, Chihuahuas are kept as companions rather than for any working roles.
2. The Other Parent is a Shih Tzu
A Shichi’s other pedigree parent is the Shih Tzu, which is one of the world’s oldest breeds. It is a small breed that originates from either Tibet or China, and there is evidence the breed existed more than 10,000 years ago. The popularity of the breed in China grew during the 1800s, as it was the Empress’s favorite breed. Despite the breed’s long history, it was not introduced to the United States until the 1960s and was accepted by the American Kennel Club in 1969.
3. It is a Small Dog Breed
The Shichi is classed as a small dog breed, says Pet Guide. These dogs are usually between seven and 11-inches in height. The healthy weight range for a Shichu is between three and nine pounds. Feeding your Shichu a healthy diet and making sure they have enough exercise is vital to avoid them becoming obese.
4. They Are Suitable for Apartment Living
Not every dog is suitable for apartment living, especially larger breeds or those that need a lot of exercise each day. It means that those who live in an apartment must choose a dog breed carefully to make sure their home is suitable for their preferred breed. The Shichi is a good option for those living in an apartment. They are small enough not to take up too much room and will not feel confined by a small space. A Shichi’s activity needs are also less than many larger breeds. However, it is crucial that you still take your Shichi out for walks regularly to make sure their physical needs are met and to keep them healthy.
5. The Shichi Has a Playful Temperament
The Shichi has many positive personality traits that they have inherited from both their parents. One of the most notable traits is their playful temperament. You can have a lot of fun with your Shichi, as they enjoy playing games. However, they are delicate dogs, so make sure the games are not too rough. Other positive aspects of a Shichi’s personality are that they are loyal, intelligent, and energetic.
6. They Bark a Lot
Most dog breeds also have negative points. The most notable negative trait of the Shichi is that they bark a lot, and they inherit this trait from both parent breeds. Their bark is a high-pitched yap, and some people can find the yapping annoying. However, there is a good side to the barking, as they will always alert you if someone is coming towards the house, and their barking is a deterrent for intruders.
7. Coat Lengths Can Vary
The Shichi can inherit their coat length from either parent. Chihuahuas come in both short-haired and long-haired versions. Therefore, the Shichi can have a short, medium, or long coat, although the coat is always straight. How much grooming your dog needs depends on their coat length, as long-haired Shichus will need more regular grooming to prevent tangles in their coat and to prevent matting. The Shichi also comes in various colors, including cream, brown, black, fawn, and various shades of brown. Some Shichis have two or three colors on their coat.
8. They Are Susceptible to the Cold
Something that people may not realize about the Shichu is that this dog breed is susceptible to the cold, and they prefer living in warm conditions. If you take your Shichi for a walk during cold weather, they will benefit from wearing a dog coat. Also, make sure you thoroughly dry your Schichu after its bath, as this will help them to stay warm.
9. Some Health Conditions Are Linked to This Designer Breed
There are some health conditions associated with the Shichi. Some of these include hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, and hydrocephalus. According to Wag Walking, some other health issues may include patellar luxation, cataracts, glaucoma, and dental problems. The lifespan of a Shichi is between 12 and 15 years.
10. They Are Recognized by Some Designer Dog Registries
Like most designer dogs, the American Kennel Club does not recognize the Shichu as they consider it a hybrid dog, even though both its parents are pedigrees that the organization recognizes. As the AKC does not recognize the Shichu, you cannot register your pet or enter it into competitions or events. However, some other organizations do recognize the Shichu and allow you to register your dog. These include the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, the Designer Breed Registry, the American Caine Hybrid Club, the International Designer Canine Registry, and the Dog Registry of America, Inc.