Zuchon Basic information
Shichon, Zoochon, Shihchon, Teddy bear Zuchon,
Zuchons are known as the teddy bear dog for their appearance truly resembles a teddy bear and particularly so while they are puppies. This breed is similar to the closely related Shihpoo but are often a larger and heavier dog than the Shihpoo.
Zuchon Parent Breeds
Zuchons are sometimes called Shichons and teddy bear dogs. They are a hybrid breed which is crossed between the Bichon Frise and the Shih Tzu.
The Bichon Frise are commonly described as being white powder puffs due to their color and coat. They have a sturdy build and an inquisitive expression. Their loins are muscular and their ribs are moderately sprung. Bichon Frise all have a similar coat. The undercoat is dense and soft and the overcoat is rather curly and course. They tend to be playful and gentle. They love to run and they are also trainable and intelligent. They do not do well when left alone for long periods of time and they should be supervised if they are around small children. Obedience training is important for a Bichon Frise but they generally learn quite quickly.
Shih Tzus have a proud bearing and a carriage that is sometimes even described as being arrogant. They have bodies which are overall quite compact and solid. Their chests are broad and deep. They are somewhat longer than they are tall and their tails are curled over their backs. They have fairly long coats that are described as being luxurious and dense, as well as flowing. The temperament of the Shih Tzu is described as being many things. They are alert, lively, spunky, active, clever, playful, friendly, gentle, affectionate, independent, courageous, and happy. They do well in apartments or houses, with other animals, the elderly, families, and singles. For the most part they are well-behaved but it is important to watch them around young children, as with any small dog.
What does a Zuchon look like?
The Zuchon is frequently described as a teddy bear for good reason, particularly because of their faces and expressions. They have large, expressive, almond-shaped eyes, that are well-set, and button-noses. In general they have teddy bear-like facial features. Their eyes are often brown or hazel, but in some rare cases they are golden or even green. Their short-medium length ears hang down and tend to be feathered. Their muzzles are often relatively short and the jaws meet in a scissors-bite. Their skulls are rounded. The hair on the face may be clipped short or cut in such a way that they resemble a fuzzy-faced teddy bear. The Zuchon generally resembles the Poochon fairly closely. Their faces are typically shorter than their Bichon parent but longer than their Shih Tzu parent.
The Zuchon is small like both of their parents; they stand about 15 – 30cm (6-12 inches) and they may weigh anywhere from 3 – 8kg (6-18 pounds). It is important to note that although all of the above characteristics are somewhat general, the Zuchon may show some degree of variety, being that they are a mix between two purebreds. There will be cases where they take more after one parent than the other, and there is no strict breed standard.
The most commonly mentioned characteristic of the Zuchon is their teddy bear-like appearance. They have coats which are soft and silky. They may be curly, or, if they take more after their Shih Tzu parent, the coat might be wavy or straighter. In general they are either sleek and silky, or soft and curly. They come in a range of possible colors and may be parti-colored, pure white, or solid cream, apricot, or chocolate. Because the Bichon Frise is white many tend to be white with various patches of color, and they may have any of the colors of the Shih Tzu breed. These colors include gray, silver, black, tan, and red.
What is a Zuchon’s personality like?
Many people love the personality of the Zuchon. Their temperament is frequently described as excellent, although it is not without flaws. They are eager to please and tend to be social, extroverted, bold, active, lively, and spunky. They are described as being quite smart and also as being very affectionate. Most Zuchons love to cuddle and adore spending time with their families.
In general they are well mannered, and they tend to be non-aggressive. They often do well in family situations, although they are fine with singles too, so long as they get sufficient attention. It is a great idea to take them to the dog park so that they can socialise and be with other dogs. They love interaction with other dogs, often enjoying being the center of attention, and they love to play. If they could, many Zuchons would play continuously. Although they are not generally excessively loud and are typically considered yappy, making them good watch dogs, letting their owners know when someone new is at the door. Many say that this breed make very good therapy dogs. Their intelligence and eager-to-please natures often makes them rather trainable, but they may also be stubborn and there have been housebreaking issues with the breed.
Zuchons do not like to be left alone for long periods of time as they may suffer from separation anxiety. It is also a good idea to be careful with them when around children, as they are small and thus rather delicate. With early training and socialization with children and other dogs, the Zuchon can be a wonderful pet so long as their barking is kept under control.
Are Zuchons a healthy breed?
In general Zuchons have a reputation of being a healthy breed of dog, but they can be afflicted by any ailments that either parents have. They are most vulnerable to deafness, epilepsy, Patella Luxation (slipping patellas), Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), diabetes and liver disease.
How long do Zuchons live for?
Zuchons live to be around 12-15 years of age.
How much exercise do Zuchons need?
Because of the size of the Zuchon and the fact that most of their exercise needs are met through play, they are great for apartments. A daily walk is still recommended so they can have some fresh air, stretch their legs, and go to the toilet.
How much grooming do Zuchons need?
Zuchons need to be clipped every 6 – 8 weeks, and the longer their hair is, the more they will need to be brushed or combed. It is also important to clean their teeth and ears. Due to the long hair on their face, particular attention needs to be taken to clean their eyes to prevent a build up of gunk below the eyes.