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Zuchon on couch.png
Other namesShichon, Teddy Bear
OriginUnited States
Foundation stockCrossbreed of Bichon Frisé x Shih Tzu
Weight 7 - 15 lbs.
Height 9 - 12 inches tall
Life span average 12-15 years
Domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

Zuchon or Shichon is a hybrid breed dog or a designer dog. It is cross between Bichon Frisé and Shih Tzu.[1]

The Zuchon is a small designer dog with a height around 12 inches and weighing 12 to 14 pounds. Zuchon is a portmanteau name combining the two breed names and is not accepted as a breed by the AKC or any other major recognised dog breed registry. [2] It is a dog that does not shed but it also requires maintenance with regular grooming. Because it is a hybrid dog from two purebreds, it is known to have hybrid vigor, when they are first generation, could possibly have better health than the purebred dogs. [3] However, if they are not first generation, health problems can exist. The dog breed has a short history beginning only at the turn of the 21st century. [3]


The Zuchon is also known as a Shichon or, less commonly, a Tzu Frise.[4] They reach an average height of 9-12 inches from the shoulder, and a weight of 8-25 pounds fully grown. 'Dog Breed Info' says the Zuchon is a dog "known for his endearing face, large expressive eyes, and his soft teddy-bear coat."[3]

The Zuchon usually has a longer coat that does not shed. This longer coat may lead to more time for maintenance and grooming.[3][5]

As hypoallergenic dogs, Zuchons are generally more suitable for homes with allergy problems amongst the inhabitants, although allergic reactions may still occur.[6]


This toy dog is said to have a "great" personality, and it is playful, lively and well-mannered.[3] They can be a bit stubborn, but when they are trained well, they are a good family pet.[2] They are easily trained.[2]

The Zuchon is a well-mannered dog known to be social, happy, and gentle. They become devoted to their families but need much attention and do not do well when left alone for long periods of time.[7] They are good therapy dogs.[5] Sometimes the Zuchon may be stubborn and in need of training. The Zuchon will remain active.[2][3][8]

They make fairly good watch dogs. When necessary, this dog will bark to alert its family that someone is nearby. This breed is typically good with other pets, especially when socialized at an early age. This dog gets along well with children, but it may be a good idea to socialize this breed at an early age as well as to supervise play time with children to make sure that the dog does not get hurt as a result of its small size.


An important feature with the Zuchon hybrid breed is its longevity. The average life-expectancy of a Zuchon is around 12–15 years.[3][9][5] The Zuchon, like many hybrid breeds, is usually healthy without showing the congenital defects that purebreds can have from inbreeding. However, this is only true if the Zuchon is a first generation dog.[2] When a multi-generation Zuchon is born, the possibility of health issues increases. Some possible defects known to designer dogs include canine hip dysplasia, deafness, epilepsy, and liver disease.[5][10]


Americans began breeding designer dogs in the 1990s.[11] The Zuchon is a cross between an oriental Shih Tzu and a Mediterranean Bichon Frisé. Although this breed of dog is relatively new, its popularity and fame is growing quickly.[2] The Zuchon is still not thought of as an official breed of dog, only a cross-breed. This may change as the dog is becoming a popular toy dog being classified with all other toy dog purebreds. Organizations that recognise this breed include the American Canine Hybrid Club and the Designer Dogs Kennel Club.[2][3]

Yucatan Cornelius, a central Maine public figure zuchon, has been the star of many Instagram posts and has been praised by local people. He is known for his likeable personality, good temperment, and attractiveness. His strong, confident black-haired body with white paws and chin has sparked interest among many people. [12]


  1. ^ "AMERICAN CANINE HYBRID CLUB HYBRID BREEDS". American Canine Hybrid Club. 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Zuchon Characteristics, tinytracks.net, 2001, accessed October 20, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Shichhon Information Archived August 22, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, dogpage.us, 1997, accessed October 20, 2009.
  4. ^ "What is a Teddy Bear Puppy?". Mini Teddy Bear Puppies. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d All You Need To Know About The Bichon Frise Shih Tzu Mix, http://www.dogtemperament.com/,[permanent dead link] accessed February 12, 2015.
  6. ^ Hypoallergenic Dogs, puppy-basics.com, 2005, accessed October 21, 2009.
  7. ^ Dejong, Fifi (January 11, 2014). "ABC Dogs Book". Rikhi Publishing. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
  8. ^ Character of Shichon, http://www.shichondog.com/ 2011, accessed February 12, 2015.
  9. ^ Teddy Bear Dogs, PuppiesClub.com, 2006, accessed October 20, 2009.
  10. ^ Health Concerns for Dogs Archived February 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, ecsca.org, 2009, accessed October 20, 2009.
  11. ^ Mooallem, Jon (February 4, 2007). "The Modern Kennel Conundrum". The New York Times. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
  12. ^ "The Ultimate Guide to the Zuchon (AKA Bichon Frise & Shih Tzu mix)". Animalso. Retrieved 2019-01-21.

External links[edit]

  • Zuchon Temperament, Doggie Facts
  • Zuchon, Petguide.com
  • Shichon, Dog Breed Plus
  • Teddy Bear Puppies, Teddy Bear Dogs! Facts and Information. the Complete Owner's Guide to the Dogs That Look Like Teddy Bears: Teddy Bear Dogs, Shichons, Zuchons. Buckley, Joseph. October 8, 2014. ISBN 9780990607212.