By Sergey Uhanov (Certified Veterinarian)Dr. Sergey Uhanov Last updated: 27th January 2024



Sergey Uhanov (Certified Veterinarian) Dr. Sergey Uhanov
Last updated: 27th January 2024

The Zuchon, or Shichon, is a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Bichon Frise. Inheriting both its parents’ charming looks and adorable personalities, it is a loving, loyal, and friendly companion for all families. Its round head, flat snout, dark, beady eyes, and fluffy coat give it a dashing appearance sought after by many dog lovers.

Zuchon Pictures

Quick Information

Other namesShichon, Teddy Bear, Shichon-Teddy Bear, Tzu Frise
CoatLong and soft, silky or curly hair
ColorBlack, white, cream, red, fawn, brown, gray, piebald, or bicolored
Breed typeCrossbred
Group Toy
Life expectancy12 – 18 years
HeightMale – 9 – 12 inches
Female – 6 – 11 inches
WeightMale – 6 – 15 pounds
Female – 5 – 14 pounds
Litter Size4 – 5 puppies
Behavioral Characteristics Affectionate, intelligent, loyal, friendly, and eager
Good with children Yes
Barking Tendency Low; they rarely bark
Climate compatibilityModerate; they are unsuitable for extreme climates
Apartment compatibilityHigh
Do they shedThey have minimal shedding
Are they hypoallergenicYes
How much do they cost$650 – $1,000
Competitive Registration Qualification/ InformationACHC, DDKC, DRA, IDCR, DBR
CountryUnited States of America

History and Origin

Like most hybrids, the Zuchon first appeared in the United States around twenty to thirty years ago, following the newly generated craze for exotic crossbreeds. Its cute looks and diminutive frame helped it instantly catapult to fame, earning the nickname “Teddy Bear Zuchon.”. Over time, it became as well-known and demanded worldwide as some older, well-established varieties. However, due to growing demand, many puppies end up in shelters from unethical breeding, which breeders and enthusiasts are working to handle via adoption programs.

While the AKC and other eminent registries do not recognize it yet, organizations such as the Designer Breed Registry, American Canine Hybrid Club, Designer Dogs Kennel Club, International Designer Canine Registry, and American Canine Hybrid Club accept them into their records.

Temperament and Personality

These small, friendly, sweet dogs are highly adaptable and suited for apartment living. As long as they receive adequate exercise and plenty of attention, they are content in any situation. However, if their affection needs are not met or left alone for long, they can develop separation anxiety. These highly attached pups bond firmly with their family, often doing funny antics for attention. Incredibly outgoing, they get along with all kinds of people and pets. Still, one must be careful around younger kids as their small size puts them at risk. Despite not being very vocal, they make excellent watchdogs, alerting their owners immediately upon detecting a disturbance. Their tiny size makes them perfect lapdogs, happily cuddling inside the house with their master after a day of socializing and playing.



They have medium to high energy levels which can be managed with around thirty to forty-five minutes of daily vigorous activity. Short walks, games like hide-and-seek and fetch, and playtime in an open enclosure are great ways to expend excess energy. They love sunbathing and swimming, which are ideal summer activities. Their tendency to be active in short bursts makes them easy to manage, even for those living in small spaces.


Whether they inherit a curly or silky coat, these crossbreeds require diligent grooming routines to manage their voluminous fur. Due to their lack of shedding, they tend to become matted quickly, thus needing daily brushing to comb out tangles. Their facial hair usually hangs in their eyes, requiring periodic trimming to keep it away. Getting them professionally groomed is an excellent option to make caring for their coat easier. One should bathe them only once a month or if sufficiently dirty. Trim their fingernails, brush their teeth, and clean their ears regularly with a designated cleaning solution to avoid infections.

Health Problems

As a designer breed, they can inherit several conditions from either parent. Some common complications are Cushing’s disease, brachycephalic syndrome, patellar luxation, atopic dermatitis, hip dysplasia, bladder issues, deafness, epilepsy, diabetes, progressive retinal atrophy, and ear infections. Buying from reputed breeders or adoption centers with proper screenings can help prevent most of these problems from arising.


One must provide them with high-quality food formulated specifically for small, high-energy dogs. Around one-and-a-half cups of kibble daily, split into two or more servings, is enough for most adults. As they are prone to diabetes, avoid too much sugar and artificial ingredients. Also, avoid canned or wet foods in bulk as they can cause tooth and gum problems, potentially leading to tooth loss. One can supplement their diet with home-cooked meals and vegetables, but the amount of kibble should compensate for it. Curbing overfeeding also helps prevent obesity, leading to a long and healthy life.


Zuchons are highly trainable, owing to their Bichon heritage. Intelligent, easy-going, and eager to please, they take splendidly to training, provided it is started at the earliest and is consistent as they grow up.

Socialization: Early socialization is crucial for a well-mannered pet. Expose the pups to unfamiliar people, places, and environments to help them acclimatize to different situations. Taking them to the dog park and enrolling in puppy classes are brilliant ways to instill good manners. Positive and persistent reinforcement, rewards, and praise are the best methods. Avoid harsh corrections and punishments as they can make them stubborn and distrustful. 

Obedience: Start training them for necessary commands like sit, drop, and roll over from a young age. Crate training is a fantastic way for your pet to have a safe space to unwind, which also helps during housebreaking.

Leash: They should learn how to walk on a leash and a harness, along with a recall.

Interesting Facts

  • Their gentle and sympathetic nature makes them brilliant candidates for therapy work and emotional support companions.
  • Their fur changes colors as they grow up, becoming lighter as they enter adulthood. It darkens again as their age increases.


1. What is the difference between a Zuchon and a Cavachon?

The Cavachon shares a common ancestor with the Zuchon, with the addition of a Cavalier King’s Charles Spaniel instead. It is comparatively larger and tolerates extreme climates better.

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