also called “Teddy Bears”
What is a Zuchon? A Zuchon is a cross between a
Bichon Frise - Shih Tzu
Why choose a Zuchon?
The Zuchon inherits qualities from both the Shih Tzu and the Bichon Frise. They are an alert and spunky little dog. Playful and lively, this affectionate little dog needs to be with people and are generally good with other pets. They love human company. Zuchons have an independent spirit, are intelligent, affectionate, bold and lively. They are self-assured, and have a happy temperament that is easy to live with. These bright little dogs are easy to train and just plain old love everyone. They need people to be happy. They are naturally sociable and are happiest when they are part of a family that takes them everywhere. This sociable trait also means that they are fine in the company of other dogs & pets and are excellent with children. A very alert watch dog, they like to bark, but are usually quiet inside the house. Used as watchdogs and to perform tricks, this hybrid is competitive, courageous, and obedient. This charming, gentle dog will bark when needed, but definitely is not a yapper.
So how are Zuchons different from Bichons and Shih Tzus?
As a hybrid (cross breed), Zuchon’s have what is called hybrid vigor. A hybrid does not inherit bad traits and genetic disorders, because most disorders are recessive, which means it takes mom and dad’s mix to cause the disorder. The Zuchon has a little longer nose than a Shih Tzu, which helps with the breathing issues. A Zuchon also has tear ducts, unlike a Shih Tzu, so that there is less of a chance for eye problems. The Zuchon is also less likely to have skin allergies, that can affect some Bichons, if they are bred too closely in the AKC lines.
Coat: The Zuchon has a very loosely curled or fluffy double coat consisting of a textured outer coat lined with a soft, fine, silky undercoat that is 3 to 4 inches (7-10cm.) long and is virtually hypo-allergenic. The hair will usually not be as curley as a Bichon. A Zuchons coat may be several different colors and will usually resemble a Shih Tzus coloring, but may be white like a Bichon. Zuchons do not shed and therefore are often recommended as a breed for families with allergies.
Height - Weight: Dogs 9-12 inches (23-30cm.) Bitches 9-11 inches (23-28cm.) Weight: 7-12 pounds (3-5kg.)
Exercise: These are active little dogs and play will take care of most of their exercise needs, but they do love walks and especially to romp in the open.
Life Span: About 15 or more years. Hybrids have a tendency to outlive both there parent breeds.
Origin of each breed:
Bichon Frise: The Bichon Frise first appeared in the 14th century, a cross between the Barbet Water Spaniel and the Poodle. The Bichon was traded by Spanish sailors and became a favorite of the 16th century French royal courts. It was a popular organ grinder's dog and also a circus performer. Today the Bichon Frise is primarily a companion and show dog.
Shih Tzu: Documents and paintings dating from the sixteenth century show dogs resembling a small lion (which the Shih-Tzu is sometimes called). In the seventeenth century, dogs were brought from Tibet and bred in the forbidden City of Peking, probably by crossing the Tibetan Lhasa Apso and the native Pekingese. The Shih-Tzu became a favorite of the Imperial Chinese court. The breed was so revered that for many years after the Chinese began trading with the West, they refused to sell, or even give away, any of the little dogs. It was not until 1930 that the first pair was imported to England. The Shih-Tzu was recognized in Britain in 1946 and by the AKC in the United States in 1969. Today the breed is very popular, both as a companion and as a glamorous show dog.
Health Concerns: Zuchons can have health concerns that are found in either of the parent breeds, but are far less likely to display these health concerns, since most of these traits are caused by recessive genes. The health concerns of the parent breeds may be tooth loss, weight gain, watery eyes, ear infections, cataracts, epilepsy and dislocated kneecaps.
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