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ShiChi ShiChi is a dog breed resulting from a cross between Chihuahuas and Shih-tzus and is a subset of designer dogs. This particular crossing of Shih-Tzu and Chihuahua originated in the United States. ShiChis are not an AKC-recognized breed; but are instead, a hybrid of purebreed dogs. These types of dogs usually range between 5-10lbs for males and 4-8lbs for females. ShiChis are sometimes more healthy than their purebred counterparts due to an effect called "hybrid vigor." However, although purebred Shih-tzus are generally thought of as hypoallergenic, ShiChis are not necessarily hypoallergenic by default. ShiChis may be hypoallergenic, but the length of the Chihuahuan parent's fur plays a large role. If the Chihuahuan parent's fur is of the long variety, then the ShiChi offspring will tend to give off less allergens because the ShiChi will shed much less and have very "poofy" fur. The ShiChi's fur length is highly variable; especially if the Chihuahuan parent is short haired. They come in many color variations. ShiChis are a little slower than Yorkshire Terriers to housebreak, but kenneling them is a method that many trainers use on Shih-tzus, which seems to work well on ShiChis.   ShiChi General Health Guidelines  

  • ALWAYS VISIT YOUR PUPPY AT THE BREEDER'S BEFORE YOU BUY.With the amount of money you will be spending just in the food and vet bills for your puppy, you really need to visit where your puppy was born and raised. If you can't visit the location, find a different puppy that is closer. You definitely want to ensure that your puppy was born and brought up in a healthy, clean, interactive, and loving environment. Puppies from filthy conditions may cost a lot in vet bills, and puppies from antisocial environments might have behavior problems and might bite people. Look for puppies that are kept in a clean nest area, have wet noses, have healthy looking (fluffy and silky--think mohair) coats, look active ,are inquisitive, are friendly, and are not shy. For the first few weeks of life, puppies are very curious in particular about strangers, and so when you approach them, expect them to sniff and play. Do not pick the runt of the group just because it is smaller and looks "cute" or "sad"--runts were sometimes picked on by the rest of the litter and may have behavioral problems in addition to health problems. Find out about your puppy's dog parents and people parent(s). Although the AKC lists breeders, the AKC is not required to check these breeders at any time, nor ensure the quality of the breeders' dogs. Check things out for yourself.
  • Try to avoid weaning pups from their mothers before 8 weeks of age. This is especiallycritical for puppies expected to be flown in across long distances, as during flights puppies are exposed to much more than their local pathogens. Although some pups may be adventurous and start eating solid foods, through the first two months of life, puppies are just adjusting to being outside the womb. They are laying down very basic foundations they will need for moving about, thinking and interacting, digesting, etc., and all of these things take energy. So, it is especially important for the puppy to be healthy during this period. If the puppy gets sick, it might recover poorly because its body mass is very little (it's a toy variety!), it does not have fully developed immune system to combat diseases, and dosage of medicines even from a vet for a small puppy is very difficult. Many medications come in two sizes: Adult and Puppy. Just as the category of "child" is inappropriate dosing (in most cases) for a 2 month old baby, so too with the medication differences for a newborn pup compared to the "puppy" category. Having their mother's antibodies helps to protect the puppy from local (to the mother) common diseases until the puppies grow enough of their own.
  • Waiting around 8 weeks will also help you determine if you are allergic to the ShiChi or not. Although a long-haired Chihuahuan parent often means the ShiChi is hypoallergenic, when the puppy is very young and growing very fast, it will shed skin cells and baby fur at a much faster rate than usual, and all these skin cells and fine fur may cause allergies in the first few months, though thereafter the dog does not cause allergies at all.
  • Do not let your puppy play outside until its first set of shots are done. Puppies are curious. Puppies do not understand that fecal matter is dirty or dangerous. Not all dogs are vaccinated and some dogs are sick. If your puppy eats the fecal matter of other dogs or even grass that another dog wiped its rear on, or grass that contains fecal matter that's been dispersed because of sprinkler systems, it can get internal parasites. Even for adult dogs, parasites aren't easy to fight off without medication. Many of these parasites in adult dogs are detected because of abnormal behavior or something like a "bloated tummy." For puppies who are growing and playing a lot, a full tummy and some playful (and sometimes weird) behavior is normal, and this makes it very difficult to catch symptoms quickly. Younger puppies also can't physically afford parasites because they do not have reserves as adult dogs do, and are much more fragile.
  • ShiChis dorequire thorough baths and grooming, just as many of the designer breed dogs do; especially long-haired ShiChis. The fur of long-haired ShiChis will mat if not properly maintained. ShiChis should not be bathed more than once a week, however, since their skin is sensitive and will dry out, flake, and become more prone to skin diseases if washed too frequently. Bathing and grooming ShiChis are not particularly difficult tasks. Just getting human haircut buzzers works fine for puppy haircuts--make sure it has length guards. These kits usually run around $25-$35 at places such as Walmart, Kmart, or Target. Watching your local groomers helps and there are many Youtube videos of different styling techniques if you want to try something fancy.

Click to see where most ear-infection medications should go, for puppies.

  • It is important to look at your dog frequently and closely. Observing how they are during their normal state is important in discovering any ailments before they become major problems. A dog's nose should be wet and cool--if it is warm, it could be a sign of a fever of some sort. The fur around the eye should be clean. The paws may be a little rough, but they should not be scaly or flakey. Feel the feet for thorns and insects. Be aware of what is a 'normal' behavior and what is a 'normal' look for your puppy, and what is not. Being partly Shih-Tzu makes ShiChis prone to ear infections early on. Thus, it is recommended by most veterinarians that puppies younger than 6 weeks are not given ear washes which are injected into the ear canal. Instead, there are ear washing solutions which firstgo on cloth or cotton balls, and which can then be applied to the external portion of the puppy's ear. These reduce the likelihood of ear infection and/or damage to the puppy's fragile ears.

If the dog's ear gets infected, one of the earlier signs is a funky (putrid or sour, usually) smell from the dog's ears. There may also be residues (often pus-like, brownish, or occasionally bloody) in the ear, and the dog may also scratch his ears frequently, shake his head frequently, or whine and appear un-playful. There are several different types of treatments to use. Some of these come with a long tube, and are intended for injection into the ear canal of the dog, and not merely the external portion of the ear. It is a good idea to ask your vet to demonstrate the usage of the treatment. This step could save you additional visits and anti-microbial ointment costs. Never stick anything into a dog's ear which may damage the sensitive tissue. Do not stick Q-tips (ear canal length varies depending on the size and type of dog; sometimes Q-tips are too long, and additionally, they might become lodged), hard objects, or objects with sharp edges, as these may cause damage. Only use the tip that comes with the medication to treat the area--do not attempt to develop your own. The tips used for ear-infection medications are a specific length, and your vet will prescribe the correct type of medication (and correct tip) for your pet.  



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 Phone : (470) 525-6223

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