Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix: The Ultimate Guide

Published: 03/01/23 •  11 min read

The Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is a delightful, spunky, active mixed-breed that’s perfect for the growing family unit. Created by mixing a Chihuahua with a Shih Tzu, this small dog is very outgoing, like each of its parent breeds and is sure to keep you on your toes!

Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
Photo: Instagram

Both the Shih Tzu and Chihuahua have very similar personalities, so owners of the mixed-breed pups shouldn’t expect too many personality or temperamental surprises – a wonderful option for those seeking a smaller family pet.

Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix – At a Glance

Weight:5 – 16 pounds
Height:8 – 10 inches
Lifespan:12 – 15 years
Coat Colors:Black, brown, cream, white, or a mixture of any two
Temperament:Loving, loyal, spry, happy, active, protective
Most Suitable For:Families with or without children, single individuals and the elderly

What Does a Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Look Like?

Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix
Photo: Instagram

Both the Shih Tzu and Chihuahua are toy breeds, so don’t expect them to reach heights of above 12 inches tall. They may inherit the slightly larger belly of the Shih Tzu, and could weigh as much as sixteen pounds – though will likely fall somewhere between 8 and 14 pounds.

Your Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix could inherit a single or double coat, and will likely have a silky coat. As with many Shih Tzu mixes, their double-layer coat will help keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer and so should never be shaved.

Your Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix could inherit the longer snout of the Chihuahua, or the shorter snout of the Shih Tzu. It’s nose will be a button-type nose, with rounded eyes and triangular ears that may either be set high on it’s head and flange out to the sides, or fold forward.

When it comes to coat colors, your Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix will likely have a white undercoat, with a black or brown outer coat. They will likely have a lengthy coat that will be a mixture of white and black or brown coat colors.

As with many designer dog breeds, the exact nature of the Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix is slightly difficult to predict, so these are simply our best educated guesses!

The History of the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix

Unfortunately, little is known about the history of the Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix, other than it was likely bred sometime in the 1990s or early 2000s. Unlike breeding between Chihuahuas and other larger breeds, the Shih Tzu Chihuahua can be bred naturally – this makes it slightly easier on female Chihuahuas, who can struggle during pregnancy with lethargy and other natal diseases that can cause illness and even fatalities in extreme cases.

To learn more about the history of the Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix, we’re going to explore the history of each parent breed – the Tibetan Shih Tzu and the Mexican Chihuahua. Having this historical context will help you understand where the Shih Tzu Chihuahua comes from and why anyone would want such an adorable little companion pet.

The History of the Shih Tzu

The History of the Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu was originally bred as a companion pet in Tibet, despite the common misconception that they are Chinese. The Shih Tzu was a product of breeding the Lhasa Apso and Pekingese in the late 19th century. They are a toy breed that originally gained notoriety among Tibetan monks and the Buddhist faith, where their name in Mandarin translates to “little lion”, an animal considered sacred within Buddhist circles.

The Shih Tzu didn’t appear in Europe until the 1930s, when they were exported to England and Norway from China. They have consistently been family pets no matter where they’ve lived and are renowned for their loyalty to their owners and calm, affectionate nature.

The Shih Tzu first appeared in the United States in the 1950s, being brought back to the country from active servicemen serving in European and Asian theaters of war.

How Popular Are Shih Tzus in the United States?

The American Kennel Club recognized the Shih Tzu in 1969 and began collecting ownership information some years later. In 2021, the Shih Tzu was the 22nd most-popular dog in the United States.

Who Are Shih Tzus a Good Dog For?

Because of their small size and gentle temperament, Shih Tzus are often thought to be wonderful dogs for apartment living and loyal companion for seniors . They have moderate exercise requirements and benefit from mental stimulation exercises.

Shih Tzus are also popular family pets for growing families, as they tend to be social animals and good with smaller children. Although they do enjoy being the center of attention, so are perhaps better suited to ownership by a single person.

How Did Shih Tzus Come About?

Shih Tzus were originally bred in Tibet during the late 19th-century from the Lhasa Apso and Pekingese. They were often companion pets for Chinese nobility and were popular among Europeans after they were exported to England and Norway in the 1930s.

When Did We First Cross-Breed The Shih Tzu?

Unfortunately, much of the Shih Tzu’s history of crossbreeding has been lost to the breed’s history. However, the modern-day iteration of the Shih Tzu makes a popular crossbreed for dogs of similar size to it.

Several popular Shih Tzu crossbreeds include:

The History of the Chihuahua

The History of the Chihuahua

The Chihuahua has an ancient ancestry, stretching back to the time of the Aztecs in the 9th century. It is thought to be the descendent of the Techichi, a small, mute dog kept by the Toltec Peoples, who revered it as sacred. Despite this age of this ancient dog breed, the Chihuahua was first noted in the Mexican state of the same name in the mid-19th century.

Kept exclusively as companion pets, the Chihuahua was first introduced to the United States in the late 19th century as Mexican owners traded and sold their Chihuahuas to American tourists in various border towns.

Fast forward to the 21st century and Chihuahuas are some of the most popular dogs in Europe and the Caribbean and are also popular purebred parents for mixed-breeds.

How Popular Are Chihuahuas in the United States?

Since their arrival in the United States, Chihuahuas have been a popular breed for households. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904.

In 2021, the Chihuahua was the 37th most-popular dog in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club.

Who Are Chihuahuas a Good Dog For?

Given their small size, Chihuahuas are a popular breed for families looking for a small dog, or for apartment dogs. They also make excellent companions for people living alone, as they are fiercely loyal.

These cute, lovable toy-sized companions are also something of a celebrity breed and have been owned by the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and more.

How Did Chihuahuas Come About?

While the exact origins of Chihuahuas have been lost to the sands of time, they are thought to descend from the Techichi, a small mute dog kept by the Toltec Peoples – an ancient Aztec tribe that inhabited South America during the 9th century.

They were originally kept as companion pets by their Mexican owners before being traded and sold to American tourists in the late 19th-century. Shortly after being imported to the United States, the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904.

When Did We First Cross-Breed The Chihuahua?

The modern-day Chihuahua is a popular crossbreed for those looking to add a bit of zest and zeal to their lives. This spunky, Napoleon-complex of a dog makes for a popular purebred parent breed.

Several popular Chihuahua crossbreeds include:

How Important Is a Dog’s Temperament to Your Family?

Researching the possible temperaments of each parent breeds (if you’re purchasing or adopting a mixed-breed dog) is a great way to ensure that you find a companion dog that’s suitable for your household. Different dogs have different temperaments that are borne from lived experiences and genetics and getting one that’s a compatible match for you and your family can be a challenge.

For example, you’ll want to ensure that an active breed such as a Siberian Husky is given enough space to maintain the necessary levels of physical activity for their optimal health. Or, if you’re searching for a smaller, more laid-back dog like a Pug, that you don’t live a lifestyle that is incompatible.

Most dogs want to feel like they’re a part of the family and partake in family activities. Ensuring that you find a breed that can achieve that sense of fulfillment within your family unit is important and well-worth the time spent researching the different types of breeds to find the one that fits.

What is the Temperament of the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix?

Chihuahua Shih Tzu mixes are known as being energetic, spry little dogs with plenty of personality. Their loyalty to their owners is what makes them such popular companion animals for everyone! They are moderately active dogs with a general friendliness to all that often manifests as excitability.

Your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix will be very affectionate towards you and your family, whilst achieving lapdog status as quickly as possible!

Is The Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Friendly?

In general, you can expect your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix to be a friendly and affectionate pup towards those it knows, whilst maintaining a standoffish position with strangers – though not aggressive – it may take a while to warm to them.

Is The Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Easy to Train?

Despite the Chihuahua’s stubborn streak, you’ll likely find that the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix will quickly become obedient. They respond well to reward-based training and positive-reinforcement training.

How Much Can A Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Weigh?

The average weight of a Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is between 5 and 16 pounds.

How Tall Can A Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Get?

The average height of a Chihuahua Shih Tzu is between 8 and 10 inches tall.

Similar-Sized Breeds

There are a few similar-sized breeds to the Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix. These include:

Does the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Shed?

The Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix will be a light-shedding dog year-round, so expect to brush them bi-weekly to keep their fur at a manageable level.

How Much Exercise Does A Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Require?

You can expect your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix to require roughly 30 to 45 minutes of daily exercise. You can also expect your Chi Shih Tzu to love off-leash time and respond to games that encourage mental stimulation.

How Long Can a Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Live?

The average lifespan of a Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix is between 12 and 15 years.

What Health Conditions Could the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Have?

How Can You Find a Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Puppy For Sale?

Before you start searching for a Chi-Shih puppy to purchase, we recommend that you consider adopting a Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix first! Many Chi-Shih’s find themselves in rescue shelters or vet clinics throughout the United States. Consider checking these places before you abandon your search for an adoptable Chihuahua Shih Tzu!

Alternatively, you can search online for your Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix at

How Much Does a Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix Puppy Cost?

The average cost of a Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix is between $500 and $1000! This hefty price tag is roughly double the cost of adopting a Chi-Shih from a clinic or animal shelter.

However, if you do choose to go down the route of purchasing a Chihuahua Shih Tzu, you want to ensure that you’re purchasing from a reputable breeder. As reputable breeders can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from puppy mills, we’ve created this handy guide to help you sort the wheat from the chaff and avoid puppy mills at all costs!

Is the Chihuahua Shih Tzu Mix the Right Breed For You?

If you’ve been searching for a small breed with an adorable personality, that blends in well with almost any family unit and has a moderate level of upkeep without being exhaustive, then the Chihuahua Shih Tzu mix might just be for you!

However, if you’re convinced that you’d rather search for another mixed-breed pup, consider reading our other breed guides to learn more about the other breeds we’ve covered.

Nick Meagher

I'm Nick Meagher, a lifelong dog enthusiast and the voice behind this blog. Having grown up with dogs, I've developed a deep understanding and an unbreakable bond with these amazing companions. Through MyK9Life, I aim to share insights, tips, and heartwarming stories, celebrating the joy and journey of life with our four-legged friends.

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