Canis lupus

Last updated: October 8, 2021
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff

The breed often changes colors throughout its life, with its puppy coat becoming lighter over the first few years of life, then darkening as he ages.

Zuchon Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Zuchon Conservation Status

Zuchon Locations

Zuchon Locations

Zuchon Facts

Name Of Young
Fun Fact
The breed often changes colors throughout its life, with its puppy coat becoming lighter over the first few years of life, then darkening as he ages.
Most Distinctive Feature
teddy bear like appearance
Other Name(s)
teddy bear dog
Litter Size
4-5 puppies
United States

Zuchon Physical Characteristics

  • Fawn
  • Red
  • Black
  • White
  • Cream
Skin Type
15-18 years

Zuchon as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Seperation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Pure bred cost to own
Dog group
Male weight
- lbs
Female weight
- lbs

Zuchon Images

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The breed often changes colors throughout his life, with his puppy coat becoming lighter over the first few years of life, then darkening as he ages.

A sweet, loving breed, the Zuchon is a mix between the Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise. The goal was to breed an affectionate companion that has the best traits of each breed. The resulting pup, also known as the teddy bear dog due to his appearance, makes a wonderful pet and, with the right training, an amazing service animal.

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The breed’s hypoallergenic coat comes in a range of colors, including black, red, fawn, white, and cream. They can be one solid color of particolored, and their fur may be silky or curly.

3 pros and cons of owning Zuchons

Cheerful personalityCan be stubborn
Long lifespanMay be difficult to housetrain
Non-SheddingRequire daily grooming
The Zuchon was bred to be a companion dog.

Size and Weight

A full-grown dog should be compact and sturdy. The male and female are similar in height and weight.

Weight (Male:)15 pounds
Weight (Female):14 pounds
Height (Male): 12 inches
Height (Male): 11 inches

Common Health Issues

There are a few health issues that the breed is prone to. Like the Shih Tzu, he may develop brachycephalic airway syndrome. Like the Bichon side of his family tree, he may be prone to atopic dermatitis. Other health concerns for the breed include:

  • Cushing’s disease
  • Patellar luxation
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca


One trait breeders aim for in this breed is personality. These dogs are happy and exuberant, always thrilled to see you, and never meet a stranger. Help maintain this winning disposition by socializing your pup around strangers and pets. At home, your pup will get along well with everyone who lives there, although he may develop a favorite person, and coexists peacefully with other dogs and cats.

How To Take Care of Zuchon

The Zuchon is a low-maintenance breed. He doesn’t require significant exercise and his grooming needs only take a few minutes each day. He is a pup well-suited for not only families but seniors and singles as well.

Health and Entertainment for your Zuchon

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Food and Diet

As a small breed, these dogs need to be watched carefully to avoid obesity. It is much easier to help him maintain a healthy weight than to lose weight. Even though he doesn’t need much food, breaking his meal into two servings each day gives him something to look forward to and helps discourage him from eating too quickly.

Maintenance And Grooming

The Zuchon is a non-shedding breed, but that doesn’t mean their coat is maintenance-free. Regular grooming is necessary not only to keep his coat looking nice but to prevent mats that can become painful if left. Going over your pup with a comb each day only takes a few minutes and eliminates the need for marathon sessions later on.

Along with regular coat maintenance, use a cotton ball dampened with ear cleaning solution once a week and trim his nails at least once a month. Depending on how the hair on his face grows, he may benefit from having the area around his eyes trimmed to make it easier to see and keep him more comfortable. Finally, like other small breeds, dental issues can become a problem with age, so brushing his teeth a few times a week is a good preventative measure.


The breed’s eagerness to please makes them easy to train. It is never too late to train your full-grown dog, but starting as soon as you bring your pup home helps him quickly integrate into the household. In addition to basic commands, training your pup not to jump on people or on furniture if you don’t plan to allow that as an adult, is much quicker when they are young.

Crate training makes housebreaking much easier, and most pups take quickly to their crate. Having an area where you can put your pup and know that he is safe gives you peace of mind when he is young and you cannot keep your eye on him constantly.


While active and playful, this breed doesn’t need much exercise to stay healthy and happy. In fact, a few indoor play sessions each day provide the enrichment he needs. It is, however, a good idea to get him outside for even a short walk a few times each day to stretch his legs and get some fresh air. Keep in mind his size when walking him, he may have trouble keeping up if your outing is too long.


The average litter size is made up of four to five puppies. Breeders can cross a Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise or two Zuchons to produce the breed.

The personality and love of this breed makes it a great match for a family pet.

Zuchon And Children

The breed’s buoyant personality and love of people make it a good match for families with children, however, it is important that the children and puppies, and even full-grown dogs are closely supervised. The breed is small and cannot tolerate rough handling. Their love of people may prevent them from retreating when overwhelmed, so it is up to the adults to manage and supervise play.

Dogs similar to Zuchon

If you decide this teddy bear dog is not for you, there are other choices with similar temperaments and personalities. The obvious choice is one of the two breeds that breeders use to make up the Zuchon, the Shih Tzu or the Bichon Frise. There are other choices, however.

  • Lhasa Apso– Friendly, affectionate, and long-lived. The breed does have a tendency to bark, making it an excellent watchdog.
  • Maltese– Happy and generally healthy, the breed is also hypoallergenic.
  • Pomeranian– Smart and low exercise needs. Not the best choice for families with children.

Popular names for Zuchons are the following:

  • Charlie
  • Teddy
  • Buster
  • Zoey
  • Coco
  • Bella

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Zuchon FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How much does a Zuchon cost to own?

The average price of a Zuchon puppy is between $650 and $1000, although you can find them priced as high as $2000. Aside from the initial purchase price, you will need to budget for annual veterinary checkups as well as one-time purchases such as a crate. As a small breed, the cost of feeding the Zuchon is very reasonable.

Is the Zuchon good with kids?

The breed’s happy-go-lucky personality makes him a willing companion for kids, however, as a small breed, it is important to supervise children while playing. Depending on the age of the child, an adult should constantly supervise, or, for older children, spend time explaining how to play with the pup and why it is important to avoid being too rough.

Also, the breed, while energetic, is small. He will use up energy playing and may need to be encouraged to take a break when playing with family.

How long do Zuchons live?

The average lifespan of the Zuchon is between 15 and 18 years. The long lifespan of the breed making it particularly important to practice preventative dental and medical care so that he stays healthy for as long as possible.

What is a Zuchon?

A Zuchon is a cross between a Shih Tzu and a Bichon Frise. The name indicates that the breed is a direct cross between the two breeds, but that isn’t always the case. While a Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise cross is called a Zuchon, two Zuchons can be bred together. The resulting pups are also known as Zuchons. Generally, the puppies from the Zuchon couplings are more consistent in appearance than when breeding Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise crosses.

Are Zuchons good dogs?

The teddy bear dog, as he is often called, is a wonderful companion. While he isn’t the best fit for an active family, he is always ready to play. He is also content to curl up beside you on the couch.

One area where the Zuchon can be difficult is in housetraining. Like the Bichon Frise, the breed can be a challenge to housetrain. Crate training and adhering to a strict schedule for meals and exercise can make the process more pleasant. It is important to exercise patience when housetraining the breed. Set him up for success with frequent potty breaks and watching him closely when he is out of his crate.

How much does a Zuchon cost?

The average price of a puppy is between $650 and $1000.

Are Zuchons smart?

The breed is intelligent, although not as smart as some other breeds. This doesn’t make him less of a companion, however, and people often find that smarter pups spend time trying to outthink their owners. The Zuchon has a winning combination of being both smart and eager to please, which makes him easy to train. He can be stubborn, which should not be mistaken for a lack of intelligence. Keeping training sessions short and fun is the best way to train the Zuchon.

Can the Zuchon be left alone?

Although they enjoy company, they can be left alone as well. Unlike some other small breeds, the Zuchon is not prone to separation anxiety. However, any dog left alone will get anxious. Leaving a radio or television on at low volume helps muffle outside noises that may make your pup anxious and also provides soothing white noise.

What clubs recognize Zuchon pups?

The Zuchon is recognized by the Designer Dogs Kennel Club and the American Canine Hybrid Club. It is not a recognized American Kennel Club breed.

What color parents do black Zuchons come from?

While white is the most common color of Zuchons, black is the rarest. The Shih Szu can be black, however, it isn’t common. The Bichon Frise can be white or white with cream, apricot, or buff. A solid black Zuchon takes selective breeding, typically over generations. Breeding two black or particolored with black Zuchons gives the highest likelihood of solid black offspring.

  1. US Service Animals, Available here: https://usserviceanimals.org/blog/zuchon-breed-overview/

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