The "Shichons" is a designer dog breed that goes by a number of names, including the Tzu Frise, the Zuchon and the teddy bear. Whatever you call the little dog, you're referring to a cross between the Shih Tzu and the bichon frise. What all dogs of this mixed-breed have in common, besides size and cuteness, is the overwhelming desire to be their owner's best friend forever.
Bichon frises are always white, while the Shih Tzu appears in a variety of colors and markings. Shichons are often predominately white with darker spots, but specimen coloration can vary. Since both parent breeds are double-coated, the shichon should have a full, luxurious coat. The Shicon requires regular brushing and trips to the groomer to stay spruce. And adult bichon frise is 9 to 12 inches at the shoulder in maturity, while the adult Shih Tzu is 8 to 11 inches high. Expect a Shichon to fall within those parameters and to weigh between 9 and 16 pounds.
Shichons are companion dogs who want to be with you all the time. They generally get along well with other dogs and cats. While they're too small for handling by young children, they are good choices for older children who know how to behave with dogs. Shichons don't require a lot of exercise and can do well living in an apartment or townhouse.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.