Hair: Maintaining the Shichi is very easy, especially if the produced dog's coat resembles that of its Chihuahua parent. Moreover, they're not considered to be massive shedding dogs as well. In case the dog's coat resembles the Shih Tzu parent, then the dog will have hypoallergenic properties. It should be noted that light and weekly brushing should be done if the Shichi has a medium-sized coat. If the Shichi has a long coat, then brushing needs to be done daily.
With the help of brushing the loose and dead hair that remains trapped inside, the coat can be removed. Long-haired ones need further attention as their fur is more prone to matting and tangling, especially around their necks and heads. The long hair will also trap dirt and dust easily - which can be removed by daily brushing. You should bathe your Shichi only when it's necessary.
Ears: Ensure that you check your dog's ears on a per-week basis for any debris buildup and it should be cleaned as well.
Teeth: The teeth may be prone to various dental issues, so it's suggested to brush your dog's teeth three times per week.
Nails: It’s recommended to only clip your dog’s nails whenever it’s too long. Ensure that you don’t cut them too much as it may result in bleeding.
Eyes: Besides, you also need to check your dog’s eyes every week for any discharge or redness. Clean your dog’s eyes to remove the tear stains.
Recommended daily amount: It is suggested to feed your dog with 1/2 to 1 cup of top-notch quality dry dog food per day. You need to divide such an amount for two separate meals during the day.
What food to choose: Your Shichi dog should be fed with high-quality dry dog food. The kibble that you'll choose for your dog should be made from good-quality ingredients and have a good ratio when it comes to proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Therefore, it's essential to steer away from different cheap brands because they're full of fillers and can easily damage your dog's health in the long-run.
How to keep good shape: Regular exercise along with a balanced diet.
How many times to feed your dog: Twice a day.
It should be noted that these dog breeds don't need much food to stay fit and healthy. This is why overfeeding can lead to several health issues such as obesity and will gain a lot of weight as well.
The following are some of the health problems that a Shichi might face during its lifetime:
Condition: Since these dogs have a short nose, the air pipe's obstruction can quickly occur. The situation can happen due to an elongated palate or a collapsed trachea. Symptoms will include cough, noisy breathing, gums, and lips that can turn blue due to lack of oxygen.
Treatment: Not use any contraptions around the dog’s neck (collar or leash). In severe cases, surgery may be required.
Condition: They have bulging eyes, which can lead to Keratitis - otherwise known as inflammation of the cornea. Sometimes eye discharge can also happen along with cataracts. Other situations include progressive retinal atrophy (degenerative eye disease) and distichiasis (eyelashes grow abnormally).
Treatment: If the situation is mild, it can be solved by medications. Severe cases will require surgery.
Condition: The situation involves the inflammation of the teeth and gums. Symptoms will also include bad breath and, in severe cases, may lose teeth as well.
Treatment: Teeth must be brushed daily.
While you plan on training Shichi, you should know that positive reinforcement will work the best. They have the willingness and loyalty to be active, which means that they’ll embrace the training sessions if it is enjoyable. Since they have a shorter attention span, you need to keep things interesting to garner their attention.
Try to praise your dog often and reward him/her whenever required. Ensure that you don't go overboard with the treats. They're a bit slow to housebreak, so you need to use dog kennels for the same.
Small dogs like the Shichis don't require a lot of exercise because they're naturally active and playful. It's recommended that you provide your dog with 20 minutes of exercise every day, and it is fine. You can take your dog out for a daily walk or let play fetch games with your pooch.
You can even let your dog perform various agility exercises and let him or her take part in different obedience competitions. Such a process will help in improving the overall confidence factor in your dog.
It should be kept in mind that they're susceptible to heat, so long outdoor play sessions should be avoided on a hot, sunny day.