Last Updated on August 24, 2021 by Marco
Designer lapdog breeds are both cute and make for great family pets. That especially the case for the Shih Tzu and Dotson mix – the adorable Schweenie! This cross between two classic and small-sized family dog breeds has a lot of unique characteristics. Is it the right pet for you, however? Does the Schweenie get along well with kids and other dogs? Let’s go over all the specifics below.
Appearance and Physical Characteristics Of The Shih Tzu and Dotson Mix
Like other crossbreeds, the Shih Tzu and Dotson mix’s appearance falls right in the middle of its parent breeds. Like them, the Schweenie is a small dog that rarely grows taller than 11 to 20 inches (27.5 to 50 cm) and heavier than 9 to 20 lbs (4 to 9 kg).
This breed’s coat is usually either long and smooth or silky and short. There’s always an undercoat too, so you can expect to have to do a lot of grooming. This includes daily brushing, regular baths, and the occasional trip to the dog groomer. The shedding isn’t too excessive, however – the regular grooming is to avoid any matting and skin problems.
The colors of the coat can vary a lot too. Your Schweenie can either be white & cream, light brown & golden, black & white, brown & white, or a merle, speckled, spotted, & brindle combination.
As for other physical characteristics, the Schweenie’s legs will always be short and the body – elongated. The head and muzzle will typically resemble those of a Shih Tzu, however.
Learn more about: Shar-Pei Dachshund Mix – A Rare But Fascinating Cross
Dachshund Shih Tzu Mix Temperament
One of the best things about the Shih Tzi and Dotson mix is its lovable character. This crossbreed is social, gentle, loyal, playful, and very sweet. These dogs love to play and to spend time with their humans. As long as you’ve socialized them properly, these dogs will even love to interact with strangers. However, without good socialization, you can expect quite a bit of barking at any stranger that walks nearby.
Training can be an issue with this breed because of its independent streak, however. Obedience training is very much a must if you want your Schweenie to listen to you. If you raise your pup right, however, it will be a good and obedient companion for your entire family. This goes for kids and other dogs too, as this breed’s social nature extends to them too.
The Schweenie is quite intelligent and loves to explore and play games. It’s not a big fan of learning tricks and performing tasks as some work dog breeds but playtime will always be fun.
Unfortunately, the social nature and high intelligence of the Schweenie makes it very susceptible to separation anxiety. So, if you and your other family members all work away from home every day, this dog will easily become stressed out, depressed, and even destructive. This is one reason why the Schweenie isn’t just good for large families – it needs a large family. This will ensure that there’s always someone around to keep this dog company.
Of course, if you work from home then this breed can feel good even in a single-person household. Alternatively, you can also get a second dog to keep your Schweenie company.
Exercise Needs Of The Shih Tzu and Wiener Dog Mix
Because of its small size and short legs, the Shih Tzu and Dotson mix doesn’t need too much outdoor and/or yard time. 30 to 45 minutes of a brisk walk per day is usually enough for this breed, ideally divided into two separate trips. For the rest of its exercise, the Schweenie will happily get it at home by playing with you and with dog toys.
This doesn’t make proper exercise any less important, however. Like dachshunds, the Schweenie can be prone to obesity if overfed and/or if it’s not given enough exercise.
Health Specifics Of The Shih Tzu and Dotson Mix
The great news is that the Schweenie suffers from much fewer cases of Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) or hip and elbow dysplasia compared to the dachshund. You should still watch out for those, of course, but they are considerably less likely.
Instead, the main issues that may befall your Schweenie are usually skin problems and infections. That’s why proper grooming is key. Obesity is also a common problem in adult Shih Tzu and Dotson mix dogs.
To avoid these and other problems you should always give your dog good food, regular exercise, and not skip any of your routine vet visits. As long as you do that and you’ve got a healthy pup from a reputable breeder, everything should be fine.
That last point is often ignored as people like to get their dogs from pet stores and puppy mills. We strongly advise against it, however – never get a dog, especially a designer breed, from a breeder who doesn’t offer a health certificate.
Schweenie Pros and Cons
- Great companion and lapdog
- Well-suited for apartments
- Gets along well with kids and other dogs
- Be careful with this breed’s separation anxiety issues
- Can be moody and stubborn – obedience training is a must
- Adequate grooming is essential for this dog
Is the Shih Tzu and Dotson Mix Right For You?
If you’re looking for a small, manageable, and cute family dog, the Schweenie is a great choice. This breed is very well suited for apartment dwellers and it doesn’t require too much outdoor exercise. This is a pretty healthy breed too and rarely has the back and spinal problems that often plague the dachshund.
As for training, this breed does require a firm hand albeit without any negative reinforcement. It’s still recommended for new owners but you’ll need to teach the dog to recognize your authority. The other key point is avoiding separation anxiety – this dog needs human presence and attention. This makes it a non-ideal pet for people who live alone and work away from home. Almost anyone else can have a lot of fun with this dog, especially if you’re an indoors-type person.