Poochon Dog: Bichon Poodle Mix
The Poochon is a cross of the Toy Poodle and Bichon Frise, also known as Bichpoo or Bichon Poodle Mix. It’s a small dog breed at about 9 to 15 inches tall, weighing anywhere between 6 to 17 pounds. The average lifespan of this crossbreed is about 12 to 15 years.
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I put this article together to share the key characteristics and traits of the Bichon Poodle with anyone who’s interested in buying one.
Or even someone who loves reading about dogs, like me. Let’s get started!
What is a Bichon Poodle Mix?
- The Bichpoo, or Poochon, combines a Bichon Frise with a Toy Poodle. A small dog, this cross tends to be friendly, confident and have a low shedding coat. The aim of their breeders is to merge the intelligent, proud characteristics of the Poodle personality, with the more playful, curious Bichon Frise. The result is a charming, affectionate and adorable breed, known as the Bich Poo, Poochon, or simply the Bichon Frise Poodle Mix.
- This guide will serve as a resource for potential owners of this teddy bear dog, as well as current owners looking to learn more about their pets. We’ll cover health concerns, temperament, care requirements and more. There’s a lot to know about this unique little dog!
Origin of the Bichon Poodle Mix
- The Bichpoo originated in Australia during the 1990s. It was bred to be an active, loving household pet that would do well with children and other pets. The breed is a mix of the Bichon Frise and either a Miniature or Toy Poodle.
- This breed has quickly grown in popularity in recent years, as more people discover the pleasant temperament and adorable appearance of the Bich Poo. For more information about this breed’s origins, we can look to the history of the two parent breeds.
- The Poodle has a storied history dating back at least 400 years. It is thought to have originated in Germany, where it was bred for retrieving waterfowl for hunters. Despite its German origin, the Poodle became the National Dog of France, and retains the title to this day.
- The Standard Poodle, the original breed, was bred down to the Miniature, which was then bred down again to the Toy variety. Today, all three versions of the Poodle – as well as their various cross-breeds – remain popular. The Bich Poo is bred from either the Toy or Miniature varieties of Poodle.
- The Bichon Frise is thought to be descendant from the Bichon Tenerife, a member of the Barbichon breed family (which also includes Bolognese, Havanese, and Maltese breeds). The Bichon got its start on the Canary Islands, specifically on the island of Tenerife.
- The breed has roots dating back to at least the 13th century, when they grew quite popular with European royalty. Eventually the breed made its way to the Americas, where it was officially recognized by the AKC in the early 1970s. It remains a popular family dog and show dog to this day.
Bichon and Poodle Mix Physical Characteristics
- Remember that poofy coat I was talking about earlier? This is the dog that carries it.
- The Bichon Frise looks like a vanilla cupcake or cream puff with a height of 9 – 12 inches (23 – 30 cm) and a weight of 6.6 – 11 lbs (3 – 5 kg).
- It has an affectionate, playful, and cheerful temperament, with a slice of feistiness and sensitivity on the side.
- The primary health concerns to look out for are epilepsy, White Shaker Syndrome (which causes the dog to shake uncontrollably), and dyskinesia — a type of movement disorder.
- To the untrained eye, these issues may look the same as they all have to do with the dog’s bodily actions. But the vet will be able to make a proper diagnosis.
- A healthy Bichon Frise has a life expectancy of 12 – 15 years.
Bichon Poodle Temperament
- So, what’s this dog actually like? What is the temperament of the Bich Poo? The Bich Poo typically takes on many of the characteristics of its parent breeds. Most Bichon Poodle mixes will have a lively, affectionate and active disposition. They are also quite intelligent.
- Typically a Bichon Toy Poodle will have an accommodating, patient nature. This makes them a good choice for households with children or other pets. They are prone to sudden bursts of energy, so you will commonly see them zooming around for short periods of time. They also tend to bark a lot. This can make them good watchdogs . But it also means that if they are not trained properly at a young age, barking can become excessive.
- Poochons typically do not do well if left alone. They are prone to separation anxiety and tend to bark continuously when left by themselves. With all that said, it’s good to keep in mind that any crossbred dog will have a level of unpredictability. Bichon Poodle puppies could take on more characteristics from one parent breed or the other. Thus, it’s difficult to know exactly what personality your dog will have, as it could be more Poodle or more Bichon Frise, or anywhere in between.
Bichon Poodle Health Concerns
- Bichon Poodle mixes are prone to many of the health concerns that are prevalent in their parent breeds. Eye problems are common, including progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts. Dental concerns are another common issue. Bichons, in particular, are prone to gum infections and tooth loss. It’s important to brush your dog’s teeth regularly. Other concerns like patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, sebaceous adenitis, and Von Willebrand disease are also common.
- Many of these health concerns can be tested for. Reputable breeders will conduct health tests on their breeding stock to help minimize the risk of complications. Interestingly, there is some evidence to suggest that first generation mixes (i.e. a direct descendent of Poodle and Bichon Frise parents) are less likely to inherit health issues from their parent breeds.
- Second generations and beyond (the offspring of two Bichon Poodle mixes) are more likely to show health concerns common in Poodle and Bichon Frise dogs. Thus, some experts recommend specifically seeking out reputable breeders that offer first-generation puppies.
- As with any breed, frequent veterinary checkups are important and should be scheduled at least once a year. If you have specific questions about your dog’s health, consult with a licensed veterinarian.
Bichon Poodle Coat & Coloring
The Poochon has a mid-length, curly coat. Their cute button nose is the only feature to emerge from the thick curls. Their coats are typically quite soft, as long as they are properly maintained and cared for. They also inherit the Poodle tendency for very minimal shedding. The Bichon Poodle coat is typically white or apricot, with various other light shades being possible, but not common.
Bichon Poodle Grooming Requirements
The Bichon Poo requires frequent brushing to keep their coat soft and prevent matting. Ideally, you should brush its coat daily. Frequent Bichon Poo haircuts are a necessity. Coats should be trimmed every two months or so to maintain a manageable length and prevent matting. Shedding is very minimal with this breed, but routine brushing is still essential. Dental care is also important for this breed, as they can be susceptible to gum infections and related dental problems.
Ideal Home for the Bichon Poodle Dog
- The Poochon can make a great family pet and companion for the right type of person. It’s important to keep a couple things in mind when considering this breed. For one, the energy level is fairly high. That means you’ll need to set aside adequate time for exercise and play.
- Second, the Bichon Poodle mix does not do very well if left alone for long periods. Third, this breed is prone to frequent barking. It can be minimized with proper training, but the bottom line is that this can be a very yappy breed that requires a certain level of patience.
- Lastly, potential owners should consider the health concerns that are common in this breed. The Bichon Poo is a relatively healthy breed, but it’s still important to be aware of any potential health issues your dog may face. Beyond that, this is a great breed. They are affectionate and accommodating, and usually get along very well with other pets. They do well with older children, but caution is advised with very small kids.
How much exercise do Poochons need?
Poochon can have varying exercise requirements. The Bichon Frise is a relatively low maintenance dog that won’t need lots of exercise every day. The Poodle, on the other hand, is more energetic but the Toy Poodle doesn’t have as such high energy levels as a Standard Poodle. Dog walking website Wag Walking offer a suggestion for Poochon owners where exercise is concerned.
Are Poochons expensive?
While you may have saved for the initial cost of your Poochon, there are other things to think about if you’ve decided to adopt one of these designer dogs. The costs associated with owning a Poochon can range from pet food, pet insurance, grooming, trips to the vet and much more. As you’ll now know, Poochons require regular grooming, which can be quite expensive if you go to a professional groomer. You can check out the best pet insurance options in the USA and the UK.
Are Poochon easy to train?
The Bich-poo will likely be relatively easy to train. They’re relatively quick to pick up on some of the basic training. Having said that, it’s still a good idea to take your Poochon pup to puppy training classes from a young age to reinforce the basic training. From that point on, consistent and persistent training is recommended to continually reinforce what your dog has learned.
How To Care For A Poochon
- Both the Poodle and Bichon Frise are recognized for their unique (and sometimes silly) haircuts.
- It’s more common in show dogs to have poofy heads and paws, but you’ll be able to groom your Bichon Poodle any way you want.
- Haircuts every two months are a necessity to keep its coat tame. If that sounds like too much responsibility or money, you can shave your Bichpoo in the summertime.
- Its coat causes minimal shedding, which makes it a good option for owners with allergies or who want a clean house.
- The last part of grooming requires occasional teeth brushing to keep mouth infections at bay.
DIY Dog Food
- If we can have specific diets (like Whole30, Keto, and Atkins), then so can dogs.
- Bichon Poodle owner Sandy Rothra recommends feeding your mix canned dog food because it contains a higher percentage of meat protein.
- But, if you’re in the mood for a little DIY project, consider making your pooch’s food at home. All you need is some cooked chicken, brown rice, and green/yellow/orange vegetables.
- This counts for all dog breeds: if your pup gets sick with a kidney or heart issue, you will need to change its diet.
- You should never feed any dog chocolate, onions, grapes, and raisins. It’s poisonous to them.
Are You Ready To Take Home A Bichon Poodle?
- The average cost of a Poochon is $1000 with the range beginning as low as $400. The thousand dollar mark is standard for most designer dogs.
- Depending on your moral compass and price preferences, you’ll pick where your Bichon Frise Poodle Mix comes from.
- Popular adoption and rescue websites are the “Pets” section on Overstock and Poo Mix Rescue.
- For Canadians, Kijiji is an excellent resource as it offers a mix of high-priced breeder puppies on sale, and “Wanted” section where shoppers can describe the exact dog they’re looking for.
- The top three breeders websites are Spruce Ridge Kennels in Ontario, and Rolling Meadow Puppies, and Koedam Kennels in Iowa.
The Good & The Bad Personality Traits
- Let’s be real for a second, no dog is perfect. Every breed comes with at least one trait we wish we could alter.
- For the Poochon, it’s their high-strung personality and nervousness in unfamiliar situations. This comes from the Poodle side.
- If your Bichon Poodle Mix is not socialized at an early age, it can develop separation anxiety when left alone for hours.
- It’s also essential for this breed to meet other dogs to tone down its nipping. The Bichpoo can show moments of mild aggression around unfamiliar dogs.
- But enough about the bad, it’s time for the good.
- The Bichon Poodle is a loving companion for adults, children, and strangers, which makes it one of the best family dogs.
Are Poochons smart?
Poochon are likely to be quite smart dogs. As we mentioned above, the Poodle is considered the second smartest dog in the world behind the Border Collie. They’re usually quick to learn new tricks and to follow the commands of their pet owners. Bichon Frise are ranked further down the list at no78. Irrespective, you’ll probably have a mix that is relatively intelligent.
How To Find Bichon Poodle Puppies
Finding Bichoodle puppies can be challenging, depending on where you live. It’s important to seek out reputable Bichon Poodle breeders whenever possible. A good breeder will conduct health tests on their breeding stock to help reduce the risk of various inherited health concerns. To locate breeders, search the web for resources in your area. That could be a breeder’s website, a local dog club, or even the local animal shelter.
Before settling on a breeder, be sure to do some research into the background and reputation of the company or individual. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for records relating to the dog’s health. Reputable breeders will not hesitate to show you health records and test results.