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Poochon: Complete Designer Breed Guide

poochon outside in the snow

The Poochon, also called Bichon Poodle, is an absolutely adorable cross between a Toy or Miniature Poodle and a Bichon Frisé. Classified as a toy breed, the Poochon is tiny in size but big in personality, inheriting the best qualities from each parent. They are loved for their curly coats, happy and affectionate nature, and high intelligence.

Origins of Poochon

This mixed-breed dog, which is affectionately called Bichon Poo, was developed in Australia in the late 1900s but today is bred in the UK and USA too.  They are a cross between a Bichon Frisé, which originates from France, and the Miniature Poodles bred in France. However, depending on the breeder, the Bichon Frisé may mate with a Toy Poodle instead, resulting in a smaller canine. As a result, their size can vary.  The two canines were selectively chosen to blend the intelligence and low-shedding coat of the Poodle with the playful, adorable personality the Bichon Frisé possesses.  Both the Bichon Frisé and the Miniature Poodle are recognized by the American Kennel Club. However, as the Bichon Poodle is a designer breed, they have not been granted breed status. Still, they are recognized by mixed-breed associations like American Canine Hybrid Club, Designer Breed Registry, and Designer Dogs Kennel Club. Bichon Poodle puppies can cost anywhere from $1,000 and $3,000.

What Does A Poochon Look Like?

Depending on the type of Poodle used in breeding, a Bichpoo full-grown will weigh between 6 and 17 pounds and stand between 9 and 15 inches tall. If a Toy Poodle is used, the offspring will be on the lower end of the spectrum.  A Poochon dog will have oval-shaped eyes that are dark amber or brown in between their cute floppy ears. Some appear to have a permanent smile, and most continue to look like puppies their entire life, thanks to their teddy-bear-style baby face.  A Bichon Poo will have a combination of a Poodle coat (tight curls) and a Bichon coat (thick and curly), usually one more than the other. Their fur is medium length and usually cream, tan, or apricot in color. Their coat will typically be a solid pattern, but they can be a blend of colors. Black and gray shades are also possible but uncommon.

Personality and Behavior of Poochon's

The Bichon Poodle mix possesses an idyllic balance between cuddliness and playfulness. When in a relaxed mood, they will lounge on the sofa and cuddle up with you in bed.  However, despite their small size, they have a lot of energy and a naturally playful nature. To keep them physically and mentally active, you should walk your Poochon daily and include several short but active play sessions throughout the day.  These pups are very social and affectionate as they love to be around people and other animals. Some Poochon owners describe their fur babies as "velcro dogs" as they constantly follow them around.  However, they require a lot of attention. They don't do well left alone, as separation anxiety is common in this mixed breed. Thus, it is not recommended to bring this dog into a home where there is not usually someone around. Without enough human attention, a Poochon may become anxious or destructive.

How to Train a Poochon

Did you know that the Poodle is the second most intelligent dog worldwide behind the Border Collie? With such a bright parent, it is no surprise that the Poochon dog is pretty clever. Therefore, considering they inherit the good qualities from their genius parents, you can train them well and teach them many tricks.  You should start training your Bichon Poo as soon as you get them. This will help build your bond, establish your roles, and curb any negative behavioral traits before they become a big issue. For example, barking and snapping are typical, but training and plenty of stimulation and play will minimize this.  Early socialization is just as important, especially if you plan to add to your fur family. A Poochon that is introduced to dogs, other animals, and children while young will be very friendly and pleasant with new pets and people throughout their life. If they are not socialized, they may be skittish and fearful in new situations and be more prone to barking.

Grooming and Maintaining a Poochon's Coat

A Bichon Frisé Poodle mix may look adorable, but they are not easy to groom! Of course, this is because both parent dogs are high maintenance, so it goes without saying that the cross-breed is too.  If you're considering bringing this dog home, be prepared to brush them daily and bathe them with dog shampoo every few weeks. Monthly visits to the groomers are also non-negotiable for keeping their coats healthy and tangle-free. The good news is because Poochons inherit the Poodle coat (entirely or partly), they are low shedders. This can make them a good fit for people with allergies, but no dog can be 100% hypoallergenic, so be wary of any breeder who claims they won't shed at all. What's more, like all mixed breed dogs, you cannot control what characteristics Poochon puppies inherit.  The Bichon Poodle mix can be prone to tear stains, which, although it is not a cause for concern, can be a little unsightly. So you may choose to wipe their eyes once or twice a day with water or tear stain remover. Tooth decay can also be a concern, so establish a regular tooth brushing regime using dog-safe toothpaste. Lastly, don't forget about their nails. As a designer dog breed, you will likely keep them indoors for a considerable time. Therefore, you might need to trim their nails occasionally with a dog nail grinder or clipper to prevent them from getting overgrown.

Common Health Issues

The Bichon Poodle mix inherits the health predispositions of both parents but, as a cross-breed, is usually considered healthier than its purebred parents. The average lifespan of this pup is good, between 12 and 15 years. Still, regular vet visits and preventive care is essential to keep at bay the following common health problems:

  • Patellar luxation - This is where the kneecaps slip out of place when walking, causing pain and discomfort. It is common in small dog breeds. 
  • Retinal atrophy and cataracts - Retinal atrophy is when degeneration of retinal tissue in the eye occurs and can lead to blindness if untreated. It is common in Poodles, so it can be passed down to Poochons. 
  • Addison's disease - This is an immune-mediated disease when the body attacks the outer layer of the adrenal glands.
  • Cushing's disease - This condition is when the adrenal glands overproduce cortisol, resulting in several life-threatening illnesses, such as kidney damage and diabetes.

Final Thoughts

The Poochon makes a lovely companion dog for all types of families and homes. Providing you can give them the attention and grooming they need, you are bound to enjoy many magical moments with these loving, playful, and intelligent pups.
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