Bichon Poodle: Your Complete Guide15 minutes
The bichon poodle is a mixed breed created by crossing a bichon frise and a poodle. This mix has a couple of fun nicknames, too, such as poochon and bichpoo (the ch on both makes a sh sound). This little breed is incredibly adorable and has a fantastic temperament. They truly make wonderful family dogs.
In this article, we’ll help you determine if the bichon poodle is right for you by providing an exhaustive amount of information about them. You’ll learn about the bichpoo’s history, temperament, size, trainability, coat type, grooming needs, energy levels, health risks, and more. If you have a question about the bichon poodle, we have an answer.
A Quick Look at the Bichon Poodle
We don’t want you to waste your time reading this article only to realize that the bichon poodle is not at all what you’re looking for. That’s why we’ve created this chart. It’ll allow you to quickly and easily get an idea of what the poochon is like. If you’re still interested after seeing this, then keep reading!
|Weight/Height||6-17 lbs, 9-15 in.|
|Coat Type||Curly and long|
|Temperament||Friendly, gentle, playful, affectionate|
|Good With Kids||Yes|
|Good With Other Animals||Dogs; others with socialization|
|Easy to Train||Yes|
|Barking Habits||Frequent barker|
|Lifespan||10 – 18 years|
What Is the History of Bichon Poodles?
In order to understand what a poochon might be like, we need to know more about the history of the bichon frise and the poodle. The bichon frise hails from Tenerife in the Canary Islands and was popular among the nobility of France, Spain, and Italy from about the 13th century onward.
After the French Revolution in 1789, these little dogs lost their noble benefactors. They ended up performing tricks, first as street performers, then in circuses. The breed managed to survive through WWI and WWII and is now a favorite choice of companion due to their stellar personalities.
Just like bichon frises, poodles found popularity amongst French nobility and even spent some time in European circuses. However, their roots have nothing to do with luxury or the performing arts. Instead, poodles were duck hunters that originated in Germany. Even today, standard poodles are used for hunting fowl.
As for the bichon poodle, this mix cropped up around the late 1990s in Australia. It is believed that breeders were attempting to create an active but affectionate pet that would make a wonderful companion for families with kids. Though poodles come in three sizes, only miniature and toy poodles are typically chosen to mate with bichon frises.
What Do Bichon Poodles Look Like?
Poochons are small dogs with long curly hair (often clipped short), fluffy tails, and cute button noses. They can come in various colors, but some of the most popular are apricot, cream, white, and red. Most bichpoos will be toy to miniature sized.
What Size Is a Bichon Poodle?
Bichon poodles are 9 to 15 inches tall and weigh between 6 and 17 pounds on average. Bichpoos with a toy poodle parent are more likely to be on the smaller side of this scale, whereas those with a miniature poodle parent may be on the larger end of this range.
What Is a Bichon Poodle’s Coat Type?
Both bichon frises and poodles have hair that is curly and grows long. Therefore, you can expect the same from a bichon poodle mix.
What Is a Bichon Poodle’s Temperament?
Bichon poodles are happy-go-lucky dogs that see everyone as their friend. They make lovely family pets as they are great with children and enjoy activity and play. Bichpoos are very affectionate with their families and enjoy cuddling and being petted. They’re also smart and easy to train.
Are Bichon Poodles Affectionate?
Bichon frises were bred to be companion dogs, and poodles are known to be affectionate toward their families. Therefore, you can expect a mix of the two to be an absolutely loving dog.
If you want a dog you can cuddle with; there is a high chance that a bichpoo will want to cuddle with you, too. They are wonderful little lapdogs who welcome physical touch.
Bichon poodles are also quite friendly toward strangers. In fact, they tend to view everyone as friends and are quick to warm up to new people.
Are Bichon Poodles Good With Kids?
The bichon poodle is a great choice if you’re looking for a family dog that is safe around children. This mixed breed is both gentle and playful. Not only is this dog unlikely to hurt a child, but the poochon will happily be your child’s playmate.
That said, it is important to always supervise kids and dogs. Because the bichon poodle is diminutive, children must be taught how to safely handle and respect this breed so as not to cause injury.
Are Bichon Poodles Good With Other Animals?
While bichon frises have a low prey drive, the same cannot be said of the poodle, who was originally bred for hunting. The poochon’s prey drive could be negligible like the bichon frise, high like the poodle’s, or somewhere in between. So it would not be a total surprise should they enjoy chasing squirrels in the yard.
If you have small animals like rabbits, guinea pigs, or the like, be aware of the possibility that a bichpoo may see them as prey. Socializing a bichon poodle mix puppy with small animals can help, but it is recommended that you exercise caution if you decide to keep small pets in a home with a bichpoo.
Though small animals may be out, other dogs are not. Bichon poodles tend to be quite friendly toward fellow dogs. If you’re a cat lover, it is possible for a poochon to get along with cats just fine as well, especially if they are raised with a tolerant cat during their youth.
Are Bichon Poodles Aggressive?
Though it is possible for any dog of any breed to become aggressive, this is definitely not the norm for the bichon poodle. This breed is generally very friendly and happy-go-lucky toward everyone they meet.
Though aggression isn’t likely, properly socializing a bichpoo during puppyhood is vital as it exposes them to several stimuli so that they do not become fearful in the future. Fear can be a cause of aggression.
Do Bichon Poodles Bark a Lot?
Bichon poodles are not known for being quiet. How much a dog barks will vary by individual, but it is not uncommon for bichpoos to bark a lot. This may not make them the best option if you live in an apartment with noise restrictions.
However, if you are dedicated to putting in the effort, you can teach them to bark less. This training can work especially well if you start it during puppyhood, but training at any age can still be effective.
Are Bichon Poodles Intelligent?
Bichon Poodles are very smart little dogs. Poodles themselves are considered one of the smartest dog breeds, and we know that bichons frises are more than capable of learning complex tricks — after all, they did spend time in the circus! So a dog born of these two intelligent breeds is likely to be a smarty-pants.
Are Bichon Poodles Easy to Train?
Training is a joy when you have an intelligent dog that enjoys learning. This is definitely true of the bichon poodle. These little dogs are eager to please as they love receiving praise (and treats) from their favorite people.
Because they are smart, they can also learn a plethora of interesting cues, including complicated tricks. So if you’re interested in dog sports like agility, the bichon poodle is definitely up for the challenge (and will find it fun, too!).
We always recommend that dog owners take their pups to a training class of some sort because it keeps you on task with your training, allows you to ask questions, provides socialization, and offers a new or distracting environment for your dog to learn in. However, the bichon poodle is relatively easy to train, so hiring a professional trainer, while helpful, is not necessary.
Similarly, you do not need to be an experienced trainer to successfully teach your bichon poodle new skills. Do your research, be clear and consistent, and use positive reinforcement techniques. Respect your dog and remember that training should be fun, and your bichpoo will be trained before you know it.
Are Bichon Poodles Energetic?
The bichon poodle is considered a high-energy breed, which is no surprise since one of their parents, the poodle, was originally bred for hunting. However, because bichpoos are small, they aren’t nearly as demanding of their owners as large high-energy breeds are.
You should definitely walk a poochon daily as well as engage in play. Bichon poodles will enjoy a romp around a yard but are also happy to play indoors. Most bichon poodles are satisfied with about an hour of exercise per day. If your poochon seems bored, then you may need to provide even more exercise.
Are Bichon Poodles Good Apartment Dogs?
Aside from their barking habits, bichon poodles can be a great option for apartment living. While they do enjoy running around a yard, they don’t need one to live a fulfilling life. They can easily get their exercise via walks or even indoor games on rainy days.
Are Bichon Poodles Good Watchdogs?
A bichon poodle will alert you to the presence of someone at the door or anything else they find out of place. For this reason, they can be considered good watchdogs. However, they are very friendly toward strangers and, of course, are quite small, so they cannot offer you much more than a four-legged alarm system.
Are Bichon Poodles Good Service Dogs?
Bichon poodles are too small to fit every service niche (for instance, they could not guide the blind), but they can make for talented service dogs in general. They’re intelligent enough to learn complex commands and could be fantastic psychiatric service dogs.
Their loving, affectionate nature would also make them a great option for someone who is looking to get an emotional support animal. For those who want to bring joy to others, a bichon poodle would likely excel as a therapy dog because they tend to be quite friendly and do well with children and adults.
How to Care for a Bichon Poodle
The bichon poodle usually requires visits to a groomer every four to six weeks to have their coat clipped. Otherwise, they require brushing at least weekly and should have their ears checked for infection regularly. It’s also important to keep the nails from getting too long.
Perhaps the most vital care for a bichon poodle is dental care. You must brush their teeth every single day. This is because the bichon poodle is predisposed to periodontal disease, and it is not uncommon for this breed to lose teeth because of it.
You’re likely aware that removing a dog’s teeth costs a pretty penny, but you may not know that periodontal disease can shorten your dog’s lifespan. This is because the bacteria growing in an unhealthy mouth can spread, often leading to systemic issues in the heart, kidneys, or liver. So, take good care of your bichon poodle’s teeth!
Do You Need to Groom a Bichon Poodle?
Bichon poodles’ hair grows to be quite long and is growing continuously. Most owners prefer having their dog’s hair cut by a professional every four to six weeks because leaving it long requires much more effort and management.
You’ll want to brush a bichon poodle with a metal comb and soft slicker brush about two to three times per week. As their hair grows back out, you should brush even more frequently to prevent matting. Mats make it difficult for groomers to give the dog a neat clip, and severe matting is painful. Bathing once a month is enough for a poochon, but you can also choose to bathe as needed.
Do Bichon Poodles Shed?
The bichon poodle mix is a minimal shedder. This is because their hair grows long and continuously. It doesn’t fall out until it has completely finished growing and is ready to be replaced by new hair. This cycle of growth can take years, which is why the breed is considered low shedding and hypoallergenic.
What Should a Bichon Poodle Eat?
Bichon poodles should eat the highest quality small breed dog food you can afford. The best dog foods meet AAFCO guidelines, are formulated by a veterinary nutritionist, and undergo feeding trials.
To determine how much to feed your bichon poodle, check the guidelines on your preferred dog food. You can also calculate your dog’s daily caloric needs yourself or use an online calculator. Knowing this can help you prevent obesity as you can factor calories from treats into your dog’s diet by reducing their meal portions accordingly. Remember, treats should not make up more than 10% of a dog’s diet.
What Health Problems Do Bichon Poodles Have?
Bichon poodles are at risk for all the same diseases for which poodles and bichon frises are at risk. This may make it seem like they have a higher risk of getting sick, but that isn’t necessarily true.
The health risks that a bichon poodle may face include patellar luxation, allergies, bladder infections, cataracts and other eye issues, hip dysplasia, idiopathic epilepsy, sebaceous adenitis, von Willebrand’s disease, Legg-Calve-Perthes, mitral valve disease, and Cushing’s disease.
Though these health risks may seem scary, there are ways to increase your chances of getting a healthy pup who will live a long, happy life. The best option is to get your bichon poodle puppy from a responsible breeder who health tests their dogs.
These health tests ensure that the parent dogs do not have any identifiable diseases that could be passed on to the offspring. Responsible breeders not only health test their dogs but are also more than willing to share the results with potential adopters.
How Long Do Bichon Poodles Live?
Poodles live between 10 and 18 years whereas bichon frises live about 14 to 15 years. Therefore, you can expect a bichpoo to have a similar lifespan.
Are Bichon Poodles Expensive?
You can find bichon poodle puppies for sale for anywhere from $600 to $3,000. Just because puppies are cheap doesn’t mean they’ve been bred unethically, and just because they’re expensive doesn’t mean they’ve been bred ethically. It’s important to research and ask questions (more on that next).
Your recurring monthly expenses for a bichpoo will mostly consist of grooming and food. Your veterinarian may recommend that you have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned once per year to prevent periodontal disease. Cleanings can cost anywhere from $300 to $700.
How to Find a Bichon Poodle Breeder?
You’re perfectly capable of using the internet to find poochon breeders near you. So, we won’t waste your time with that. Instead, we’ll share some questions you should ask breeders to ensure they’re reputable.
- What are your credentials? You should learn about how long the breeder has been in business and how familiar they are with bichon poodles.
- Have the parent animals undergone health testing? Ask to see these tests.
- Can I see where the dogs are kept? A respectable breeder should be happy to show you the dogs’ living conditions.
- Can I meet the parent? This will give you a sense of the parent dogs’ temperaments and the potential temperaments of the puppies.
- How do you socialize your puppies? Socialization is important for puppies to become friendly and confident.
- Are the puppies up-to-date on vaccinations? You need to know your puppy’s health history to know which shots are still needed.
- Do you offer a health guarantee with a contract? Some breeders guarantee the health of their puppies: should your puppy come down with a serious illness early on, the breeder may offer to reimburse the purchase price of the dog or even take the puppy back. This will also help you avoid irresponsible breeders.
- What do you require of potential adopters? Many breeders want to make sure their puppies are going to homes where they will be treated well and kept for life. Therefore, breeders may ask a number of questions about you, your situation, and your experience as a dog owner.
Can You Adopt a Bichon Poodle?
As is the case with many “designer dogs,” it is not easy to find a bichon poodle at a shelter. If your heart is set on rescuing a bichpoo, then you’ll want to look for shelters dedicated to rescuing bichon frises or small poodles. These shelters typically rescue mixes of their designated breeds.
You should also keep an eye on small breed rescues. If you’re willing to travel, looking out of state will increase your options. If you’re willing to wait, you may eventually find a bichon poodle available at a shelter.
Are Bichon Poodles Purebred?
Bichon poodles are not purebred. Rather, they are the offspring of two purebred dogs: the poodle and the bichon frise. Some bichon poodles may also have two bichon poodle parents.
Can You Show Bichon Poodles?
Unfortunately, only purebred dogs are allowed to be shown. This is partly because purebreds have a set standard for how each breed should look and be proportioned. No such standard exists for mixed breeds like the bichon poodle, so they cannot participate in dog shows.
Are Bichon Poodles Good for New Dog Owners?
The bichon poodle would make a great first dog for a new dog owner. This is because they have a lovely disposition: they’re friendly even with strangers, they’re good with kids, they get along well with other dogs, and they are quite affectionate toward their family members.
Another thing that makes them a great choice for first-time owners is that they’re easy to train. Though they are considered a high-energy breed, they are small enough that they don’t need more than about an hour of exercise per day.
Is a Bichon Poodle the Right Dog for Me?
The bichon poodle is a wonderful dog with many desirable traits. However, that doesn’t mean the bichpoo will be the perfect match for everyone. Let’s take a look at who the poochon is and isn’t a good match for.
The Bichon poodle may be right for you if:
- You want a dog you can cuddle with.
- You have children and want a family dog.
- You’re looking for a hypoallergenic breed.
- You want an energetic dog that doesn’t require hours of daily exercise.
The bichon poodle may not be right for you if:
- You won’t brush their teeth every day.
- You want a dog that has low-maintenance grooming needs.
- You want a dog that doesn’t bark a lot.