If you’re reading this, then there’s a chance you’re either a new Bichon Poodle parent or are about to become one.
Of course, this can lead to many questions, such as how you care for him, what he eats, and how to train him properly.
Well, this is why we created this guide to give you all the answers you need and more! So, if you’re ready to learn all about Bichon Poodles, keep reading!
The Breed’s History
Designer breeds were all the rage back in the late 1980s. Breeders were mixing loads of classes to create something new.
Moreover, it seemed that by putting two different breeds together, you help the new generation avoid most of the inherited health issues.
So, not only do you got a cute, feisty dog, but it’s also a little healthier! This takes us back to the Bichon Poodle, also known as Poochons, Bichpoo, and Bichon Poo.
Sadly, most designer dogs have a pretty vague past. As a result, all we know here is that the Poochons originated in the late 1990s in Australia.
It was bred specifically for families that wanted a fun dog with a calm personality and low upkeep. Over the years, the breed became popular and spread over to the U.K. and U.S.A.
However, this doesn’t give us any insight into what this breed is like, as it hasn’t been around long enough. So your best bet is to learn about his parents too!
The Bichon Frisé
The general theory here is that the Bichon Frisé originated in Tenerife, one of the seven Canary Islands. He was later brought to Europe by sailors intrigued by him.
As his popularity rose, the Bichon Frisé became a dear companion of the aristocrats, who enjoyed the dog’s affectionate demeanor. His bright attitude and playful nature have kept him a favorite for many years.
Even after their popularity dropped in the 19th century, you could see the Bichon performing tricks with the circus. This was a direct result of this dog’s ability to listen to commands and please his owners.
Poodles originated in Germany and were used as water retrievers to help hunters catch ducks and fowl. Moreover, people also used Poodles to perform tricks in circuses, just like the Bichon Frisé.
So, if you thought the Bichon Frisé was the only clever dog here, think again!
As the years passed—and fondness for the dog grew— the French bourgeoisie selectively bred smaller poodles to create a cuter pet. As a result, we ended up with the toy and miniature Poodles, which were later crossed with the Bichon Frisé.
Appearance and Price
Though we can’t say that all Poochons look alike, there are definitely a few similarities here and there. For starters, this breed is primarily a toy breed and doesn’t grow into a full-sized dog.
Instead, most Bichon Poodles stay between 6 and 17 lbs and stand at around 9 to 15 inches. The females even weigh less and are a bit shorter as well.
Furthermore, Poochons have a beautiful short to medium length coat that makes them look like teddy bears with tiny black noses in the middle. They also have floppy ears that jump around as they run.
Most importantly, Poochons have hypoallergenic coats—thanks to their parents! This means that their fur is less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
Lastly, because they’re a crossbreed, it’s hard to find just one color representing the entire breed! You can find Bichon Poodles with brown, white, apricot, and even red coats!
As a result of all these appealing qualities, Poochons tend to be a bit pricey. Just one dog can cost anywhere between $400 and $1000 because it’s a designer breed.
Moreover, you’ll need to make sure you’re buying from a reputable breeder who can provide health credentials for both parents to avoid future health problems.
You can also visit the nearest local shelter if the price range is too much. There are plenty of Poochons there waiting for their forever home, and it’ll be much better than buying from an irresponsible breeder.
Life Expectancy and Health Issues
Generally, a Bichon Poodle can live around 12–15 years. However, this may vary depending on the dog’s health. Poochons are usually healthy, but just like any other breed, there are some potential health risks.
Here are some of the most prominent ones:
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a non-painful, inherited condition that leads to vision loss in many dogs. It’s, in simple words, the complete or partial deterioration of the retina.
Unfortunately, you can’t simply prevent your dog from getting this condition, as it is genetic and not curable as well. The many signs of progressive retinal atrophy include:
- Night blindness
- Extra anxious at night
- May bump into things when it’s a little dim
- Scared to go into dark rooms
- Pupils extra dilated
- The dog’s eyes might become extra reflective when there’s a light shining on them
If you notice any of these signs, take your Bichon Poodle to the vet and make sure everything is alright. If your dog happens to have PRA, there’s only one thing you can do: adapt.
All you need to do is keep your dog’s environment the way it is but with some modifications so he won’t harm himself accidentally. For instance, you can install bumpers on the furniture corners so he won’t hit them with his nose or run into them.
- White Dog Shaker Syndrome
Also known as idiopathic steroid responsive shaker syndrome, white dog shaker syndrome is a condition that primarily affects small dog breeds, like Poochons. As the name suggests, it leaves dogs with shaking bodies as tremors come and go.
So, what causes this condition in little dogs? We don’t know.
Actually, it’s not just us; nobody knows! There are various theories about what causes this syndrome, but none are conclusive.
The symptoms also confuse many dog parents, as most just think their Poochons are cold or anxious. However, other signs include the following:
- Head tilt
- Problems with walking
- Tremors close to the head or body
The excellent news is this syndrome is easily curable if caught early on! All you need to do is take your dog to the vet if you notice some shaking mixed with any of the other signs.
- Sebaceous Adenitis
Hair loss can be the result of many things. It can be because of a poor diet, a change in the season, or something more alarming, like sebaceous adenitis. It’s an immune-mediated disorder that affects the sebaceous glands in your dog’s skin.
When something like that happens to your Poochons, you’ll often see things like the following:
- Changes in the dog’s coat texture
- White scales that don’t come off easily
- Patchy areas with hair loss
- Appearance of lesions
Because this condition isn’t that common, most doctors miss it. However, a quick skin biopsy can help speed up the process.
- Cushing’s Disease
Humans, dogs, and cats all produce a natural steroid called cortisol. In a balanced state, cortisol helps the body regulate immune responses as well as blood and sugar levels.
Regardless, when there’s too much of it, then you’ve got something called Cushing’s disease, where the adrenal glands are producing just a bit too much.
When it comes to dogs, this disease usually hits middle-aged ones, and it isn’t easy to notice at first. So, here are some symptoms to keep in mind:
- Excessive thirst, which leads to increased urination
- Hair loss
- Increased appetite
- Increased panting
- Recurring skin infections
- An increase in the abdomen size
Temperament and Personality Traits
Your dog’s temperament refers to its overall mood, energy level, and behavior with people and other animals. And saying that the Bichon Poodle is a handful would be a massive understatement!
This is because there’s a lot of personality packed into this little fellow. So, let’s take a look at both the good and the bad:
Since both his parents are intelligent breeds, it’s only natural that the Bichon Poodle would turn up bright as well. Poochons love to please their owner and are super easy to train as they understand commands easily.
Bichon Poodles are also fantastic family dogs! They love socializing with their family and friends and are super cuddly. Most importantly, Poochons are great with kids.
They’re patient with them and don’t mind when the kids give them a little heavy-handed hug! Plus, they’re incredibly playful, so they’ll keep the kids busy and entertained.
With intelligence and affection set aside, Bichon Poodles can be a little troublesome. For starters, because this little guy can suffer from random outbursts of energy, you might find him zooming around your home.
Moreover, if you happen to leave him without any physical or mental stimulation for long periods, there’s a chance you’ll come back to chewed-up shoes—don’t say we didn’t warn you!
This could be a sign of pent-up energy or separation anxiety. If it’s the latter, you’ll have to train your Bichon Poodle to handle separation from a young age or deal with a lot of future destruction.
Another thing that you’ll need your dog to get used to from a young age is people and other animals. You’ll find that your dog can get easily nervous and maybe even scared if you haven’t started socializing with him from the start.
This can pose a great problem when you take your dog out in public, as he can turn mildly aggressive.
Lastly, the biggest problem Bichon Poodles’ owners complain about is the constant, loud barking. It seems that this is a common issue with one of the parents, the Bichons, and it got passed down in the genes.
They mainly bark to try to get their owner’s attention or threaten whoever is trying to take away their toys! The only silver lining here is that they bark when they sense someone unfamiliar in the house, which makes them not so bad as watchdogs.
When it comes to training your Bichon Poodle, you can consider yourself one of the lucky ones! The breed is intelligent by nature and loves doing tricks and following commands.
However, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind. First, keep your eyes on your dog’s energy level so you can gauge when he starts getting the “zoomies.” This way, you can schedule a walk or an exercise before or during that energy burst.
If you can’t go for a walk in the park, you can always provide your pup with some toys to keep him active until all his energy is spent.
Make sure to go out for daily walks that last at least 30 minutes. Moreover, your Bichon Poodle would do great with positive reinforcement, just like any other dog.
Every time he follows an order or does a trick correctly, make sure to give him treats, hugs, and kisses, to encourage the behavior.
If you haven’t consulted your vet yet for the best diet, then make sure to prepare something that’s suitable for a small dog with high energy levels.
To be specific, Bichon Poodles need around 560 calories daily, which you can divide throughout the day.
These meals must contain valuable nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, carbs, and protein. Each element helps your dog grow and develop. For instance, you can feed your Poochon carrots, sweet potatoes, and eggs!
If you’re unsure how much you should feed your dog, you can use this online calculator to give you a hand until you consult your vet.
Thankfully, Bichon Poodles are hypoallergenic and won’t shed much, which is excellent news for anyone with allergies or just too lazy to brush their coat every day.
Nevertheless, you’ll still need to brush your dog’s coat around three to four times weekly to avoid matting and tangling.
Additionally, he’ll need a haircut every two months or so to keep his hairstyle tame. A good bath once or twice a month would also do wonders for his coat.
Another thing that you need to do at least three times a week is brush your dog’s teeth to prevent any tartar accumulation. When it comes to nail clipping, you can do that every three to four weeks.
If you don’t know how, please make sure to ask the vet or groomer to show you on your next visit.
Now, how do you feel about having a Bichon Poodle in your home after reading all of this? Sure, he can be a little loud with all his barking, but he’s also a great companion who’ll show you lots of love!
There’s never a dull moment with a Poochon around, as he’s always ready to play and follow orders. Plus, you won’t have to deal with those annoying hairs everywhere because he’s hypoallergenic.
So, if you’re still wondering what to get for your next pet, we highly recommend adopting a Poochon from your local shelter.