Petite and curly-coated, the poochon is a delightful mix between a miniature or toy poodle and bichon frise. This dog is a popular doodle mix, also called bichpoo or bichon poo. From their friendly looks to their teddy-bear-esque looks, poochons are hard dogs not to love.
Poochons are more of a cross-breed than a breed in their own right. Hence, they can be challenging to learn more about because they are developed by mating two separate breeds that are unrelated; thus, they are apt to have a mixture of traits from both breeds.
They first appeared in the scene in the 90s, and have gone on to become one of the most common modern cross-breeds to appear on the scene, and all for a good reason.
These dogs have inherited the intelligence and charming looks of their parent breeds. They have an affectionate nature, and they are loyal to their wonderful companions.
Poochons are mixed breed dogs. They are not purebreds like their Toy Poodle or Bichon Frise parents
Despite their size, these dogs are very social and tend to get along with other animals. They are smart and always eager to please. In the right environment and with the right owner, these dogs are easy to train and teach new things.
They love to be entertained as much as they love entertaining, which makes them excellent family pets and famous canine companions in the UK and other parts of the world. Here are 15 things you should know about the Poochon dog breed:
1. They are Not Recognized as a Breed by the Kennel Club and Other International Breed Clubs Globally
We refer to the Poochon as a dog type rather than a dog breed because they are hybrid or cross-breed dogs, which make them pedigrees. They first appeared in Australia in the late 90s. Breeders were looking to produce a robust, low-shedding dog that could be suitable for people who have pet allergies.
They also intended to create a dog affectionate enough to behave well around kids. Hence, a cross between two pedigree dogs (Bichon Frise and Miniature Poodle) produced the Poochon dog type.
These tiny dogs have managed to warm the hearts of many people’s hearts and homes all around the world due to their adorable looks. They also became very popular due to their fun-loving traits, intelligence, and their low-shedding coat. These dogs are perfect for people who suffer from pet allergies.
Unfortunately, these dogs are not recognized by the AKC, or any Kennel Club, or other international breed clubs due to the fact they are not really a breed. They are, however, recognized by Designer Dogs Kennel Club and the International Designer Canine Registry.
Local clubs have also been established, particularly in the UK, to make sure that Poochon breeders continue to develop healthy, robust dogs that are kind, affectionate, and loyal.
2. They Can Vary When it Come to Looks
How a Poochon looks will vary quite a bit depending on which of the parent breed they have thrown to. Bichon poo puppies from the same litter can be different from other dogs. They could have wavier or looser coats, but most Poochons have perfectly-proportioned heads with defined stops.
Some will have shorter muzzles than others, and others can have ears shorter in length. Most will inherit the lovely, round, dark-colored eyes nicely set apart on the dog’s face, which adds up to their appealing looks.
Their noses are either black or brown, and they have strong jaws with perfect scissor bite with their upper teeth uniformly overlapping with the lower ones. Their necks are slightly long and arched and their shoulders well-laid, wide chest, moderately tucked bellies and straight, strong legs.
Their paw pads are usually firm, and they have strong nails. Their tails are set high whenever they are alert or excited and set lower when they’re relaxed or resting.
They also have curly, soft, hypoallergenic coats. They are mostly seen in white, apricot, black, or blue colors.
3. They’re Always Ready and Eager to Please
These dogs are lively, energetic, highly intelligent, always eager, and ready to please. They form strong ties with their owners and families, which makes them very loyal. This also predisposes them to suffer from separation anxiety every time they are left on their own for prolonged periods of time.
As such, these smart and charming dogs are suited for homes where at least one person in the family stays home when everyone else has gone out. They are also best-suited for a first-time dog owner who can dedicate most of their time to these intelligent and lively dogs.
These tiny dogs can also be boisterous sometimes, especially during puppyhood, which is a trait they pick from both the Bichon Frise and Poodle. They also love the sound of their tiny voices a bit too much, and so constant barking can be a real issue later in your bichpoo’s life.
4. They Need Early Socialization
Poochons are always so alert; hence, they’re quick to alert their owners of intruders or strangers approaching their home or when something is off with their environment.
Therefore, it is crucial to socialize these tiny dogs from when they are young. Early socialization will help them grow into confident, outgoing mature poochons. Their socialization should include introducing them to lots of new people, situations, noises, and other dogs and animals after they are fully vaccinated.
These dogs can quickly develop a condition called “Small Dog Syndrome” which sees them becoming stressed out and neurotic most of the time when they are allowed to “rule the roost” which makes both the dog’s and owner’s life hectic.
5. They are Highly Adaptable Little Dogs
These tiny dogs have play sides to their nature. They are known to be mischievous and being so clever; they tend to learn how to get away with things quickly. They love to test their owner’s limits and boundaries every once in a while.
Luckily, these little dogs are highly adaptable. They can be just as happy living in a town apartment as they would living in a country home. All you have to do is make sure they are getting enough mental and physical stimulation to ensure they’re not bored.
6. They Love Swimming
These tiny little dogs love to drink water as much as they love to swim, especially when the weather is sweltering. However, Poochon owners need to make sure that these tiny dogs don’t wander off near dangerous watercourses because they might drown when the water overwhelms their size.
Poochons love to be social and make great companions for large, active families
7. They are Fast Learners
Bichon Poos are very smart dogs, which makes them fast learners. They pick up habits, whether good or bad, real fast, which is why they should be trained from when they are young.
If you want your Poochon to understand what is required from him, you have to train him from when he gets home and do so consistently. Luckily, these small dogs love having work to do, making them amenable to learning new things.
These dogs can, therefore, excel in canine sports like agility, flyball, and obedience training because they thrive on the need to please their owners. To successfully train a Poochon, make their training as enjoyable as possible, and avoid repetition.
Keep the training sessions as short as possible to help with the dog’s focus and to avoid boredom. Avoid using harsh correction on poonchons or heavy-handed training methods. Use positive reinforcement instead if you want to bring out the best out of these quick-witted, intelligent dogs.
Even though these tiny dogs will always test your boundaries and limits, early, consistent, and fair training will help your pooch to learn one-word commands like Sit, Come, Stay, Leave, Quiet, Bed, and Down.
8. They are Best-Suited for Older Kids
Poochons are known to be great around kids. However, they are best suited for families with older kids who know how to behave around small and lively dogs.
Even so, any interaction between kids and dogs should always be under supervision to ensure that the playtime doesn’t turn boisterous.
Early socialization will also help your dog associate well with other dogs and other pets as long as they have grown up in the same household.
9. Their Health Issues Vary With Generations
When properly taken care of and fed on a high-quality diet, Poochons can garner of life expectancy of between 12-15 years. Their health issues tend to vary with generations.
The first generation of Poochons are the healthiest, and they are less likely to inherit any hereditary or congenital disorder popularly known to affect Miniature or toy poodles and Bichon Frise.
The second generation and other generations are more predisposed to specific health issues that commonly affect their parent breed. These conditions include:
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Sebaceous Adenitis
- Hip Dysplasia
- Patellar Luxation
- Von Willebrand Disease
10. They are Prone to Allergies
While Poochons are best-suited for dog allergy sufferers, they also suffer from their fair share of coat and skin problems, problems popular with the Bichon Frise. Even though the hybrid vigor in these dogs reduces their chances of inheriting specific health issues, they are at an elevated risk of getting skin allergies.
Allergies can be hard to clear up, and also finding the triggers can be a challenging affair. Hence, you should take your pooch to the vet the minute you notice a flare-up. Common allergy triggers include airborne pollens, certain foods, environment, dust mites, chemicals in household cleaning products, or flea and tick bites.
11. They Need Regular Brushing and Grooming
These dogs have soft, curly coats that can be slightly coarser too. They are suited for people with allergies because they are low-shedding. However, it’s the dander from shedding that triggers allergic reactions.
These dogs require high maintenance grooming to keep their coats tidy and neat. They will require weekly grooming and professional clipping or trimming a couple of times a year to minimize visits to the grooming parlor.
Their muzzles also need regular cleaning due to their profuse beards and whiskers. You should also check their eyes and ears regularly for any signs of infection. Ear infections can be hard to clear up. Hence the best approach is prevention.
12. They Need 20-40 Minutes of Daily Exercise
Despite their size, these dogs are highly energetic and intelligent and need about 20-40 minutes of exercise. Mental and physical stimulation for these tiny dogs will help them grow into happy, well-rounded Poochon adults.
Without the right amount of physical and mental stimulation, they can get easily bored and quickly destructive around the house to relieve their stress.
Luckily, these dogs can easily roam around your kitchen backyard and successfully let off some steam. However, make sure your yard has a secure fence before letting your Poochon play outside because as soon as they notice a weakness in the fence, they will escape.
13. They Can Suffice on a Dry Kibble Diet
Because Poochons are non-pedigree dogs, they will suffice on a dry kibble diet. We recommend that you feed your tiny canine companion canned dog food. Canned dog food will supply him with a good percentage of meat protein.
You can also choose to make their food at home. All you need is brown rice, cooked chicken, and green/orange/yellow vegetables.
14. They Have One of The Sweetest Smiles
There is no better sight than freshly-groomed Poochons because then they look a lot more like tiny teddy bears. Even in adulthood, these small dogs still retain their “puppy” looks, and they have the sweetest smile.
To retain their healthy smiles, owners need to create a regular brushing routine for them. Due to their size, they are prone to tooth decay, which could result in teeth loss.
15. For a Non-Pedigree Dog Type, They’re Quite Expensive
As expected, pedigree dogs cost more to purchase on average than non-pedigree dogs. However, certain hybrid crossings like Poochons, buck this trend. These small dogs cost more on average to buy than other little pedigree dog breeds.
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.