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Poochon - Fun Facts and Crate Size

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 Poochon - Fun Facts and Crate Size

Poochon

Quick Facts

  • Not AKC Recognized
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Size: small
  • Energy: high
  • Recommended Crate Size: 24” dog crate*

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Table of Contents

Introduction

The Poochon is a playful pup loaded with a body full of charming wool curls.  He’s very intelligent too. 

A hybrid dog bred from a Bichon Frise and a Poodle, this designer breed hits the nail on the head when it comes to breeding intents. 

Sometimes lovingly referred to as a “Teddy Bear Dog”, this mix is affectionate, adorable, and adaptable, a dog designer’s dream.

If the curls and curiosity of this little loveable lap dog have caught your eye, read on to find out more so you’ll know if he’s the dog for you...or not.

Breed

This breed is also known as a Bichpoo, Bich-Poo, Bichon Poo, or Bichon Poodle, made his debut in the 1990s in the great “Down Under” of Australia. 

The hope of the Poochon breeders was to carefully combine the playful and beloved Bichon with a super smart dog, the Poodle in order to create a small, intelligent, fun dog who would be an excellent family dog who was good with children.

The parental union is with a Bichon Frise and a Toy Poodle or a Miniature Poodle.

The Bichon Poodle was, for a while, the best-kept secret in the dog world.  But, the word is catching on about the existence of this cute, curly-headed dog. 

His exceptional good nature and adorable appearance are making him rise quickly in popularity across the globe.

More can be revealed about this dog breed by taking a look at his parent breeds.

The Poodle is one of the most well-known, well-loved dogs on the planet. 

It is also one of the oldest breeds, dating back to at the 15th century and probably even further.  While many think the Poodle has French roots, his heritage is actually German where he was bred as a waterdog, used to fetch fallen fowl. 

Poodles come in three sizes, Standard, Miniature, and Toy.  They are notoriously thought of as pampered lap dogs and, rightly so in modern times. 

The breed transformed from a working dog to more of a royal one during the days of Louis XVI when the Toy version became quite popular in France.  They were even named the National Dog of France and...still are to this day.

Known for their extreme intelligence and revered for their affectionate side too, Poodles are one of the most desired dogs when it comes to crossbreeding. 

They have a bit of a flip side though which is their independent and stubborn nature.  Sometimes, this is the dominant trait that comes through when designing a dog, like the Poochon, much to the chagrin of the pet parent. 

When signing up to parent a crossbreed, it’s imperative to realize that any mix of dog can be the result of any side of the parents’ personalities.  Sometimes the best of the best of both sides comes shining through.  And sometimes...not.

The Bichon is an exceptionally affectionate and playful dog.  This breed has remained popular for decades because, well, he earns a top spot on the list because he’s an eternal optimist, always bringing out the sunny side.  Or at least, usually.

The Bichon Frise is thought to have descended from the Bichon Tenerife which is akin to the Barbichon breed that includes the Bolognese, Havanese, and Maltese. 

The Bichon got his start in the Canary Islands as far back as the 13th century when he was immensely adored by European royalty. 

It was in the 1970s when Bichons became wildly popular in America where they have remained in the hearts and homes of American’s ever since.

While there aren’t many things not to love about the Bichon, there are a few things. 

He HATES to be left alone and often suffers from severe separation anxiety.  And, there are those Bichons who insist on barking...and barking...and barking.

It’s safe to say that most are a lovely mix of their parents, just as the designers intended. 

They are happy-go-lucky, pleasant, and smart, perfect specimens for any type of indoor living arrangement, large or small.  They love to show off and love to cuddle. 

But, there are some who seem to have missed out on all the good genetics.  They are very insecure, a bit too shy, and love to yap, stubbornly refusing to listen to reason and tone it down a notch. 

All dogs are trainable, and unruly Bichon Poodles are no exception.  But, the potential is something prospective pet parents need to prepare for in advance.  And, such is the case with all designer and cross breed dogs.

Appearance

This dog breed is most known for their sweet little full faces and their wool coats (that, by the way, don’t shed!) These pint-sized pups usually weigh in around 6-18 pounds and stand about 9-14 inches tall. 

They are small dogs yet well-proportioned and stout and sturdy, not at all frail looking. 

Whether they run on the low side in height and weight or on the larger size usually depends on what parent they take most after but more importantly, if they were bred from a Toy or a Miniature Poodle mix. 

Typically, this breed takes on the facial features of the Bichon parent, but not always.  Their eyes are large and expressive. 

It is common for the little furballs to take on even more of their parents’ fine looks as they mature.  At first, they generally just look like an adorable mound of curly wool fuzz with a cute little button nose emerging.

This dog breed typically has a wide face, more like their Bichon side than the Poodle mix.  They sport a round skull and a medium sized muzzle. 

Their ears are medium in length and hang down.  It is common for the face of this breed to not be clipped and to be fuzzy which is characteristic of the breed.

The coat of the Pooch is curly and medium length.  It is quite thick and soft.  They usually have little to no shedding, just as their Poodle parent. 

Coat colors are usually more akin to their Bichon parent, white or apricot and may have highlights of other light colors mixed in.  They can also be black or blue though those colors are not as common as the lighter ones are.

Nutrition

They are small so they won’t eat that much.  Be sure what he does eat is high-quality.  Your veterinarian will be able to make recommendations on the frequency and amount of food your Poochon puppy needs. 

As he grows and matures, the feeding schedule will probably change.

Limit in-between meal snacks and treats.  Bichon Poodles are prone to have dental diseases and, believe it or not, can get chunky too. 

Furthermore, you’ll need to keep an eye on him if you change his diet in any way.  This breed is apt to have food allergies as does the Poodle and the Bichon Frise. 

It is your pet parent responsibility to make sure what he is eating is conducive for his health.

As with all dogs, be sure to keep a good supply of fresh, clean water available to him at all times.

Grooming

They are somewhat high maintenance when it comes to their grooming requirements.  Then again, one of the fun things about this breed is that he can be groomed like either of his parents. 

His coat is quite versatile and can be clipped in a Poodle cut or can be made to be fluffy and frizzy like the Bichon.  There are no rules where his curly woolen coat is concerned.

You’ll, for sure, want to brush him regularly and be sure not to miss the tangles and knots that tend to build up or you’ll be in for trouble. 

The more you brush him, the better his coat will do.  An everyday brushing wouldn’t hurt.  If he is clipped, you won’t need to brush him as much though. 

Since he is a non-shedding breed, baths don’t have to be given too often but should be regular to keep his coat shiny and clean. 

Bathing him too often will strip the natural oils from his coat and can also give him dry, itchy skin. 

Moisturizing oatmeal or emu shampoos are good for this crossbreed and no more baths than once per month unless the need arises due to a situation such as being skunked or getting muddy.

As you are bathing him, be sure to check for any skin rashes or hot spots which are inflamed and infected raised areas that may also be reddish. 

The Bichon Poodle can be sensitive to many things in the environment, like grass, or can break out because of the detergent that his bedding is being washed in. 

He can also develop skin issues due to food.  If you note any irregularities, make sure to mention it to his vet.

He should be formally groomed either with a clipping or a trim every two months or so.  You, as his pet parent, can decide the length you think his coat looks best at and that is easiest to maintain. 

Be sure to take good care of his ears.  Ears than hang are prone to infection.  Keep them clean and dry and if he is pawing at them, be sure to check for redness or swelling. 

Take him to his vet immediately if you suspect an ear issue for untended infections can lead to the need for surgery, or even worse, deafness.

This breed can be susceptible to teeth and gum issues so stay on top of his dental hygiene.  You’ll want to brush his teeth with doggie toothpaste and toothbrush at least once per week.

Keep his toenails clipped as well.  Since he is an inside dog and typically won’t be outdoors enough to wear down his nails naturally, you’ll need to clip them or have them clipped.  Also, watch for splitting and cracking.

Some pet parents opt for grooming their Poochon puppy much like they would if they had a Poodle including the hair-do but also having a female’s nails polished and so forth.  Males may sport handsome bandanas. 

Exercise

Bichon Poodles are a bundle of energy.  He certainly requires a good bit of daily exercise.  But who wouldn’t want to take him for walks?  The only issue you may encounter is strangers wanting to love on him.

He will definitely draw fans from all around.  You might call him a “people magnet”.  And don’t think he doesn’t know it and he eats it all up!

One thing worth noting about this breed is that he prefers to take frequent short walks rather than long ones. 

Their energy seems to come in a burst which can work out excellent for a more frequent walking schedule. 

A bare minimum of 40 minutes of exercise per day is a must.  It is actually even better to take him out for three 20 minute walks.  In between his formal walks, off-leash exercise is excellent for him.

This breed loves to swim.  They get it “honestly”, from their Poodle parent.  If there is a spot your Pooch can take a dip when the weather is suitable, he will have a good chance to get his bounding energy out. 

Keep a good eye on him though because he very well may try to venture out further than he should.

For sure, don’t leave brain exercises out of your puppy’s routine.  You can train him for brain game activities and incorporate brain-based activities into his exercise routine as well. 

Remember that his parents come from lines that were required to use their brain, especially the Poodle. 

They had to figure out where fowl was falling and often times even swim out to fetch it.  They were bred to be smart and that...they are. 

Without physical and mental challenges and exercising, this breed will not be all he can be as a dog. 

He was designed to be smart, playful, and well-behaved and those things simply cannot be unless he gets his ample share of exercise, of both the brain and the body. 

He will be much healthier and happier when you do your part to make sure his needs are being met.

Pet Crate Size

For a Poochon dog, Pet Crates Direct recommends a 24” dog crate.*

More Information

Personality

This little fur-baby is a fireball.  Highly energetic, it’s not uncommon for him to get a sudden burst of gusto and zoom around the room for a bit at any given time.  He can also definitely be a lap dog and a cuddle bug, but usually on his own terms and in his own timing.

The Bichpoo was bred to be a loving family dog that doesn’t shed and he usually aces the calling.  As with all designer pups, you really can’t be sure what’s in the package until you open it, however.  It’s pot, luck. 

But, having a great breeder will help ensure you get the best dog possible.  This breed carries a nice size price tag so you do need to be aware that some breeders are simply greedy and won’t take the care required to produce a pup that comes for great, well-screened parents.

One thing you may not care for much with this breed is their tendency to bark.  They actually make good watchdogs because if someone is coming to the door (or through the window), they will be sure to sound off to tell you. 

The problem is that even if it’s just the mailman or a truck driving past (or...nothing at all), they will still relentlessly alert you.  With training as a pup, this behavior can be nipped in the bud. 

Another not-so-great trait is that they hate to be left alone.  They suffer from separation anxiety often times.  That is when they really get in the barking mode which can be an issue if you have neighbors.

This designer dog is tiny but doesn’t think he is.  You may find that if another dog is aggressive towards him, he doesn’t back down when he really should. 

Though he’ll never be the one picking a fight, he’s not likely to tuck his tail and walk away.  It’s a good idea to know that about your Pooch and to anticipate the need to scoop him up if there’s a close encounter with a big dog or another critter.

Amidst the few negative traits of this breed that are somewhat common, there are a ton of wonderful characteristics.  They are super fun, very intelligent, and it can’t be mentioned too many times that they are adorably cute.

This fur-ball is very outgoing.  He is likely to get along great with any other household pets, even a cat or two.  He’s second to none when it comes to being loving and affectionate with his human family and is excellent with children.

Very adaptable, this mixed breed can live almost anywhere, large or small, as long as he is allowed to have ample exercise and as long as his barking is kept at bay.

Given that this dog comes from parents that were hunters, they can have a tad of prey drive in them but generally not much.  If they are in a playful spurt, they might chase a kitten as easily as they would a toy but such is usually not a problem.

If you are a first-time dog owner, you’re in luck.  This dog is a cinch to own if you don’t mind an energetic dog. 

Training

Eager to please and very intelligent, these puppies are easy to train, another goal the breeders had in mind when they designed the blueprint for this dog. 

The earlier you are able to begin, the better.

Potty training is usually a breeze with this breed.  He does have a small bladder though, especially if he’s of Toy origin.  You’ll need to let him out often.  He’s smart though and will catch on quickly.

Socializing is imperative.  Although they can be naturally very social, he must learn his place.  He’s a pack dog, so establish your role as pack leader early on. 

Then, you’ll want to expose him to all different settings such as noisy places, all different types, and ages of humans, various pets including other dogs of all sizes, etc. 

Also Behavioral and obedience training should be fairly simple too.  This dog is a lover so he will respond well to positive training and a few treats here and there.  One issue you will want to sew up early on is his insistence on barking. 

Since this problem is consistent with the breed, it may be one of the biggest challenges you’ll incur with your Pooch.  But with love and patience, it is completely possible.

Don’t forget to exercise your pup before his training class.  A formal walk is best so you are getting his energy out while reinforcing the fact that you are the alpha pack leader.  Always have him walk beside you or behind you but never in front. 

Trick training is a barrel of fun with this designer dog.  He’s sharp enough to learn cute tricks and loves attention so he’ll be eager to show them off.  He can dance, sing, and do all sorts of feats and will eat up the praise.

You can even train your puppy to do the agility course.  He’s pretty fast, very active, and is certainly smart enough.  It’s a great way to keep him in shape and to burn off some excess energy.  Plus, he’s adorably cute while doing the exercises.

This breed needs a lot of brain stimulation and physical stimulation too.  Include thinking activities in his training sessions and even point out things to him during his walks like saying “tree” and showing him a tree. 

When you get close to the house after the walk, ask if he’s ready to go home.  By talking to him and involving him, you’ll be amazed at how much he’ll pick up on.

In the event that you don’t have the time or the skills to train your dog, don’t hesitate to have someone else do it, for a fee, of course.  This dog has way too much talent to let it go to waste.

Health

This breed is known to have very long lifespans of 12 to 15 years, often outliving many other designer breeds and also their Poodle and Bichon relatives.  They can have a number of health issues, despite the average long lifespan. 

Part of that reason is that they are subject to all of the potential risks from both parents.  Even still, they are usually healthier than many other designer dogs and healthier than their parents.  First generation Poochons are actually known to inherit less medical problems than second generation ones. 

Other health concerns include eye problems and hip dysplasia.  Progressive Retinal Atrophy is one disease that plagues them. 

This is a genetic issue that affects dogs that is similar in nature to Retinitis Pigmentosa in humans.  The condition entails a bilateral degeneration seen in the retina which causes progressive loss of vision and ends in blindness. 

If your puppy is bumping into things or seems to have poor eyesight that is getting worse, be sure to have him checked out.

Dental conditions are other health problems common to this breed.  Up to 80% of them have issues by the time they are two years of age. 

First, tartar builds up and then leads to gum infection and next comes to the roots of the teeth. 

The Bichon has big dental issues and therefore seem to pass it on to Poochons rather easily.  Keeping his teeth clean and free of tartar will greatly help.

Von Willebrand Disease is not uncommon in this breed.  Von Willebrand is a blood clotting disorder caused by a lack of enough von Willebrand factor, a protein within the plasma that aids the clotting of blood. 

If you notice serious, excessive bleeding, especially in a minor wound, take your pup in right away to be screened for this disease.

Sebaceous Adenitis is a rather rare condition but it is fairly common.  The issues involve inflammation of the skin which in turn affects the glands.  If you notice swelling in a sore spot on your Pooch, it is best to have it checked.

They also suffer from Hip Dysplasia frequently.  The condition is caused by an abnormality of the formation of the hip socket. 

It can be present at birth or can be due to erosion over time.  It can be quite painful and also may lead to difficulty in walking or total lameness.  Whether it is a birth deformity or caused by environmental factors, it is rooted hereditarily. Common health tests at your vet will help determine common conditions.

Patellar Luxation happens when the kneecap dislocates from the place in the socket where it normally sits and moves around in. 

When it pops out, your dog may not even be able to get around.  Definitely speak to your vet about any mobility issues your pet is having.  She may advise surgery or another remedy.

There are precautions you can take to help ensure you get a Poochon that has the best chance at health.  Be sure to go through a reputable breeder who has plenty of credentials. 

That way the bloodline should be a better one than the risk you take going through a greedy, irresponsible breeder.  In addition, making sure to be proactive at any sign your dog has a medical issue is a great help too.

Is a Poochon a Good Match for Me?

Whether you are a dog trainer and have had scores of dogs before or you are a first time around dog owner, this is a near perfect dog.  He is one of the best family dogs and personal companions ever. 

But...only for some who are willing to go the distance.  He must be exercised daily and frequent, short walks are preferred.  If you don’t have the time or the interest to do so, it is best to pass this little pup up, for his sake as well as for your own.

If you are a couch potato or if a lot of activity bothers you, this dog will drive you nuts.  He’ll go from your lap to chasing his tail in a matter of minutes.  It’s humorous and fun to watch if you are into that sort of things. 

But for some, it is a problem.  This energetic streak is built into him so don’t think he’ll be settling down anytime soon.  Even adults have bursts of playtime and are very energetic.

Do you spend a lot of time away from the house?  If so, your pooch will be absolutely miserable.  He will let you know about it too...and the neighbors.  He will most likely bark nonstop from the time you leave until the time you get back home.

But, if you are home much of the time or would love taking a curly little fellow along with you in your outings, this dog is an awesome one to hang out with.  He’s quite flexible and loves to socialize.

Are you willing to take this dog, for better or for worse?  He may have the personality of either side of his breeding, more along the lines of a Poodle which can be very stubborn and independent, or more on the side of the Bichon, known for their loving ways. 

He may also encounter medical issues which are not uncommon for designer pups to do.

Do you have children or other pets?  If so, this dog usually does great with both but do remember that he is a bounding ball of energy. 

If your children are very young, he might be too much for them or if you have an elderly, grouchy dog, he may not be a great match.

In the event that you are still sure you would like to have this breed, get ready to have the time of your life. 

This cute, cuddly, ball of wooly curls is one that will instantly steal your heart and never, ever give it back.

* Links for crate sizes will bring you to the most appropriate Amazon page.



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