Resembling each other in both appearance and temperament, the miniature poodle and Bichon Frise breeds go well together. Both are French breeds known to be affectionate, intelligent, and playful. They also shed very little, making both a good choice for dog lovers with allergies. When bred with each other, the resulting puppy is known as a Bichpoo or Poochon.
Designer dog risks to know
A hybrid dog, also known as a designer dog, is a mix of two purebred animals. Among hybrids, poodle parents are popular because of their low-shed coats. Breeders frequently cross poodles with golden retrievers to create Goldendoodles and with Cocker spaniels to breed Cockapoos. The thing about hybrids is, you can't know what to expect when you mate two purebreds.
Ideally, the resulting puppies will inherit the positive traits of both of their parents — but a puppy can be any combination of the traits found in the parents' genetics. Poorly socialized poodles, for instance, can be high strung, while some Bichon Frise dogs are notoriously difficult to housebreak. This means you could get a Bichpoo who is nervous or skittish and has lots of accidents in your home.
To limit your potential for problems, learn as much about a Bichpoo's parents as you can. Ask about their health and temperaments before adopting their offspring.
General Bichpoo appearance
Physically, the toy or miniature poodle and the Bichon Frise closely resemble each other. A Bichon Frise is always white, while poodles come in a variety of colors. Both have curly hair, however, so your Bichpoo will, too. Your Bichpoo's color can vary and may be cream, white, black, blue, or apricot.
Because they're a cross of two small dogs, Bichpoos typically stand between 9 and 15 inches tall at maturity, weighing between 10 and 20 pounds. Although rare, some breeders will cross a Bichon Frise with a standard poodle rather than a toy or miniature dog. If so, your Bichpoo may grow a bit taller and lankier than most — possibly standing 15 inches high or taller and weighing twice as much as a typical Bichpoo.
The Poochon temperament
Born of two friendly breeds, you can expect a Bichon Frise and poodle mix to play well with others, whether those others have two feet or four. Although fond of some quiet snuggling on the couch, Bichpoos do inherit athleticism from their poodle parent and need moderate amounts of exercise. If they don't get enough, you'll run into behavior problems like inappropriate chewing and excessive barking.
Bichpoos are happy, cheerful, and intelligent dogs, which makes training fairly easy. House training can be a challenge with Bichons but is generally easier with poodles, so hope your dog takes after his poodle relatives in that department. While inheriting a poodle parent's potty training ease is good, developing a poodle's nervous nipping isn't. Socialize your Bichpoo early and often to avoid a fearful dog prone to nervous behavior.
Common health issues
Watch out for eye issues with your Poochon pet, as both parent breeds are prone to eye diseases. Small dogs in general often suffer from dental disease and slipped kneecaps, so keep an eye out for these problems as well. Poodles are prone to hypothyroidism as they age, while Bichons tend to develop allergies. These result in hair loss and ear and skin infections.
No matter which side of the family your dog takes after, his curly coat requires visits to the groomer. Your Bichpoo won't shed a lot, but she will benefit from daily brushing and frequent trips to the groomer to avoid knots and tangles. If you can, brush your Bichpoo's teeth a few times a week after brushing her coat. This is much easier if you start when the dog is young to get her used to the idea.
Expect a Bichpoo with strong hereditary lineage to share your life for 15 years or so.