A "bishapoo," more commonly known as a bich-poo or poochon, is a cross between a bichon frise and a poodle. It's also about as cute a little ball of cuddly fluff as you can get. As with most hybrid dogs, researching all of the breeds included in the makeup can give you a good idea of what to expect from your hybrid puppy and help you anticipate its needs.
The standard poodle is a large dog that was originally bred as a water retriever for hunting. The breed also comes in miniature and toy sizes, the latter being no taller than 10 inches at the highest point of its shoulders. The poodle is an intelligent and proud dog that loves activity and does well with obedience training. Poodle coats range in many colors and are made up of curly hair that is notable for being hypoallergenic and not prone to shedding.
The bichon frise often is mistaken for a miniature or toy poodle, with its small stature and curly coat. One major difference is that the bichon's coat is always white and is also thicker than that of a poodle, with both a curly outer coat and a silky under coat. Bichons are sturdy and stocky underneath all that fluff, with plumed tails that curl up and over their backsides. Bichons have dark noses and eyes, and generally have a cheerful, friendly temperament.
The bishapoo is what's known as a "designer dog" -- that is, a cross of two well-known dog breeds. Poodles are often used in designer crossbreeds; in addition to bishapoos, there are also cockapoos, malti-poos, chi-poos and labradoodles, among others. Crossbreeds offer some advantages over purebred dogs. They tend to be hardier and less prone to genetic and hereditary problems, and they also tend to have a more moderate personality than their purebred parents.
One major drawback of designer dogs is that they tend to be grist for puppy mills -- breeders who churn out as many puppies as they can as fast as they can, often keeping puppies and their parents in deplorable conditions. If you are considering purchasing a designer dog, or any purebred dog for that matter, research the breeder you're considering buying from to make sure their dogs are kept in safe, healthy and loving conditions.
By Jean Marie Bauhaus
Dog Breed Info: Bich-poo
American Kennel Club: Get to know the Bichon Frise
American Kennel Club: Get to know the Poodle
Your Purebred Puppy: The Truth About Crossbred Dogs
Wooftown: Mixed Breed or Purebred – The Pros & Cons
About the Author
Jean Marie Bauhaus has been writing about a wide range of topics since 2000. Her articles have appeared on a number of popular websites, and she is also the author of two urban fantasy novels. She has a Bachelor of Science in social science from Rogers State University.