The Bichoodle (also known as the Poochon or Bichon-Poo) is a popular mixed breed dog obtained by crossing the Toy Poodle with a Bichon Frise. The resulting dogs are fluffy, smart, loyal, super-cute, and extremely affectionate – in short; pretty much everything one needs in a dog!
In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about Bichoodles. If you are considering getting a Bichon-Poo this brief guide will give you a peek into your dog’s personality traits. After all; a new puppy is a lot of responsibility so we hope that the tips given here will help you form a loving bond with your new Poochon.
What is a Bichoodle?
Bichoodles or Poochons or Bichon-Poos are a bundle of love in a cute and fluffy little package! As mentioned earlier, they are obtained by crossing a Toy Poodle with a Bichon Frise.
Poodle hybrids became very popular in the 1990s after the first designer dog – a Poodle-mixed with a Labrador Retriever (a Labradoodle) was first created. This hybrid dog fit the requirements of what people look for in dogs in the first place – easy trainability and low shedding. The Poodle’s high intelligence and non-shedding coat became the driving factors behind the development of several Poodle-mixes.
Bichoodles are a big part of this Poodle-mix designer trend. They combine the sociability of Bichon Frise and the super-intelligence of Toy or Miniature Poodles. It is estimated that this designer breed might have first been developed in Australia in the 1990s. According to the site Dogell, Poochons or Bichoodles ranked 560th in popularity ranking out of a total of 623 dog breeds in 2021.
Bichoodles are not recognized by the AKC but are recognized by the Designer Dogs Kennel Club and the International Designer Canine Registry. Many responsible and ethical breeders in the United States and Australia have also formed clubs for promoting the welfare of the breed and for ensuring good breeding practices.
Bichon-Poo Physical Attributes
A fully grown Bichoodle or Poochon weighs between 7 and 16 lb. (3.17 to 7.25 kg.) These small dogs measure between 9-15 inches (22.86 to 38.1 cm) at the shoulders.
Bichodles usually have a soft wavy coat and, thanks to their Poodle parent, they are mostly known for hypoallergenic, low-shedding coats. Common colours in Bichoodles are apricot, brown, white, brown-grey, and blackish-blue.
Bichoodles typically have black, brown, or amber-coloured eyes and black or brown button noses. These physical traits make the Poochon look like a teddy bear dog.
Do Poochon Dogs Shed?
Bichoodles or Poochons have significantly low-shedding coats. Thanks to their Poodle parent, they develop tightly curly coats that are also hypoallergenic. This makes Bichoodles excellent pets for people with allergies.
However, one needs to understand that allergies are triggered by dander in the dog’s coat, saliva, and urine. So, even if your Poochon dog does not shed, it could still leave dander on your furniture through its drool or urine. So, if you are very sensitive to dander, you might still suffer from allergy symptoms like itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, etc. around your Bichoodle.
Do Poochon Dogs Smell?
The small curly-haired Poochon does not smell as most dogs do. This is because of its designer dog breed gene pool that creates these ‘odourless’ dogs.
Bichoodles Behavioural Traits – Are Poochons Good Pets?
Bichoodles are rambunctious, energetic, cute, fun-loving, and intelligent dogs. They are willing to please their owners and are always looking for ways to do so. They are considered fiercely loyal to their humans which is one of their most endearing traits.
Bichoodles can be a little boisterous at times. They have inherited this trait from their energetic parent breeds. Both the Poodle and Bichon-Frise are very active, so it isn’t surprising that the Poochon has boundless energy as well.
The Bichoodle breed is also known for barking. For this reason, you will need to invest time in training your pet. Ideally, this training should begin while your Bichoodle is still a puppy. Bichoodles are also generally good with other pets however, they may have the tendency to chase the house cat if not trained and socialized with cats from an early age.
Poochons may be small in stature but they are highly intelligent. This increases their trainability but they also need a firm and experienced owner who can train them from an early age. Your pet will need consistent training from day one – which is the day it steps into your home for the first time. Poochons respond favourably to positive reinforcement training so it is important that you do not shout at or punish your sensitive little dog.
Are Poochons Good Pets? Who is The Ideal Owner of a Poochon?
Bichoodles/Poochons make excellent pets. Thanks to their small size, they are ideal for apartment dwellers. However, they are quite the barkers, so if you have neighbours close by, then their loud barking could be an issue. You can always train your dog to not bark or to bark on cue. After all; not all barking is bad as your pet might also bark to alert you to something amiss in the surroundings.
Poochons do not need too much exercise – about 20-30 minutes a day is good enough for your pet. You can also play indoor games like fetching toys with it. This makes them great for elderly people or for people who prefer a sedentary lifestyle. Remember: all dogs need some form of exercise. A sedentary lifestyle tends to make energetic dogs like Bichoodles quite irritable and also destructive.
Poochons make excellent family pets but their small sizes also mean that they are delicate. Therefore, if you have rough-playing kids, it is best to reconsider your decision of getting a Bichoodle. In general, Poochons may be better companion pets for families with teenagers or respectful kids.
Poochons are also good for individual owners. Their small size means they are easy to tote around. So, if you want a dog but do not want to give up on travelling, then the Bichoodle is sure to make a great travel buddy as well.
How Much do Bichoodles Cost?
When you’re looking for Poochon puppies for sale, you might find advertisements in different places including dog-listing websites, newspapers, or word-of-mouth recommendations.
Most breeders in the United States charge between $1000 and $3000 for first-generation Poochon puppies. In Australia, bichoodles range in price from $2500-$4000. This price varies greatly from breeder to breeder and also depends on factors like the puppy’s size, coat colour, parentage, etc.
You can always consider adopting a Poochon from an animal rescue. There are several advantages of adopting a dog: it may be neutered/spayed and vaccinated and wormed. It might also be house-trained. Moreover, the love and appreciation of a shelter dog are incomparable.
Best Food for Bichoodles
Most vets recommend dry food for Bichoodles unless special circumstances require your pet to eat wet food. Wet food or canned food is usually more likely to cause dental issues and digestive upsets. Moreover, canned foods are difficult to measure and many Bichoodles are known to overeat which can rapidly cause weight gain in these small dogs.
Learn to read food labels and look for foods containing at least 21 to 26% protein for your active Bichoodle. You might want to consult your vet nutritionist or breeder regarding food changes to make at different life stages. For example, a Bichoodle puppy needs food containing essential fatty acids like EPA and DHA for brain development whereas a senior dog and a lactating/pregnant female might need prescription wet food.
Raw food diets are also popular and readily available at most supermarkets and pet food stores. There are also recipes for making nutritionally balanced raw food meals at home.
Health Issues in Bichoodles
A Bichoodle can be a wonderful addition to your household. An understanding of its basic health issues and planning a nutritious diet and regular exercise schedule can go a long way in keeping your buddy healthy. The lifespan of this tiny dog breed is 12-15 years.
It is important to buy your Bichoodle from a reputable breeder. This way, you know that the parent dogs are healthy and tested for genetic issues prior to breeding. While this does not guarantee 100% disease-free dogs, you might certainly avoid many genetic issues in your pet.
Common health problems in Bichoodles include:
- Patellar luxation
- Eye problems like PRA or retinal atrophy
- Skin allergies
- Cushing’s disease
- Bladder problems.
FAQs on Bichoodles/Poochons
Do Poochons need to be walked?
All dogs need exercise in some form or the other. A Poochon needs to be walked for at least 20-30 minutes each day. You can also play a game of fetch with your puppy indoors.
Are Bichon Poos hypoallergenic?
Yes. These designer dogs have low-shedding coats and are generally considered great for people with pet allergies.
Are Poochons high maintenance?
Due to their higher-than-average grooming needs, Poochons can be considered high-maintenance. You need to brush your dog’s curly coat every now and then to prevent knots and mats. They also need haircuts every few months.
Are Poochons easy to potty train?
Poochons are smart dogs that are highly trainable. However, sometimes, they tend to be stubborn and that could pose a challenge during the potty-training process. Moreover, their small size and cute looks can also be a hindrance in training by new owners. Keep in mind if you let your cute little puppy jump up or bark at you for attention, it will grow into an adult dog that does the same. You can avoid these challenges by being patient, consistent, and starting the training early on.
Bichoodle vs Cavoodle
Bichoodles and cavoodles are very similar little dogs in terms of size, lifespan, temperament and their teddy bear looks. They also suffer from similar health problems such as blindness, luxating patellar, allergies etc. The biggest difference between these two popular poodle mixes are that first-generation cavoodles and first-generation poochons have very different coat types. The first generation cavoodle has a fleece coat while the F1 bichoodle has a tight curly coat.
This difference in coat types has implications for grooming requirements. Bichoodles with their curly coats require more deep and regular brushing and combing of their coats to prevent matting. The fleece coat of the cavoodle is lower maintenance but still requires deep weekly brushing and combing to prevent mats.
The best brush for these types of poodle mix breeds is a long pin brush and a stainless steel comb.
For people suffering from allergies or asthma, the bichoodle is the best choice because their coats are more likely to be 100% non-shedding due to their parent breeds both being non-shedding. Similarly, most f1b cavoodles are generally also non-shedding and mostly have curly coats.
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