With the popularity of designer dogs, mixed breed dogs are enjoying a new status. When crossing a poodle with a Bichon Frise, the goal is to get the best traits from each breed. Crossbreeding is like a lottery, but with these two breeds, you're bound to get sweet intelligent puppies.
The Bichon Poodle is a crossbreed and not a registered or recognized breed within the AKC or other official dog breeding societies. Still, those who have a Bichon Poodle as part of their family enjoy their personalities and their looks.This hybrid dog is known by various names other than Bichon Poodle, including Poochon and Bich-Poo.
Because the Bichon Frise is a smaller breed dog, it can be bred with either a toy or miniature poodle. The results won't be any bigger than the mini poodle, up to 15 pounds. Both varieties of dog have soft curly coats, so the puppies can end up with the softer wavy coat of the Bichon Frise or a curlier coat from their poodle genes. Bichon Frise usually are white, but coat colors can vary from cream, apricot or gray, so your crossbreed may have any color of coat that won't tend to shed. Both breeds will contribute the floppy ears and pointed muzzle, although the Bichon's muzzle isn't as elongated as the poodle's.
Poodles and Bichon Frise breeds are intelligent and family-oriented, so your Bich-Poo is bound to carry those traits. Both are clever and like to please, so they are easily trained and happy to perform tricks. Poodles, though, tend to be more high strung that Bichon Frise, so early socialization for a Bichon Poodle is recommended to have a dog that won't be nervous or anxious in social situations.
Poodles require more grooming that Bichon Frise, but whether your Bich-Poo's coat is more Bichon-like or poodle-like, you should be able to maintain your pup's hair with brushing a few times weekly to eliminate tangles and mats, supplemented with monthly baths and professional grooming. A professional groomer is recommended because the fur around the eyes must be trimmed routinely. It's best to have a trained specialist perform such intricate tasks as well as giving your dog an overall professional cut to keep him looking his best.
Bichon Frise don't have extensive health concerns. Eye conditions, including watery eyes and cataracts, knee problems and epilepsy, are the only conditions they are noted for. Poodles have a wider range of health concerns, including those listed for Bichon Frise as well as heart conditions and diabetes. Ask the breeder about the health history for both parents of your Bichon Poodle to determine what problems may arise in the future, but overall the Bichon Poodles are less prone to genetic disorders than their purebred family members.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.