Poochon

A Poochon is a Poodle mixed with a Bichon Frise, the result being this very charming, supremely cute sand soft little dog. Learn about the breed below.

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Height: 21 – 36cm
Weight: 2.8kg – 4kg
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Pedigree Breed (recognised by the Kennel Club?): Not pedigree, a cross between a Toy Poodle and a Bichon Frise.

Positives and Negatives of the Breed

Pros

  • Highly intelligent
  • Easily trained
  • Happy and gentle
  • Sheds little hair

Cons

  • Prone to barking a lot when young
  • More energetic than many predict
  • Needy
  • Require high levels of mental stimulation to avoid depression

Overview

Unlike many crossbreed portmanteaus (e.g. Cockerpoo), Poochon is not so intuitive leading many to ask, what is a Poochon? A Poochon is a Poodle mixed with a Bichon Frise, the result being this very charming, supremely cute sand soft little dog.

Given its parents are two highly intelligent, loyal and loving dogs, the Poochon is a near-perfect family dog and is an excellent choice for families with children given its gentle, kind and patient nature.

It also partners up well with other dogs and pets and is unlikely to cause any issues once socialised. Kind, gentle and self-aware, the Poochon is eager to please its owner and is therefore easily trained.

Poochons have risen to popularity following the designer dog craze in the 90s. Demand increased for small dogs that suit family and urban living and the Poochon was the natural choice for breeders looking to combine popular pedigree breeds.

Poochon dogs are receptive to commands and are not quick to abandon their concentration in the face of new challenges or learning experiences.

Though intelligence can sometimes be construed as stubbornness, a kind owner will easily get their Poochon to cooperate with almost anything and anyone.

Despite their gentle nature, Poochons are lively and are amongst the most energetic of all the small dogs. This is quite often underestimated – they are not a dog that likes to sit with their owner all day long.

Poochon’s energy makes them great to couple up with kids who will easily mentally and stimulate the dog enough and make for excellent company.

Cuddly, soft and lovely to pet and stroke, the Poochon is a wonderful dog for any owner, though they make the perfect partner for novice owners.

They can slot right into family homes very well and are easy-going around other pets. Aware and intuitive, they know and understand where the boundaries are with other animals and won’t stray away from safety easily.

The Poochon is also an excellent breed for those that struggle with pet allergies due to its largely hypoallergenic fur. This will vary between dogs, though, so do not assume a Poochon is hypoallergenic without spending some time with it first.

History

As the demand for mixed breeds increased through the 80s and 90s, breeders sought to combine two loving and intelligent breeds, the Poodle and Bichon Frise, to make a robust but friendly, loving and hypoallergenic crossbreed, now dubbed the Poochon dog.

Australian breeders were amongst the first before the UK and US followed. The traits of this cross were an instant winner for families or novice dog owners.

This is a dog that poses few problems for training and ownership in general, however, many owners underestimate the dog’s required maintenance as they are very excitable and energetic.

The level of physical and mental stimulation this breed needs makes it the perfect dog for families with children and henceforth, it has been marketed as such.

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Personality

Personality-wise, the Poochon is sociable and friendly with virtually all creatures. This is a dog that lacks predatory or defensive instincts and instead looks to become friends with those that it encounters.

Though some Poochons may be shy and somewhat hesitant, likely because they know they are small, they generally become very trusting with those whom they feel safe with.

Above all else, though, this dog is loving and dedicated to its owner, an exceptional companion that will stick to your side and wait patiently for your movements and actions.

A receptive and intuitive creature, the Poochon is sensitive and has an eager to learn from its owner.

The Poochon is intelligent and requires a lot of mental and physical stimulation. Without this, he/she will mope or get bored quickly, leading to depression and barking.

Actually, whilst the Poochon may then seem like the ideal low maintenance designer breed, this is far from the truth as owners who do not put enough time into the dog will notice its mood and sociability dip sharply.

They also require a lot of fairly intense exercise, more than many expect – don’t expect a Poochon to tire out before you do! Poochons are excellent with other dogs so long as they feel secure.

If they’re scared, they will hide and console near their owners.

Poochons are undoubtedly an excellent dog for families and first-time owners. Solo owners may also consider the Poochon but be aware, this lively dog may suffer from poor mental health if you’re not around to spend time with it.

Contact time is vital with a dog like this, loyalty and affection need to be a two-way street and owners will have to put time and effort into their Poochon’s mental stimulation.

This is not a dog to neglect and families must be aware to not let its needs fall into the background.

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Health

Poochon dogs can inherit health problems from either parent but they are generally healthier than their pedigree ancestors.

Common issues include hypothyroidism that may leave your dog feeling and acting lethargic and disinterested with activity, contrary to its common temperament.

Eye problems are fairly common too. More serious diseases and health issues include Addison’s disease, Cushing’s and epilepsy.

By choosing a Poochon bred by a good breeder with healthy parents, the chances of owning a Poochon that suffers badly from genetic disease are very slim.

These are generally very healthy and robust dogs and like most dogs of their size, they can sometimes live in excess of 15 years.

Mentally, Poochons need to be kept stimulated to remain healthy. They’re also quick to strain when left alone and will likely become depressed amongst families where no one is in for long days at a time.

If you do need to spend a lot of time away from your Poochon, you need to be prepared to make it up to them. The Poochon is not the best toy breed for apartments or flats, it really does appreciate energy around it.

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Exercise

Poochons require a fair bit of exercise and are amongst the most lively of all toy-size dogs. They require both physical and mental exercise so benefit from special toys that require them to solve problems.

Open spaces like gardens are a must if you can’t get out at least once a day for a reasonable length 30 to 45-minute walk. Kids are great with Poochons as they can really mirror their excitable personality and you may find they’re equally able to go on and on and on without tiring!

So long as children know how to treat a dog, particularly one that is quite small, they can quite happily be left alone with a Poochon during play with minimal supervision – but not none at all, as is the case with any dog.

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Training

Poochons train pretty easily and the only area you might encounter issues is with excessive barking. To prevent this, you should socialise your Poochon a lot when it is young.

Socialisation should be simple enough as your Poochon should warm quite quickly to other pets, children and adults alike, provided it is in safe company. Poochons respond well to rewards and not to punishment.

The Poochon temperament is one of intuition and intelligence and it will be possible to train your dog to complete complex tasks and puzzles.

Consider using puzzles that release treats upon completion of logic tasks, e.g. pressing buttons in the correct sequence.

Poochons mental aptitude can be very impressive and with a bit of searching, you might find a toy that keeps your Poochon occupied for hours of endless fun!

This is good for everyone, your Poochon will relax and learn to channel some of its mental energy into tasks.

Lead training a Poochon may be hard as they are enthusiastic. Of course, this dog isn’t very strong and won’t cause physical issues as it pulls ahead of its owner, but owners should still consider lead training using a harness if necessary.

Due to their small sizes, a pulling Poochon shouldn’t be kept on a normal collar due to potential throat strain. Instead, opt for a harness whenever possible.

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Grooming

Poochon dogs don’t shed much and can be quite hypoallergenic, especially when groomed properly every 3 to 4 days. Grooming them is quick and easy due to their small size, providing their coat is kept to a reasonable length every 6 to 8 weeks.

They are fairly fluffy and curly so dirt will build up quite quickly so light regular washing is a good idea. Dirt build-up around the eyes and ears can be most problematic and can pose an infection risk if left unchecked.

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