A Bichapoo, also called bichapoo is a cross between the Bichon Frise and the Poodle. At a glance, one would think it’s just a Poodle. After all, both dogs look almost the same. However, there are a few things that set them apart and they may be noticeable in their offspring. Thinking of getting one as a pet? Here’s your guide to the bichapoo.
As a relatively new breed, the exact origin of the Bichapoo is still not clear although it is believed that it was first developed in Melbourne, Australia during the 1990s. This has not been verified because this mix is not as well-documented as the earlier mixes or Doodles, like the Goldendoodle and the Labradoodle.
Nowadays, many breeders continue to develop this cross to come up with a hypoallergenic pet that can be great as a family pet. Both the Bichon Frise and the Poodle boast a good temperament, not to mention that both are also considered to be hypoallergenic.
This dog hasa few more nicknames other than Bichpoo or Bichapoo. In some places, it is also called “Poochon,” “Bichdoodle,” and “Bichon-Poo.” It is eligible for registration in a number of organizations for dogs such as the Designer Breed Registry and the International Designer Canine Registry.
Although the Bichon Frise and the Poodle are both recognized by major dog clubs such as the American Kennel Club, this is not the case with their offspring that cannot be registered with the AKC the same way its parents are eligible for registration.
A first generation (F1) Bichapoo has 50% of the Poodle gene and other 50% of the Bichon Frise gene in its lineage. It will have a great balance of both breeds. Do note that not all Bichapoo are F1 dogs. Some may have more of the Bichon Frise in they lineage while others have the other way around,more of the Poodle gene.
However, it is rare to see Bichon-Poos being paired with fellow Bichon-Poos. Many breeders avoid doing this because they believe this pairing has a higher risk of carrying a defective gene. These pairs are allegedly subject to more hereditary problems when bred together.
The idea of coming up with mixed breeds is to develop or soften any trait one purebreed has. For example, the Bichon Frise is notorious for its extreme clinginess. They are being paired with Poodles in hopes that this mix will produce a not-so-attached buddy. On the other hand, Poodles are known for their very delicate nature. This sensitive nature of the Poodle can be less obvious when they are paired with the Bichon Frise.
A Bichon-poo is typically small, weighing around 15 pounds or less even during the adult stage. Its small built makes it a good lapdog. It’s also easy to take along wherever you want to go. The size of these mixed breeds will vary because Poodles themselves come in a variety of sizes. TheStandard Poodle is often used, although there are breeders that also use the Toy Poodle and the Miniature Poodle.
This crossbreed comes in a wide range of coat colors. Many of them are in solid cream and white colors, although you can also find some black, chocolate, and apricot ones. Like the parents, the Bichon Frise and the Poodle, the typical colors for this mix are apricot and white combined with apricot.
If you prefer something smaller, go for a Bichon-Poo bred from a Toy Poodle. As puppies, they are so light that they weigh less than 9 lbs. As adults, these dogs grow to be heavier but notmore than 13 pounds. The average height of Bichapoos is 8-12 inches depending on the kind of Poodle used for breeding.
Many Bichapoos continue to change their coat color with age. For instance, some pups have spots of white on certain areas of the body. This will not be very evident during the early weeks, but as your Bichapoo grows older, you will see these white markings scattered throughout the body.
Like their Bichon Frise parent, this dog has black button eyes that give it the look of a teddy bear. As with both parents, the Bichapoo will sport a dense coat which can go from a bit straight to fleece or even wool-like. Many of these cuties have a woolly coat which is evident even during the puppy stage.
While many Bichon-Poos have that same little bear cub look that resembles the teddy bear, their exact appearance will not be the same. Their looks will still depend on the kind of pedigree they have. Those with more of the Bichon Frise in their genes will obviously look more like the Bichon or will get the majority of their traits.
Coat maintenance is one of the most important aspects of having a Bichon-Poo cross. Like both parents, this dog should be taken to a professional groomer once every eight weeks for clipping or trimming. This dog usually gets a teddy bear cut which is just perfect for its looks. This kind of trim can be achieved by taking your pooch to a groomer because there is a specific type of blade and tools used for this haircut.
While this dog requires a lot of work to maintain the condition of its coat, you will be glad to know that it is aminimal shedder, a trait that makes it suitable for families with a history of allergies to pet hair or dander. If you sneeze or have a runny nose around your pet, it means you are hypersensitive to pet hair.
Personality-wise, the Bichapoo is one you would love to have as a pet. Yes, it can be a bit clingy, but that only happens when it’s very attached to the person. It is among the most loyal companions you can ever find, not to mention that it’s also fun-loving and friendly.
These dogs may be small but they have a big personality and they can be a bit tough, like their Poodle parent. Poodles are known for their strong prey drive and they were even used for hunting back in the day. Now, they are more of a companion animal that does well as a family pet.
If you are looking for a smart companion, you can never go wrong with a Bichapoo. This intelligent dog can be trained easily. But don’t be surprised if it gets a little bit stubbornsince the parents are among the smartest breeds you can find. This dog will pull many antics just to please its owners.
Once your Bichapoo sees you as the leader of the pack, he will be easier to train to follow orders. Otherwise, he might end up chewing things at home and may even howl and bark when you leave the house, as if he is panicking.
A Bichon-Poo is the perfect pet to have if you don’t mind having a very clingy pet. This dog tends to be dependent on its “hoo-mans.” If you cannot be around your pooch all the time, expose him to new faces and people early in life. Socialization and obedience training are important in raising your new buddy.
As a result of mixing two purebred dogs, the Bichon-Poo crossbenefits from having a hybrid vigor and even has a lifespan of 12-15 years. This means it is not as susceptible to a number of hereditary conditions often seen in its parents.
Regardless of that, these dogs are still mammals that can acquire certain conditions no matter what. When you have a Bichapoo, here are the common problems you have to keep an eye on:
- Allergies – standard Poodles and Bichon Frise are both prone to skin problems. It is actually a primary health concern among these breeds. If you have a Bichapoo, you might need to undergo a series of tests to identify the exact cause of the problem. Allergies can be caused by the food your dog eats, the products he has been using lately, or other irritants in the environment. Many dogs with skin allergies are supplemented with healthy oils, such as pure salmon oil and coconut oil which both contain properties that treat itching and dryness.
- Hip dysplasia – this refers to the abnormal formation in the hip socket. This hereditary problem leaves the dog in pain and gives them a lame feeling. In later stages, a dog may even develop arthritis. If a dog has hip dysplasia, he should be put on a weight management plan. Part of it is making sure the dog only eats the amount of food recommended for him in order to ensure there is no excess stress put on his affected joints.
- Patellar Luxation – in simple terms, this condition means the knee cap is not inside the trochlear groove. This results in the patella sliding to the parts of the leg. Contrary to many people’s beliefs, a dog with Patellar Luxation does not have to undergo surgical operation right away. You can help your dog live a normal life by maintaining a healthy weight.
The cost of a Bichapoo ranges between $700-$1,000. The cost will depend on the breeder, gender of the dog, pedigree, and other factors such as health guarantee and tests. Regardless of the breeder you choose, always be careful in negotiating, especially if you just met them online. There is a fine line between a good breeder and a puppy mill. Reliable breeders will be willing to entertain any questions you have because they want to make sure that potential pet parents are actually capable of handling the dogs.
What to Look for Before Buying Bichapoo
- Vaccination records – before bringing your new buddyhome, make sure he has already received all of the core vaccines suitable for his age. The 5-in-1 vaccine gives your pet immunity against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. In the majority of countries, the rabies vaccine is required by law.
- Health guarantee – an experienced breeder will offer the health guarantee, which means you are free to have the dog checked to see if it is truly in good shape. Breeders normally give prospective buyers around two to three days to bring the dog to their preferred veterinarian or to undergo health tests.
- Microchipping – this method of electronic identification is required in many countries around the world. In the UK, pet parents should get their dog’s microchipped and registered before they reached the eighth week of life. You may want to check if microchipping is required by law in your country. If yes, you should get your dog microchipped in time.
As a dog bursting with energy, it goes without saying that you will need to spend more time playing and exercising your Bichapoo. Giving your buddy enough playtime and mental stimulation prevents boredom and destructive behavior. It should be given at least 30 minutes of walk per day, in addition to playtime.
As a clever dog, this dog will easily adapt to agility or obedience training. You can incorporate these activities into your pet’s exercise. If you want to introduce obedience training, you can start by teaching your buddy the basic commands like “sit,” “walk,” and “stay.” Once your dog reached the sixth month of age, he can finally join formal obedience training classes.
A Bichapoo is a combination of two breeds with many similar traits, the Bichon Frise and the Poodle. But these two dogs also have a range of differences between them which will be evident on their offspring. One of the most liked characteristics they have is their hypoallergenic trait. If you have a hypersensitivity to pet hair, you can never go wrong with a Bichon-Poo as a pet.