The Bichon Poodle – A Breed Of Many Names
The Bichon poodle is not a pure breed but rather a hybrid, part purebred Bichon Frise and part purebred poodle. It is not considered a mutt, as the lineage is known. There are a number of hybrid dog breeds, including a number of other breeds that have been crossed with poodles. Two favorites are the labradoodle (Labrador retriever and poodle) and the poogle (poodle and beagle). There is certainly something about the poodle that makes it a desirable cross with other breeds, and the Bichon Frise is no exception.
Freeze Or Fries?
The Bichon poodle, also often called the Bich-poo, has long been a favorite in Europe, particularly in France. It was introduced to America by servicemen returning from France following World War I. The Bichon Frise breed probably suffers more misspellings than any other, with spellings ranging from Bichon fries and Bichon freeze to beeshawn frises and everything imaginable in between. The dogs are often described or advertised as purebred. While not technically correct, since two separate breeds are involved, a “purebred” Bichon poodle will have papers, and will be registered with one society or another. For all intents and purposes it is a purebred.
The Bichon poodle belongs to the non-sporting, toy group of dogs. Most are white in color, although shades of cream are not at all uncommon when the Bichon Frise genes dominate. Poodle genetics can result in colors other than white, though white remains the most common color. A small dog, the Bichon poodle typically weighs in at 7 to 10 pounds, with an occasional dog weighing up to 15 pounds. They are particularly adorable as puppies, and fortunately do not outgrow the adorable characteristic, remaining rather cute and cuddly as they enter adulthood. Like most small breeds, the dog is relatively long-lived, typically reaching anywhere from 12 to 15 years in age. The two breeds making up this hybrid breed are long lived as well; both the Toy Poodle and the Bichon Frise often reach 14-15 years of age.
If you own a Bichon poodle you have a pet that almost always has a cheerful temperament, and appears to understand and enjoy its place in the family. It does not like to be left alone for extended periods, and makes a good traveling companion in the car (remember to be extra careful during hot weather). Like many small breeds, it is a good watchdog, not because of its size certainly, but because of its bark. Many breeds of dogs require a significant amount of exercise to remain healthy. The Bichon poodle is no exception, but because of its small size, you can give it plenty of exercise, even in an apartment, by playing with it on a daily basis, or just by letting it run around in a small fenced enclosure.
The Main Chore – Grooming
Your pet does require frequent grooming as it does not shed, and without grooming the hair tends to mat, which can be unhealthy for the dog. There are those that would say that, because of frequent need for grooming, the dog is a high maintenance animal. Grooming a Bichon Poodle is not as involved as grooming an English Sheepdog, or grooming a horse for that matter. You should be able to devote 10 minutes every day or every other day for this important task.
If this is to be your first hybrid dog, don’t let that fact worry you. Some breeders will tell you that a hybrid is often a strong breed, inheriting the best characteristics from the two breeds in its makeup. There is also the argument that the dog can inherit some flaws as well, but that can also be true of purebred dog. To be sure, your pet should have papers, or at least a positive indication that its parents are registered, and have the papers to prove it. Find a reputable breeder and avoid puppy mills and you will get an adorable and healthy puppy. It will probably be mutual love at first sight.