Can You Tell The Difference Between a Poochon, a Poodle, and a Bichon Frise?

Sometimes the process of cross-breeding dogs produces puppies that look nothing like either one of their parent breeds, while others take traits from just one or the other. Often, this is due to pairing drastically different-looking breeds, but what happens when you mix two breeds that are often mistaken for one another? 

The Poochon (also known as a Bichpoo) is a mix of Miniature or Toy Poodle and Bichon Frise, but you might not be able to tell they’re mixes just by looking at them. 

Poochon

In this guide, we’re going to cover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Bichon Poodle mixes and share insights from Poochon owners who love these smart and adorable little pups. 

Meet 5 Bichon Frise Poodle Mixes From Instagram

People often confuse the Bichon Frise and the Poodle, especially thanks to their similar—though not the same—fur type and small frame. When you mix purebred dog breeds, you’ll never be entirely sure what you’re going to get, but with a mix of Bichon Frise and Poodle, there’s one feature you’re certain to get: fluff! 

To give you an idea of just how similar these two breeds can look (especially the Bichon Frise compared to the Toy Poodle) take a look at Tanya and Kardy—one is a purebred Bichon, the other a purebred Toy Poodle. Can you tell which is which? 

Photo by bichon.poodle.NZ.Christchurch on July 19, 2023. May be an image of Maltese, Pekinese and Victoria Peak.
Source: @TanyaKardy

Pretty hard to tell, right? Well, here’s the answer: Tanya (left) is a Bichon Frise, and Kardy (right) is a Toy Poodle. 

Now, take a look at what happens when these breeds mix. Let’s meet five adorable Poochons from Instagram and explore what this super cute designer dog breed looks like! 

1. Cotton

Cotton the Poochon
Source: @March.Lemon

The aptly named Cotton (right) is a super floofy three-year-old Poochon from Japan whose three best friends are bunnies! March, Lemon, and Sugar adore their much larger sibling and don’t seem to care that Cotton is a dog. While it’s important to supervise dogs with small animals and never leave them alone together, some dogs inherently understand how to be gentle with delicate and small critters like rabbits. 


2. Teddy

Teddy the Poochon
Source: @Cavachon_Poppy_Poochon_Teddy

Teddy is a super-curly little Poochon who definitely inherited his fur texture from his Poodle side, but probably got that impressive rounded head shape from his Bichon parent. Teddy is four years old and lives in Scotland with his sister who looks a lot like him, but is a different kind of Poodle mix altogether. One thing is for certain—if he stands still enough, Teddy looks like a teddy bear!


3. Daisy May

Daisy May Poochon
Source: @DaisyMayPrincess

Bichons come in solid white, white and cream, white and apricot, and white and buff, but they don’t come in black. That means that beautiful Daisy May inherited her rich coat color from her Poodle side. This adorable little black Poochon is from Suffolk in the UK, and one of her favorite things to do is go carp fishing with her people! 

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4. Henry

Henry the poochon
Source: @Henry_Poochon

This small dog with a huge smile is Henry, a Bichon Poodle mix who is basically a constant ray of sunshine! This sweet boy loves to be around his humans, but will never say no to a romp outdoors with his doggy friends, either. 


5. Mya & Lola Bear

by Mya & Lola Bear Poochons
Source: @Mya_And_LolaBear

We’re finishing off strong with a pair of Poochon ladies from the UK! Both of these beautiful girls are Bichon Frise Poodle mixes, but they still look a little different from one another. This is a great example of how mixed-breed dogs are unpredictable in terms of looks, personality, and health since there isn’t a breed standard. Nevertheless, Poochons are always adorable!


Poochon Basic Information

Poochon Temperament

Poodles are notoriously intelligent, and even a young Poodle puppy can pick up on training quickly. Bichon Frises are also intelligent but are sometimes more concerned with playing and being affectionate than training or doing obedience. 

When you combine these two breeds to create the Poochon, you get a little dog who is cheerful, social, smart, and incredibly human-oriented. Active both mentally and physically, Poochon dogs do well with regular exercise and enrichment and may become bored and destructive without proper stimulation. 

“I have an 8-month-old Poochon, super active and can walk for hours a day. I live a block away from a dog park so she spends a lot of time there, a good two hours a day of running around like a crazy doggo before she’s tired,” says a Reddit comment describing life with a Poochon. “Personality-wise she is a bit barky but only at certain times and towards certain things happening. Overall great dog, super easy to train (when she wants to be), very smart and really loving and playful.”

Poochons make excellent family dogs, though may not be appropriate for households with small children, since their small stature makes them vulnerable to accidental injury. Older children or children with a good understanding of canine behavior and boundaries will love this happy-go-lucky mixed breed. While these dogs are charming and friendly, they are also fiercely loyal and alert and sometimes display guarding instincts. 

Poochon Size

A poochon

The Poochon is a small dog, standing at around 8–15 inches tall and weighing somewhere between around 6–17 pounds, with an average weight of around 12 pounds. While the Poochon full grown might not be physically intimidating, these little dogs will ferociously protect their people!

Poochon Health

The cross-breeding of dogs can be beneficial for the resulting puppies, with many mutts living longer, healthier lives than their purebred parents. However, mixed-breed dogs can inherit breed-specific illnesses, and may inherit a variety of health problems from both sides of their parentage. If you own a Poodle Bichon mix, here are a few health issues to look out for: 

  • Eye & vision problems (e.g. cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy
  • Dental disease
  • Joint issues (e.g. luxating patellas, hip & elbow dysplasia, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease)
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Kidney and urinary tract infections
  • Bloat
  • Skin allergies
  • Addison’s disease
  • Cushing’s disease
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Where To Find Your Own Bichon Poodle Puppies

We completely understand if you’ve fallen in love with Poochon puppies (or Bichpoo puppies) but it’s not going to be easy for you to find one of your own from a Poochon breeder. Finding reputable breeders for mixed breed and designer dogs is nearly impossible since most of these pups are produced by backyard breeders and puppy mills. 

While Poodle mixes like the Poochon have become more popular over the last few decades, there are still no regulatory bodies ensuring these dogs are bred according to ethical standards. So, if you see an advertisement for Poochon puppies for sale, we recommend looking elsewhere. 

If you have your heart set on owning a Poochon, we suggest working with breed-specific rescues to find your perfect pup! Rescues specializing in either Poodles/Poodle mixes or Bichon Frise/Bichon Frise mixes will give you the best chance of finding a Poochon companion of your own. Here are a few links to help you get started:

Poochon FAQ

A poochon running

No doubt you have more questions about the interesting Bichon Poodle mix, and you’re in luck! We’ve rounded up some of the most common—and a few niche—questions about the Poochon dog and are answering them all right now.

Do Poochon dogs shed?

Yes, but very little. Both Bichon Frise and Poodles are very low-shedding dogs and are sometimes considered “hypoallergenic” thanks to the nearly undetectable amount of fur they shed. While your Poochon will probably drop a few hairs now and then, most Poochon owners say they almost never need to deal with shedding. 

Are Bichon Poodle mixes hypoallergenic dogs? 

Sort of. There’s no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog, and all dog breeds carry approximately the same amount of allergen. However, low-shedding breeds like Poodles, Bichon Frise, and indeed Poochons may be less likely to trigger allergies in people specifically sensitive to dog dander. 

How often do you need to bathe a Poochon?

Every 6–12 weeks, depending on how much time they spend outside. Some Poochons may be spending every weekend camping, hiking, and exploring with you, while others might spend their days napping on the couch. If your pup is outside a lot, they’ll naturally need more frequent bathing, brushing, and grooming. 

Are Poochons easy to train? 

Yes! Poochon dogs possess high intelligence and are eager to please their humans. Most Poochons pick up on commands, routines, and training very quickly and can learn a variety of tricks and behaviors. 

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Be aware that some Poochons have a tendency to mature slowly and stay in their “puppy phase” longer than some pet owners might like. 

“My [Poochon] is a year and a half now and she’s still the same zoomy, goofy, silly dog she was as a pup. What I really noticed was her behaviour shift around 6-9 months old. We had our adolescent stage where she forgot everything she ever knew, but once that settled down, she became a very well-behaved dog,” says a comment on Reddit from a Poochon owner. “She still runs, plays, and gets a little wild at witching hour, but she doesn’t chew, have accidents in the house, steal things, or do any of the other puppy nonsense that used to make me want to pull my hair out.”

Do Poochon dogs bark a lot?

Somewhat, Poochon dogs are moderate barkers. Like most dogs, the Poochon will alert its owner to the presence of new people, dogs, or sounds, but isn’t particularly vocal otherwise. Reactive barking is most common amongst Poochon dogs.  

Do Poochon dogs have separation anxiety? 

Yes, Poochon dogs are known for developing separation anxiety. Both Toy Poodles and Bichons become extremely attached to their humans and may become so attached that they struggle to self-soothe and manage being alone. When cross-breeding dogs, it’s important to consider whether their traits will complement each other. In the case of the Poochon, breeders have combined two separation anxiety-prone temperaments, which may only worsen the issue. 

How much do Poochon puppies cost? 

If you want to purchase Poochon or Bichpoo puppies from a breeder, you’ll pay between $800—$2,000. We don’t recommend going this route and instead recommend trying to find your new canine companion at a shelter or animal rescue. If you adopt a Poochon, you’ll pay between $100—$400

What is the life expectancy of a Poochon?

Small dogs are known to live longer than larger dogs and mixed-breed dogs are known to live longer than purebreds. Poochons are one of those small, mixed-breed dog varieties that can live a long time, and often live to be more than 15 years old. On average, Poochons have a life expectancy of about 10–18 years. 


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