Poochon

katy towle 26 July 2021



The Poochon makes an ideal family pet thanks to their good nature, hypoallergenic coat and trainability. They are sociable and vibrant and enjoy spending time around people. Small and resembling a teddy bear, the ‘cuteness factor’ is high in this one.

The Poochon is one of the most long-lived cross-breeds with many living into their late teens. Poochons enjoy good health but there are certain medical issues that can crop up within the population. Skip to ‘Health Considerations’ to find out more.

Breed history

Also known as the Bichpoo, the Poochon is a relatively new cross-breed that is a mix of the ever popular Poodle and the cheerful Bichon Frise. Either the Miniature or Toy Poodle can be used in the mix. It is thought that this breed was first established in the 1990’s in Australia. However, it is always challenging to prove that this was the very first mating of its kind internationally.

General appearance

Lamb or teddy bear? That’s what you’ll be thinking when you see a little Poochon trotting towards you. Their tight, wooly curls and stocky frame ensure it is a hardier breed than many of its peers the same size.

As the Poochon is a cross breed and both the Miniature and Toy Poodle can be used in its development, there is no uniform standard and some will be larger than others. As with other hybrid dogs, their look is less standardised than a pedigree and there can be noticeable variability even within the same litter.

Their head is round and their ears are relatively long and lay flat at the side of their skull. They have large, brown eyes and their muzzle should not be too short. Their short coat is usually white but other colours such as black and apricot are seen within the breed.

Temperament

One of the best traits of the Poochon is its delightful personality. They are happy-go-lucky and laid back most of the time. They tend to be tolerant of children as long as they have been well socialised from a young age. Calm and affectionate, most are eager to relax on your lap in the evening time.

Some breed members can be sensitive and a little highly strung, though this is not true for all Poochons. These dogs may need extra time spent on their training and benefit from plenty of positive social interactions during their puppyhood. If left alone for too long, some will go on to develop separation anxiety. This can be a difficult behavioural issue to treat and is one of the more common reasons for re-homing.

Poochons are notorious for being ‘yappy’ dogs which does make them an excellent burglar alarm. It is unlikely anyone will be able to enter your property without your Poochon making you aware. Despite this, they do not make good guard dogs as they are simply too small to warrant off any intruders.

Health considerations 

The Poochon enjoys relatively good health and should have a long life expectancy. There are certain health considerations that need to be discussed and a responsible owner should be on the lookout for the following:

  • Patellar Luxation. Small dogs are prone to dislocating knee caps and most start to show signs from middle age. The tell-tale sign is a sudden, non-weight bearing lameness in the hind limb which lasts for a few strides. After, dogs will put the affected limb back on the ground as if nothing has happened. This orthopaedic condition is diagnosed with a vet exam and X-rays. Most affected individuals will develop knee arthritis as they age and are good candidates for joint supplements such as Pooch & Mutt Joint Care.
  • Legg Calvè Perthes Disease. Signs for this orthopaedic condition occur in early life and usually we notice lameness in the first year. It is the back leg that is affected there is significant associated pain. X-rays are used to diagnose the problem and some will benefit from surgery to remove the head of the femur bone. Owners should consider starting their pups on Pooch & Mutt’s Salmon Oil to aid mobility. Most will also need prescription medicine such as pain relief and anti-inflammatories.
  • Cushing’s Disease. This is a hormonal disorder that causes dogs to become excessively hungry, pant more and develop a bloated abdomen. The excess cortisol in the body can be caused by a pituitary gland tumour or an adrenal gland tumour. We can also see iatrogenic Cushing’s Disease after prolonged use of corticosteroids.
  • Addison’s. Those with Addison’s disease are less able to cope in stressful situations. They require regular medicine to replace the hormones which they lack.
  • Atopic Dermatitis. Allergic skin disease causes chronic itchy skin and dogs will experience flare ups from time to time. While atopic dermatitis cannot be cured, we can minimise signs by reducing allergen exposure. For some, it will be worth it to run allergy testing and perhaps to pursue immunotherapy injections.

Trainability 

The Poochon is a willing and clever dog that enjoys taking part in its training sessions. Keep them sweet by rewarding good behaviour with treats such as Pooch & Mutt’s Calm & Relaxed Mini Bones.

Grooming

This breed needs more regular grooming than other dogs and some may even need to be bathed as much as monthly. We should use a hypoallergenic, non-irritant shampoo and be sure to rinse all traces afterwards. Their coat needs to be brushed every couple of days to prevent tangles.

Exercise

These dogs have moderate exercise requirements and should be given at least 45 minutes of structured exercise each day.

Feeding considerations

Beware of your Poochon becoming obese and try to stick to their daily calorie requirement. For those who do suffer with skin allergies, it makes sense to supplement their diet. We can consider a supplement such as the Pooch & Mutt Bionic Biotic which contains ingredients such as omega 3s as well as prebiotics for superior skin and coat health.

You'll find a handy feeding calculator on every product page here at Pooch & Mutt to help you identify how much of our health led recipes are right for the age, size and weight of your dog.

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