The Bichon Chihuahua mix combines two toy dog breeds – the purebred Bichon Frise and the purebred Chihuahua. This combination results in small puppies that make popular lap dogs. They are also often called the Chichon dog. The exact appearance and temperament of each individual Chi Chon dog will vary depending on the traits it inherits. But, in general, these little dogs are loyal, affectionate, and playful. Anyone considering this mix should be aware of all potential outcomes before committing to a puppy.
Bichon Chihuahua Mix at a Glance
Since the Chichon dog is a mix between two purebred dogs, the traits it can inherit are quite varied. For the most accurate prediction, you should take a look at the parents. But, here are some guidelines that apply to most Bichon Chihuahua mix dogs.
|Height:||5 – 11.5 inches|
|Weight:||18lbs and under|
|Temperament:||Family oriented, affectionate, playful|
|Coat Type:||Soft, dense coat. Varies in length and curl amount.|
|Lifespan:||12 years and older on average|
|Puppy Price:||$350 – $900|
History of the Bichon Chihuahua Mix
The Bichon Chihuahua mix isn’t one of the most common crossbreeds. It’s quite new compared to most purebred dogs, and still a less popular choice than small Doodle mixes. The Chichon mix has emerged over the past few decades, mostly in the wake of the trend for designer dogs like the Labradoodle and Cockapoo. You may find second generation Chichons – that is, puppies with two Bichon Chihuahua mix parents. But, more often, you’ll find puppies with two purebred parents.
Both the Chihuahua and Bichon Frise parents are toy dogs that have a history as lap dogs. So, you can expect that a Chichon would have traits that make a great lap dog.
Bichon Chihuahua Mix Appearance
Since the Chichon is a mixed breed, its appearance can vary quite a lot. However, by taking a look at the two parent breeds, we can predict what puppies will grow up to look like. The Bichon Frise is the slightly bigger of the two parent breeds. Full grown, a Bichon Frise will be somewhere between 9.5 and 11.5 inches tall, weighing from 12 to 18 lbs. Chihuahuas are smaller, growing between 5 and 8 inches, but weighing no more than 6 lbs as adults.
Both parent breeds fall into the toy breed category, so you can expect the same from a Chihuahua Bichon mix. Usually, Chichon puppies will fall somewhere between the size of their parents. So, they will often be between 5 and 11.5 inches tall, weighing a maximum of 18 lbs.
Size isn’t the only thing that can vary. All physical traits, including coat type and color, can vary. Like predicting the size of your puppy, look at the parents to predict the coat type and color of your pup. A Chichon will usually have a plush, soft coat. It can be either short or long, based on the Chihuahua parent. And, they may have a slight curl to their coat that descends from their Bichon parent.
Their grooming needs will depend on the coat type that they inherit. Although this mix is often low shedding, this mix won’t be hypoallergenic. In fact, no dog breed is hypoallergenic, as the allergens that trigger an allergy response are found in your dog’s dander and saliva!
A Chichon can also inherit any color that is possible in the parent breeds. The Bichon Frise can come in either solid white, or white with apricot, cream, or buff coloring. Chihuahuas, on the other hand, can come in essentially any color variety.
Many breeders will mix a pale Chi with a Bichon to produce white puppies. But, others will try and get some more unusual and popular Chihuahua colors, like brindle or merle.
Bichon Chihuahua Mix Temperament
A Bichon Frise and Chihuahua mix will usually form very strong bonds with their families. Their parent breeds have origins as lap dogs, so their temperaments have evolved to suit this role almost perfectly! Bichons are renowned for getting along with children and other pets. But, Chihuahuas can be more reserved. Chihuahuas are less likely to get along with other pets and small children, partly because their small size leaves them vulnerable to injuries. So, be aware that your Chichon could inherit either type or personality!
On top of this, the strong bonds that your Chihuahua and Bichon Frise mix will form can have pros and cons. Of course, it’s wonderful to have such a great relationship with your dog. But, strong loyalty like this can also result in territorial and guarding aggression. In fact, one study found that both Bichon Frises and Chihuahuas scored above average for stranger-directed aggression and even owner directed aggression. Part of this may be from guarding behaviors, but it may also be the result of owners not socializing or training their dogs, since they are so small!
Importance of Socialization
Even though a Bichon Chihuahua mix will be a small dog, this doesn’t mean owners can skip socialization and training. Yes, they might not hurt very much if they nip at you or anyone else. But, biting is still a very problematic behavior. And, a poorly socialized dog is more likely to react with fear to new situations, which isn’t pleasant for you or your dog! So, make sure you socialize a Chichon well before they reach 16 weeks of age. This will encourage the happiest and friendliest personality in your puppy.
Chichon Training and Exercise
Training and exercise are still important, even though the Bichon Chihuahua mix results in such a small dog. A Chichon won’t need a huge amount of exercise, especially compared to larger dogs. A daily walk will often be enough, but you can switch this up to some active games, or some particularly energetic training sessions.
Small dogs like this mix can have some trouble with potty training due to their small bladders. So, this is an area where you will need a lot of patience and consistency. Some owners find it best to use the puppy pad method throughout their dog’s life. But, if you train them to pee outside, it will involve lots of trips to your designated toilet area.
Positive reward methods are the best training method for this little mix. This will build on the strong bond with your dog. But, make sure not to overfeed them. Any training treats should be deducted from their daily calorie allowance.
Bichon Chihuahua Mix Health and Care
Although these little dogs can make good pets in the right home, there are several health issues that owners should be aware of. As toy dogs, the Chichon is vulnerable to certain problems that relate to their size. This includes the following:
- Overcrowded teeth and related dental issues
- Fragile bones
- Birthing problems
- Soft spots on the head
As well as problems related to the Chichon’s size, there are a number of health issues that can be passed on from the purebred Chihuahua and Bichon Frise. Here are some common problems that a Bichon Chihuahua mix can inherit from their purebred parents:
- Periodontal disease
- Heart murmurs
- Retained deciduous dentition
- Otitis externa
- Anal sac impaction
- Patellar luxation
There are very few studies looking into the lifespans of mixed breeds like the Bichon Chihuahua mix. However, we can get a general idea of average lifespan by looking at the parent breeds. Studies have found that both Chihuahuas and Bichon Frise dogs live an average of 12.5 years. Mixed breed dogs can live longer than their purebred counterparts, according to studies into canine lifespan. But, this little mix is prone to a lot of potential health problems. So, it’s important to give them the best daily care possible, and choose a reputable breeder if your heart is set on this mix.
Finding Bichon Chihuahua Mix Puppies
This mix isn’t hugely popular compared to some other crossbreed dogs at the moment. This has its pros and cons. Whilst it means you’re less likely to encounter puppy mills, it can also mean that reputable breeders are hard to find too! But, this doesn’t mean you should just pick the first breeder you find. Choosing a reputable breeder will maximise your dog’s health and quality of life.
The best breeders will only breed from healthy dogs. They will be able to show you evidence of clear health tests, and will be happy for you to visit and meet the puppies. You should also meet the mother dog, to see how she reacts to strangers. Because this mix isn’t too popular, puppies often cost below $1000. But, prices will vary depending on demand, and traits like coat color.
Is a Chihuahua Bichon Frise Mix a Good Family Pet?
In the right home, this toy mix can make a good pet. But, it’s important for owners to realise that this cross is only a toy breed in name. In reality, they need lots of special care. The Chichon dog can suffer from a lot of health problems, and particular attention will need to be taken to their dental health, training and socialization. On top of this, you won’t always know what to expect from your dog. Sometimes, the exact appearance and traits that this mix inherits won’t be revealed until your puppy has arrived.
Bichon Chihuahua mix puppies won’t always suit homes with children. These are delicate little dogs that need homes with patience and gentle handling. You may also need to invest in products like dog ramps to ensure your pup won’t injure themselves trying to jump off high couches or beds.
The Chichon isn’t going to suit every home. If there are some traits you love about this mix, but want to see what else is out there, why not consider some of the following breeds:
- Small Poodle Mixes
- Chiweenie – Your Tiny Chihuahua Dachshund Mix
- Shichon Dog – A Complete Guide To The Bichon Frise Shih Tzu Mix
- Maltese Bichon Frise Mix
Do You Have a Bichon Chihuahua Mix?
This little mix is uncommon, but is slowly growing in popularity. Do you have a Chichon at home? Or are you still trying to decide whether this toy breed is right for you? We would love to hear your thoughts on this little cross in the comments!
References and Resources
- Adams, V. (et al), ‘Methods and Mortality Results of a Health Survey of Purebred Dogs in the UK’, Journal of Small Animal Practice (2010)
- Duffy, D. (et al), ‘Breed Differences in Canine Aggression’, Applied Animal Behavior Science (2008)
- Howell, T. (et al), ‘Puppy Parties and Beyond: The Role of Early Age Socialization Practices on Adult Dog Behavior’, Veterinary Medicine: Research and Reports (2015)
- Capik, I. ‘Periodontal Health vs. Various Preventive Means in Toy Dog Breeds’, Acta Veterinaria Brno (2010)
- Farrell, L. (et al), ‘The Challenges of Pedigree Dog Health: Approaches to Combating Inherited Disease’, Canine Genetics and Epidemiology (2015)
- O’Neill, D. (et al), ‘Demography and Commonly Recorded Clinical Conditions of Chihuahuas Under Primary Veterinary Care in the UK in 2016’, BMC Veterinary Research (2016)
- Nilsson, K. (et al), ‘Heritability of Patellar Luxation in the Chihuahua and Bichon Frise Breeds of Dogs and Effectiveness of a Swedish Screening Program’, The Veterinary Journal (2008)
- Urfer, S. (et al), ‘Risk Factors Associated with Lifespan in Pet Dogs Evaluated in Primary Care Veterinary Hospitals’, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association (2019)
- Vredegoor, D. (et al), ‘Can F 1 Levels in Hair and Homes of Different Dog Breeds: Lack of Evidence to Describe Any Dog Breed as Hypoallergenic’, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2012)