He's bigger, for one thing. He's also less wiry, so if he happens to take a fall or suffer some other such injury, he has a better shot at recovering quickly – and less of a chance of taking permanent damage.
In other words, a Bichon Chihuahua mix is kind of like a Chihuahua on steroids.
The Chi-Chon's Temperament and Personality
When you think “Chihuahua,” you probably think of a scrappy little dog who thinks nothing of picking a street fight with a much larger dog, despite shaking uncontrollably and yapping incessantly.
Of course, these things are part of its charm, though I still wouldn't want to approach an angry one in a dark alley…
And when you think “Bichon Frise,” you probably imagine that cute little lapdog who snuggles in your lap after a long day of joyously bounding around the house or the dog park.
So…when you combine these two breeds, you may be thinking, “what kind of personality should I expect to get?”
I, for one, would expect a bigger dog with a scrappier personality or, conversely, a Chihuahua with the temperament of a Bichon Frise.
In reality, what you get is the sweet temperament of a Bichon, which may be tempered by the anxiety of the Chihuahua.
To help you decide on whether the Chi Chon Temperament is right for you, here are some behavioral traits you need to know about. He is:
The Chi Chon loves his family to pieces. The only problem is that sometimes he can take this love too far and become overly clingy– to the point of tearing up the furniture if you leave him alone for too long.
With this in mind, you may want to invest in a crate if you regularly leave the house for long hours. Better yet, do not get a Chichon if you are not able to be around and provide the attention this breed craves.
If you’re not careful, and you don’t train him out of it, the “yappy” part of the Chihuahua temperament (i.e. the part that loves to bark) can shine through in the Chi Chon.
This Bichon Frise Chihuahua mix thinks nothing of barking just for attention.
He gets along well with other people and animals, so long as you socialize him early and often.
You can do this by bringing him to your local dog park, or to the house of a friend who has pets for him to mingle with.
As you might expect from the Chihuahua part of his temperament, the Chi Chon may develop a bit of an attitude problem, but you should be able to train him out of it.
Training Your Chi Chon
The good news is that it is relatively easy to train your Chi Chon.
The bad news (or, at least, the “kind of funny” news) is that he may have inherited the sassiness of his Chihuahua parent, giving him a mild to moderately bad attitude.
As with any dog, though, the key to successful training is patience and persistence – with a dash of an establishment of dominance.
Once he gets a handle on who's really the boss around here, he'll shape up quickly enough.
Helpful Dog Training Resource:
For help with training your Chi Chon dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.
Exercising Your Bichon Frise Chihuahua Mix
The great thing about little dogs, especially for us lazy people, is that they have enough energy to propel them along on their own. They don't really need a lot of extra exercise.
You can, of course, walk them regularly, and you should too, if nothing more than for a change of scenery.
But a Chichon will be perfectly content with simply zooming around your house or backyard all day.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that his high energy level can also make him an incredibly curious dog.
It is best to invest in a fence, even if you are able to keep an eye on him in the yard. Once he gets sight of a bird or a butterfly that he wants to investigate further – boom! He'll be off like a flash…and you won't even be able to keep up!
Grooming Your Bichon Chihuahua
A Chihuahua has a shorter coat, while the Bichon Frise tends to have a shaggier coat that requires more maintenance.
So, which one does the Chi Chon end up inheriting?
Typically, a Chichon does not require more grooming than other breeds do.
The amount of grooming you will need to do depends largely on whichever breed is more dominant in your individual pet.
However, the normal amount of grooming for this particular Bichon Frise mix averages from low to moderate.
Bonus: The Chichon can actually be hypoallergenic if he takes after his Bichon Frise parent more than his Chihuahua parent. This is fantastic news for those of us who are allergic to dogs and had otherwise resigned ourselves to never being able to own one.
However, it is important to note that no dog is truly allergen-free. The best way to know if you’re allergic is to get right in there and spend time with him. If you start sneezing, then you know.
The average height and weight of the Chi Chon range between 8 to 10 inches tall when full-grown, and between 4 to 10 lbs.
So yeah, he’s definitely tiny.
As far as colors go, the Chi Chon can come in several:
- White, or a combination of white with brown or black
- Brown, light brown, or a combination of black and brown or white and brown
Health Concerns for the Chihuahua Bichon Mix
Health concerns tend to be the same across the board for all Bichon Frise mixes, and so the same is true for the ChiChon. Some things to be aware of in a Chichon include:
- Hydrocephalus (water on the brain)
- Vaccination sensitivity
- Open fontanel (a hole in the skull that can signal an onset of hydrocephalus)
- Bladder, eye, or heart problems
- Collapsed trachea
- Hip dysplasia
- Allergies (more common in animals with whiter coats)
Teeth issues are common for most small dog breeds, so be sure to brush your pooch's teeth regularly. And take him for his regular doctor visits so the vet can thoroughly examine them.
Something great about the ChiChon, though, is that he has a fantastic life expectancy: 12-15 years!
That's, like, forever for a dog! You could say that a healthy ChiChon can give an average healthy housecat a run for its money in life expectancy.
Dog Health Resource
Note: Don't let the many issues above scare you. The best way to approach health problems is to prevent them in the first place. The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health is a great place to start. Get a copy to keep at home. It will help you prevent the painful health issues that can plague your lovely Chichon pet from expressing his winning personality and maximizing his life expectancy.
Finding the Perfect Chi Chon
After reading what I have to say about the Chi Chon, are you interested in bringing a Chi Chon puppy home to your family? That’s great!
You can either find a Chi Chon for sale through a breeder or adopt one at your local rescue or adoption agency.
Chi Chon Puppies for Sale
The average Chi Chon price goes for between $350 and $900.
Of course, it all depends on where you buy the Chi Chon that will determine how much you pay.
Just be careful with mixed breeds. Pay too little, and you’re probably getting a dog with problems, health or otherwise. Pay too much, and the breeder is ripping you off.
Chi Chon Adoption and Rescue
Once you decide on adding a Chi Chon to your home, then you are ready to enter the world of Chi Chon adoption!
If you’ve sought out Chi Chon Rescue groups and they do not have any dogs that seem to be a good match for you, don’t forget about your local animal shelter.
Most of the Chi Chons who live in shelters are adults who wound up there through no fault of their own. Their owners may no longer be able to take care of them for one reason or another, and it’s better than putting them out on the street.
But still, no matter how much the shelter staff care for the dogs, a cold kennel is just not a warm, loving home. Most of the time, the staff only has time to take the dogs outside twice a day – and that’s if they’re not too busy.
The rest of the time, the dogs live in small little rooms with a bed and their food – almost like little jails, waiting for someone to come and save them.
Is it Better to Adopt/Rescue a ChiChon Puppy or Adult Chichon?
And while everyone may want a puppy, don’t forget that adult rescue dogs have their advantages, too.
For one thing, either their former owners or the shelter staff train them, so you don’t have to worry about chewing or housetraining.
Plus, adults have calmed down quite a bit, so you don’t have to worry about keeping up with the rambunctious energy of a puppy.
Adoption and Rescue Fees
Adoption fees vary, depending on the organization. If you choose to go through your local shelter, you may have to pay a mandatory donation between $75 and $150.
Private rescue groups’ fees, however, tend to be higher. This is because of the specialized care they give their dogs. For instance, some organizations place dogs in foster homes before they allow them to be adopted. This is the best way to teach a dog how to behave in a home environment, especially if they’ve lived their entire life in a shelter beforehand.
Another bonus: shelters and rescue organizations both make sure to spay/neuter their Chi Chons before sending them home. They also get one final vet visit as an all-clear so you can rest assured that you’re adopting a healthy animal.
Chi Chon Breeders
Some people decide they want to work with a Chi Chon breeder as a way to purchase a Chi Chon for sale. If you decide to explore Chi Chon breeders, you need to take extra care in finding an ethical breeder and avoiding puppy mills.
You also must be extremely careful when buying a mixed breed dog. Make sure the dog is a First-Generation mixed breed.
What this means is that the breeder did not breed a Chi Chon with another dog. The more mixed a breed is, trust me, the more problems you will have.
Now you have all of the health problems and all of the behavioral issues of all of the breeds that make up this dog in the one dog, and you have no idea what to expect. Not good.
Recognizing an Unethical Breeder or Puppy Mill
Unethical breeders and puppy mills have one reason, and one reason only, for producing puppies: profit. They care nothing for their puppies’ health and/or behavior.
They also do not care about how that puppy will affect you and your family, nor do they even consider how their puppies will likely end up in a shelter because of behavioral problems that are not their fault.
On the other side of the coin, ethical breeders who care about their dogs also care about you. They strive to create friendly, healthy puppies that no one could say no to bringing home.
The word “breeder” often gets a bad rap, but ethical breeders do not overbreed, and they make sure they get good homes for each and every one of their pups. That’s the difference.
Ethical breeders also require their buyers to sign spay/neuter contracts in the hopes that both you and they can do your part to help quell the animal overpopulation problem in this country.
A Final Word About the Chi Chon
All in, the Chi Chon temperament makes him an adorable little fluffball who will feel as much love and joy for you as you do for him. He might be a sassy little bugger, but he can hold his own in the dog park.
And never has a mixed breed proven the myth that a “mixed breed dog is unhealthier than a purebred” better than the Chi Chon. While he may succumb to a variety of health issues, on average you can expect a Chi-Chon to live between 12 and 15 years. That’s pretty good for a mixed breed!