Bichon Frise vs. Cavapoo: Which Breed to Get?

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Bichon Frise vs. CavapooThe playful cavapoo or the fluffy bichon frise – which one to get?

Choosing the right pet for your family can be an exhausting task. Each pup comes with its own personality, temperament, and needs. If you want a cuddly small pup, but you’re not sure whether you should get a bichon frise or a cavapoo, you are in the right place.

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Bichon Frise vs. Cavapoo: A Detailed Comparison

Check out the sections below for a detailed comparison of these two breeds.


The bichon frise is a breed with a very long history. The first records date back to the 14th century in the Canary Islands, but they quickly found their way into the hearts of the European royal families. Initially, the bichon was sailors’ favorite companion dog.

With a jolly and happy outlook on life, the bichons frises are a favorite of nobility and are now popular in many countries around the world. The bichon frise is one of the several bichon-type breeds.

The cavapoo has a long history with royalty, too. It is a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a miniature poodle. So, the two breeds are believed to have a common parent, the poodle – a water dog very skilled at swimming and hunting. Cavapoo’s other parent, the Cavalier, dates back to the Roman Empire when they were cherished as lap dogs by nobility. The breed takes its name from King Charles II who supposedly loved this breed so much that he decided to name it after himself.

The cavapoos as a crossbreed have a much more recent origin: Australia, in the 1990s. They quickly became one of the most favorite breeds.


The bichon frise is a small dog with a huge personality. An full grown adult bichon frise often reaches 9-11 inches and between 11 and 18 pounds. One of the trademarks of this breed is the pure white coat, although puppies may have some cream or apricot fur, too. Most bichons have a curly, fluffy double-coat, but there are also pups with a wavy coat.

Cavapoos’ appearance varies a lot more than a bichon’s because it is a crossbreed. This means that it depends on its parents – the poodle and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Some may have a poodle’s curly coat, others may inherit the Cavalier King Charles’ straighter coat. The type of coat also means there may be more or less shedding – the curlier it is, the less shedding. Overall, in general, cavapoos shed less than other breeds.

Unlike bichons, cavapoos come in different colors, ranging from black to gold, cream, or even white. In general, they have a mix of white and another main color.

Aging Profile

Bichons and cavapoos usually live up to 12-15 years. In general, smaller pups like these two breeds live longer than larger ones, while crossbreeds are also known for having a longer lifespan than pure breeds. Both pups tend to mature at around one-year-old, although they may reach their grown-up size and weight quicker than that.


Cavapoos and bichons are very social, cheerful, and intelligent breeds. In other words, they live for human interaction and playing with you. Both breeds should be introduced to new pets, animals, environments, and people from an early age to adapt to many new experiences, such as strangers or traffic.

Both bichons and cavapoos are prone to separation anxiety if left alone for a long time. However, some owners use training to alleviate their distress, such as leaving them alone for increasingly longer periods as puppies (but not more than a few hours).

The two breeds are prone to barking too – either to ward off strangers or to show happiness when someone new is around. If you live in a shared building where this may be a problem. That said, both breeds can be trained to minimize barking.


Cavapoos and bichons have a shared parent – the poodle – so some of their traits are common. This is also the case of intelligence and resilience. In general, cavapoos are obedient pups, but toilet training will be a challenge for both breed owners. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcements, both bichons and cavapoos can be trained, especially when they are very young.

While their intelligence also means stubbornness, there are several perks of having an intelligent pup. For instance, both can pick up new tricks quite easily, respond well to commands, and they learn new things quite quickly compared to other dogs.

Grooming and Maintenance

Fortunately, both breeds are considered low-shedders. However, only the purebred bichon is considered hypoallergenic, as the cavapoo may inherit the Cavalier’s straighter coat. If the cavapoo’s coat is curly, similar to a bichon, your pup will need to be brushed daily to avoid tangles and mats. If the coat is straighter, this may not be such a time-intensive task.

Apart from regular grooming to prevent tangled fur, you need to consider taking your cavapoo or bichon frise pup to a professional groomer. Every month or so, they need their nails clipped, and their facial hair must be kept short to avoid eye infections. You should also check their ears regularly for the same reason.


While bichons frises demand more intensive maintenance, exercise needs are lower compared to cavapoos. A cavapoo needs about 45-60 minutes of activity per day, while a bichon frise stays happy and healthy with about 30 minutes each day. This time can be split into two daily walks per day.

Both breeds love new experiences, so it’s best to take them out every day, ideally to dog parks or other places where they can run, play, and sniff.

Bichon Frise vs. Cavapoo: Which Should You Get as a Pet?

There are many similarities between a bichon frise and a cavapoo, so choosing the best one for your needs may be tricky. You might even want to consider a Cavapoochon which combines the best of both worlds.

Bichons may be better suited for seniors or people who prefer to be less active, but a cavapoo will also ensure that you become a bit more active – which is better for your physical health, too.

Cavapoos may be best suited for new pet owners. In general, crossbreeds are more adaptable than pure breeds, so you may find it easier to train a cavapoo compared to a bichon.

If you lead a busy life and spend many hours away from home, none of these two breeds are suitable for you. They tend to suffer from separation anxiety and turn to destructive behaviors if they are not around their family. In this case, you could either consider another breed or make sure another family member is at home when you need to go out.

Both bichons and cavapoos adapt to many environments – whether you live in an apartment or a large house. They are friendly, sociable, and love to spend time with their families – including kids and other pets.


Choosing the right breed for you and your family is not an easy task. However, bichons and cavapoos are friendly breeds that can adapt to almost any household and lifestyle.

As long as you can spend time with your pet, cover their grooming needs, and provide them with the required physical activity, both a cavapoo and a bichon frise will be a great addition to your family.

Considering Other Breeds Too?

See how bichon frise compares with: Beagle | Bolognese | Boston Terrier | Brussels Griffon | Cavachon | Cavalier King Charles Spaniel | Chihuahua | Cockapoo | Coton de Tulear | French Bulldog | German Shepherd | Golden Retriever | Goldendoodle | Havanese | Labrador Retriever | Lhasa Apso | Maltese | Maltipoo | Papillon | Pomeranian | Poochon | Poodle | Pug | Samoyed | Schnauzer | Scottish Terrier | Shetland Sheepdog | Shichon | Shih Tzu | West Highland Terrier | Yorkshire Terrier

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