Bichon Yorkie (Bichon Frise x Yorkshire Terrier Mix): All You Need to Know

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Bichon Yorkie (Bichon Frise x Yorkshire Terrier Mix)The Bichon Yorkie is an adorable designer mixed breed created by mixing a bichon frise with a Yorkshire terrier.  Both parents are small dogs making this a toy-sized mixed breed ideal for companionship, especially for adults who are home often. These little guys are feisty, outgoing, and full of personality.

But pet parents should always do their homework before adopting or buying a new pup. So what do you need to know about this bichon frise cross breed?

Bichon Yorkie (Bichon Frise x Yorkshire Terrier Mix) History

Bichon Yorkies first gained massive popularity in the United States as a designer breed. The true origin of this mixed breed is not well documented, as they are not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as an independent breed. As a designer dog breed, the Bichon Yorkie is recognized by the Designer Breed Registry (DBR).

Bichon Yorkies may also be called Yorkshire frises, Bichyorkies, Yorkie Chons, Yo-Chons, Borkies, and Yorkie Bichons.

Those Bichon Yorkies that are bred from a Yorkshire Terrier and a bichon frise are called first-generation hybrids. When an already existing Bichon Yorkie breeds with either a Yorkie or a bichon, the resulting puppies are referred to as multi-generation hybrids.

Designer breeders attempt to breed multi-generation Bichon Yorkies. This is to strengthen the hybrid’s genetic profile with the hopes of making Bichon Yorkies exist as a breed of their own. Over multiple generations, the designer breed becomes more uniform and standardized.

While we don’t know much about the origin of the Bichon Yorkie, we do know about the history of their parent breeds.

Bichon Frise

Bichon FriseThe bichon is a type of dog descended from an early water dog called the barbet. Over time, they were bred to become smaller versions as companion dogs for the European aristocracy. From there, they soon traveled the globe, and developed into multiple types of bichon breeds. These include the Bolognese from Italy and the Havanese from Cuba.

It is likely that sailors first took the early bichons to Tenerife in the Canary Islands, where they developed into popular sailing dogs. Eventually, they made their way back to France and became lap dogs for the nobles.  They lost some popularity and became popular as circus dogs before interest in the breed revived in the 19th century.

By 1971, the AKC recognized the bichon frise as we know it today, and it has been the perfect lap dog ever since.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire TerrierDuring the early 1800s, workers from Scotland traveled to Yorkshire to find jobs during the Industrial Revolution.  Naturally, they bought their pets with them, notably, a little terrier called the paisley terrier or Clydesdale terrier.  These terriers were useful for catching rats and vermin and passed on their tenacity to what eventually became the Yorkshire Terrier.

These early rat-catching dogs mixed with local terrier breeds in Yorkshire such as the waterside terrier, Skye terrier, English black terrier, and tan toy terrier. Eventually, this gave rise to a blue, silky-haired little dog. This became the popular and beloved Yorkshire Terrier we know today.

Bichon Yorkie Appearance

Since the Bichon Yorkie is a cross between a purebred bichon frise and Yorkshire, the pup stands to inherit traits from both parents. So the appearance of Bichon Yorkies varies depending on which parent’s genes are dominant.

The ears can either hang downwards or stand upright, depending on which traits were inherited from the parents. Bichon Yorkies have a dark nose on a small muzzle and round dark eyes. Because Bichon Yorkies are a mixed breed, the variations in appearance could be limitless, making them beautiful dogs.

Size and Weight

Bichon Yorkies are tiny dogs because they are bred from two small breeds. Their size depends somewhat on which parent they take after, as the bichon frise is a bigger dog than the Yorkshire Terrier. So the average height of the Yorkie Bichon can range between 6 to 12 inches tall and they can weigh anything from a mere 6 pounds to a sturdier 15 pounds.

In general, if Bichon Yorkies are bred for multiple generations, they are closer to the bichon frise in size, usually putting them between 10 and 15 pounds. Their small sizes mean that you ought to be careful with them, especially around young children or bigger dogs. It is also a good idea to puppy-proof your home, as jumping from furniture or other accidents can easily injure them.

Bichon Yorkies are particularly tiny as puppies, and extra care must be taken as they grow. Generally, most Bichon Yorkies reach adult size at around 8 months of age, although some may take until one year to become fully mature.

Coat

Bichon Yorkies can have hair that is wiry and straight, or longer and soft. Some even have combination coats with wiry guard hairs, especially around the head, and a softer undercoat. Neither parent is a heavy shedder, so most Yorkie Bichons are hypoallergenic.

As far as colors go, Bichon Yorkies can come in lighter shades such as white, cream, buff or golden. They can also come in darker colors like black, blue, tan, or chocolate.

Multiple generation Bichon Yorkes tend to have soft, slightly curly hair, and come in diluted colors like cream or champagne.

Introducing, Lily!

Bichon Yorkie Maintenance, Activity, and Space Requirements

Now let’s take a look at what it takes to keep one of these dogs at your home.

Grooming Needs

You are probably wondering if the Bichon Yorkie mix is a high-maintenance dog. Bichon Yorkies have medium to long hair that needs daily brushing and a reasonable amount of upkeep. Brushing the coat every other day is crucial in preventing tangles and matting that are both uncomfortable and can cause skin infections. Dogs with shorter coats may not need as much brushing, but you will still need to be prepared for regular grooming sessions.

Bichon Yorkies are generally clean dogs and should not be bathed too often to avoid stripping the natural oils from their coat. Bathe this bichon mixed breed about every month to six weeks or when the dog gets dirty.

They are mostly hypoallergenic, which is very convenient for people with allergies. Even if a dog cannot be completely hypoallergenic, a Bichon Yorkie is less likely to trigger allergic reactions when compared to other dog breeds. They are also usually light-shedders, which is a bonus for your furniture.

These dogs typically have a lot of hair on their faces. This makes it necessary to get it trimmed either professionally or at home every month or two. Overgrown face hair could restrict their vision. Hair in the ears should not be allowed to grow too long as this could lead to ear infections. Ears should be kept dry and regularly cleaned.

Bichon Yorkies also need to have their teeth brushed every other day or at least two days a week. As small breeds, they are prone to dental problems such as canine periodontal disease due to teeth overcrowding. Dental issues can lead to severe health problems such as a brittle jaw, or even heart and kidney disease.

Regular tear cleaning should be a part of this dog’s routine, especially if they have a light-shaded coat to avoid tear stains. Regular nail trimming is necessary too, especially if you can hear clicking feet when he walks. Nails that are too long risk being ripped off or broken and are uncomfortable when you want some snuggle time.

Activity and Exercise Requirements

These are pretty energetic pups, but they do not need too much exercise as small dogs. About 30 minutes of daily walking should be sufficient for an adult. Running around the house or in a small yard will be a good outlet for any stored energy. With that in mind, you still need to take your Bichon Yorkie out for walks, preferably every day. With their terrier heritage, they may need more regular playtime than a purebred bichon frise.

They still have a great hunting instinct and will love games where they get to chase after a toy. Although tiny, these are quite athletic dogs that will enjoy fun activities such as agility. This can keep them fit and be a great bonding time between you and your dog. You will find most Yorkie Bichons love a challenge.

Dog parks are not always the best idea for these feisty little fellows. Their small size can make them a target of bigger dogs, and if they take after their Yorkshire terrier parent, you can be sure they won’t back down from a fight.

Space Requirements

These small dogs are highly adaptable to apartment living. Their size and medium energy requirements make them suitable for small living spaces, which is good news if you don’t live in the suburbs.

However, they can be prone to destructive behaviors if they are left alone and sometimes have separation anxiety. This can lead to excessive barking, which can bother your neighbors.  If you have a Yorkie Bichon, keep them on a regular exercise, training, and playtime schedule so they don’t start barking to amuse themselves.

Keep in mind, that this mixed breed is often an alert little dog that will warn you of perceived intruders or become a bit yappy. So be aware of how much your neighbors can tolerate noise before you get one.

Bichon Yorkie Temperament

A multi-generation Bichon Yorkie is usually a confident, outgoing, and playful dog that forms a special bond with its owner. However, they can inherit some terrier traits, making them a bit suspicious of strangers, snappy with children, and eager to take on the nearest rottweiler.  They are also given to chasing smaller animals, so keep any hamsters out of bounds.

Yorkie Bichons are natural lap dogs and can become aggressive if somebody approaches their favorite person. This means early socialization and obedience training is vital for this little dog. A Bichon Yorkie may experience separation anxiety and so is better kept with owners who are home most of the time.

Bichon Yorkies generally do well with other pets like cats, but they need to be raised with them.  Their small size and feistiness mean that they are not a good fit for small children and bigger animals can hurt them.  So they prefer smaller households with older children and adults.

Although they are prone to anxiety, they are quick to become little emperors and empresses. They love being the center of attention and quickly establish themselves at the heart of any household.

Bichon Yorkie Intelligence and Training

Bichon Yorkies are brilliant dogs that show an interest in learning, even as little puppies.  They are quite intelligent and are excellent at getting their owners to do what they want them to do, such as providing more snacks and cuddles. In fact, they are probably better at training you than most people will be at training them.

They do love pleasing people and can enjoy training if it is consistent, and built on positive rewards. These little guys don’t do well with harsh treatment.

However, Bichon Yorkies can still be quite strong-willed and independent, which calls for patience when you train them. It’s vital to keep training sessions short and positive. Starting early with a good puppy school will yield the best results.

Thanks to their high intellect, these dogs are very curious and can get into trouble if you don’t train them. Keeping your Bichon Yorkie occupied is a great way to avoid mischievous behavior.

They do have small bladders and can be difficult to house-train. A doggy door to the yard will be the best option as they should never be expected to “hold it” for more than two hours while they are young. When they are older, they will still need frequent trips outside to potty. Patience, a consistent schedule, and persistence are vital for a house-trained Bichon Yorkie.

Bichon Yorkie Health and Lifespan

This crossbreed is generally healthy and may not fall sick as often as other poorly mixed breeds. Still, they may have health concerns that you will need to watch out for. So, what health issues can a Bichon Yorkie have? Below are just a few:

  • Hypothyroidism: Dogs with hypothyroidism have an underactive thyroid. This can cause lethargy and weight gain in dogs. Slight changes in your dog’s skin and coat can also be observed.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA): This degenerative eye disease can lead to blindness because photoreceptor cells deteriorate.
  • Patellar luxation: This may cause the appearance of skipping and may lead to lameness. This ailment is also called slipped kneecap.
  • Congenital liver shunts: Small breeds like Yorkshire Terriers often carry abnormalities in their livers. This can make it hard to break down protein and it is hereditary.
  • Diabetes: Both the Yorkie and the bichon frise are prone to being overweight and developing diabetes. Always keep your Yorkie Bichon slim and on a healthy diet.
  • Dental problems: Like most small dog breeds, overcrowding of teeth could cause dental issues to arise if oral hygiene is slackened.
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease: This condition occurs in puppyhood when blood to the ball part (femoral head) of the hip joint is disrupted temporarily, resulting in weakened bones that gradually disintegrate.

Bichon Yorkies have a lifespan of around 12 to 16 years, so they are generally quite long-lived dogs.

How Much Does a Bichon Yorkie Cost

Bichon Yorkie mixed breed typically costs anywhere from $300 to over $1,000. A reputable breeder usually asks for more, as they will have conducted the necessary health tests and put the effort into a proper breeding program for the parents. Avoid supporting backyard breeders. You can also find this mixed breed in shelters and online rescue groups.

If possible, adopt instead of shopping.

Is Bichon Yorkie the Right Breed for you?

The Bichon Yorkie is the right breed for you if:

  • You are prone to allergies and need a hypoallergenic dog. As a bichon frise descendant, this dog has a good chance of being hypoallergenic, minimizing your allergic reactions if you have them.
  • You live in an apartment because this hybrid does well in small living spaces.
  • You have a household without small children. This is especially true for a puppy because the small size makes him vulnerable to injuries.
  • You don’t live a highly active life. Bichon Yorkies have relatively low exercise requirements making them ideal for people like senior citizens who can’t always be up and about.
  • You are home a lot of the time. Owing to their bichon roots, Bichon Yorkies can get separation anxiety and need constant attention.
  • You are looking for a loving companion but also an alert watchdog.
  • You are up for a fair amount of grooming.
  • You want a unique designer breed.

Summary

Bichon Yorkies make excellent companions and are suitable for newbie pet owners. Allergy sufferers can typically own these dogs because they tend to be hypoallergenic. Bichon Yorkies have moderate to high grooming needs, and maintenance is relatively easy for these dogs.

In general, these are good companion dogs for owners who need a small dog and preferably home most of the time.