Papichon (Bichon Frise x Papillon Mix): All You Need to Know

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Papichon (Bichon Frise x Papillon Mix)Papichon, a mix between a bichon frise and a papillon, is a goofy furball, ready to love you and the whole family and surprise you with its loyalty and intelligence.

These hybrids may have some challenges in terms of grooming but, if you check out the rest of the article, you may just conclude that the papichon is the best pup for you!

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Papichon (Bichon Frise x Papillon Mix) History

The papichon is a relatively new hybrid dog, but its parents, the bichon frise and the papillon, have a very long history.

The papillon is a small spaniel breed that inherits the trademark feature of the breed – the floppy spaniel ears. The pup conquered the hearts of the nobility so that it was usually depicted in the royal paintings in the 16th century. Back then, it was only known as a dwarf spaniel, but the French called the dog “papillon” meaning butterfly.

Also a breed with a long history, the bichon frise dates back to the 14th century.

It was initially chosen as a companion dog for sailors, but it quickly found its way to the hearts of the French royal court. For many years, the bichon frise has been a very popular dog breed for the nobility and royal families. Nowadays, the bichon frise is beloved for its cheerful personality and can be found all around the world, just like the papillon.

The bichon frise is one of the few different bichon-type breeds.

Papichon Appearance, Coat, Size, and Weight

The actual papichon appearance may differ based on which genes it inherits more. In general, papichons have a soft coat with a curly tail. It is a small dog that may reach up to 12 inches and weigh up to 16 lbs.

The papichon may inherit the erect butterfly-shaped ears of the papillon or the floppy bichon ears, but usually has a well-proportioned, small body. The head and eyes are round, and the nose is black. It tends to be a relatively pointy muzzle.

The coat color is variable; bichons are often white, while papillons are combinations of white and other colors like black, brown, lemon, and red. Thus, it’s very difficult to predict what color your hybrid will be. One thing is for sure – the coat is often luxurious and requires high maintenance, but it is one of the main characteristics that make this hybrid such an endearing toy-sized pup.


Papichon Maintenance, Activity, and Space Requirements

Now, let’s take a look at what it takes to take care of one of these breeds.


Papichons are very likely to inherit a curly, puffy coat, so owners may need to spend significant time on grooming and caring for their furry friend. Overall, the texture and length of a papichon’s coat are variable, but given its bichon frise lineage, you may need to schedule monthly professional grooming and implement a robust daily care routine at home.

Daily brushing, or at least every 2 days, may be necessary to avoid painful mats and tangles. It is very important to get your papichon pup used to daily grooming as early as possible.

Papichons, similar to bichons, may have a pale coat, which means that they are prone to tear stains. This is common with most white or pale pups and you need to clear the surrounding fur regularly to wipe away the tears before they stain the hair.

In addition to this, a good grooming routine involves regular teeth brushing and nail cutting.

For first-time owners, it’s recommended to allow a professional groomer to cut the nails because dogs’ nails are vascularized: they have blood vessels in them, unlike human nails, which could lead to bleeding. Daily tooth brushing helps to maintain good oral health, and it is very important because both parents are prone to dental issues.


Despite its tiny size, the papichon is an active pup. It loves to follow you everywhere, go on daily walks, and explore new areas. It’s important to take it out to socialize with other people and pets as soon as possible to avoid becoming wary later in life.

Papichons love to play games, be goofy, and learn tricks, and they need daily activity (about 30 minutes per day) to stay happy and healthy.

Space Requirements

Given the curious nature of a papichon’s parents, it’s likely that your hybrid will love playing fetch, chasing balls, and exploring the outdoors. However, it can be perfectly happy in a small apartment as long as you take it out for daily walks.

If you have access to a yard, make sure you secure the area. You shouldn’t leave your pup unsupervised outside because the small and frail body may look like easy prey to other animals.

Papichon Temperament

The papichon is a loving, friendly hybrid that loves to be the center of your world.

These hybrids may even be clingy with their owners, but also with other members of the household. Papichons are not the best choice if you want a breed that can stay on its own for a long time, so you need to make sure you have enough free time to spend with your papichon.

In addition to this, papichons can adapt well to households with several people, kids, and pets. They get along well with other furry household members and they will help you keep the pup entertained when you need to leave the house. The papichon does not have any hunting instincts, so other pets can become their best friends and playmates in no time.

Papichon Intelligence

The papichon inherits the intelligence of its parents. It is an intelligent dog, but this may not necessarily be only a positive aspect. They may be difficult to housebreak and stubborn at times, but they can pick up tricks with ease and love one-to-one training sessions, especially if these are with their beloved owner.

If you don’t have experience with dog training, you may want to opt for professional training to make sure you have a well-behaved adult papichon.

Papichons can be trained easily as long as you focus on rewards, treats, and praise. The pup will not only be happy to receive the treat when it follows your command but also loves to please its owner.

Papichon Health and Lifespan

Next, let’s take a look at whether the papichon is a healthy hybrid breed and how long it can live.


Pure breeds like bichon frise and papillon are more likely to develop specific conditions due to genetics. The papillon hybrid will certainly be healthier than its purebred parents given the varied genes, but this doesn’t mean that it needs less care or attention.

Given the fact that the papichon is a relatively new hybrid, there is little research on which health problems are more likely to develop. Some of the main health issues that its parents are prone to are discussed below.


Papichons may inherit some of their parents’ tendency to develop allergies. These can be varied, ranging from pollen to dust or even food allergies. Allergies are not only affecting papichons or their parents but many other breeds as well.

If your pup has an allergy, you may be able to notice red skin as a result of scratching. If the allergy is not treated on time, the skin will become thicker, the fur will fall out, and the dog will suffer constantly. There is no cure for allergies, but they can be kept under control, so you need to check with your vet and find the optimal treatment based on its symptoms.

Dental Disease

Dental disease is another common health issue for many breeds. First, there is a plaque build-up, and in time it turns into tartar that harbors bacteria. These bacteria may lead to infections, affecting the gums and loosening the teeth.

This issue can be prevented by brushing your dog’s teeth every day. It’s important to use pet-friendly toothpaste and to get your pup accustomed to brushing as soon as possible.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation is a condition in which kneecaps get out of line, making the leg “lock” in a certain position. Dogs suffering from patellar luxation often skip a step with one leg when they walk. The severity of the case varies – sometimes, it is mild so your pup needs pain relief, while severe cases require surgery.


The lifespan of a papichon is typically 13-15 years based on its parents’ life expectancy.

However, your pup may live longer than this as long as it is active, has a healthy diet, and has regular vet check-ups to diagnose and treat issues early. Preventative care is also very important in extending lifespan.


Papichons are a small breed, so they don’t need too much food, but the actual amount may only be determined by your vet. This is because the diet should be adapted to variable factors, including size, age, metabolism, physical activity, and build.

Just like people, they may need a variable amount of food. Some pups may be more active than others, so if your papichon is very active, you need to increase the amount of food. If your papichon spends most of its day on the couch, less food will be required.

Another determining factor is the type and quality of dog food. It’s always best to check with your vet before buying dog food to make sure the food meets the dog’s nutritional requirements. Also, following a vet’s requirements means that you won’t overfeed your dog, which can put on weight very easily given its small size.


3 Papichon Fun Facts

Before letting you go, here are some interesting things to know about this hybrid breed.

1. Bichon Frise Explores the World

Although nowadays the bichon frise (and consequently the papichon) is a companion and family dog, it was not always so close to its home. Most of its early history is marked by traveling and explorations as it was a favored breed among explorers and sailors.

The bichon is believed to have descended from a wooly water dog. In Europe, however, bichon’s life changed considerably as it was embraced by the royal courts that treated it as a lap dog.

2. The Most Popular Dogs in Europe

The other parent, the papillon, is also a breed favored by royal courts in Europe. Both papillons and bichons frises were depicted in famous paintings.

One of the most popular papillons belonged to Louis XIV of France.

3. Papillon Means Butterfly

Papillons are also known as the continental toy spaniel, but these dogs are of many types. The papillon is a specific type of continental toy spaniel whose name is derived from the erect ears that resemble butterfly wings.

The French named this pup, and its close relative, the Phalene, which is another type of continental toy spaniel. The Phalene has dropped ears and its name translates to “moth”.

Is Papichon the Right Breed for You?

Papichons are excellent family members and can be friends with just about anyone. They are cheerful, relatively active, and love attention. They are one of the few breeds that can adapt to any type of household and home. While other breeds may have aggressive tendencies, papichons are very loyal and loving.

This fluffy hybrid is also intelligent and can be trained quite easily. It can perform tricks and learn commands, and it will be extremely delighted to perform them for you. Perhaps even a bit clingy, papichons love their human companions deeply and require lots of attention and care.

The maintenance required to keep them healthy may also be quite time-intensive, especially for first-time owners. If you have other pets in your household, a papichon will fit right in, become best friends in no time, and you’ll need to worry less about your pup getting lonely when you have to leave the house.

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