Hybrid dogs, or “designer dogs,” result from the mix of two or more pure breeds. Though the American Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize cross breeds or allow mixed breeds to participate in competition, The American Canine Hybrid Club has been formed in support of hybrids. There are now over a one hundred recognized hybrid dogs.
The most popular breeds to mix with others are poodles and pugs, possibly because of the resulting cute-sounding names. The Shi-Poo (Shih Tzu/Poodle), Puggle (Beagle/Pug), and Pug-A-Poo (Pug/Poodle) are just a few examples. Dog lovers choose to mix breeds for health as well as aesthetic reasons. Breeds like the Bichon Frise are hypoallergenic and shed very little.
Thus, this breed is often utilized in the hopes of retaining its non-allergy causing genetics. The Bichon Shih Tzu, or Zuchon, is one example of a Bichon hybrid. It is important to note that hybrids are not pure breeds. They are a mix of one of more breeds. Mixed breeds are usually referred to as “mutts,” but hybrids are different than mutts because both parents have documented ancestry.
Hybrid dogs are the result of mixing two or more pure breeds. Though most mixed breeds are known as “mutts,” hybrids have parents with documented ancestry. Many dog lovers want a pet with the traits of more than one breed. In hybrids, any mixture of hereditary traits of both purebred parents is possible but resulting dogs will have recognizable characteristics of both breeds. These dogs, called “designer dogs” by the media, are highly sought after possibly due to their cute-sounding names as well as their appearance.
Bichon Frise dogs are white, fluffy “powder puffs” with cotton ball-like fur, black eyes and noses, excitable, happy temperaments. Their fur does not shed and they are hypoallergenic. Bichon have health problems such as anemia, dental problems and severe allergies though they themselves are hypoallergenic. Bichon Shi Tzu mixes are usually born with soft, curly and hypoallergenic coats, which are a mixture of both parents. Like the Bichon, they have happy temperaments, and like the Shih Tzu, they are intelligent, alert, and stubborn. They are thought to have fewer health problems then their purebred parents.
Bichon Shih Tzudogs are the hybrid of two breeds with a long and documented history. It is no surprise that there are fans of both breeds that may wish to have the qualities of both in one dog. The Shih Tzu is thought to have descended from cross breeding of the Lhasa Apso and Pekingese. The dogs of Tibetan monks, Shih Tzu originated in China and may date back 2000 years.
The Bichon Frise can be traced back to 600 B.C. Descended from dogs called Barbichon in the Mediterranean. Spanish sailors took the ‘Bichon’ out to sea because of the breed’s happy temperament. The breed made its way to Europe and the French added “Frise” to the name to reference the breed’s curly fur. The Bichon was recognized by the French Kennel Club in 1934 and the American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in 1973.
The hybrid puppies of these two remarkable breeds are thought to have many of the good traits of their parents. Just as the Shih Tzu originally descended from a mix of the Lhasa Apso and Pekingese, it is possible that one day the Bichon Shih Tzu, Beabull, Shi-Poo and even Cock-A-Chon may also be known as pure breeds recognized by the American Kennel Association.