The Bichon Poodle Shih Tzu Mix: An Introduction
The Bichon Poodle Shih Tzu Mix is a rare hybrid dog breed that crosses a Bichon Frise, Poodle, and Shih Tzu to create what is affectionately known as a “Daisy Dog.” This breed is not as well-known as other hybrid breeds, partly due to its tri-breed ancestry.
However, this breed is a hidden gem in the dog breed world. The Daisy Dog’s size, features, temperament, and basic needs make this breed a low-maintenance breed for any dog-lover!
History & Origin
The Daisy Dog breed originated when Poodles, Shih Tzus, and Bichon Frises were bred together, creating what are historical known as “designer dogs.” The concept of mixing purebreds to create hybrid breeds first originated around the 1980s and sought to eliminate health issues of purebreds and create more hypoallergenic dogs.
Since Daisy Dogs are not purebreds, they are not eligible to be part of the American Kennel Club’s list of purebreds. However, Daisy Dogs are recognized for registration through the Dog Registry of America (DRA).
Average Life Expectancy & Size
One stand-out quality of this breed is its life expectancy. A Daisy Dog can live between 13 and 17 years, which is longer than many dog breeds. This is good news for their owners, as owners are given a substantial amount of time to live with and love their pup!
Another unique feature of this breed is their small stature. Full grown males typically weigh between 12 and 17 pounds and can grow to be about one foot tall (12 inches). Full grown females tend to be a little smaller than males. Females can weigh anywhere between 10 and 15 pounds and stand at about 10 inches tall.
In addition to when these dogs become fully grown, there are a few features to note if you are interested in acquiring a Daisy Dog as a puppy. As puppies, this breed is typically extremely small. Due to its small size, it is important to be mindful of protecting their joints, as small puppies are fragile.
Face: it cannot be disputed that this hybrid is an adorable breed. These dogs are characterized by having a round face, defined black, round eyes, and a triangular nose. However, these features can vary, depending on genetics.
Coat: Daisy Dogs are known for their silky soft coat that is easy to care for and hypoallergenic.
Due to the range in coat colors of the Daisy Dog’s parental breeds, their coats also vary in color.
Daisy Dogs can be a combination of white, black, brown, gray, and silver.
Growth & Development
As previously explained, Daisy Dog puppies are born very small. However, like puppies of other breeds, they grow rapidly and hit many physical and social milestones by the time they reach adulthood, which are outlined below:
2 weeks old: At two weeks old, Daisy Dog puppies begin opening their eyes for the first time. They also begin learning how to walk.
7-8 weeks old: by the time Daisy Dog puppies reach the two- month mark, they have accomplished significant milestones and are in the process of completing other ones. At this point, the puppies can be potty trained and start eating solid food. They also begin picking up on social cues, both with other dogs and humans.
10-12 weeks old: At 3 months old, puppies can begin experiencing more intentional and intensive exercise, such as walks. This is also when puppies can receive their first vaccinations.
5 months old: 5 months marks the beginning of adolescence for Daisy Dog puppies. This period is characterized by an increase in exploring their worlds and demonstrating behaviors such as hyperactivity and disobedience. Obedience training typically begins at this age but can be started earlier.
9 months old: at this age, puppies are introduced to adult food and can engage in more rigorous exercise.
14 months+: by the time puppies turn 14 months old, they are considered adults.
General Health Concerns
One of the draws of owning a mixed breed dog is that they do not inherit the health problems that their purebred parents typically have.
For example, common health problems in poodles include hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and thyroid issues. Common problems in Bichon Frises are allergies, hip dysplasia, and even liver disease. Finally, common health problems in Shih Tzus are allergies, progressive retinal atrophy, and liver problems.
As a hybrid breed, Daisy Dogs are generally exempt from these major health issues. However, as they age, they may display minor health issues that mirror issues of their parents, such as joint problems and epilepsy.
In addition, the risk of experiencing health issues varies depending on features inherited from their parents. For example, if a Daisy Dog inherited a shorter, more compact nose, like their Shih Tzu relatives, he or she may experience more significant breathing and respiratory issues compared to a Daisy Dog that inherited a longer nose from their Poodle ancestors.
Finally, one health component that is important to know about Daisy Dogs is that they possess a higher risk of obesity. Following a controlled feeding schedule and providing your Daisy Dog with food that is high in healthy nutrients is key in maintaining a healthy weight (which will be discussed in more detail later on!)
Smaller dogs as a dog size group are known for experiencing dental problems. It is important to have their teeth professionally cleaned regularly and purchase specific toys and treats that strengthen your Daisy Dog’s teeth and gums.
Nutrition & Diet
Maintaining a well-balanced diet is essential in keeping Daisy Dogs healthy. Since there are numerous kibble and dog food options out there, it can be overwhelming in determine which kind is best.
An ideal kind of food to feed Daisy Dogs is one created for smaller dogs that advertise medium energy. However, generic dog food options are not recommended because these tend to have higher amounts of carbohydrates and artificial preservatives.
Therefore, the most recommended kind of food for Daisy Dogs is premium dry kibble, such as Blue Buffalo and Taste of the Wild. These brands create food that contain an excellent balance of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids that meet all of your Daisy Dog’s nutritional needs.
Your Daisy Dog’s veterinarian can also provide more insight and food recommendations, based on your dog’s specific health and nutrition needs.
TIP: It is not recommended to use what is called a “free-feeding” approach with Daisy Dogs. They will likely over -eat and gain weight rapidly due to their risk of obesity. Therefore, a healthier feeding method is to feed Daisy Dogs based on a daily time schedule and to only give them the recommended amount of food at a time.
It is also important to note that dietary needs change as Daisy Dogs age.
When puppies are 2 months old and begin transitioning from their mother’s milk to solid “puppy” food, the recommended food amount and frequency is about 0.1 cups of food 3 times a day.
By the time they turn 3 months old, the amount of dry food can be slightly increased to 0.2 cups 3 times per day.
For puppies who are 6 months old, the food amount can be increased again to 0.3 cups 3 times per day.
When puppies reach the 9 month mark, they can slowly be introduced to adult food. To introduced them to this new food effectively, one recommendation is to initially add a very small amount of adult food to the puppy food and continue adding more adult food and less puppy food each day until they are eating adult food only. The ideal portion size at this age is 0.6 cups 2 times per day.
Finally, the best amount and frequency of food intake for adult Daisy Dogs is about 0.75 cups of food 2 times per day.
TIP: while it is important to be mindful of how much food Daisy Dogs eat, they do not need to be deprived of treats! Treats can be provided during training and spontaneously in between meals. However, it is recommended to monitor how many treats Daisy Dogs are given per day and that the treats are high in nutrients.
There is much debate among dog owners regarding spaying and neutering dogs. There is specific disagreement regarding the best age to spay/neuter and the risks and benefits involved.
Numerous studies have been completed over the years in hopes of determining concrete facts regarding whether it is safe to neuter/spay dogs or not. Currently, there have been many helpful findings for dog owners to make an informed decision. However, there is not sufficient evidence to support nor reject spaying/neutering in Daisy Dogs.
It is recommended to consult with a veterinarian to learn more information to best inform your decision.
Like all dogs, Daisy Dogs need some degree of regular physical activity in order to stay healthy and extend their lifespan. Beginning at 10 weeks old, Daisy Dogs can engage in consistent, rigorous physical activities, both independently and with their owners.
Daisy Dogs are naturally active and energetic. In general, they are able to effectively burn off this energy on their own by moving throughout the house or getting time outside. However, they can also benefit from a least one walk per day to exert more energy and increase physical activity.
A standard length of time for exercise for Daisy Dogs that are full grown is about 45 minutes total per day. This can include a variety of different activities such as walks, playing fetch, and outdoor play.
TIP: to enhance social development with other dogs, bringing Daisy Dogs to dog parks can be beneficial because they are getting exercise and practicing socially appropriate behaviors with other dogs.
One important characteristic of Daisy Dogs to note is that they may not perform appropriately if let off leash. While they are typically loyal animals and prefer to be close to their humans, they can become curious when given the freedom. Therefore, unless enclosed in a yard or dog park, it is recommended to keep Daisy Dogs on leashes to be on the safe side.
Obedience & Potty Training
Obedience and potty training are crucial for dogs of all breeds and must begin when puppies are about 5 months old or younger.
The most common skills learned in obedience training include: socializing appropriately with other dogs and people, potty training, walking on a leash, how to greet humans appropriately, basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “come.”
Enrolling your Daisy Dog in an obedience school curriculum in addition to reinforcing skills learned in the home can be the most structured and efficient way to train your pup. It is also possible to train you dog entirely on your own, but this involves strict consistency and an extensive time-commitment.
Daisy Dogs are typically excellent students when it comes to obedience and potty training. Because of their loyal nature and dedication to their humans, Daisy Dogs want to make their humans happy by listening and following commands. Therefore, they are relatively easy to train.
TIP: Daisy Dogs thrive on verbal praise and treats as rewards. Incorporating these into training as frequently as possible is recommended.
Grooming Daisy Dogs: Overview, How To, & Recommendations
Grooming & Hair Maintenance Requirements
In addition to their easy-going, affectionate, and friendly personality, Daisy Dogs make wonderful pets due to their low-maintenance grooming and care needs.
As described previously, Daisy Dogs’ coats can vary based on their parent breed ancestors. However, Daisy Dogs typically have short to medium-length hair that is thick and has minimal shedding.
Dog-owners are drawn to this hybrid because their coats are easy to care for and require minimal time and financial commitments. The standard grooming requirements and frequency of each are as follows:
Brushing: 2-3 times per week (TIP: if Daisy Dogs have longer hair, more frequent brushing may be needed to get rid of tangles and mats).
Bathing: approximately every 3 or 4 months
Haircuts: approximately 3 times per year, depending on how long you prefer your dog’s hair to be.
Recommended Grooming Tools
To meet their pet’s grooming needs, some dog owners prefer to hire a dog groomer while others prefer to groom their pets themselves. Either method is perfectly appropriate, as long as your pet’s hair, skin, and nail needs are met.
Regardless of whether you groom your dog yourself or not, there are some basic grooming tools that are available for purchase to have on hand in case. These include:
- Nail clippers
- Hair scissors
- Shampoo and Conditioner
Since Daisy Dogs require basic grooming and have no specific hair and/or skin conditions, most generic grooming products are sufficient. However, it can be overwhelming to decide which products to use, which is why this article will supply you with an example of a common brush, shampoo, and conditioner.
- An example of a brush to use on your Daisy Dog is any brand of a 2-in-1 brush. This kind of brush has different bristles on both sides that help with detangling and removing excess oils from the hair.
- An example of a brand of shampoo and conditioner is one that uses natural ingredients that moisturize, soften, and detangle the hair, while also cares for the skin. Natural ingredients such as almond oil and oatmeal are ideal for dogs, and also do not create excess oil in the skin.
If you decide to wash and groom your Daisy Dog at home, you will also need tools such as a grooming tub and harness. However, dogs can be wash perfectly well in a standard bathtub as well!
Temperament & Personality
While Daisy Dogs are not a well-known breed, they are extraordinary companions for any dog-owner. Dog-owners are drawn to this breed due to their sweet and loving personality and laid-back temperament.
Above anything else, Daisy Dogs live to be close to their humans. They love to snuggle and have a difficult time being alone. Therefore, they make for a perfect, loving companion,
Another desirable quality is that typical Daisy Dog rarely barks. This is ideal for owners who live in apartment buildings or other areas where quiet is preferred.
Other notable personality traits are that they are typically loyal, fun, affectionate, and friendly.
Daisy Dogs are an ideal pet for families with children because they are gentle, patient, and kind. Since they are hypoallergenic, they are an excellent choice for families of someone who is allergic to dogs.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are Daisy Dogs good with other pets?
When socialized appropriately Daisy Dogs are laid-back and friendly with other dogs and pets.
If you are concerned about how your Daisy Dog will get along with other animals, both in your home and in the neighborhood, exposing you Daisy Dog to a dog park may be beneficial in practicing appropriate social skills.
- Can Daisy Dogs be support animals?
Due to their loving and loyal nature, Daisy Dogs can be excellent emotional support animals. However, in order for a Daisy Dog to become an officially registered emotional support animal (ESA), it is recommended to follow the steps outlined on the US Service Animal Registry website to obtain an official photo ID and certificate. This allows your dog to go with your anywhere, as long as you have proof of registration with you.
- Are Daisy Dogs good guard dogs?
One negative component of having a dog that is sweet and good-natured is that they do not make good guard dogs, which is especially true of Daisy Dogs because they rarely bark.
If you are seeking a guard dog to protect you and your family, Daisy Dogs are not recommended. They will take up space in your heart and make you feel loved and appreciated every day, but it is not advisable to count on them to scare away intruders.
Adopting Daisy Dogs: How & Where to Locate Them
If you are interested in bringing a Daisy Dog into your family, you are probably wondering how and where they can be found. Since they are a lesser known breed, you may need to complete more extensive research to find the Daisy Dog that is right for you, based on where you live.
However, there are two primary ways of finding the furry friend that is right for you and your family: adopting from a rescue or locating a breeder.
Adopting a Dog from a Rescue or a Shelter
Regardless of which breed you are seeking, adopting a dog from a shelter has many pros and cons. For example, a pro is that you would be rescuing an innocent animal to be loved and cared for by you are your family. A potential con is not knowing the dog’s medical and/or possible trauma history that may impact its behavior.
If you decide that adopting from a shelter is the method you wish to choose, there are a few things to consider. First, you can explore rescues by breed. You can also seek out specific non-profit organizations, such as the MSPCA in the US.
Below are some additional rescue groups across different countries:
- USA: there are approximately 14,000 animal shelters and rescues across the country. These include local city and town shelters and The Humane Society of American Organization
- UK: Last Chance Animal Rescue and Greenleaf Animal Rescue
- Australia: RSPCA and Pet Rescue
- Canada: Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary and SPCA
- Asia: Soi Dog Foundation
TIP: each rescue/shelter may have their own adoption processes. It is recommended to seek out more information from each individual rescue.
One last thing: it is important to keep in mind that the dogs currently living at these shelters are what is available for adoption. There may not be Daisy Dogs at rescues or shelters at the time of your visit. You may end up falling in love with a dog of a different breed, but if you wish to adopt a Daisy Dog specifically, it is important to keep this in mind.
Adopting from a Breeder
Similar to rescuing a dog from a shelter, working with a breeder also involves several pros and cons. One pro is that, if the breeder is experienced and cares for the dogs appropriately, the puppy you adopt will likely be in good health. However, it is important to choose a breeder wisely, as adopting a puppy from a careless breeder can have devastating impacts.
How much do Daisy Dog puppies cost to adopt?
Since Daisy Dogs are a mix of three different breeds, the cost of purchasing a puppy is typically more expensive than puppies of other breeds.
Generally, the cost of a Daisy Dog puppy can range from anywhere between $500 and $1000.
Average Ongoing Cost
The average annual cost of owning a Daisy Dog can be compared to the cost of owning other breeds, especially since they are low maintenance dogs.
According to a study completed by surveying 1000 dog-owners in the US, the average American spent approximately $126.00 per month on their dog. This includes food and veterinary bills, plus additional miscellaneous expenses.
This average monthly cost would equal about $1512.00 per year. Please note that this is merely an estimated average and may differ depending on the needs of your specific Daisy Dog.
Cities with Daisy Dog Puppies for Sale
Daisy Dog puppies can be found for sale through breeders all over the world. The timing of when puppies are available for purchase is based on approximately 8 to 10 weeks after they are born.
Due to this strict timeframe, breeders that have puppies available are constantly changing. However, below are a few cities that have Daisy Dog breeders:
- Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
- Reno, Nevada, USA
TIP: it is common for dog-owners to travel to other cities to purchase puppies, depending on where the chosen breeder is located.
Commonly Used Names
Dog owners everywhere can agree that it is important to give your furry friend the perfect name.
Since Daisy Dogs are a unique breed, there is limited data regarding what the most popular names are for both males and females. However, below are the most common names for its parent breeds: Poodle, Shih Tzu, and Bichon Frise:
Males: Charlie, Teddy, Oliver, Max
Females: Bella, Luna, Maggie, Molly
Males: Gizmo, Max, Bentley, Oreo, Charlie
Females: Bella, Sophie, Chloe, Lucy, Coco
Males: Max, Cooper, Bear, Jack, Buddy
Females: Bella, Molly, Lily, Layla, Stella
Many dog owners feel pressure to find the best name that matches their pup’s personality. However, regardless of the name you choose, rest assured that your furry friend will love it and respond to it in no time!
Other Comparable Breeds
Since Daisy Dogs are a designer breed, there are many other designer breeds that are similar in size, temperament, and personality. For example, a shih tzu bichon frise mix is comparable in size, personality, and coat type. This mix may also have similar facial features due to common ancestry.
Other kinds of small designer breeds that are hypoallergenic are terrier mixes and other miniature poodle mixes.
Daisy Dogs are a wonderful breed to own as a companion, playmate, and furry family member. This breed requires basic care, is relatively low-maintenance, and is easy to train. They are guaranteed to bring joy to the lives of those around them and make you smile each and every day!