12 – 15 inches
10 – 15 pounds
12 – 14 years
Fawn, cream, sable, white
Couples, active individuals, families with older children
Playful, intelligent, trainable, energetic
Many folks out there love big dogs. But many others prefer their canine companions to be pint-sized. If you’re on the hunt for a small pooch with a larger-than-life personality, consider bringing an Italian Bichon into your home.
Before you bring an Italian Bichon puppy home, read this in-depth guide on everything you need to know about this petite pup.
Italian Bichon Puppies – Before You Buy…
The Italian Bichon is a type of designer dog breed. Also known as a hybrid dog breed, this type of dog is the result of the controlled cross-breeding of two purebred breeds. They are different from mutts in the fact that designer dogs have two purebred parents who were deliberately bred.
There are a number of perks that come with purchasing a designer dog breed. With over 200 hybrid fusions available, you can get virtually any type of dog that you want. Additionally, a hybrid dog can come with the best traits of both of his parents. It’s like you’re getting a two-for-one deal!
However, with the increase in popularity and demand for designer breeds, comes the rise in backyard breeders and puppy mills. Both of these types of dog breeding facilities have very little or no concern about the welfare of the puppies they are producing or their parents. Bad breeders often sell designer dogs at extremely low prices. But while the cheap price tag may be tempting, you could be getting a dog that is severely damaged, both emotionally and physically.
While on the search for an Italian Bichon, it’s important to know how to distinguish a good breeder from a bad one. Some telltale signs of a bad dog breeder may include:
If you come across any of the aforementioned signs of a bad breeder, your best bet is to take your business elsewhere. An Italian Bichon puppy from either a puppy mill or backyard breeder can have numerous physical and emotional problems, such as:
As you can see, this is why it is so important to buy an Italian Bichon puppy from a quality breeder. You want to ensure that you’re getting a healthy, happy dog.
What’s the Price of Italian Bichon Puppies?
On average, the cost of an Italian Bichon puppy from a reputable breeder will be between $600 and $1,000.
However, you should also keep in mind that you’re going to have to stock up on everything your new puppy will need in order to thrive. This includes items such as a crate, bedding, puppy food, toys, and more.
Over the course of your Italian Bichon’s life, you will probably spend between $1,400 and $4,300 annually on everything that he needs. This will include routine vet visits, grooming, training, and more.
It’s crucial to know if your budget can accommodate a dog for its entire lifetime.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Italian Bichon
1. The Italian Greyhound is an ancient breed.
Your Italian Bichon’s parent breed, the Italian Greyhound, can be traced back as far as 7,000 years!
2. They hail from royalty.
The Italian Greyhound was a favorite dog breed among royalty, including Catherine the Great, Queen Victoria, and Frederick the Great.
3. Bichons accompanied sailors on long trips.
Italian sailors kept this fluffy breed as a companion dog and used them for bartering.
Italian Bichon Temperament & Intelligence
To fully get to know the personality and intelligence of your new Italian Bichon puppy, it’s important to know all about the dispositions of his two parent dog breeds, the Italian Greyhound and the Bichon Frise.
The Italian Greyhound is a gentle, affable, sweet breed that thrives on affection and attention. If they are denied love, they can become hyper or shy. Very intelligent, the Italian Greyhound is a great family pet but can be a bit shy around strangers. Therefore, socializing them from the start is highly recommended.
The Bichon Frise is a cheerful, fun-loving pooch with a ton of love to give. Extremely intelligent and highly trainable, these small dogs have loads of energy and need daily doses of exercise. They are very sensitive, so gentle but firm training methods work wonders for these dogs.
Your Italian Bichon will get an assortment of these personality traits.
Are Italian Bichons Good for Families?
Yes, the Italian Bichon is great for families. However, because of his small size, it is recommended that only families with older children bring one home.
Since an Italian Bichon can be shy around new faces, it is important to start socializing yours with all members of the household from day one.
Do Italian Bichons Get Along with Other Pets?
Yes, the Italian Bichon can cohabitate exceptionally well with other animals, including dogs and cats. However, if you have a larger dog in the household, always keep a vigilant eye on your pups when they play. Due to the Italian Bichon’s small stature, he can get easily injured.
Things to Know When Owning an Italian Bichon
Before you bring home this adorable dog, read up on everything you need to know in order to take great care of him.
Food & Diet Requirements
You’ll need to feed your Italian Bichon one cup of high-quality, grain-free kibble that is broken into two meals per day. This will cost you around $25 to $30 per month.
Always feed your dog food that caters to his weight, age, and activity level. You can ask your vet’s advice on what types of brands work best for your dog.
Despite his small size, your Italian Bichon will need daily amounts of exercise. Aim to give him about 45 minutes of physical activity every day.
If left alone for hours on end, the Italian Bichon can develop severe anxiety or bouts of boredom. This is why giving him plenty of mental stimulation is as important as giving him his daily dose of exercise.
The Italian Bichon is a sensitive designer dog that loves to please. Highly intelligent, he can pick up on new tricks easily. Positive reinforcement training works best for this breed. Since he can be timid toward strangers, socializing him with new people and pets from an early age is a must.
Your Italian Bichon can either inherit the long, dense coat of the Bichon Frise or the fine coat of the Italian Greyhound. If yours has the former, you should be brushing him a couple of times per week. If his coat is more like that of an Italian Greyhound, he may be hypoallergenic and should be brushed weekly with a slicker brush. Brush his teeth daily and clean his ears and clip his nails as needed.
Overall, your Italian Bichon is a very healthy pup. But, as with all types of breeds, he can develop some health concerns as he ages. This can include Shaker Dog Syndrome, which involves tremors throughout his body.
In order to keep your Italian Bichon healthy throughout his lifetime, routine vet visits are a must.
Male vs. Female
Male Italian Bichons will be a tad larger than females. However, both genders will behave the same.
Final Thoughts: Italian Bichons
The Italian Bichon is a little dog with a big heart. If you’re in the market for a spunky, sweet, and sassy pooch, this may be the perfect designer dog for you.
By buying your Italian Bichon from a reputable breeder, and providing him with lots of socialization and affection, he will provide you with endless amounts of love for years to come.
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Featured Image Credit | Left: Italian Greyhound (Alexandra Morrison Photo, Shutterstock), Right: Bichon Frise (Vladimir Nenezic, Shutterstock)