The Yochon is the very definition of cute. A tiny, big-hearted dog that’s one part Yorkshire Terrier and one part Bichon Frise, it makes an adorable companion. But beware… if you spend more time away from the house than in it, this may not be the breed for you. When Yochons bond, they bond hard. After that, you’d better get used to having either a little shadow by your side at all times or a very miserable pooch instead. To find out more about the Yochon’s history, temperament, and care requirements, keep reading.
1. They’re a mystery
It wouldn’t be true to say that no one knows anything about the history of Yochon. We know they come from the US, for example. But that’s about it. Like a lot of other designer crossbreeds, there’s precious little documentation available to pinpoint exactly when they first started being bred, or which wise breeder decided crossing the Yorkshire Terrier and Bichon Frise was a good idea. In all likelihood, they’ve occurred naturally over history – the Yorkshire Terrier and Bichon Frise are similar sizes, after all, and clearly make a very good match. But when those random couplings lost their randomness and started being arranged, who knows? If they’re like most other designer dogs, it’s likely to have been in the past 20 years. Anything more than that is pure speculation.
2. They’re half Bishon Frise
While the Yochon’s origins are an enigma wrapped in a mystery, the same can’t be said for its parent breeds. On one side of its family tree is the Bishon Frise, a tiny, good-natured lap dog with a fine and rather regal history. The breed first started to be developed in about the 14th century. It took a few years of selective breeding to perfect, but by the 16th century, it had become the dog we know today. At that point, the French and Spanish royal families adopted the breed to their hearts. They kept it there for a good 2 centuries, but by the 18th century, they’d moved on to new breeds and started losing their heads to new obsessions. Over the coming years, the Bishon Frise’s popularity continued to wane. It wasn’t until the middle half of the 20th century that the world once again learned to appreciate the breed’s cheerful, friendly ways.
3. They’ve got Yorkshire Terrier genes
The other half of the Yochon’s family tree is made up of Yorkshire Terriers, a spunky, cheerful breed with looks to kill. As the AKC writes, before they were family pets, Yorkies earned their living as ratters in mines and mills. They’ve since abanded mines for houses and rats for ribbons, but for all their glossy good looks and flowing manes, they still exhibit all the traits of a typical working terrier – bossy, brave, and very, very feisty. Self-important though they may be, they still make fun, rewarding companions.
4. They’re excellent students
Both the Bichon Frise and the Yorkshire Terrier are smart dogs. Their offspring is no different. Although they can be a little stubborn and hard-headed if they take after their Terrier parentage, they’ll pick up tricks and commands easily and quickly. Like most small breeds, they benefit from plenty of early socialization to stop them from turning into little Napoleons. If they’re anything like the Bichon Frise, housebreaking might be challenging, but with a consistent approach and plenty of patience and positive reinforcement, they’ll get there eventually.
5. They’re tiny
Whatever else the Yochon is, big it most definitely isn’t. A fully grown Bichon Frise will typically measure between 9 and 11 inches in height and 4 and 7lbs in weight. The Yorkshire Terrier, meanwhile, measures between 6-9 inches in height and 5-7 pounds in weight. As you’d expect from those measurements, the chance of either breed producing anything other than a pint-sized dog is slim to none. Although sizes vary, most Yochons weigh a tiny 6 – 8 pounds.
6. They have tons of energy
They might be small, but Yochons have huge amounts of energy. As PetGuide says, they’re naturally active, inquisitive, and energetic, so will enjoy plenty of indoor and outdoor fun and games. Due to their size, they don’t need to go on 10-mile hikes every day, but plenty of short walks and a few play sessions a day will keep them happy and healthy.
7. They can be clingy
Yochons are incredibly loyal and loving, and can form hard, fast bonds with their owner. While that’s lovely, it’s not without its problems. Unless they receive plenty of socialization and training, they can become prone to separation anxiety, meaning that any enforced absence from their owner can result in stress, anxiety, and destructive behaviors.
8. They’ve been recognized by the Dog Registry of America
The American Kennel Club is an exclusive, members-only outfit where the only dogs allowed on the guest list are purebreds with established bloodlines. The Yochon might be cute, but it’s essentially a mutt. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that the AKC has given it the cold shoulder. Plenty of other kennel clubs have been more welcoming though, including the American Canine Hybrid Club, the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, the Dog Registry of America, and the Designer Breed Registry.
9. They answer to more than one name
For a tiny dog, the Yochon has a lot of names. If you hear anyone talk about a Yorkie Bichon, a Yo-Chon, a Borkie, or a Yorkshire Frise, don’t be confused. Different names they may be, but they all refer to the same breed.
10. They’re a hypoallergenic breed
If you suffer from allergies but love the idea of owning a dog, the Yochon might be the breed for you. They’re hypoallergenic, meaning the chance of you having a sneezing fit every time they come near is greatly reduced. They do, however, shed a lot, so regular grooming sessions will be needed to stop them leaving hairy deposits all over your house. As wagwalking.com recommends, brushing them around three times a week and treating them to the occasional visit to the groomers will help keep their coats in good order. They also benefit from daily teeth cleaning (like many small dogs, they’re vulnerable to dental disease), along with regular nail trimming and weekly ear cleaning.