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Yo-Chon (Yorkshire Terrier & Bichon Frise Mix): Pictures, Guide, Info, Care & More!

Written by: Elizabeth Gray

Last Updated on June 11, 2024 by Dogster Team

Yo-Chon dog sitting in grass

Yo-Chon (Yorkshire Terrier & Bichon Frise Mix): Pictures, Guide, Info, Care & More!

If you’re looking for a pint-sized dog with charm and spunk to spare, the Yo-Chon might be just what you’re searching for! This designer dog is a cross between the smallest of the terrier breeds, the Yorkshire Terrier, and the happy-go-lucky Bichon Frise.

Breed Overview

Height:

9–12 inches

Weight:

6–8 pounds

Lifespan:

10–12 years

Colors:

Black, blond, brown, cream, gray, white, and combinations of these colors

Suitable for:

Individuals and families looking for an allergy-friendly, adaptable, and playful dog

Temperament:

Active, playful, curious, and independent

These dogs are small in size but full of personality, pep, smarts, and curiosity. Easily adaptable to life in almost any housing arrangement, this mixed breed makes an excellent pet for apartment living or elderly owners. Read on to learn more about what it takes to live with and be loved by the adorable Yo-Chon!

Yo-Chon Characteristics

Energy
+
High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Trainability
+
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Health
+
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Lifespan
+
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Sociability
+
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Yo-Chon Puppies

Yo-Chon puppies are known for their adorable looks, affectionate personalities, and small size, making them popular among families and individuals living in small apartments. Yo-Chons are generally friendly and social and get along well with children, other pets, and strangers. They are also known for their intelligence and trainability, making them great companions for obedience training, agility, and other dog sports.

Check local shelters or rescues if you’d prefer to adopt a Yo-Chon. Bichon or Yorkie-specific rescue groups often accept mixed breeds. Adoption fees are variable and usually include services like vet exams, shots, or spay/neuter surgeries.

Parent_breeds_Yo-Chon
Image Credit: Left – Jumpstory | Right – Tvaronavicute-Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Yo-Chon

As a cross between two breeds, the Yo-Chon may have the temperament of a Bichon Frise, a Yorkie, or a mix of the two. You can expect a Yo-Chon to be smart and packed with personality, maybe even with a bit of an attitude! They’re usually charming and friendly to everyone they meet but can also be stubborn. Yo-Chons, like all small dogs, need socialization and training from a young age to avoid any size-related aggression issues.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

Yo-Chons are typically friendly, personable dogs that do well with children. However, due to their size, they can easily be hurt by young, rambunctious kids. Supervise Yo-Chons closely if you have smaller children, or wait until your kids are older before introducing a puppy into your home.

Although Yo-Chons tend to be independent dogs, they don’t enjoy being left alone often. Busy families who are out of the house for much of the day may not find this mixed breed to be the best fit. Despite their size, they can be surprisingly destructive if they so choose. Lonely and bored Yo-Chons will definitely make their feelings known.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

In general, Yo-Chons get along with other dogs when they are properly socialized. Small dogs are notorious for acting much larger than they are and starting trouble that they can’t finish with bigger canines. To avoid this, make sure your Yo-Chon is well socialized from puppyhood, and supervise their interactions with unfamiliar dogs.

Yorkshire Terriers, however dainty they may appear, were bred to hunt rats and have the prey drive to prove it. A Yo-Chon could inherit this prey drive and may chase cats or other small pets. Be cautious about introducing a cat into a house with a Yo-Chon. Avoid keeping a Yo-Chon with small exotic pets, or make certain they are kept separated.divider-dog

Things to Know When Owning a Yo-Chon

Are you ready to take the plunge and welcome a Yo-Chon into your family? Here’s what you need to know about taking care of this designer dog.

Food & Diet Requirements

Your Yo-Chon should do well on any nutritionally balanced dog food. If you decide to cook homemade food for your dog, make sure you speak to your veterinarian first. They can help you figure out the right ingredients to use and ensure that you include all necessary vitamins and minerals.

Bichons are prone to developing allergies, including food allergies. If your Yo-Chon inherits this tendency, you may need to make adjustments to their diet, as instructed by your veterinarian. Be careful about how much you feed your Yo-Chon to avoid them becoming overweight.

Exercise

Yo-Chons are typically quite energetic and playful dogs. They need daily exercise, but due to their small size, it doesn’t take as much effort to tire them out as it would a big, active breed. Yo-Chons are a popular choice for small spaces or city living because they don’t require a yard for their exercise needs.

Just as important to a Yo-Chon as physical exercise is regular mental stimulation. This curious and clever dog enjoys exploring. Provide them with challenging toys, daily training sessions, and other activities that allow the Yo-Chon to exercise their mind.

Training

Yo-Chons are often a little stubborn and independent due to their terrier ancestry. Also, Bichons were once popular street-performing dogs in 18th-century Paris. With this mix of temperaments, Yo-Chons are generally smart dogs that are fully capable of learning quickly but might test your patience a bit in the process.

Keep training sessions short, fun, and positive for the best results when teaching your Yo-Chon. Don’t let their small size fool you into thinking that you can get away with not spending time socializing or training them. This is a common problem among small dog owners and results in many small dogs developing aggression or other behavior issues.

Yo-Chons can take a little longer to housetrain than some other breeds. They can also bark a lot and are quite alert little dogs, sounding the alarm at the slightest cause for concern. You’ll often need to train your Yo-Chon out of nuisance barking, especially if you live in an apartment.

Grooming ✂️

A Yo-Chon can have a coat that is curly like a Bichon’s, straight and fine like a Yorkie’s, or somewhere in between. No dog is completely hypoallergenic, but the Yo-Chon is considered a more allergy-friendly breed because both parent breeds tend to be well-tolerated by people with dog allergies.

Yo-Chon coats need to be brushed two to three times weekly to prevent tangles and mats. They also usually need regular trips to the groomer to have excess fur trimmed or stripped.

Like many small dogs, Yo-Chons often suffer from dental problems. Regular teeth brushing or the use of other vet-recommended dental cleaning products are a must for this breed. You should also keep their nails trimmed short and check and clean their ears out regularly.

Health and Conditions

Due to their mixed parentage, Yo-Chons could suffer from any of the inherited health conditions of either Bichons or Yorkies. For the healthiest puppy possible, choose a breeder who has their dogs’ health checked and certified. Here are medical conditions to be on the lookout for in your Yo-Chon.

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Allergies
Serious Conditions
  • Luxating patella
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Bladder stones
  • Cushing’s disease

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Male vs. Female

Male and female Yo-Chons are similar in size, appearance, and care level. Males are sometimes more outgoing or dominant, though neutering will usually mellow them out. Females will go into heat around 6 months old and twice a year after that unless you have them spayed.

If you don’t intend to breed your Yo-Chon, having them spayed or neutered is the best choice. As you decide whether to pick a male or female Yo-Chon, keep in mind that spaying is generally the more expensive of the two procedures.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Yo-Chon

1. They are known by several different names.

In addition to Yo-Chon, this crossbreed may also be listed as a Borkie, Yorkshire Frise, or Yorkie Bichon.


2. Their origins are unknown.

The Bichon Frise has been around since the 13th century, while the Yorkshire Terrier has been traced back to the middle of the 19th century. The deliberate cross of the two breeds, however, has a more mysterious origin story. It’s unclear when the Yo-Chon first began to be produced, but since the designer dog trend is only a couple of decades old, it probably wasn’t that long ago.


3. They don’t believe in being seen but not heard.

Yo-Chons might be little dogs but they have a lot to say! This breed is known for being quite vocal, a definite point to consider if you’re planning to keep one as an apartment dog.

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Summary

Some people are diehard big dog owners, and others won’t consider anything but a small breed. The Yo-Chon offers a big dog attitude in a small, apartment-sized package. Able to live almost anywhere with almost anyone, including those with allergies, the Yo-Chon is a tiny but mighty addition to the world of designer dogs. However, small pets are still a big responsibility, so make sure you are prepared to devote the time and attention to your Yo-Chon that they will need and expect.

See also:


Featured Image Credit: gabriel12, Shutterstock

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