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.
Black, blond, brown, cream, gray, white, and combinations of these colors
Individuals and families looking for an allergy-friendly, adaptable, and playful dog
Active, playful, curious, independent
These dogs are little in size but full of personality and pep, smarts, and curiosity. Easily adaptable to life in almost any housing arrangement, the Yo-Chon 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 puppies are known for their adorable looks, affectionate personality, and small size, making them popular among families and individuals living in small apartments. Yo-Chons are generally friendly, 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 such as the Yo-Chon. Adoption fees are variable and usually include services such as vet exams, shots, or spay/neuter surgeries.
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 little 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, because of their size, they can easily be hurt by young, rambunctious kids. Supervise Yo-Chons closely if you have smaller kids or wait until your kids are older before introducing a puppy into your home.
Though 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 the Yo-Chon to be the best fit. Despite their size, Yo-Chons 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. Yo-Chons could inherit this prey drive and some may chase cats or other small pets. Be a little more 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.
Things to Know When Owning a Yo-Chon:
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 make sure 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 some adjustments to their diet, as instructed by your veterinarian. Be careful about how much you feed your Yo-Chon to avoid them becoming overweight.
Yo-Chons are typically quite energetic and playful dogs. They need daily exercise but thanks 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. They’re curious and clever dogs that enjoy exploring. Provide them with challenging toys, daily training sessions, and other activities that allow the Yo-Chon to exercise their mind.
Yo-Chons are often a little stubborn and independent thanks to their terrier ancestry. 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 think 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 that develop aggression or other behavior issues.
Yo-Chons sometimes take a little longer to housetrain than some other breeds. As we already mentioned, they can 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.
Yo-Chons can have coats that are more curly like a Bichon, straighter and finer like a Yorkie 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 2-3 times per week to make sure they don’t get tangled or matted. They usually need regular trips to the groomer as well 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 🏥
Because of 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 some medical conditions to be on the lookout for in your Yo-Chon.
Male vs Female
Male and female Yo-Chons are similar in size, appearance, and care level. Males are sometimes a little more outgoing or dominant, although 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. Keep in mind that spaying is generally the more expensive of the two procedures as you decide whether to pick a male or female Yo-Chon.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Yo-Chon
1. They answer to several different names.
Besides Yo-Chon, you may also see this crossbreed 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 traces back to the middle of the 19th century. The deliberate cross of the two breeds, however, has a much more mysterious origin story. It’s unclear when the Yo-Chon first began to be produced, but since the designer dog craze 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.
Some dog 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 smaller, 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 expect.
Featured Image Credit: gabriel12, Shutterstock