Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
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Why not take two of the world’s most popular pedigree dogs and mix them together in order to create a darling new hybrid? The Doxie-Chon combines the charm and bravery of the long-backed Dachshund with the cheerful, plucky nature of the Bichon Frise. With a higher demand than ever for small, placid dogs, this new cross-breed is sure to be a big hit with young families in urban areas.

While the Bichon Frise is well-known for its curly white coat, the Doxie-Chon may or may not inherit this feature and many will have a wiry coat that can be white, brown or black. Many will still have the long back of their Dachshund parent, though it is often less pronounced. Importantly, this makes them less prone to developing associated health issues, such as IVDD.

About & History

The Doxie-Chon is one of many hybrid dogs developed towards the end of the 20th century in response to the growing demand for new breeds. While we cannot say with any certainty when and where they first originated, we can look to their parent breeds for an insight into their history.

The Dachshund

The Dachshund is a German dog renowned for its long back and short, stumpy legs. While many presume that these handsome, little chaps were bred as pets this is far from the truth. In fact, the Dachshund was bred to work and would hunt close to the ground, pursuing prey that included badgers and foxes.

A versatile breed, there are actually six variants of the Dachshund including the miniature long-haired Dachshund and the standard smooth-haired Dachshund. The Dachshund belongs to the Hound Group of the Kennel Club.

The Bichon Frise

Bichon Frises have a colourful history and were likely first developed on the Spanish island of Tenerife. Though initially isolated on the island, they were soon introduced to a number of mainland European countries by the local sailors.

They were especially admired for their appearance in France where the breed was further refined. In a testament to their obedience and intelligence, the Bichon was commonly used as a circus performing dog and as a type of ‘canine jester’ for the upper classes. The Kennel Club recognise the Bichon Frise within their Toy Group and nowadays they are a frequent fixture in the show ring.


Though both parent breeds have distinctive looks, the Doxie-Chon will have a varied appearance and has yet to establish a uniform breed standard. A small and wiry dog, the Doxie-Chon generally inherits the longer back of the Dachshund so has a rectangular body shape. Many will also have the shorter limbs of the ‘sausage dog’ so will live close to the ground.

Their head should be in proportion to their body and they have a medium length muzzle with a pronounced stop. Their large brown eyes are circular and can sometimes seem to look deep into an owner’s soul! Their ears are not overly large and hang down close to their face. Their tail is neither short nor long and may end in a slight curl. An adult Doxie-Chon measures from 23cm to 28cm, a similar height to the Bichon Frise and the standard Dachshund. Not a particularly robust or muscular dog, they will often weigh around 4.5kg to 11kg.

Given that the Dachshund can be bred with three different coat types, which fur the Doxie-Chon will have will be highly dependent on which Dachshund was used in their breeding. For many, they will have a thick and wiry coat that does not shed much. Though some may be completely white, most will have shades of brown and black on their coat.

Character & Temperament

Lively dogs who remain playful even after their puppy phase, the Doxie-Chon is good fun to be around and makes a wonderful companion for children. While energetic, they tend to burn off most of their energy within their home and garden so their exercise needs can typically be easily met. Their favourite past-times include learning new tricks and mastering agility courses.

While undeniably clever, some Doxie-Chons have a stubborn streak and do not tend to adhere to cues ‘just because’. Rather, owners need to work with them and encourage a biddable nature through the use of positive reinforcement techniques. Due to their potentially wilful nature, some experts recommend first-time owners may be better choosing an alternate breed, though this is not a strict rule.

Some breed members can develop nervous temperaments so owners should work hard on creating a safe environment in which they feel comfortable. Confidence can be enhanced with basic training and good socialisation. Another issue that may develop is a desire to bark, which can become irritating, particularly if living in a small apartment!


Given that the Bichon was a first-class circus performer and the Dachshund excelled as a hunting dog, it is little wonder that the Doxie-Chon tends to take well to training and can do well in a number of disciplines.

Well able to master a wide range of tricks and cue words, a useful one to teach is the ‘Bark’ and subsequently ‘No bark’. This can give owners some control over the Doxie-Chon’s propensity to yap, which can be problematic.


With most breed members living into their early teens, the Doxie-Chon tends to enjoy a long and healthy life. Certainly, there are a number of health conditions that we need to keep an eye out for.

Atopic Dermatitis

Itchy skin can have a large number of causes, including parasitic and bacterial infections. However, for many, their constant itching is caused by an allergy. Allergies can develop to practically anything and many dogs will be allergic to more than one thing.

Whether they react to a certain food, grass type or parasite, determining what a dog is reacting to can be extremely tricky. In some cases, we can eliminate the allergen from the dog’s environment and ultimately cure the dermatitis. However, for the majority of dogs this is not popular and we manage their symptoms with medication.

Patellar Luxation

Small dogs in particular are prone to luxating knee caps and typically both back legs will be affected. Though there is an effective orthopaedic surgery available, not every dog will require such drastic therapy and many can be managed with lifestyle changes and medicine.


Diabetes is defined as an excessive amount of sugar within the blood and symptoms include an increased thirst and appetite. Diabetes is easily diagnosed as the elevated sugar levels can be detected in both urine and blood. For most dogs, they develop type one diabetes and are managed with lifelong insulin injections.

Cushing’s Disease

An endocrine disease whereby dogs have excessive cortisol (stress hormone) levels, those affected may suffer from a range of symptoms including constant panting, weight loss, chronic skin infections and an increased appetite. Investigations can include blood tests, urine tests and specialised imaging. Many are well-managed on daily tablets though do require frequent monitoring.

Mitral Valve Disease

The mitral valve is the valve within the heart that separates the left atrium from the left ventricle. When the valve is incompetent, the blood flow becomes irregular and a heart murmur can be detected.

A combination of chest X-rays, ECGs and echocardiograms can be used to determine the diagnosis and the stage of the disease. Diagnosing Mitral Valve Disease is beneficial as certain medications can slow down its progression when given at an early stage in the disease process.

Exercise and Activity Levels

A good suburban dog, the Doxie-Chon keeps active within their home and will follow owners from room to room, happy to expend their energy jumping from sofas and chasing toys. They should be brought out for a couple of short walks each day but do not need excessively long hikes to keep them content.

Its vital that their mental needs are not neglected and that we keep their brain engaged by playing with them and training them on a regular basis. They should have plenty of puzzle toys and feeders and, ideally, would have access to training classes and perhaps a doggy discipline, such as agility.


Though the specific grooming needs of the Doxie-Chon will depend on their type of fur, most will need to be brushed once or twice a week. On top of this, they should be bathed every few months in a sensitive shampoo. Due to their pendulous ears, owners should check their ear canals regularly for signs of infection and may need to pluck any hair that grows from within.

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