Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
Photo of adult Pomapoochi
Mochi, the Pomapoochi

The Pomapoochi is an interesting addition to the designer dog world. While a pedigree dog is a ‘pure breed’ and the classic example of a designer dog consists of two pedigrees, the Pomapoochi has taken things one step further and is made up of three breeds: The adorable Pomeranian, the adaptable Poodle and the tiny Chihuahua.

As is true of many of the newer hybrids that have been hitting the scene, the Pomapoochi is small, fluffy and irresistible. As they have not been around for very long and consist of three breeds rather than two, there is bound to be a good deal of variation when it comes to both their physical appearance and their behavioural traits. As this new cross-breed grows in numbers, we will have an even better idea of who exactly they are.

About & History

The Pomapoochi has only been in existence for the last decade or two and many people are not yet familiar with them. However, all three parent breeds are incredibly popular. Generally speaking, one parent will be a purebred Chihuahua, while the other will be a first-generation Pomeranian and Poodle cross (Pomapoo). Let’s take a closer look at each of the parents to better understand the Pomapoochi.

The Pomeranian

Pomeranians are one of the Spitz breeds and have the characteristic plush coats, wedge-shaped muzzles and erect ears. They originated in an area once called Pomerania, which is today occupied by Germany and Poland. They have a history that any dog would be proud of, having been bred and owned by royals and noblemen throughout the ages.

While there is no doubt that the Pomeranian makes the ideal pet and lapdog, many breed members are active and lively enough to make fierce competitors in canine activities, including Flyball. However, where this handsome breed tends to excel the most is within the show ring.

The Poodle

There is a reason a large number of hybrid dogs are composed of Poodles – they have a lot to offer. Their versatility has made them incredibly popular with breeders keen to take advantage of the fact that they come in three sizes and a number of attractive colours. Many assume that the Poodle is French thanks to their strong link to the country, but they are actually a German breed that was further refined by the French.

While a pedigree that has excelled in the show ring for many years, the original Poodle was used both to hunt waterfowl and to sniff out truffles. One of the most desirable attributes of the Poodle is its low-shedding, hypoallergenic coat, which is tightly curled.

The Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are an ancient Mexican dog that are well-known thanks to their feisty temperaments and their accolade as ‘World’s Smallest Dog’. Both smooth and long-haired varieties exist and, as with the Poodle, they are available in a wide range of fur colours.

Interestingly, these pint-sized dogs were not always the pampered pets that they are today and would once have been used as ratters. In recent times, a number of celebrities have been seen with Chihuahuas, ensuring they continue to be one of the world’s best recognised dog breeds.


Pomapoochi Large Photo
Mochi, the Pomapoochi

The Pomapoochi is half Chihuahua, a quarter Pomeranian and a quarter Poodle meaning that they tend to look more like their Chihuahua parent than the others. They have small heads with rounded skulls and large, dark brown eyes. Their ears are often erect and triangular but can also hang down to the side of their face as we see with the Poodle. Their muzzle should not be too snubbed and they should have a distinct stop. While some will be quite petite and fine-boned, others will have a stockier and more robust body. Their limbs are relatively short yet straight and their fluffy tail is typically curled over their back.

An adult Pomapoochi grows to anything from 15cm to 30cm and will weigh about 3kg to 5kg. While not as diminutive as the Chihuahua, they are certainly a tiny dog. The coat of the Pomapoochi may be straight or wavy and is medium in length. Some dogs will have longer fur on their face, especially their ears. They come in an array of colours, including black, white, brown, fawn and red. Not every dog will have a solid coat colour and large patches of white are commonly seen.

Character & Temperament

As each parent breed has a rather different personality, it would be expected that the first few generations of the Pomapoochi would have temperaments that vary and are tricky to predict. That said, there are certain generalisations that can be made and certain characteristics that seem to be predominant in the current population.

A fun-loving and curious dog, the Pomapoochi loves to play and keep active within the home. They are interested in what is happening around them and don’t like feeling left out of things. Most are very sociable with their own family but some will be wary of others and can take time to warm up to new people. A mistrust of strangers can result in a lot of yapping during a new encounter. Though typically good with children, interactions should always be monitored as they are a small and delicate dog and some individuals may react to rough-housing or a child ignoring their body language by snapping.


It is generally believed that the Pomapoochi is very intelligent and picks up on training well. They have the ability to learn quickly and have a natural curiosity, which means that they are eager participants in training sessions. Due to their small bladder size, toilet training may take a few months longer than in larger breeds.


While hybrid vigour (the tendency of a cross-bred individual to portray superior qualities to their parents) should be evident within this breed, there will be certain health conditions that a number of individuals will suffer from due to their size and genetics.

Patellar Luxation

Those affected with Patellar Luxation may be seen to skip or hop for a few steps during a walk. For some, their symptoms will be mild and won’t progress much as they age, while others may become debilitated.

Those that are worst affected will usually require orthopaedic surgery if they are to enjoy a good quality of life. Luxating patellae are relatively easy to diagnose from a physical exam alone but x-rays can confirm a clinician’s suspicion.

Legg Calves Perthes Disease

In this degenerative, orthopaedic condition, the top of the long leg bone begins to degenerate causing a great deal of pain and local muscle atrophy. X-rays are usually sensitive enough to confirm a diagnosis.

Mitral Valve Disease

A progressive heart condition that tends to affect smaller dogs, mitral valve disease (MVD) results in an audible heart murmur. While medication can slow the progression, there is no cure and many will succumb to heart failure.

Periodontal Disease

Small dogs with little jaws are prone to tooth overcrowding and are more likely to develop periodontal disease, especially if they dislike chewing and are fed a soft diet. Ideally, owners should be brushing their dogs’ teeth every day, although in reality, this is rarely done.

If tooth brushing is not possible, owners should consider the use of products in food and water that can help break down plaque, as well as a prescription dental diet. Many Pomapoochis will require at least one dental under anaesthetic during their lifetime.

Exercise and Activity Levels

While small, the Pomapoochi is quite energetic and will keep itself busy within the home. Though they will likely burn off all the calories they need inside, they should be brought outside at least once a day to get some fresh air and have a sniff about.

It also provides a good opportunity to socialise with other dogs and people. On top of short walks, owners can keep their minds engaged by feeding from food puzzles rather than dog bowls and providing them with a variety of toys and games.


Grooming needs will be dependent on the exact type of fur that the Pomapoochi inherits but most will have fur long enough that it will need to be brushed every day to avoid mats and tangles. Those that have pendulous ears will need them cleaned out regularly and if they are prone to ear infections, may require plucking.

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