Hawaiian Poi Dog vs Bichon Frise - Breed Comparison

Hawaiian Poi Dog is originated from Indonesia but Bichon Frise is originated from Spain. Hawaiian Poi Dog may grow 8 cm / 4 inches higher than Bichon Frise. Both Hawaiian Poi Dog and Bichon Frise are having almost same weight. Hawaiian Poi Dog may live 11 years less than Bichon Frise. Both Hawaiian Poi Dog and Bichon Frise has almost same litter size. Both Hawaiian Poi Dog and Bichon Frise requires Low maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Companion dog
Companion dog
Origin:
Indonesia
Spain
Height Male:
36 - 38 cm
14 - 15 inches
23 - 30 cm
9 - 12 inches
Height Female:
34 - 36 cm
13 - 15 inches
21 - 29 cm
8 - 12 inches
Weight Male:
7 - 15 kg
15 - 34 pounds
5 - 10 kg
11 - 23 pounds
Weight Female:
6 - 13 kg
13 - 29 pounds
4 - 8 kg
8 - 18 pounds
Life Span:
5 - 8 Years
12 - 19 Years
Litter Size:
3 - 5
4 - 6
Size:
Small dog
Small dog
Other Names:
Native Hawaiian Dog, and Hawaiian Islanders’ Dog., Poi Dog, Ilio, Hawaiian Dog
Bichón Tenerife • Bichon à poil frisé Bichon
Colors Available:
any color with white markings, brown mostly
white
Coat:
short and fine
Medium length, silky texture with corkscrew curls
Shedding:
Minimal
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Playful, Stubborn
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Friendly, Intelligent, Loving, Playful, Social, Stubborn, Sweet
Grooming:
Low maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Hard
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
Yes
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
Yes

History

The Hawaiian Poi Dog was a descendent of the dogs brought to the Islands by the Polynesian. These Polynesian dogs were themselves descendants of the kuri dog of New Zealand. These kuri dogs were originally from Indonesia. The Hawaiian Poi dog is now extinct but at one time was considered the spiritual protector of Hawaiian children and also used as food by hungry Native Hawaiians.

The dog was called poi which was the word for a food staple mad from the root of Taro and used to put weight on the dogs before they were eaten. Meat was not fed to the dogs because it was too scarce. There was no large mammals to hunt and so the breed was never given a standard. The Poi dog seen by European explorers were short legged, pot bellied canines that lived with the hogs in the towns. Because of what they ate, the dogs were not highly intelligent but were stubborn and hard to train. Because the dogs were not suited for much beyond food and a spiritual charm, they became extinct when the traditional religion was no longer practiced and eating dogs was no longer acceptable. The breed pretty much disappeared by the early 20th century. Very few images of the dogs remain except for ancient petroglyphs.

There was an attempt by the Honolulu Zoo in the late 1960’s to redevelop the breed using local dogs to determine a standard. Then the local dogs were bred as close to the standard as possible. In the third generation one dog was born with the traits of a Poi dog. There was not much more success with this and then the Polynesian ship travel between Tahiti and Hawaii was recreated and a dog taken along.

Today’s mixed breed dogs in Hawaii are called Poi dogs but also have the stubbornness, unique appearance and ability to eat anything it is given like the original Poi. The dogs are small, and should not be confused with the original Poi dogs.

bichon friseContrary to the myths and many of the tales of the history of the Bichon Frise, the breed was originally developed in Spain. Later specific trait development occurred in France to give us the lap dog Bichon Frise that we know today. The original Spanish dog – the Bichon – was a water – sailing dog. It was descended from the poodle breeds crossed with either the water spaniels or the Barbet. These early dogs were friendly and happy and because of this, sailors carried them with them on their ships and even bartered them for supplies. Prior to the 14th century the Spanish probably brought them to the Canary Islands. Later in the 14th century they we discovered again by Italian sailors who returned them to Europe where they lived in the courts of the nobility. During the Renaissance and after the French fell in love with the breed while the Spanish continue to enjoy their presence.

In the late 19th century in France the breed fell out of popularity and became street dogs and circus and fair dogs. They also worked with organ grinders and assisted the blind. In the early 20th century, the Societe Centrale Canine, the National Kennel Club of France, adopted the breed’s official standard – while they were still known as both the Bichon and the Tenerife. The popularity of the breed at this time is heavily attributed to “The Adventures of TinTIn” , by Herge, which featured a small, white, fluffy fox terrier. Then the president of the Federation Cynoloqique Internationale presented a new name for the breed based on its characteristics. The name Bichon Frise kept the Bichon heritage and added “curly” the meaning of Frise. Under this name the breed was admitted to the Societe Centrale Canine stud book in October of 1934.

The Bichon Frise came to the United States for the first time in 19554 and was admitted to the American Kennel Club Stud Book in 1972. They entered the non-sporting group of the AKC in 1973. By 2001 the Bichon Frise, J.R., won the Westminster Dog Show. In 1976, the Bichon Frise came to Australia, imported by Harry and Margaret Begg who oversaw the growth of the breed there. Today there are 4 separate breeds believed to be descended from the original Bichon/Tenerife breeds – the Bichon Frise, the Bichon Bolognaise, the Maltese and the Havanese.

Description

As previously mentioned the Poi dog is somewhat unusual in size and shape due to what they ate. They looked somewhat like the native dogs of Polynesia and New Zealand. They have short legs, long bodies, somewhat obese and a very flat head. He had a short smooth coat, in any color or any pattern. They were however mostly brown and they might or might not have white markings.

bichon frise puppyThe modern Bichon Frise is a white, small dog with a round skull and muzzle. The nose should be black and the eyes round and dark. Depending on the size of the dog, the legs and head are proportionate to the body, while the tail should be curly and long. Both the tail and the ears must not be docked. Their coat is as hypoallergenic as a dog gets. It is white, dense and for most Bichon Frise, it is curly. They should have black lips as well.

Health Problems

Probably due to its diet, the Poi dog had several problems to their health. Their poor diet led to a sluggishness both in movement and intelligence. Its development was hampered by a lack of protein. Malnutrition and serious over inbreeding caused a weakness and poor oral hygiene. Due to this lack of teeth and chewing the bones in the dogs heads became flat. The Poi had breathing issues and overall lethargy.

bichon frise dogThe coat of the Bichon Frise can easily become matted if not brushed or combed every day. Severe matting can lead to a hematoma in their ears. They are also very prone to ear infections so paying a lot of attention to their ears is imperative. They are will chew and scratch themselves if not groomed well and this can cause skin infections and conditions. They might have allergies to fleas, pollen, chemicals, and dust. The patella (knee cap) can be loose, diabetes, cataracts and heart disease also affect the Bichon Frise. In the United Kingdom the number one cause of death for the breed is old age -13 plus years, with 21% dying of cancer. In North America cancer is the number one killer as it is for most dogs. The Bichon might also be afflicted with hematologic disorders such as AIHA (Autoimmune hemolytic anemia) and ITP (Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia) which while less common than cancer will kill the dog much earlier in life than cancer. The other condition that the Bichon Frise is prone to are liver shunts. If found early they can be surgically corrected but most are not, and liver failure is eventually the cause of death.

Caring The Pet

Feeding the puppy

With meat being rare in Hawaii, none was available for the dogs. They were fed Poi – from the Taro plant roots. Puppies were fed 2-3 times a day.

Feeding the adult

The adult dog was fed once or twice a day the same as Poi puppies were fed.

Points for Good Health

The Hawaiian Poi dog basically has not good health points.

Games and Exercises

The Poi dog did not need and did not get much exercise, leading to its demise.

Feeding

bichon frise puppiesBeing a small dog, the Bichon Frise is susceptible to obesity and that condition will be terminal in the end for this breed. So make sure you do not overfeed your Bichon Frise. The same is true with the use of treats. The Bichon loves treats and loves the association with treats of having pleased you. They should be fed small meals – about ¼ cup of good high quality dry food twice a day.

Health issues

As previously mentioned the Bichon Frise is susceptible to:

Hematomas and infections of the ear if not groomed well and consistently.

Cancer is number one killer.

Hematological Issues are deadlier than cancer.

Liver shunts are a very serious concern.

Exercise and games

Though the Bichon Frise is not an overly active dog, they do love to play. They are characterized by short bursts of activity followed by long periods of rest. They can be worn out just by running around the house. You must play with them everyday as well as take them on a walk each day. Bichons are fast and agile and do well in agility trials. They also like to compete in rally and obedience trials. Most of all they love to and need to play with their people every day.

Characteristics

Children friendliness

The Hawaiian Poi dog was very friendly and good with children

Special talents

The Poi was considered a good luck charm and a spiritual protector of children

Adaptability

Given what they faced in life, the Poi dog was very adaptable, living anywhere on the islands and eating anything it could find.

Learning ability

Due to their poor diet, the Hawaiian Poi dog was seriously lacking in intelligence and learning ability.

bichon frise dogsThe Bichon Frise, according to the American Kennel Club is a cheerful and merry dog. They are gentle, playful, sensitive and affectionate. These dogs love people, are very social and like other dogs as well. They love to play with children and they are intelligent and affectionate. They were developed in their latter stages by the French to be “lap dogs” or companion animals. They are not territorial by nature but can become so if confined and encouraged. Start obedience training early and be consistent throughout their lives. They take to training easily if positive techniques are used. They do however, have a reputation for not taking well to housetraining. Be persistent

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