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A Cross between a Parti-Colored Toy Poodle
and a Bichon Frise, The Cantel is the Ultimate, Affectionate Lapdog!

A relatively new breed, the Cantel was first established in 1995 by Phyllis Disque of Iowa’s Shiloh Kennels. She crossed parti-colored toy poodles with Bichon Frises to produce Bichon-like dogs that were characterized by a mix of colors. She named the breed "Cantel," with the droll explanation, "You can't tell if it's a Bichon, and you can’t tell if it's a Poodle." She eventually trademarked the name "Cantel," because she didn't want other people to try to claim any right to the breed. Today, the Cantel remains very rare.

In 1995, Phyllis Disque, a breeder from Iowa’s Shiloh Kennels, embarked on a quest to create an affectionate “designer dog,” a Bichon-like hybrid, but differentiated from other breeds by special particoloring. Crossing parti-colored Toy Poodles with Bichons, she produced small dogs with the physical characteristics of the Bichon Frise but the unusual distinction of mixed black-and-white markings – a breed she named the "Cantel.” According to Disque, the name "Cantel" is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the dog’s unusual appearance, making it impossible to be sure of its origin...whether a Bichon or a Poodle. The breed is not recognized by the American Kennel Club but can be registered with the Cantel Club of America.

Weighing just 10 to 12 pounds in adulthood, this little dog has an endearing, affectionate, and friendly little face with a button nose and alert, expressive eyes. Ears and tail are usually left natural and undocked. The Cantel, whose thick, curly coat that looks like sheep's wool over a soft undercoat, is always black and white (parti-colored) with varied markings.

Cantels are excellent as lapdogs and the perfect companion. With a cheerful and friendly personality, the Cantel gets along well with anyone – even strangers. As long as this little dog is raised with other pets like cats, it will accept just about any family member, whether human or animal. You may have to be careful at first around small children, since even this happy-go-lucky little dog may nip simply because small children can be too rough. Although the Cantel is not as small as a Toy Poodle and in fact closely resembles the Bichon Frise in physical size, it's still a little dog that should be handled with some care.

It's also important that you avoid inducing "small dog syndrome." This personality disorder develops in dogs who are treated like babies or small children, not the dogs they are. To put it bluntly, they become spoiled brats, who are actually unhappy when treated this way. As a result, they will misbehave, becoming temperamental and territorial little terrors that think they're in charge. To prevent this misfortune, you must establish yourself as your dog’s master with clear rules to obey – something this dog will only be too happy to do.

Like any dog, Cantels will need training, but gentle guidance alone can produce a well-mannered and happy little dog. The Cantel is often described as a very cooperative and responsive little pet that’s a joy to own. Traveling well in carriers or in your arms, Cantels simply love to accompany you to work or wherever you may go.

Proper Environment
Cantels are active but are capable of getting most of the exercise they need indoors. Of course, it is always beneficial to supplement any indoor activity with a daily walk and a good romp in the yard, if one is available. Socialize your puppy early to comingle with other people and dogs, preferably at a dog park where it can meet canine friends. The Cantel is the perfect apartment dog, since its biggest pleasure is to enjoy your companionship. A relatively quiet dog that doesn't bark much, this wonderful pet needs little more than your love to stay happy and healthy.

Because your pet is relatively small, it requires a nutritious and well-balanced diet in small portions. Choose high-quality commercial dog food, and/or high-quality meat, cereal, eggs, vegetables and dairy products. Supplements may also be advised. Check with your vet to ensure that your pet is getting the proper nutrition.

Since this breed is relatively rare, there are no health statistics available to denote any specific diseases, etc. However, it may be surmised that because the Cantel is a hybrid and not a purebred dog, it will generally be hardier and healthier than either the Bichon Frise or the Toy Poodle. With proper care and regular visits to the veterinarian, Cantels are said to live 10 to 12 years on average.

The Cantel is thought to be hypoallergenic and sheds very little which may be beneficial for some people with sensitivity to dog hair. Brush daily to get rid loose hair and bathe only as necessary. Like poodles and many other short-nosed breeds, Cantels have a tendency to produce excessive tears with a brown discharge from the eyes. Simply wipe this discharge away as it occurs; it is not generally seen as dangerous as long as there is no eye redness or apparent discomfort. Check with your veterinarian if the discharge appears to be from an infection or other physical problem.

AKC Meet the Breeds®: Get to know the Bichon Frise.
Retrieved February 16, 2014.

Retrieved February 16, 2014.

Cantel (Cantel Club Of America) Breed Information.
Retrieved February 16, 2014.

Dogs and Tear Stains.
Retrieved February 16, 2014.

Toy Poodle (Caniche) (Barbone) (Chien Canne) (Teacup Poodle) (French Poodle) (Pudle) (Teddy Poodle).
Retrieved February 16, 2014.

Who has a Cantel dog?
Retrieved February 16, 2014.

Group Classification: Toy, Hybrid

Recognized By:

Country of Origin: Afghanistan

Date of Origin: 1995

Hair Length: Short, Medium


Body Size: Small

Weight Male: 10-12 pounds

Height Male: 8-10 inches

Weight Female: 8-10 pounds

Height Female: 8-10 inches

Litter Size:

Life Expectancy: 10-12 years








Other Dogs:



Hot Weather:

Cold Weather:

black and white

Living Area