Bichon Frise Dog Breed (Complete Guide)

Bichon Frise Dog Overview

The Bichon’s distinctive powder-puff appearance is due to a double coat with a soft, dense undercoat and a coarser, curly outercoat, which causes the coat to stand off the body and even spring back when stroked.

This is a happy, nimble breed with an easy, efficient gait. The Bichon’s appearance and fitness make this strong little dog a popular family member.

The breed’s sweet, curious expression allows it to wiggle its way into many people’s hearts and laps.

Bichon Frise Highlights

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  • It can be tough to housebreak a Bichon Frise. It is suggested that you teach your dog in a crate.
  • Bichons dislike being left alone for extended periods of time.
  • Because Bichon Frise puppies are so small, they should only be handled by children under the supervision of an adult.
  • Bichons are clever and intelligent. Obedience training is advised to help your Bichon be the best friend possible.
  • Grooming is essential! Be ready to spend money on expert grooming. The approach can be learned by highly driven owners, but it is difficult and time consuming.
  • Bichons are prone to allergies and skin disorders.
  • You may be tempted to overprotect your Bichon Frise due to its cuteness and small size. This is a mistake that might cause your dog to become spoilt, scared, and shy. Keep an eye out for potentially dangerous circumstances, but instill confidence in your Bichon by acting confident in his abilities to deal with humans, other animals, and situations.
  • Never buy a puppy from an unscrupulous breeder, puppy mill, or pet store if you want a healthy Bichon. Look for a trustworthy breeder that thoroughly vets her breeding dogs to ensure that they are free of genetic illnesses that could be passed on to the puppies and that they have good temperaments.

Bichon Frise Breed Features & Ratings:

Rated base on a 5 Star Scale
ENERGY LEVEL:                                4 Star
PLAYFULNESS:                                  5 Star
AFFECTION LEVEL:                           5 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO DOGS:                4 Star
WATCHFULNESS:                               1 Star
EASE OF TRAINING:                           4 Star
HEAT SENSITIVITY:                            3 Star
VOCALITY                                         4 Star

Bichon Frise Characteristics:

  • Dog Breed Group:  Companion Dogs
  • Height:  At the shoulder, it should be 9 to 11 inches 
  • Weight:  7 to 12 pounds
  • Life Span: 12 to 15 years 
  • Type: Purebred 
  • AREA OF ORIGIN:  France/ Spain 
  • DATE OF ORIGIN: Ancient Times 
  • OTHER NAMES: Tenerife Dog, Bichon Tenerife, Bichon A Poil Frise, Bichon Tenerife, Purebred Bichon
  • Temperament: Affectionate, Cheerful, Feisty, Gentle, Playful, Intelligent, Sensitive
  • Activities: Conformation, Agility, Obedience, Rally Obedience
  • Color: White and may have shadings of buff, cream or apricot around the ears or on the body
  • Litter Size: 2 to 5 puppies 
  • Puppy Prices: $1000 – $2000 USD on average

Bichon Frise Health:

Bichons are generally healthy dogs, and a professional breeder would examine breeding stock for health issues including allergies, bladder infections, luxating patella, cataracts, and other eye problems.

If dental care and frequent teeth brushing are not prioritized, Bichons may have early tooth loss or issues from gum infection. Regular ear cleaning is advised to avoid ear infections.

The National Breed Club recommends the following health tests:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Patella Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation

Bichon Frise Grooming:

The Bichon Frise is a white, double-coated breed. The soft and dense undercoat, combined with the coarse outer coat, results in a soft but robust feel.

The coat protrudes from the torso, giving it a powder-puff look. The most common Bichon trim follows the lines of the dog’s body, leaving the coat long enough to give him the trademark “poufy” appearance.

Bichons have a bad reputation for not shedding, which isn’t entirely accurate. All creatures that have hair shed.

However, shed hair is trapped up in the undercoat of double-coated Bichons rather than dropping to the floor.

If dead hair is not removed by brushing or combing, it can develop mats and tangles, which can cause skin problems if left neglected.

Grooming a Bichon is not for the faint of heart; this is a high-maintenance breed.

You’ll need to set aside time for grooming and bathing: brush him at least twice a week, if not more, and bathe him anytime he gets dirty to keep that white coat clean.

Before bathing, ensure that the coat is clear of mats and tangles, or the mats will tighten and become practically hard to remove.

Check your Bichon’s ears frequently to ensure they are clean. Sometimes it’s necessary to pluck off the hair that grows in the ear canal (this can be done by a groomer if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself).

If you see a buildup of wax, redness, or a foul odor in your dog’s ears, or if he is scratching his ears and shaking his head, take him to the vet to ensure he doesn’t have an ear infection.

Every four to six weeks, most Bichon owners take their dogs to a professional groomer for a bath, brush, haircut, nail clipping, and ear cleaning.

If you want to know how to groom your Bichon yourself, there are several wonderful grooming books and videos available.

Keeping a Bichon’s face clean and groomed is crucial for both health and appearance.

Mucus and discharge from the eyes of the dog tend to gather in the hair that grows around the eyes, causing eye difficulties if the area is not cleaned on a regular basis.

Tearstains are frequent as a result of vision issues or even dietary allergies.

Because Bichons are prone to a variety of eye illnesses, it’s best to have your dog checked by a veterinarian if tearstaining becomes an issue.

Bichons have clogged or small tear ducts, eyelashes that grow toward the eyeball, or eyelids that curve inward, causing the lashes to brush against the eye.

Your vet will tell you whether one of these conditions, or something else, is causing the tearstains.

Brush your Bichon’s teeth at least twice a week to remove tartar and the bacteria that live inside it. Brushing twice a day is even preferable if you want to  prevent gum disease and foul breath.

If your pet’s nails don’t wear down naturally, cut them once or twice a month to avoid unpleasant tears and other issues. It is long if you can hear them clicking on the floor.

Dog toenails include blood veins, and if you cut too deeply, you may cause bleeding – and your canine may refuse to comply the next time the nail clippers come out.

So, if you’re not used to clipping dog nails, get advice from a vet or groomer.

When your Bichon is a puppy, start accustoming him to being brushed and examined. Make sure to handle his paws frequently – dogs’ feet are sensitive — and look into his mouth.

Make grooming a pleasurable process full of praise and prizes, and you’ll build the framework for smooth veterinarian tests and other handling when he’s an adult.

Check for sores, rashes, or symptoms of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, nose, mouth, and eyes, and feet while you groom.

There should be no explicit redness or discharge in the eyes. Your thorough weekly examination will assist you in detecting potential health issues early on.

Bichon Frise Exercise:

The Bichon is categorized as somewhat active,’ but this is only an average.

Long periods of stillness are interrupted with small spurts of high activity, usually just running around the home or yard.

In addition to walking, daily play sessions are essential. While another dog can be a good exercise buddy, the Bichon will still require enough playtime with his family.

A fenced-in backyard is the best idea; Bichons are remarkably swift, and if one escapes, he may be tough to capture or return to you.

Many Bichons enjoy competing in obedience, agility, and rally events.

Bichon Frise Training:

To be happy and well-adjusted, the bichon needs proper training and socializing.

Do not make the mistake of ignoring training because your bichon is a little dog.

This breed is known to be quick to learn, yet some believe that housebreaking may require some extra effort.

Bichon Frise Food and Nutrition:

Feed your pet with two meals a day of 1/4 to 3/4 cup dry dog food. The amount will be determined by the dog’s size, activity level, age, and other considerations.

Resist the impulse to give your dog human food as a treat. This Bichon Frise is prone to kidney and bladder stones and may require a specific diet and more water to help prevent these issues.

Obesity can shorten a dog’s lifespan, and even one additional pound is significant for a little dog.

Make sure to put your attention on your pet’s weight and consult with your veterinarian about appropriate nutritional measures.

Bichon Frise Temperament and Personality:

The Bichon’s personality is distinguished by its happy demeanor.

This dog enjoys being the center of attention and is skilled at captivating his family, neighbors, groomer, or veterinarian with his appealing personality.

The Bichon has a playful, independent character, but this does not mean he enjoys being alone.

In fact, this breed despises being alone and frequently suffers from separation anxiety if left alone for an extended period of time.

Bichons may become destructive in such conditions, gnawing and tearing up anything in sight. This is not a breed of choice for persons who are frequently away from home (indeed, no dog is).

Because the very clever Bichon needs to be taught proper canine manners, it’s critical to enroll in obedience school, beginning with puppy classes. Bichons are quick learners, therefore enrolling them in such programs can be quite rewarding.

They can also perform tricks and participate in various canine sports.

Numerous factors influence temperament, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with good temperaments are interested and playful, eager to approach and be held by people.

Opt out of the puppy in the midst of the pack, not the one who is tearing up his littermates or hiding in the corner.

Make sure to meet at least one of the parents — generally the mother is present — to confirm that they have explicit and pleasant personalities with whom you are comfortable.

Meeting the parents’ siblings or other relatives is also beneficial in determining and considering what a puppy will be like when he becomes adult. 

Bichon Frise Care/Upkeep:

The bichon’s silky, curly coat grows continuously. Because of the nature of this coat, regular care is essential or it will become matted and tangled.

Bichons should indeed be brushed two to three times per week, and haircuts may be required every few weeks.

They must also be bathed frequently because white dogs display dirt. They are prone to tear stains around the eyes. Keep the hair around the eyes trimmed.

Nails should be trimmed regularly to keep the foot healthy and comfy. Brush your canine’s teeth on a regular basis to prevent periodontal disease.

The bichon frise is one of several hypoallergenic dog breeds. Their curly hair prevents dander from getting into the air and causing allergic problems in those who are susceptible to it.

This is not to say that the dog will not cause an allergic reaction, but it may be suitable for individuals who are mildly or moderately allergic to dogs.

Spend some time with a bichon frise before adopting one to discover whether your allergies are activated.

Bichon Frise Relationship with Children and Other Pets

Bichons make excellent family dogs and excellent friends for children.

They adore hanging out with children, participating in their games, and sitting on their laps. They are quite tolerant of the noise and turmoil that comes with having children.

However, like with any breed, teach youngsters how to approach and touch dogs, and constantly monitor any encounters between dogs and small children to prevent biting or ear or tail pulling on either party’s side.

Teach your youngster to never approach a dog who is eating or sleeping, or to try to take the dog’s food. No dog, no matter how nice, should be left alone with a youngster.

As long as he obtains his fair share of attention from his owner, the Bichon enjoys the company of other canines.

The Bichon may get along with cats and other animals with proper introductions and training.

Bichon Frise Names 

RankBoy NamesGirl Names

All About Bichon Frise

Bichons are an extremely appealing breed with small bodies, baby-doll faces, and fluffy white hair, and their looks are complimented by a lively, good-natured personality. They are frequently misidentified as white Poodles.

The Bichon, as he’s affectionately known, is related to several small breeds, including the Coton de Tulear, which originated off the African coast on an island near Madagascar; the Bolognese, which was bred in northern Italy near the city of Bologna; the Havanese, which originated in Cuba; and the Maltese, which developed on the Mediterranean island of Malta.

Bichons appear to have originated in the Mediterranean and were transported to other nations via trade routes.

Bichons are small dogs — large specimens are just around a foot tall — yet they are tough.

Despite their small size, the American Kennel Club does not classify them as a Toy breed; instead, they belong to the Non-Sporting Group.

Bichons are always white (except for puppies, who may be cream or pale yellow), with black eyes and noses.

Their arched necks give them a haughty, confident appearance, and their plumed tails curve gracefully over their backs.

Consider the Bichon if you’re seeking for a great family pet. This dog enjoys playing.

He’s constantly cheerful (except when he’s left alone for extended periods of time), and his personality is friendly and compassionate.

Bichons are frequently advised for persons with allergies because they do not shed like other breeds. You should discuss this with your allergist because not everyone reacts the same way to a Bichon.

If you have allergies, spend some time in the presence of the breed before pursuing in getting this breed — or any type of dog. Bichons are known to suffer from separation anxiety.

If needed to leave your dog alone at home for extended periods of time, this is not the dog for you. Bichons need to be with their family, not merely enjoy to be with them.

As long as they don’t have to spend too much time alone, they adapt well to a range of lifestyles. Bichons are ideal pets for apartment dwellers due to their petite size.

They do, however, have a lot of energy and require regular activity, such as walks and activities.

Bichons are extremely trainable and bright dogs who like learning new skills. You must be strong but gentle when training.

A Bichon’s heart will be broken by harsh corrections and scolding.

Many Bichon owners compete with their dogs in obedience, agility, and rally. This pastime is enjoyable for both dogs and people, and it is a great way to strengthen your bond with your Bichon.

Therapy work is another activity that brings out the best in the Bichon.

They make excellent therapy dogs for visits to nursing homes and hospitals since they are gentle and guaranteed to make everyone happy. 

Bichons get along well with other animals and people in general, although they will alarm you if strangers arrive at the door.

Bichon Frise History:

This breed descended from the water spaniel and the standard poodle in the Mediterranean. It is related to the Maltese, the Coton de Tulear, and the Havanese.

Spanish sailors, employed in trade previously carried bichons, and eventually introduced to Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands.

The bichon was found by Italian sailors in the 1300s and quickly became the dog of Italian nobility. Eventually, the breed became extremely popular throughout France.

Its name is most likely derived from this location. Frise is French for “curly,” and bichon is thought to be a diminutive of biche (female dog).

Bichon frises can be seen in Francisco de Goya’s portraits of Spanish nobles from the 18th and 19th centuries.

However, their popularity diminished, and they were frequently seen as street dogs in Europe, where they performed alongside organ grinders and circuses.

The bichon went in the United States in the mid-twentieth century and became an American Kennel Club (AKC)-registered breed in 1972.

Where to Adopt Bichon Frise:

If you’re ready to adopt a bichon frise, you’ve considered the breed’s time commitment, training, and grooming requirements and determined that they’re something you can handle.

There are numerous options available, ranging from groomers to dog behavior courses, to make dog companionship more manageable.

When it comes to having a dog, the Bichon Frise Club of America is your best bet.

  • The Bichon Frise Club of America: The American Kennel Club-recognized national breed club for this breed which serves as the parent organization for local organizations.
  • The Breeder’s Directory: The Bichon Frise Club of America maintains a regional list of reputable breeders across the United States.
  • Bichon Frise Rescue

More Dog Breeds and Further Research:

The Bichon Frise is an excellent choice if you want a small dog that is cute, joyful, and playful.

If you contemplate that this is the dog for you, as with any breed, do additional study before getting one.

To learn more, talk to other bichon frise owners, trustworthy breeders, and rescue organizations.

If you’re looking for similar dog breeds, consider the following to weigh their advantages and disadvantages:

Bichon Frise Fun Facts:

  • Bichon Frises have been around for centuries. 
  • They began their modern development in Tenerife. 
  • The modern Bichon Frise developed into four categories. 
  • They were popular among nobles in Spain, Italy, and France. 
  • They have been featured in many works of art.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Do bichons have a lot of barking?

So, do Bichon Frise dogs have a lot of barking? Bichon Frise dogs can bark a lot, which is one of the main disadvantages of owning this breed, along with destructive chewing. Bichon Frises can be a quieter dog with proper training, behavioral correction, and attention.

Is it true that bichons are water dogs?

The majority of Bichon Frises adore the water and enjoy swimming. They are not, however, bred to be water dogs or retrievers, thus they may not appreciate water as much as other breeds. There are plenty things you can do to get your Bichon to appreciate the water.

Are bichons intelligent?

Bichons are extremely trainable and bright dogs who like learning new skills. You must be strong but gentle when training. A Bichon’s heart will be broken by harsh corrections and scolding. Many Bichon owners compete with their dogs in obedience, agility, and rally.

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