The Bichon Frise is a petite, sturdy dog with a vibrant, happy personality. Because of its fluffy and curly white hair, Bichon Frise is said to look like a powder puff or cotton ball. It’s been tagged by may people as a “living stuffed dog.”
The breed is an active, people-oriented dog, so it is safe to say the dog is ideal for active households that require a small pet dog. Due to its affectionate demeanor and playful nature, Bichon Frise makes an excellent choice for homes with children.
This dog breed loves to snuggle, which makes it one of the most popular sought after dog breeds.
- Group: Non-Sporting group
- Height: 9 – 12 inches
- Weight: 7 – 12 pounds
- Coat and color: Coat is curly and generally white, with traces of cream, apricot, and buff
- Life expectancy: 14 – 15 years
- Affection Level: High
- Friendliness: High
- Kid-Friendly: High
- Pet-Friendly: High
- Exercise Needs: Medium
- Playfulness: High
- Energy Level: Medium
- Trainability: Medium
- Intelligence: High
- Tendency to Bark: Low
- Amount of Shedding: Low
History of the Bichon Frise
This adorable dog originated in the Mediterranean, where it descended from the standard poodle and the water spaniel. The Bichon Frise is also related to the Coton de Tulear, Maltese, and the Havanese.
Spanish sailors traveled with Bichons, and they also traded with them where they were brought to Tenerife.
In the 1300s, The Bichon was discovered by Italian sailors in the 1300s, where they became the dog of Italian nobles. Over time, the breed gained massive popularity throughout France. This is where its name probably evolved from.
Portraits of Bichon Frise can be seen in paintings of Spanish nobility that were painted by Francisco de Goya early in the 18th century and into the late 19th century.
However, there was a decline in their popularity, and they were seen in the streets of Europe performing stunts in circuses. Bichon Frise was introduced into the United States in the middle of the 20th century. In 1972, it was registered in the AKC “American Kennel Club.”
The fluffy, curly coat of the Bichon Frise grows consistently. This means that routine grooming is essential to keep their coat from matting. The dog should be brushed at least three times every week, and their hair should be trimmed occasionally.
Owners should also be aware that frequent bath is needed to help maintain their bright colors as they get dirty easily. The hair around Bichon Frise’s eyes needs to be trimmed because Bichon Frise is prone to tear stains around their eyes.
Their nails should also be kept low regularly to keep their feet in a healthy and comfortable condition. Proper oral hygiene should be highly maintained to prevent periodontal complications by regularly brushing your dog’s teeth.
The Bichon Frise belongs to a group of several hypoallergenic dog breeds. Their curly fluffy hair can hold in dander and prevent it from escaping into the air, where it may easily trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people.
This doesn’t mean that Bichon Frise will not provoke an allergic reaction in a person, but the dog is suitable for people who are mildly allergic to dogs.
Proper socialization and training are needed in order to keep your pet well-adjusted and happy. Don’t skip training for your Bichon because of its size.
Bichon Frise can learn new things quickly. It would help to introduce them to daily exercise like daily walks. Fun activities and games should also be included to keep the mind mentally stimulated.
There is a well-known phenomenon known as the “Bichon Blitz” when your dog suddenly bolts around the house for a minute or two and then cools down almost immediately.
Bichons not only get along with other dogs, but they do well with cats and other pets as well. They are also very friendly with children who are mature enough to handle small dogs like the Bichon Frise. This is a dog that can be easily injured when handled roughly.
Bichon Frise owners should also know that they don’t need to stay away from their dog for too long. This is because this dog can quickly develop separation anxiety and can become destructive when left alone for too long.
Having another dog with your Bichon may be an excellent way to keep your dog occupied.
Common Health Problems
Responsible and reputable breeders will do all that’s necessary to meet up with the breed standards as recognized by kennel clubs, such as the AKC. Dogs raised by ethical standards are at lesser risk of inheriting health complications.
Nevertheless, Bichon Frise have hereditary problems that owners should be aware of, and they include the following;
- Patellar Luxation
- Urolithiasis (Urinary Stones)
Diet and Nutrition
Bichon Frise should be fed twice a day of 1/4 to 3/4 of dry dog food. The amount of food fed will depend on the dog’s activity level, age, size, and other factors.
Owners should resist the urge to feed their dog human food (as treats). This breed is prone to bladder and kidney stones and may require an exclusive diet constant supply of water to prevent such complications.
Your Bichon can have its lifespan shortened when it suffers from obesity. These are easily susceptible dogs, and an extra pound could be fatal. It’s crucial that you keep your dog’s weight under check and discuss the best nutritional options with your veterinarian.
- Active, friendly small-sized dog
- Hypoallergenic coat, which can be endured by some dog allergy owners
- Not an aggressive barker
- Not a problem barker
- Can quickly develop separation anxiety
- Requires routine grooming to avoid a tangled coat
- Needs regular socialization and training
Adopting or buying a Bichon Frise
Before you decide to adopt or buy this delicate dog, be sure to have enough to spare in caring for it.
You’d also need to have some experience with training and grooming that the Bichon requires. You could get your dog, at the Bichon Frise Club of America, and Bichon Frise rescues.
More Dog Breeds and Further Research
If you are interested in a little dog that is friendly, cute, and fun, the Bichon Frise is an excellent choice for you. As with many breeds, be sure to do enough research if you think this is the dog for you.
Meet other Bichon owners, Bichon Frise rescue groups, and reputable breeders to get more information.
If you are interested in dogs similar to this breed, read up on the following: