Bichon Frise

A Real Charmer, The Bichon Frise Is a Perfect Pet

Bichon Frise

By Toni Grzunov - Last updated on May 18th, 2021

All you need to know about the Bichon Frise

Irresistibly cute, smart, and affectionate, the Bichon Frise is a pup that almost looks like a stuffed toy! Their elegant appearance and their fluffy white coat make them desirable pets all over the world. And it matches their majestic-sounding name!

Many consider these dogs to be perfect pets for large families and even elderly couples. Their intelligence will surely make everyone laugh once they start demonstrating tricks they can learn.

Often referred to as the Snow-White of the canine world, Bichon Frise is an excellent choice for people that suffer from allergies. They also fit in an apartment of any size since they are so small.

These lovely pups also have a mischievous streak, but it will mostly be entertaining to you. It is hard to get mad at dogs that are this cute.

Fast Facts

Weight - 7-12 Pounds (male)  7-12 Pounds (female)

Height - 9-12 Inches (male) 9-12 Inches (female)

Hair Length - Medium

Shedding - Lite

Lifespan - 12-15 Years

The Appearance of the Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is characterized by a fluffy coat covering its small frame. Its appearance is stylish and fashionable and you should expect everyone that sees your pet to notice how gorgeous it looks.

They have a double coat that is extremely soft to the touch, reminiscent of velvet. It stands away from the body of the Bichon and looks puffed up. It follows the contours of the dog’s frame which gives this breed its unique look.

These small dogs carry their necks high and have strong, straight front legs. They have deep chests and a strong, broad hind end. They are actually quite muscular underneath the coat, and their hind end is rounded.

The head of a Bichon Frise is well balanced, with a muzzle that is a bit longer than its forehead. It has a strong jaw although its cheeks aren’t too muscular. The eyes of these pups are large, round, and dark and they have big, black noses.

Featured Bichon Frise Breeders

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What colors does a Bichon Frise come in?

Most people are probably used to seeing white Bichon Frise pups, and the breed is known for having a striking coat in that color. It is the only allowed color by the breed standard. Still, you may find that your white pup has some other coloration mixed in.

If your Bichon’s coat is mixed with a different color, it won’t be drastic, and these types of coats are accepted by the AKC as well. They include:

  • White and apricot
  • White and cream
  • White and buff

These colors will only come in shadings and won’t be noticeable unless you really focus. If your Bichon is in any other color but white, it is probably a mix of a Bichon with some other breed.

All about the Bichon Frise personality

If there is one aspect of their personality these dogs are known for, it is their desire to please. They will do anything to make their owners (and the rest of the family) happy, and it makes them amazing pets. 

It is quite impressive how quickly Bichons learn new skills. They are often quite successful at dog shows because of this trait. However, even if you don’t plan to attend these competitions, their intelligence will never fail to impress you.

The attitude of a Bichon Frise is playful and affectionate. They love snuggling and playing with you and will also get along with any other pets you may have. Bichons are extremely gentle as well, making them great pets for children. 

Still, since they are so used to company, Bichons tend to develop separation anxiety if left alone for too long. Make sure to always give enough attention to your pet Bichon Frise and shower it with love. And plan your schedule accordingly so it is never alone for too long!

Other than that Bichons are sensitive and gentle-mannered. You can take them wherever you go and they will happily enjoy themselves. 

Another thing Bichons are known for is a sudden burst of energy that causes them to start running all over your yard or house at a frenzied pace. They will also sometimes bark or growl while doing this. However, you shouldn’t concern yourself with this behavior. These bursts only last for a few minutes and can actually be quite cute!

Because of all this, Bichons are considered amazing dogs for therapy work. They do well when visiting hospital patients or the elderly in nursing homes. Their friendly disposition will brighten their day for sure and bring some delight into their lives.

Is a Bichon Frise easy to train?

These outgoing pups are definitely easy to train. Bichons will love performing tricks and won’t have problems learning new ones.

Puppy training classes are always recommended. Combined with early socialization they will turn your Bichon into a wonderful pet that will make an amazing companion. 

Positive reinforcement is always the way to go with Bichons. Do not resort to negative or even harsh methods of training. These pups will almost exclusively display unwanted behaviors only when they are left alone for a long time.

Despite being extremely easy to train, Bichons can be a bit harder to housebreak. Depending on how fast your pup learns you might want to use the crate training method, but that is all individual.

How much Grooming does a Bichon Frise need?

When it comes to grooming, the Bichon Frise can be a bit high maintenance. Expect to spend some time bathing and brushing your pet.

Many believe that these dogs do not shed at all. However, that is not true, they do shed a little, but the hair gets caught up in the undercoat. This dead hair should be removed by combing or brushing or it can form tangles and mats.

Since they only shed minimally, and their hair doesn’t fly all over the place, you’d assume that Bichons are hypoallergenic dogs? And you’d be correct! These dogs are considered safe for people with allergies.

When it comes to brushing, you’ll want to brush the coat of your Bichon at least twice a week. Yes, it takes work to be that beautiful. Expect to bathe your pup quite often as well. You should do so whenever it gets dirty.

However, keep in mind that you should always brush your pet’s coat first before bathing. You want to get rid of any mats and tangles because the water can cause them to tighten, making it even harder to remove them.

Make sure to check the ears of your Bichon regularly. Keep them clean, and sometimes you’ll even need to pluck the hair growing in the ear canal. Ear infections are common, so visit the vet often, especially if you notice wax building up.

It is quite common for Bichon Frise owners to take their dog to the groomer once a month or every six weeks. This way a professional can give your dog a brush, bath, haircut, nail trimming, and clean its ears. Still, you can always learn how to do all of that yourself, there are many good grooming videos and books.

One thing that is specific to Bichons is that you’ll need to clean their face and also trim the hair on it, especially around the eyes. The discharge and mucus from the eyes can accumulate in the hair growing there which can cause various eye problems.

Bichons can have quite a bit of eye problems, so taking good care of the area around them is crucial. You should be visiting the vet regularly, to make sure everything is alright.

The Living Environment of the Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise pups do make amazing apartment dogs. Their size and temperament are basically perfect for that lifestyle. However, you will still need to dedicate some time to play with your pet because it will need to use up its energy.

Living in a house with a yard will always be a great option for Bichons. That way, these pups can just run around the yard until they got their energy out. These dogs are quite speedy, despite their short legs, so a danced yard is preferred. Otherwise, you might just spend an hour trying to catch your Bichon all over the neighborhood.

The Health and Nutrition of the Bichon Frise

Bichons are healthy dogs but can be prone to certain health conditions, usually involving the eyes or ears. 

Ear infections and eye disease are quite common, so visit the veterinarian and have them checked as soon as you notice anything out of the ordinary. It can be redness in the ears or your pup scratching its eyes too often.

Other conditions these pups are prone to include various allergies, teeth problems such as gum disease, kidney stones, and bladder infections

To prevent bladder infections make sure your dog has access to fresh, clean water every single day. You will know your dog is suffering from a bladder infection if you check its urine. If you notice blood in it, it is a sign that your dog could be suffering from it and you should visit the veterinarian.

Obesity is also one of the main health issues of this breed. This is why you should pay extra attention to nutrition. Always feed your Bichon in measurements and don’t keep the bowl full constantly. 

Consult with your vet on what is the best food for your pet Bichon. It will depend on the age and activity level, but make sure it is of the highest quality. When combined with dental problems, obesity can result in heart disease. Always keep an eye on the food and teeth of your pet. 

Where does the Bichon Frise come from?

The origins of the Bichon Frise date all the way back to the 13th century. It originally came from islands in the Mediterranean and is a member of the Barbichon family of dogs. All of the dogs in this family are white and small and have other similar features.

The Bichon Frise was most likely introduced to Europe by sailors who brought these pups back from the islands. Their aristocratic look assured them popularity among the European nobility. Some claim that King Henry III had a special basket whose sole purpose was to carry his pet Bichons everywhere with him.

During the French Revolution in the 17th century, many nobles lost their positions of power, meaning their pets were left without cozy homes. This was when the intelligence of Bichons saved their lives. They became street performers and circus dogs, showing off their ability to learn various tricks easily.

After the two world wars, the official breed standard was adopted and these pups were brought to the United States in the 1950s. They were officially recognized by the AKC in 1972.

Bichon Frise Mixes you would like to know about*

Dog crossbreeds or mixes are sometimes called designer dogs. The name fits since you are “designing” a new dog by mating two purebred dogs. It has become popular in recent times, and more and more breeds have several noteworthy crosses we could write about.

The thing with mixed puppies is that it is hard to know which characteristics they will inherit from their parents. You should research as much info as possible on the parent breeds to understand what you can expect. This way, you will find a mix that has all of the characteristics you want and love.

Read on to see the most popular Bichon Frise mixes:

*Not all breed mixes are equal in quality! neither condones nor endorses any example of unethical and unhealthy crossbreeding. We encourage everyone to research in detail before they choose to get a crossbreed. 

Questions people often ask about Bichon Frise

  • +Do Bichon Frise make good pets?

  • +Do Bichon Frise dogs bark a lot?

  • +Are Bichons hard to potty train?

  • +Can you leave a Bichon Frise alone for 8 hours?

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