Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a small dog breed that is known for its fluffy white coat. This breed is often mistaken for Poodles on the count of both breeds having a fluffy coat. The Bichon Frises are great companions and lovely family pets who have awesome character and energy. They are affectionate and extremely gentle dogs that love nothing more than being around their family. These dogs love playing and if you have children, these dogs will be great and tireless playing partners that are able to keep up with the toddler pace for hours.

These dogs are closely related to four other dog breeds - the Havanese, the Maltese, the Bolognese, and the Coton de Tulear. They all belong to the Bichon family and some of them are involved in the development of the others. It is widely believed that Bichon Frises have been developed as a companion toy breed somewhere in the Mediterranean and have been taken around the globe via ancient trading routes.

They are small but they are by no means fragile or shy. This breed is sturdy and they will not allow others to treat them badly or to push them around. Despite that, they are extremely gentle and loving with their family. Most of the time they are very cheerful and that is the trait that makes them one of the best possible family pets. They shouldn’t be left alone for too long as they are prone to suffer from separation anxiety and can develop destructive behavior.

Bichon Frise Height

Height:

9-10,8 in (23-30 cm)

Bichon Frise Weight

Weight:

6,6-11 lb (3-5 kg)

Bichon Frise Origin

Origin:

Belgium, France

Bichon Frise Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy:

13-15 years

Breed History

The exact origin of the Bichon Frise is uncertain but it is believed that they descended from the Barbet. The earliest record of thee dogs date back to the 14th century when sailors brought these dogs to Tenerife. Bichon Frise dogs gain massive popularity when they arrived in Europe. They were very popular with royalty.

French breeders started to gain interest in these dogs after World War I and they worked hard to preserve the breed. The first standard of Bichon Frise dogs was established in 1933. These dogs were first brought to the US n 1956 and they are still popular dogs today.

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Trainability
Intelligence
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health

FCI standard

These dogs are under the patronage of France and Belgium and both of these countries are members of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) so it is no wonder that this massive, 98 member cynology union has a standard in place for them. This standard describes them as very adaptable and as dogs that can be taken anywhere with no problem. This standard put these dogs in Group  9 (Companion and toy dogs), Section 1 (Bichons and related breeds -1.1 Bichons). Since they are primarily a companion breed, these dogs are not required to have a working trial. The male Bichon Frise is required by this standard to have a height at the withers between 9,8 - 10,8 in (25 - 30 cm) and the females should be between 9 - 10,6 in (23 - 27 cm). Both of the sexes can have a maximum of  5 kg. This breed has been registered by the FCI on the 28th of October 1959.

AKC standard

This is breed is also registered and accepted in the United States of America which is not a part of the FCI but is under the cynology jurisdiction of the American Kennel Club that also has a standard for these dogs. This standard mentioned that both sexes should be between 9,5 and 11,5 in (24 - 29 cm) tall and their weight should be proportioned to their size. In no cases should any Bichon Frise be under 9 in (22,8 cm) or over 12 in (30,5 cm).

This breed has been accepted and registered by the AKC in 1972.

bichon frise running

Grooming

Bichon Frise has a double coat with a soft and dense undercoat and a coarse outer layer. These dogs do shed and weekly brushing will help keep the amount of hair under control and allow your dog to look good. These dogs should always be white.

Brush their teeth at least three times a week to prevent tartar buildup and infections. Make sure you use products that are made especially for dogs as human products could potentially harm them. Trim their nails if they don’t wear them down naturally. A good indication is if you can hear them clicking on the floor while they walk. Clean their ears and check for signs of redness or infections. Use a cotton cloth and never insert anything in their ear canal. You can always check with your Vet about the products you should use and the proper technique.

Exercise

Bischon Frise dogs are medium active and they will need a proper amount of daily activities to be happy. Playing with his owner in the house, chasing the ball, or just long walks can all do the trick and keep this dog satisfied. If you provide him with enough daily activities you don’t have to worry that your dog will miss behaving.

FUN FACT: Bichon Frise dogs love to participate in canine sports such as agility and obedience.

Personality

These are good family dogs that will love to spend their time with their family. Bichon Frise dogs love to learn new tricks and they are very easy to train. However, they are known to be difficult to housebreak.

Like any other dog breed, the Bichon Frise should start the socialization process as soon as possible. Dogs that are not well socialized are prone to behavioral problems and might react badly to situations they are not familiar with. 

There are many ways you can socialize your Bichon Frise, and the most important thing to do is to get your dog familiar with different situations they can find themselves in. Take your dog to dog parks where they can meet other dogs and people. They can learn to react accordingly and understand that they don’t need to be scared of strangers and other dogs.

Kids

Early socialization and proper training can teach them to behave even when children are around. If you train and socialize your dog well, your children will get a great playing partner that has plenty of energy. These dogs can play for hours upon hours without getting tired or bored. However, Bichon Frise will not tolerate aggressive behavior towards them or even between other children and may stop their quarrel before it escalates.

Children should never be left alone with any dog, no matter what breed it might be. You should make sure that your children understand how to approach dogs of this breed and understand how to interact and play with them properly.

Other animals

These dogs can get along well with other dogs and can enjoy their company. Generally, the Bichon Frise is a great pet to have if you already have other pets at home. They are extremely friendly and love having company, so your Bichon Frise won’t mind other pets. 

However, every dog, no matter what breed they are, should be socialized and properly introduced to other pets. Take your time and even if your dog doesn’t react well on your first try doesn’t mean they won’t get along. Some dogs require time but Bichon Frise are generally very affectionate and gentle towards other pets, especially if they were raised together.

Health problems

Bichon Frise is a dog with a life expectancy of 13-15 years. Like any other dog breed, they are prone to some health problems that every (future) owner should be aware of. To be sure that you'll get the healthiest possible dog, never buy a dog from a puppy mill breeder or a pet store. Bichon Frise can suffer from 

  • Hip dysplasia - Genetic problem affecting hips resulting from an improperly formed hip joint.
  • Patellar luxation
  • Bladder problems
  • Allergies - these dogs are prone to have allergic reactions to specific foods, products, or medications
  • Cataracts - Cloudy spots on the lens of the eye

To be sure that your dog will be healthy always buy him from a responsible dog breeder who regularly tests their breeding dogs to secure that their puppies will be healthy as well.

Bichon Frise breeders

If you are looking to buy one of these dogs, make sure you buy them from a registered and reputable Bichon Frise breeder. Before you do that, make sure this is the right breed for you. Try and see if you are able to own a dog that is always going to be by your side and will hardly ever leave you. These dogs should not be left alone for too long (no dog should be) as they can develop separation anxiety.

Buying a dog from a responsible breeder will cost you more money, but you can be sure that you will get a healthy puppy. If you are unable to buy a dog, we advise you to search for local animal shelters because there is a chance you can find a Bichon Frise dog in it.

When you bring your new puppy home start with the training and socialization immediately. By doing so, you will end up with a well-behaved dog whom you can trust. If you devote your time and energy to this dog, you can be sure that you will end up with a companion for life.

If you are unsure whether this is the breed for you, check out this FREE GUIDE that will help you decide which dog breed is right for you.

SEARCH BICHON FRISE BREEDERS

World Dog Finder team

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Updated at23.07.2021.

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