Bichon Frise is a small breed of dog with a very lively character and very cute in appearance. It is mainly aimed as a companion dog and has a very cheerful demeanor about it and can be a great companion to girls or small children. Its look can sometimes be compared to a child’s fluffy toy, as it is very small and has black eyes with a fluffy white coat. Today, there are four types of Bichon Frise breeds which are recognized separately, the Tenerife, the Maltese, the Bolognaise and the Havanese.
History & Origins
The origin of the name Bichon Frise is French, and it literally translates as “curly lap dog.” But the origin of this breed is actually Spanish and not French as many people mistake it with. The Bichon is believed to descend from Barbet, which is a medium-sized water dog, originating from Tenerife. It is believed that other French or Spanish sailors brought this dog form the Canary Islands to France.
The race came to be developed here and they were quickly integrated into the French royal court where they were used as companions to French royalty. This trend continued during the Neapolitan wars and WWII. It was in 1956 when the breed was introduced to America where they were integrated and recognized by American Kennel Club Studbook in 1972 as an official breed that we have today.
Bichon Frise Characteristics & Temperament
Most groups describe the Bichon Frise as a merry and cheerful dog breed. They are a very gentle type of dogs, but also intelligent. They can be very playful, affectionate and well mannered. As they are developed for being companion dogs, they are active and sociable, like running around and playing, and can create a strong bond with their owner. Bichons are also very good with children as they like playing they are good to be around even smaller kids. They can also get a bit territorial if you affiliate it with a certain territory or area. These dogs also like water as their ancestry are water dogs.
Bichon Frise is very easy to train, so anybody can do it and you do not have to be an experienced trainer. You have to be gentle when doing that but you still need to be firm. But on the other hand, you should not scold the dog or use harsh language. Bichon mainly responds well when being given treats when finishing a lesson. Training starts from an early age and can continue throughout its life.
Appearance, Colors, Size
A Bichon Frise is a very small type of companion dog. It is very fluffy and they have slightly rounded heads with black, rounded eyes and a non-pointy muzzle. The tail is usually groomed and long and hangs above their backs. They usually have white coats which is consist of a curly and dense coat. Although they are predominantly white, some may have a buff, cream, or apricot color around their ears, their snout, and their paws. There are some which come in a buff, cream, or apricot color, but a Bichon Fires is only recognized as white.
They are small in size and can grow to be 9 to 11 inches tall and weighs approximately 7 to 12 pounds.
Bichon Frise Health
A Bichon Fires usually has a life span of about 12 to 13 years. But they are generally healthy dogs. Yet there are certain conditions and illnesses which affects these breed. In fact, cancer is the leading cause of death for the Bichon breed as it kills about 25% of the time. Other illnesses include autoimmune hemolytic anemia and immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, which is, in fact, the second cause of death for Bichon Frise dogs. Also possible are liver shunts which actually usually appear later in life. If this is not addressed on time it can lead to complete liver failure of a dog and also cause death.
Grooming & Shedding
The Bichon Fires is recognized as a low-shedding dog. If groomed properly, you will be able to remove the majority of excess fur that the dog leaves. Actually the curl of the coat of the dog prevents it to shed more and also stops dead hear and dander falling off. But frequent cleaning, brushing, and grooming is still required.
Bichon Frise actually requires more than an average amount of grooming. In order to keep your pet as beautiful as it can be you need to put a lot of effort into it. You actually need to groom it a few times a week and also sometimes on a daily basis as well. Detailed grooming or professional care is needed every four to eight weeks. You also need to provide daily brushing so you prevent matting and also remove loose hair and tangles.
Bichon Frise Price and Breeders
The popularity of Bichon Frise dogs is quite high and you can find breeders almost everywhere today. They are probably most popular in America currently, but France and Canada also have a lot of breeders where Bichons are found. If you want to buy a Bichon Fires, unfortunately, it is not cheap. Depending on the background and various elements a Bichon can fetch a price that goes all the way to 2,500 USD, but the lowest or starting price is somewhere about 200 USD.
Since it is expensive to buy a Bichon Frise puppy, there are other ways for you to get one. This means that you can adopt one or go to a shelter and rescue a Bichon. Probably the most popular group is the Bichon Frise Club of America, Inc. You can visit their page and see the many opportunities that they have for you there.
Is a Bichon Frise a Good Family Dog?
A Bichon Frise is considered an all-purpose dog. They are playful and gentle and have a lot of energy. They are great both as companion dogs and as family dogs. They like being around people and get along with almost everybody. They also like other animals and don’t mind being around them. More importantly, a Bichon Frise doesn’t mind being around children and will enjoy their company, making it a great family dog.
Can Bichons Be Left Alone?
Generally speaking, a Bichon Frise does not like being left alone for long periods of time. Sometimes it can depend on the puppy, but in general cases, they prefer the company of someone else. Smaller dogs, particularly pups will not tolerate being alone and will start to bark. Older ones may tolerate more and in some drastic cases won’t even mind it. If you do own a Bichon Frise and simply have to leave it alone for a period of time, find somebody to take care of it while you are away.
Do Bichons Smell?
Unfortunately, a Bichon Frise will smell and in some cases smell a lot. Due to the fact that they have long and fluffy coats, it can lead them to sweat more than other dogs. This is particularly prominent during summer. As these types of dogs are very active they tend to move a lot and start to smell because of that.
Are Bichons Hard to Potty Train?
A Bichon Frise is generally considered an intelligent and well-behaved animal. They can be trained for various things and it should start as early as possible. However, they can be notoriously hard to potty train. Confining a dog is never a good thing but in the case of this breed, one should determine ways how to potty train it early on.
Do Bichon Frise Like to Cuddle?
A Bichon Frise is known for being a very active dog. They are energetic and move around often. Due to their fluffy fur, they resemble teddy bears and are sociable and likable by many. Due to those traits, many people like to coddle a Bichon and they don’t mind it at all. These types of dogs like playing around with almost everybody and prefer the company of people.
Are Bichon Frises Aggressive?
A Bichon Frise is not an aggressive dog but can be better described as being shy. They are not going to become aggressive for no apparent reason. They are generally happy and loveable. However, they tend to snap when provoked. Thus if you are trying to agitate this type of dog it will try to retaliate. But this is usually because of fear and not due to temper. This type of behavior is referred to as “fear aggression.”
How Often Should a Bichon Frise Be Walked?
As a general rule, every puppy should be walked for 2 to 5 minutes every month of its age a day. So if you have a puppy which is 8 months old, you should take it for a walk for about 8 to 20 minutes. A Bichon Frise is a lively dog but they do not need so much exercise. You can keep it to a minimum but you should not neglect it and always walk your dog.
Why Do Bichons Lick so Much?
There are many reasons why a Bichon Frise likes to lick stuff. They can lick the furniture, themselves, or their owners. They can do so because they like the salty taste of the skin of the owner or because of affection. They usually lick themselves because they want to keep tidy and are grooming.