Bichon Frise Photo

Bichon Frise Dog Breed Info & Pictures

It only takes one look at a Bichon Frise to know exactly what type of dog you are going to get. These little fluffballs act as cute as they look and make great companions for all ages. This breed is often mistaken for a Poodle, but they are members of the Barbichon family. They stand just under a foot tall and weigh about 10 pounds. Despite their small stature, the American Kennel Club does not classify them as a toy breed. Rather, the Bichon Frise dog is a member of the non-sporting group.

A Bichon Frise, known as a Bichon for short, is almost always entirely white with lots of fluffy fur, especially around the face. They have black eyes and noses. Their arched necks give them a proud, confident look, and their plumed tails follow the curve of their backs.

Speaking of their face, this breed almost always has a cheerful expression that’s reflective of their generally sunny disposition. They started out as companions for French sailors and continue to make excellent companions today. Their history also means that they love the water. A Bichon Frise thrives in all types of environments and in all types of living situations.

Bichon Frise Fast Facts

Non-Sporting
13 - 15 years
Mediterranean environs
Antiquity
11 - 16 lb
10 - 15 lb
10 - 12"
9 - 11"
Bichon Frisse, Bishon Frise, or Bichon Freese.
Bichon Tenerife, Bichon a Poil Frise

Temperament

Bichons might be small in stature, but dont tell them that....

They love to be the center of attention and really know how to impress a crowd. In fact, they are so social that they can develop anxiety and become destructive if left alone for too long. Keep that in mind if you have a job or other responsibilities that keep you away from the house for long stretches.

This breed can also be difficult to housetrain. Crate training Bichon Frise puppies is recommended to help the process. Beyond that, they are highly trainable and love to impress anyone who will watch with any trick they learn. Thanks to their gentle disposition, they are often used as therapy dogs and taken to nursing homes to provide companionship to the elderly. Its hard not to smile while you see that adorable little face looking back at you!

Bichons do well around children and other animals, but their size does provide some challenges. Small children and larger dogs must be trained to be gentle with them and the level of contact should be increased gradually until everyone is comfortable with each other. However, dont overprotect your Bichon; doing so can increase their tendency for anxiety. Gradual training with lots of positive reinforcement works best for this breed.

Caring For a Bichon Frise

Grooming is a must to keep a Bichon looking their best....

This breed is doesnt shed, so theyre a great fit for someone with allergies. However, they require daily brushing and a monthly bath and trim to remove old hair and allow new hair to grow in its place. This is best done by a professional groomer, but highly motivated owners can learn how to do it themselves.

Bichon Frise dogs are also prone to scratching and chewing on themselves, which makes them vulnerable to skin issues. Keep an eye out for this behavior and try to correct it as quickly as you can upon noticing it. The scratching may be due to allergies, which are common in this breed. Allergy triggers range from food to contact with other types of animals. Grooming is a good opportunity to look for red patches on the skin that can be indicative of an allergic reaction.

Teeth problems also tend to plague Bichons. They can suffer early tooth loss and complications from gum infection if dental care is not a priority. Brush their teeth at least two to three times per week (daily is ideal) to keep gum disease and tooth decay at bay. Their nails should also be trimmed regularly as part of the grooming process.

Bichon Frise History

Breed History

Although the name sounds French, the Bichon actually has Spanish heritage....

They accompanied Spanish sailors on long voyages in the 1500s, eventually making their way to France. Once in France, they became a favorite of rulers like Henry VII and Napoleon III.

During the 19th century, the Bichon Frise transitioned from the pet of royalty into a commoners dog. They performed tricks as part of the traveling circus, accompanied organ grinders in the street, and served as guide dogs for the blind. Interest waned in the early part of 20th century and, had it not been for a revival after World War I, the breed may have gone extinct. The Bichon became part of the French Kennel Club in 1933.

Despite such a long history in Europe, they did not make their way to the United States until the 1950s. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1972 and has quickly grown in popularity in the US. They are currently 45th in popularity of 175 breeds ranked by the AKC and are gaining ground each year as more people seek out hypoallergenic dogs.