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Bichon Frise Dog Breed Information

Bichon Frise (pronounced as BEE-shawn Free-ZAY) is a small and sturdy dog of the Bichon type. Descended from Water Spaniel and Standard Poodle, Bichon Frise is a playful, curious and intelligent dog. Described as “a white powder puff of a dog whose merry temperament is evidenced by his plumed tail carried jauntily over the back and his dark-eyed inquisitive expression” by the AKC standard, Bichon Frise is a good street performer and companion as well. The dog has high energy levels.


Breed Name Bichon Frise
Origin Spain/Belgium/France (There are controversies over the exact origin of this dog)
Other name Bichon à poil friesBichon Tenerife
Lifespan 12-15 years
Breed Group Non Sporting Group in the US, Toy Dog in UK
Size type Small
Breed type  Companion Dogs
Height Males: 9 – 12 inches

Females: 9 – 11 inches

Weight 7-12 pounds
Temperament Curious, Playful, Peppy, Affectionate, intelligent
Coat color Pure white
Coat characteristics It is a double coated breed. Undercoat is soft and dense while the outer coat is coarse and has a substantial texture.
What to feed They can be 1/2 to 1.5 cups of high-quality dry food in a day. This meal should be divided into two parts.
Litter Size 4-5 puppies
Training Highly trainable
Living conditions When getting enough exercise, the dog can live in an apartment
Exercise requirement Low
Health Concerns Major concerns: Patellar Luxation
Minor concerns: Tooth loss, Cataract
Grooming needs It is necessary for this breed to take a bath every month, professional grooming once every 30 days is recommended
Bred for Companionship
Similar dogs Coton De Tulear, Havanese, Lowchen, Lhasa Apso
Recognition ACA = American Canine Association Inc.ACR = American Canine Registry

AKC = American Kennel Club

ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club

APRI = American Pet Registry,Inc.

BFCA = The Bichon Frise Club of America

CKC = Canadian Kennel Club

CKC = Continental Kennel Club

DRA = Dog Registry of America,Inc.

FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale

KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain

NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.

NKC = National Kennel Club

NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club

UKC = United Kennel Club


 Star Rating:

Characteristics Stars (based on 5) Characteristic Stars (based on 5)
Affection level 4.5 stars Intelligence 3 stars
Apartment friendly 4.5 stars Playfulness 3  stars
Barking tendency 3 star Shedding level 1 star
Cat friendly 4.5 star Social needs 4.5 stars
Children friendly  3 stars Stranger friendly 4.5 stars
Dog friendly 4.5 stars Territorial aggression 3 stars
Exercise needs 2 stars Trainability 3 stars
Grooming 4.5 stars Watchdog ability 3 stars

Some interesting facts about Bichon Frise :

  • Puppies of Bichon Frise sleep for 21-22 hours a day during the few first weeks of their life.
  • Puppies of Bichon Frise are born deaf, blind and without a single tooth.
  • Hairs of Bichon Frise never stop growing.
  • The dog was believed to be originated in France as a lap dog.
  • Bichon Frise is a descendent of Water Spaniel and the Standard Poodle.
  • Bichon Frise was registered with AKC in 1972.
  • ‘Frise’ is a French term which means ‘curly’, the name of the dog is derived from French.
  • Bichon Frises were used by Spanish sailors to greet people; they were used as goodwill ambassadors by those sailors.
  • Bichon Frises have been employed as circus dogs. These dogs gained popularity as entertainers in 19th
  • These dogs have got place in paintings of Spanish painter Francisco de Goya.
  • Kings of France were fond of Bichon Frises. Their popularity in France can be estimated from the fact that there is a verb in French named “bichonner” which means to beautify or to pamper.
  • These dogs are hate water.

 Is Bichon Frise suitable for you?

A Bichon Frise is suitable for you if you want a dog who: A Bichon Frise may not be suitable for you if you want a dog who:
  • Is small in size
  • Can live without too much outdoor exercises
  • Is playful
  • That sheds less
  • Has a coat with curls
  • Behaves good with other pets
  • Is difficult to housebreak
  • Doesn’t want to be left alone. This dog can suffer from separation anxiety when left alone.
  • Is shy at times
  • Whose coat clips
  • Sometimes barks excessively

 More information about Bichon Frise:


There are controversies over the exact origin of Bichon Frise. It is believed that Bichon Frises were originated in the Mediterranean and are descended from Barbet which is a medium sized dog. The dog is from the Barbichon family of dogs which also include the Bichon Frise, the Coton de Tulear, the Bolgnese, the Havanese, and the Maltese.

The proof of the existence of this breed can be found in 14th century when some dogs were brought from Tenerife. Some people also believe that Bichon Frise were originally developed in Italy and were brought to Tenerife by traders who used Phoenician trade route. While, according to some people Spanish seamen brought the dog to Terrine which were taken back by Italians later on.

Bichon-Frise Dog

Upon their arrival in Europe, these dogs soon gained popularity in France, especially among French aristocracy. In late 1800s, the dog was popular among organ grinders and circus performers. The dogs hare favorite among people for their adorable looks and intelligence.  The French breeders worked more to preserve the Bichon Frise after the First World War.

These dogs were first brought in the US in 1956 and were officially registered with American Kennel Club in 1972. The Bichon Frise Club of America got recognition from AKC in 1975.


The dog looks round when it is clipped in a show cut. A small and sturdy Bichon Frise has a skull which looks slightly rounded. The eyes of the dog are of black or dark brown color. Muzzle of the dog is shorter than the skull and is not pointed. The long tail of the dog is carried over its back, and is curly. The dog has a curly and dense double coat. The outer coat of the dog is 3-4 inches long and is curlier than the inner coat. Long hairs of the dog cover its ears and the dog has sharp teeth. The dog is similar to poodle when it comes to shedding as the coat of the dog sheds a little. Bichon Frise of white color is preferred over dogs of other colors.

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The Bichon Frise is a playful, sweet, curious, affectionate and intelligent dog. The dog wants the attention of his owner and other members in the family. The dog allures people with its winning personality. However, the dog is not for them who stay away from their dog for long as the dog suffers from separation anxiety when left alone for long hours. The dog may show destructive behavior when he suffers from separation anxiety. Early socialization is important for this dog to make sure that dog is well behaved. Bichon Frises are good at canine sports and learning new tricks, so any effort you will put to teach them is worth it.

However, the temperament of the Bichon Frise is affected by various factors such as training, socialization, heredity etc. Meeting one of the parents of Bichon Frise will help to evaluate the temperament of the puppy. Exposing your puppy to difference experiences and environments is something which help in becoming an all round dog and improve his social intelligence.


Like most of the dogs, Bichons are likely to catch certain diseases. It is important to have proper knowledge of diseases which can affect your dog. T make sure that your dog remains healthy, it is important to buy a puppy from a breeder who will show health clearances for both the parents of the puppy.  The following are the health problems which can affect Bichon Frises:

Bladder Problems: This breed is prone to bladder stones and bladder infections. Having excessive magnesium, protein, and phosphorus in the diet can cause bladder infections. If your dog take long times between urination, it is another reason that can cause bladder infection in your dog. Frequent urination, bloody urine, difficulty in urinating, and loss of appetite are the symptoms when you should take him to the vet for a checkup.

  • Allergies: Contact allergies and food allergies are major allergies which can affect Bichon Frises. Flea bites can also affect Bichon Frises. Excessive scratching, paw licking and face rubbing are often signs of allergies in a Bichon Frises.
  • Patellar Luxation: Also known as slipped stifles and kneecap dislocation, this is a problem which is often seen in small dogs. It happens when the knee joint of a hind leg slides.
  • Vaccination Sensitivity: Routine vaccinations can sometimes cause vaccination sensitivity in dogs. Hives, lethargy, facial swelling, and soreness include the common symptoms. Further complications may also lead to death, but it happens in rare cases.
  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a serious and heritable disease in dogs in which the thighbone of the dog doesn’t fit comfortably into the hip joint. There may be pain and lameness in one or both rear legs in case of hip dysplasia. The condition may be diagnosed via X-ray screening. With age, arthritis can develop in the dog.
  • Juvenile Cataracts: It is also believed to be inherited disease and develops at an early age.


The amount of food which your dog needs depends on the age, metabolism, size, and activity level of the dog. For a normal adult Bichon Frise dog, 1/2 to 1.5 cups of high-quality dry food should be fed, divided into two meals. It is not recommended to feed your dog the same food every day and it is important to feed him variety in food while taking care of proper nutrition at the same time.

Feeding Bichon Frise

Only high quality food should be fed to your dog to make sure that your dog gets good nourishment. It is important to keep a check on what your dog eats and offer him measured food. If you expose food to your dog for all day long, he may get obese because of excessive eating.


The Bichon Frise dog has double layer coat. The undercoat is soft and dense while outer coat is coarse and shiny. The dog looks like powder puff as the coat stands away from the body of the dog. Contrary to the popular belief that Bichon Frise don’t shed, the truth is a bit different. When the Bichon Fries shed, the hairs are stuck in the undercoat instead of falling on the floor. It is important to remove those hairs in the undercoat as it can lead to skin problems in the dog.

Bichon Frise is a high maintenance dog and you will need to devote decent time to make sure that your dog looks good and stays happy. Since the dog has a white coat, it is important to bath him daily to keep the coat clean. If mats are developed, it is important to remove them before bathing your dog.

Sometimes, there may be hairs in ear canal which should be plucked out. People often hire professional groomers for the grooming of their dog as it requires dedication and effort to groom this dog. Make sure that ears of the dog are clean. There may be deposition of wax, redness and foul odor in the ear which may be indication of ear infection. When your dog scratches his ear to much, it should be ignored and the dog must be taken to the vet.

Grooming for Bichon Frise

Professional grooming is required every 6 weeks or you can yourself learn grooming your dog by reading books and articles on the same. Bathing brushing, haircut, trimming of nails and cleaning of ears are something which are important to keep your dog groomed.

Since the Bichon Frise is a show dog as well, it is important to keep the face of your dog clean. There may be discharge of mucus from the eyes which can later cause eye problems in the dog.

Brushing the teeth of your dog every two or three days is important to remove the tartar and bacteria which can cause foul smell and other oral and dental problems. Nails of your Bichon should be trimmed when you see that they have grown as it may cause pain to your dog when he walks on the floor.

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It is important to focus on making the grooming session fun and rewarding for dogs. You should also take care of dog’s skin and check for rashes, redness, or inflammation on the skin as they might be symptoms of skin infection.

Care and Living:

Bichons are active indoors and make good apartment dogs when getting enough exercise. These dogs love to play and have good energy levels. Since the dog can be destructive when left alone for hours, it is important to leave him on crate when you are going out of house. These dogs will do well without a yard.


With over 15 years of experience in dealing with pets, the PetsWorld Team is now a constant guide for thousands of pet owners in India. Their passion for improving the lives of pets can be seen in their featured blog posts dedicated to pet care.

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