Life span: 12-15 Years
Height: 23-30cm (Male); 23-28cm (Female)
Weight: 7-12 pounds
Bichon Frise belongs to small-dog breeds list and is cheerful, active, energetic dogs. These dog breeds are playful but affectionate and sensitive for seeking your love. They look similar to dolls and are hypoallergenic. You can spend your leisure time with these cheerful Bichons.
Their characteristic coat is dense, fluffy, and always white. Although they do shed, the hair is caught by the undercoat and if left without grooming for too long it will become matted. Their body is small and compact, although still strong, sturdy and well proportioned. Its ears are small and furry and its tail is long and fluffy, curled above its body. Its eyes are brown with a black nose which contrast heavily against its pure white coat. As puppies, the coat can be an off-white or cream color but will turn into the striking white when grown.
Originating in the Mediterranean, this dog is part of one of the four Bichon groups, which are the Bichon Maltais, the Bichon Bolognese, the Bichon Havanese, and the Bichon Tenerife. In the 14th century, when they arrived in Europe, they became royal companions, especially favored by the King, who carried his favorites around his neck in a basket. In the 19th century they became show dogs, participating as circus dogs or with street traders, causing them to become “common” dogs and not royally favored any longer. After World War I, French breeders took interest in them, later leading to the International Kennel Club of France taking up interest in them in 1933. They arrived in the United States in 1956 and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1975.
The Bichon Frise is known to have a cheerful and playful personality. They are good with kids and love being the center of attention. They can be independent at times but enjoy the company of their family and if left alone for too long can suffer from separation anxiety. They are highly intelligent and willing to please, making them easily trainable. They do, however, need to be socialized early in life or might become overly nervous around people, causing them to bark and bite, even though this breed is not aggressive in any way.
This is a healthy breed, however, they may suffer from:
Allergies that produce the same symptoms you see in humans, and depending on the cause, different treatments can be used.
Luxating Patella, in which the kneecaps may dislocate or move from its proper place.
Juvenile cataracts, in which there is opacity on the eye’s lens that may lead to blindness.
Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.
Vaccination Sensitivity, which, as the name suggests, is a high sensitivity towards vaccinations that can result in swelling from the face, or other symptoms that may seem like allergies, even during routine vaccinations.
Bladder Problems, which may include bladder stones caused by excessive proteins, magnesium or phosphorus in the diet and can be seen by too much time passing in between urinations. It can also be bladder infections, caused by bacteria or viral infections and can be seen by blood in the urine, frequent urination, difficulty urinating and loss of appetite.
Despite being small dogs, this breed needs a lot of maintenance. They need to be brushed daily, with a minimum of two or three times a week if daily is not possible, and a bath and hair trimming at least once a month. For this many owners learn how to do it, especially those who participate in dog shows, while most take their dogs to a professional groomer around every four to six weeks. The reason their hair has to be brushed so often is because even though they shed very little, the hair shed is caught in the undercoat and if not brushed out could cause the coat to become matted. Their nails should be cut regularly, along with their ears checked for any dirt to avoid infections and its teeth brushed, which is especially important with this breed or they might experience tooth loss or gum infections. They need daily exercise, even though they are mostly calm, they may have bursts of energy and run around the house or backyard randomly. Backyards should be fenced, as this breed tends to be very fast. Training can be relatively easy, although this breed is known for being difficult to housetrain. However, they aim to please their owners and are highly intelligent, responding especially well to positive reinforcement methods. They should also have early socialization.