Bichon Frise

Breed History

Bichon Frise laying down

The Bichon Frise is a small, fluffy, lap dog that is a lover but can guard the home like a guard dog. Excellent dogs to have in the city and are apartment dwellers favorite.

Bichon Frise is one of the Barbichon dogs that features the Bolognese, Havanese, and Maltese that all share the same ancestor but are separate breeds.

Coming from Tenerife of the Canary Islands in Spain. It is the largest of seven different islands and is still one of the biggest tourist attractions for Spain.

They have a reputation historically as being sailor dogs and are closely like the water dog breed. They love and enjoy retrieving items and gravitate to the water.

Although there were popular in this area it wasn’t until the 16th century that they began to earn the popularity in other areas like France. Around this time, they were dogs of the elite and royal families in the French government.

A late bloomer to the United States they came over in the 1950’s. They remain one of the most popular dogs and are always top 50 in the nation.

Registration

Although they came to the United States in the 1950’s they weren’t given registration until 1972. Very popular dog that has recognition from all the popular Kennel Clubs around the world. Most places you go worldwide will have the Bichon Frise with a long bloodline of documentation.

Here are the Kennel Clubs that recognize them

Size

Male Weight: 6-11 pounds

Female Weight: 6-11 pounds

Male Height: 9½ to 11½ inches

Female Height: 9½ to 11½ inches

This is one of those breeds where the males and females are the same sizes. Any Bichon Frise that is below 9 inches or above 12 inches is at serious fault and may have admixture.  

Litter Size

Small dogs are known to have a small litter and this breed is no exception. You can expect to have around 3-5 puppies on average and there isn’t any birth issues the owner needs to know about.

The pregnancy last anywhere for 55 to 65 days from the time they get pregnant until they give birth to the puppies.

Colors

The only color this dog should be is white. Cream and apricot are available in very small portions. The other colors shouldn’t make up more than 10 percent of the adult Bichon Frise.

Once the dog is showing any color more than 10 percent it is not favorable for dog owners to have it on their dog. Puppies will have more than older dogs due to the small body frame but once they get older white should make up 90 percent of the coat.

Bichon Frise Price

Bichon Frise will cost you around $1,000-$3,000 from a reputable breeder. At this price you should expect to have a mother and a father dog with paperwork describing their bloodline.

If you choose to get a dog without papers, you will be looking at spending anywhere from $250-$500 for this dog. Be careful, you will not have any documentation and may be buying a dog with different bloodline than what you expect.

Grooming

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

Due to the nature of having a dog with a double coat it is advisable that you brush it every single day. That may not be popular, but it is a great habit to start if you don’t want painful grooming trips.

Combing is another activity that you need to do on a regular basis to prevent tangles and coat matting. Another painful activity if it gets too out of hand. You want to stay on top of these brushing and combing.

Bathing is something you can do on schedule or you can take care of it when the dog is dirty or smelly. That is up to you and what kind of situation you have with your dog.

Ears need to be kept clean. Clean the ears at least once or twice per week.

Nails can be trimmed during exercise and should be. If you choose the difficult training routine of no exercise, then you will need to trim the nails when they get too long.

Eyes are a big issue with little dogs often. Unfortunately, you need to make sure you wipe the face multiple times a day and keep it clean.

Professional help can be helpful because most owners won’t put in the time or don’t have the time to keep up with the high maintenance grooming. You will still need to service the tearing and ears, but the groomers can help a great deal in other areas.

Life Span

The lifespan of this dog is 12-15 years. That is a long time to own any dog and you should prepare to exercise, train, and care for this breed for almost two decades.

Most dog owners will find a dog to be special when they go buy them as a puppy, raise into an adult, and stay with them until they pass away. This is how the process of owning a dog should be.

Health Issues

Allergies – You will notice this breed is going to be affected by flea, food, and airborne allergies on a regular occurrence. Bitten by fleas can cause the reaction and will cost you on vet bills. Food allergies will result in excessive itching, big bumps, and avoiding the food bowl.  Air allergies can result in respiratory infections and can happen often.

Bladder infection – Bacteria in the bladder can result in bladder infections. Urinary tract infections are one of the most common you will have to deal with concerning Bichon Frise. Puppies are not safe from the condition and you should consult with a vet if you think your dog has this condition.

Luxation Patella – Slipped kneecap is another word for this condition. Small dogs will suffer from this more often than any other dog size. Awareness of when they start limping or shying away from physical activity like running or walking will be indication that they need an x-ray done by a vet.

Eye Diseases – Cataracts are common and can lead to your dog having an inability to see. Just like humans they will inherit their eyes from previous generations. Such conditions will continue to get worst over time and will show no signs of getting better.

Gum disease – Bad teeth and health disease are very common. Brushing the dog’s teeth and staying away from table scraps will be the best decision you can make for your dog. As high maintenance as the tooth brushing ritual can become it will leave your dog with all their teeth in the long run.

Breed Group

Bichon Frise are proud members of the Non-Sporting group. Other kennel clubs will have them under this or the toy group. Various breeds make up the group and one doesn’t have much in common with the other.

These are some of the dogs that make up the Non-Sporting Group

You can see that this group of dogs features a long list of very popular dogs across many countries with different backgrounds. Some are working dogs and others are lap dogs with everything in between.

Exercise Needs

Small dogs fall victim of people saying they don’t need much exercise. Ladies and gentlemen hopefully we all know that is the worst advice you will ever receive when it comes time to train your dog properly.

All dogs need exercise and that is regardless of size. Show me any video when dogs are in their natural habitat and they aren’t running and walking all day. You will have a difficult time finding any video of any four-legged animal.

We recommend exercise for all animals on the information we get from them being in their own environment. Here is what we recommend for this breed.

Morning: One Hour (run, walk, or treadmill)

Evening: 30 minutes (run, walk, or treadmill) optional

You need to understand that exercise every morning and night will take your dog’s behavior to another level. Recognizing your dog after one month of this kind of regiment will be hard to do.

Biting, nipping, digging, barking excessively, and chewing up items in the house are just the start of the dog trying to find an outlet. Jumping, scratching, and eating food from the table will be all the things you have to worry about unless you exercise your dog.

Friends, family, and strangers will start to compliment how great the dog is behaving.  That’s because exercise will calm down the dog and focus on behavior modification.

Simple but not easy when it comes to consistency. Walking the dog once a week is an epic fail and are signs that the owner is unaware or not making the effort to have a trained dog. And they shouldn’t expect to have a dog with proper training either.

Training

  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

Exercising consistently day and night will be the first order of business. Without this step you shouldn’t expect anything from any of the other steps.

Commands are going to be taught by giving the proper repetition. Doing the same thing over and over will teach the dog your body language when requesting commands and then the verbal understanding will follow without the body language.

Socialize the dog by taking first exercising them. Once the exercise is done having them around people and other dogs will be less intense and more natural. Continue to keep them around other dogs and humans so that they remain comfortable and not nervous around new people.

Correct the dog in accordance with using the lowest level of intensity, verbal, and progressing in a manner consistent with gaining the dogs attention. Some dogs will never need anything more and other dogs will need a leash correction until you get the attention.

Use these articles as a guideline for how to train your dog

16 Tips for Dog Park Training

How to Take You Dog to the Vet

How to Stop Dog Behavior Problems

Ultimate Puppy Training Guide

Potty Training 101 for Puppies

Dog Exercise Basics for All Breeds

Is Bichon Frise a Good Pet?

Yes, they’re a great dog with other dogs, owners, and kids. Throw in a little guard dog and you have a great combination of lap dog, easy socialization, and protection on your territory.

The only thing that this will need is a dog owner that is willing to exercise them enough to keep them satisfied physically, mentally, and emotionally. Failure to handle this small task will lead to a lot of behavior issues.

Once the owner commits to exercise and then training you will see a dog that can blossom with all the tools they need to succeed. They have the exercise, training, corrections and socialization they deserve.

When owners don’t commit to doing the minimum, they set the dog up to fail. Better for you and the dog to explore the world and let the chips fall where they may.