Bichon Frise

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Species group:

Other name(s): Bichon; Bichon à poil frisé; Bichon Tenerife

The basics:
The playful, peppy little Bichon Frise can be the right choice for families where there is usually someone at home to play, snuggle, and hang out with an adorable, lively cutie. Although ranked as a so-called non-sporting group dog and probably descended from the Barbet or Water Spaniel, this breed makes a fine house pet that shares some characteristics with the true toys. Bichons are an easy-going companion for people able to spend time with them, but they may become timid or anxious if left alone for long periods of time.

The original Bichon Frise was developed in the Canary Islands and eventually brought to France, where they were considered a dog fit for kings and emperors, including King Henry and Napoleon III. At some point in the late 1800s, the fad passed, and they went from royal pet to circus performer. However, their good nature and endearing looks continue to win new fans today.

Appearance / health:
The Bichon Frise is a small, sturdy, white fluffy dog. The head is slightly big with a short muzzle that does not taper. The body is small but proportionate. The round eyes are black or brown in color. The ears are droopy covered with loads of hair. The neck is long and slightly arched. The long plumed tail is a distinguishing characteristic of the Bichon.

The breed does not shed much. However, their thick, fine coats require frequent brushing and bathing to prevent matt formation.

Bichons require moderate amounts of exercise to stay fit. Puppies should not be over-exercised.

The Bichon Frise is prone to health conditions such as cataracts, skin and ear ailments, epilepsy, and luxating patella (dislocated kneecaps leading to lameness or crippling). The breed can also be prone to dental ailments.

Behavior / temperament:
Separation anxiety is often seen in Bichons that are kept alone for long periods. This may lead to behavioral problems such as barking, chewing, and biting. Training, socialization, and exercise are necessary to help the Bichon adjust well to his surroundings.

The breed has a high learning rate but requires consistent, firm, and patient training. Housebreaking may take more time. Positive reinforcement techniques work best with this breed. The breed is usually not noisy and a properly trained dog does not bark without a good reason, making them a good choice if you need a watchdog for a smaller property. However, if poorly trained or neglected, your pet could be yappy.

Is a Bichon Frise right for you?

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What owners are saying about Bichon Frise health

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What owners are saying about Bichon Frise behavior and training

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Darling Beauregard

Beau was a hand me down dog. He belonged to my sister-in-laws grandmother and when she went into a retirement home she could no longer care for him so my brother and sister-in-law got their first dog! Beau quickly became my brothers best friend. They were inseparable, my bro...

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