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Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a fluffy and peppy, non-sporting dog breed that looks very much like an adorable little toy. But there’s much more to the Bichon Frise than good looks. With their cheerful attitude and curious demeanor, they are sure to win everybody’s hearts, and one thing that can be said for certain is that the Bichon Frise will never get tired of being the center of attention. 

12 – 15 years
Adult males and females weigh approximately 3-6kg
Adult males and females measure 23-28cm
UK Kennel Club Groups
The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Basic training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys gentle walks
  • Needs under an hour of walking a day
  • Small dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
  • Gets along with other pets with training
  • Great family dog
  • Needs a small garden
  • Can happily live in the city
  • Can be left occasionally with training
Generally healthy breed

Bichon Frise dogs can suffer from:
- Patellar luxation
- Skin allergies
- Cataracts which is a condition where the lens in the eye becomes cloudy and this can result in blindness. 
- Bladder stones which are where minerals collect in the bladder forming stones which cause pain and discomfort.
- Portosystemic shunts which is a condition where the blood does not pass through the liver normally, which leads to toxin build-up.
- Diabetes mellitus which is a conditions where dogs develop very high sugar levels because they do not produce a normal amount of insulin.

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing:
- Eye screening scheme

Bichon Frise Appearance

Well-balanced dogs with smart appearances, Bichons are small and solid. Their jet-black eyes and noses contrast against their snow-white coats, and their tails are like plumes which are curved and carried over their backs. Their silky coats, which consist of spirally formed hair, give them the appearance of powder puffs. The adult male and female Bichon Frise size is 23-28 cm and they weigh approximately 3-6 kg. Although the most common Bichon Frise colours are white and cream, they can also boast different mixes like white and apricot, or white and buff. 

Bichon Frise Personality

These lively, happy little dogs adore family life. They love to accompany the family on all outings, but can be taught to be left alone occasionally. They socialise well and are fine in the company of other dogs and pets in the household. 

Bichon Frise Fun Facts 

  • The origin of the name Bichon Frise is up for debate. Some argue it comes from the Old French term for female dog ‘biche’ while others say that it’s a shortening of ‘barbichon’, which means small poodle, and derives from ‘barbiche’, meaning shaggy dog. Later on, the French coined the term ‘bichon à poil frisé’ which was shortened and simplified by the English to become Bichon Frise. 
  • There are actually four different types of Bichon Frise: the original one known as the Tenerife, the Maltese, and the Bolognaise. 
  • Bichon Frise have been widely popular among famous artists, and it’s not uncommon to see them represented in many paintings from 16th century Europe. World-famous Spanish painter Francisco de Goya was a huge admirer of the breed, having painted several artworks featuring a Bichon Frise. 
  • They are one of the most hypoallergenic dog breeds as they are known to molt very little.  


What is the life expectancy of a Bichon Frise? 

The Bichon Frise lifespan is actually dependent on where they live, with the average Bichon Frise getting to live a longer life of 16 years in the UK and shorter, of only 12-13 years, in the U.S. and Canada. On average, however, the Bichon Frise lifespan is 15 years. 

Do Bichon Frise shed? 

Shedding in a Bichon Frise is minimal, but they do need more grooming than other dog breeds to keep their coat in good condition and to avoid knots. 

Are Bichon Frise dogs easy to train? 

Yes, Bichon Frises are highly trainable as they are typically very eager to please their owners. They do need, however, a lot of dedication, consistency, and positive reinforcement as they can be quite stubborn at times. 

Do Bichon Frise smell? 

No, the Bichon Frise dog breed is practically odourless unless they get into something, or have an underlying disease. 

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