Height: 9-12 inches from shoulders
Weight: 7-12 lbs.
Life Span: 12-15 years
Area of Origin: Spain/France
Similar Breeds: French Bulldog, Lhasa Apso, Lowchen, Poodle, Tibetan Spaniel, Tibetan Terrier
History and Origin:
The Bichon Frise originated in the Mediterranean from the Barbichon family of ancient dogs. This family of dogs was originally divided into four groups: Bichon Bolognais, Bichon Havanais, Bichon Maltais, and Bichon Teneriffe. The standard Bichon Frise breed was developed in fourteenth century. A favorite pet of sailors, the Bichon breeds became popularized in Spain during the 14th Century. By the sixteenth century, Bichon Frise dogs became popular in royal courts of France where they were used to perform entertaining acts and tricks to earn money. The breed wasn’t brought into the United States until 1955 and was first originally recognized by the AKC in 1976.
Personality and Temperament:
Bichon Frise is a small and cute looking dog with gentle and steady temperament. They have a tendency to bond with everyone in the family especially with children. They are quite enthusiastic and playful and get along well with other dogs and pets. Bichon Frise dogs are good with new people once they get to know them for a few minutes, however they have a reputation for excessive barking when the first encounter a new person. They are heavily dependent on their owners for socialization and will not be pleased if left alone for a long period of time. Since Bichon Frise dogs are small in size, they are perfectly suitable for apartments and small house owners. Since they are hypoallergenic, they are perfect for anyone with pet allergies. They are generally happy and cheerful, and their affectionate behavior makes them a great family companion.
Exercise & Training:
Bichon Frise dogs require frequent exercise, at least twice a day. They can be taken on a brisk walk or love to play different types of in the house. Besides exercise, it is necessary that owners spend a lot of time with them and involve them in family activities to prevent them from separation anxiety. The loneliness can make them troublesome or sometimes destructive. Bichon Frise dogs are intelligent and easy to train. The most common training includes obedience, crate and agility training. They are easily trained to do tricks, and love to perform to get the attention of their owners. The learning process becomes even faster if they are treated gently. Since they are sensitive by nature, harsh behavior and punishment can easily hurt their emotions.
Bichon Frise dogs are very high maintenance, and they require a lot of grooming and bathing. They have a fluffy white coat which needs to be brushed several times a week. The coat should also be washed regularly in order to maintain crystal white look. Bichon Frise are generally considered healthy dogs, but you still need to keep them very clean and properly groomed. Their teeth, nails and ears require proper regular cleaning. To keep their coat white it takes consistent care, as neglect can lead to it looking dirty and grey. It needs proper trimming to keep it from looking shaggy and unkempt. Unlike most other dog breeds, Bichon Frise don’t shed very much. While their shedding is minimal, they do need to be brushed regularly to remove their fallen hair. If they are not combed regularly, their hair will get tangled and can damage the skin underneath. Sometimes, their coat needs to be shaved to the skin to ensure the proper growth of hair.
The Bichon Frise breed is a popular dog breed and has a unique appeal. Both in terms of looks and function, they are quite similar to other non sporting dogs such as French Bulldog, Lhasa Apso, Lowchen, Poodle and Tibetan Spaniel. All of them are small in stature and have a fairly long silky coat. They are highly trainable dog breeds and ideal for taking part in obedience and carting competitions.
Interesting Facts about the Bichon Frise:
1. French King Henry III (reigned 1574 1589) loved his Bichon Frise dog so much that he used to carry him around his neck.
2. Chocolate is dangerous for Bichon Frise dogs. It contains a compound named theobromine and even its smallest of amount can be detrimental to a Bichon.
3. Bichon Frise dogs have been featured in the art work of many renowned artists such as Francisco de Goya, Sir Joshua Reynolds and Italian painter Titian.
4. Bichon Frise dogs have very few taste buds, six times less taste than a human being.