15 Facts You Should Know About Bichon Frise

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Bichon Frise is one of the most popular small dogs breed in the world. This lap dog is keen on adventure and spending time with his family. Learn what makes this lap dog unique and read on.

Bichon Frise is one of the worlds most popular companion dogs. This snowy-white dog had been favorite for many generations. Baby doll-faced breed is one of the most famous lap dogs. In addition, this fluffy companion comes with a fluffy tail and a very bouncy personality. Read on and learn most important facts about Bichon Frise.

1. Bichon Frise Has A Long History

Bichon Frise is a part of a big family of little white dogs, simply known as Barbichon types. This family includes:

It’s not known from where did they exactly came from, but it’s known for sure that they were linked with Tenerife and that they have a Mediterranean background. Therefore, it’s believed that an ancient breed named Bichon Tenerife, is a primary ancestor of today’s fluffy and bouncy Bichon Frise.

This breed exists for at least 2,000 years. They went a long way throughout the Mediterranean and made their way through the world as popular trade items. After all, they were blooming because of their small size and alluring personality.

During the famous Renaissance, they could be found at the royal court of France. Moreover, they lived to the royal courts of Italy and Spain as well.

They were so popular that members of the royal family carried them everywhere with them.

The most interesting story about royalties and their connection with Bichon goes to King Henry III. Henry actually carried little dogs with him all the time. He had specially designed baskets that hung around his neck.

2. Bichon Frise Worked As Performers

Bichon’s popularity came to an end when the French Revolution hit back in 1789. Aristocrats came to a rude end. For Bichon’s it meant that their owners ended up in jail or worse, meaning that they were left to survive. They were forced to change the comfort of royal chambers for wet and dirty streets. However, thanks to their intelligence and vivid nature, they managed to survive.

But, thanks to their ability to learn tricks fast and entertain they managed to get food while performing in the circus. They were active in street performances as well. Furthermore, Gypsies favored the dogs for their ability to do tricks and for their charming personalities. They were excellent for showbiz success. Luckily, nowadays they are only entertaining they favorite humans inside of their homes.

With the War World I, and later on War World II, Bichon’s were once again left out in the cold. Luckily, a few Bichons were taken off the streets of Belgium and France, leading to preservation of the breed.

Therefore, the breed survived and was recognized in France under the patronage of the Societé Centrale Canine in 1933. They were listed as the Bichon a Poil Frisé—the, meaning ‘Bichon of the curly hair’. They moved on to the United States in the year 1956.

3. Bichon Frise Is A Small Breed

One of the many reasons why Bichon Frise got its fame was their size. They are rather compact. Therefore, they are often known as ‘lap dogs’, while their personality is not fond of being held in a lap. Overall, their physical appearance is indeed compact. Their body is all about balance.

They are small but sturdily built with balanced and proud posture. Their fur is double-coated and very dense, so don’t think that this little fella will stay at home when its raining or snowing. Moreover, Bichon’s are always white. Puppies can be at the beginning slightly yellow.

They get their doll-face thanks to their dark lips and black nose which complete the friendly face. Altogether, it’s really challenging not to fall in love with this fluffy and playful dog. By the time they turn 18 months, Bichon Frise reaches its full size.

Males are in general between 23 – 30cm (9-11 inch), while females are slightly smaller, between 23-28cm (9-11 inch). When it comes to their weight, they are extremely light, for males reaching 3 to 5kg (6-11 pounds), and females 3-5kg (6-11 pounds). Their life span is generally 12–15 years.

4. Bichons Are Mona Lisa’s Of Canines World

Thanks to their small body and fluffy look they were adored by many artists. Moreover, they used to sit still for hours so painters could draw their posture. There were two painters who were simply mesmerized with this breed. Therefore, Bichon Frise was often seen in the works of Albrecht Dürer and Auguste Renoir.

These artists just loved to add these dogs to their paintings. They were added to the most unexpected places, so you need to look really careful at some pictures to find them! If you are up for some Bichon-painting quest check this link.

5. Bichon Frise Is A Great Family Dog

This breed is a great family addition. Moreover, they are a natural fit for families. They can easily adapt to new environments and the people around him. They will easily adapt to babies as well.

They love being a part of the family pack. That’s the surrounding where they thrive the most. If you open the door of your home to this little fella you can expect to be entertained 24/7. They will perform a new trick to you all the time. After all, they are such people-pleasers. But, don’t expect to get that entertainment without a price.

You need to devote your time to this dog. They will demand your attention, cuddling moments and a lot of outdoor time. Although they are great with children they shouldn’t be left alone without supervision.

Also, expect occasional barking, especially when someone comes to the door or is somewhere nearby.

6. Bichon’s Are Great With Other Dogs

This is a breed that gets along nicely both with humans and other animals. They are not afraid of big dogs, so you can expect Bichon to get along nice equally with Dogue de Bordeaux and tiny Sheepadoodles. If you are a feline owner as well, don’t be worried, Bichon will get along perfectly with your cat as well.

They are just that friendly. Interestingly, Bichon loves being the center of attention, so you can expect him to fight over your affection with other dogs, using tricks and affection.

But, don’t forget that until your puppy is vaccinated and safe don’t let him mix with other dogs. Always make sure that your dog is protected from distemper, rabies and parvovirus. During that time you can train and socialize your dog at home.

7. Bichon Frise Is A ‘Pamper’

During their life with the royal family, Bishon was real ‘fluffy white dog’. They were so well treated and even sprinkled with rare and expensive perfumes. Therefore, there was a special name for those dogs – pampered dogs.

They were heavily pampered, meaning that first of all, they were a very tolerant breed of pampering, including dressing up with bows and even more dressing up in vivid outfits.

That’s why they are pampered even today, so you can expect some moderate grooming and overall maintenance. Furthermore, they may not be living up in the royal courts anymore, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t expect to be pampered as they are still pets of the kings. After all, when your pet sees you like a king, you should step up your game and deliver royal treatment. To keep your Bichon fresh, fluffy and white you should perform occasional brushing and baths.

Good to know: Regular combing will keep their fur untangled and unmatted.

8. Bichon Frise Needs Weekly Grooming

Having a fluffy companion is always great, but that fluffiness doesn’t come without the time investment. This little dog requires big grooming. After all, Bichon is known for having a double coat and white color which means double the work.

You need to brush your fluffy canine at least twice a week and give him a bath time when it’s necessary – like when he gets dirty. It is advised to check his ears on a weekly level and to keep his face clean. Long hair that falls around the eyes and mouth, leads to discharge and mucus from the eyes which results in stains and can cause severe eye problems if left without control and regular check-ups.

Good to know: Make sure that you brush your dog before bathing. That’s the best way to remove any mats or tangles.

9. They Are Extremely Active

Bichons are extremely curious and smart. These treats make them a perfect companion. However, intelligence and curiosity are followed with strong adventurous needs. Yes, you need to keep an eye on this small dog. Therefore, before you open the door of your home, and heart, to this canine make sure to dog-proof your home.

Protecting your canine means that you create a safe doggy environment. Remove any potential dangerous objects, including garbage cans, small toys, poisonous plants, and even electric cords. In addition, remove anything that your dog could swallow.

Bichons are great by nature, they are just adventurous. Therefore, teaching your dog basic commands like ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ will boost communication with your dog and create a strong and long-lasting bond.

Dog-proofing your home doesn’t mean that your job is done. This adventurous dog will go for an adventure beyond your house. There are real chances that this canine will jump right out of the door as soon as you leave it open. Even if it’s just for a second. And on that note, make sure that you provide proper protection around your house as well, or a terrace if you are apartment-based. Better safe than sorry.

10. Cute Doesn’t Mean Easy To Train

Yes, Bichons are known for being a cute and true joyful bundle of cuteness. However, it doesn’t mean that they will be easy to train and to make them obey you. Actually, you can get ready for anything but obedience, because this breed has its share of stubbornness.

This intelligent dog will demand your guidance, or otherwise, he will lead you. This intelligent breed needs to be taught proper canine manners, so it’s essential to start training as soon as possible, including early socialization. If you feel that you need additional help you can search for professional help and incorporate puppy classes. Bichons are prone to learn quickly, and they love to perform, so taking them to such classes can be more than satisfying for them. Although they are not heavy on sport, they are good at tricks and canine sports.

11. They Are Great For People With Allergies

Frise’s are one of few small breed that don’t shed a lot. Therefore, Bichons are highly recommended for people with allergies. However, this is still something that you should discuss with your allergist since everyone reacts differently to a Bichon. So, make sure that before you get a dog, including this one, make sure that you won’t suffer from any allergies. The best way to learn if you gonna have some allergies on this dog is to spend some time in his presence.

The great thing about Frise is that they won’t shed a lot, and they shed less than other dogs. Interestingly, they shed as much as humans do.

12. Bichon Frise Doesn’t Like To Be Alone

Bichon Frise is a people-pleaser and they tend to seek humans attention all the time. However, when it comes to their independence they are not keen on being left on their own. Bichons are not fans of lonely hours. Furthermore, they have a reputation for suffering from separation anxiety.

This doesn’t mean that they won’t be able to stay some time of period alone, but that they can stay for a maximum of hours alone, like 6 hours. On the other hand, if your lifestyle requires you to stay away from home more than 8 or 9 hours maybe this isn’t your dog and you should think about getting a dog that matches your needs and life style.

Moreover, they are very adaptable to every situation as long as they don’t have to spend too much time alone.

13. They Tend To Have Dental Issues

It’s typical for small dogs to have dental issues, including Bichon Frise. Small dogs are prone to having severe dental problems. In this case, prevention is something that works best with this health issue. Therefore, make sure that you contact your veterinarian about a proper and effective care program, and most importantly don’t treat dental issues lightly.

Although this breed won’t spread any allergies on you, they are known for having a share fair of allergies when it comes to ear problems, skin issues, and even hair loss. So, make sure that you support your dog’s dental health on a daily level.

14. Bichon Frise And Health Issues

Whether your Bichon Frise is a puppy or an adult, you can expect some health issues, just like with any other dog. After all, all dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just like humans can inherit a particular disease.

Although they are long-lived and fairly healthy, they can develop at some period of their life hyp dysplasia which is a genetic hip deformity, while the kneecaps can easily slip out of place, a condition known as ‘luxating patellas.’

Regardless of the dog’s size, your canine can develop any condition and allergy. Therefore, it’s crucial to implement proper nutrition for your canine, have regular walks and training, and moreover have regular veterinarian check-ups.

15. They Don’t Like Being Overprotected

People have a natural urge to protect anything that’s small. That urge can be linked with humans desire to pinch baby’s cheek every time baby smiles at us. The smaller the cuter. Our brain simply works like that, so no wonder that we have a tendency of being overprotective toward smaller animals as well, especially dogs.

Bichons are small and cute, but it doesn’t mean that they need to be overprotected. Overprotecting your dog can lead to behaviors that you don’t want to see in your dog, like your dog being shy, fearful and spoiled. By doing so you can do much more harm than good.

Your dog needs to be confident in order to cope with his surrounding, other animals and people. So make sure that you never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, pet store or puppy mill.

Always look for a reputable breeder where you can check for any genetic diseases and their temperament. Also, you can always check a local shelter. Who knows, maybe your perfect dog is much closer than you believe.