Playful, Curious, Peppy, Gentle
- Height9.5-11.5 in
- Weight12-18 lbs
- Lifespan14-15 years
Originating from the Canary Islands, the earliest Bichons can be traced back to the 13th century. Descended from the Water Spaniel, the Bichon Frise is a member of the Barbichon family, which includes the Bichon Frise, the Bolognese, Havanese and Maltese. It’s believed that these breeds were developed on the Canary Island of Tenerife and brought back to Europe by sailors. The Bichon Frise was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1972.
The Bichon Frise was originally bred for companionship to royals in Spain, Italy and France. With their cheerful, adaptable personalities, Bichons continue to make great companion dogs today. Bichons are really good with children and get along well with other pets. If you’re looking for a gentle lap dog to add to the family, the Bichon Frise dog is a great fit.
Bichon Frise Appearance
The Bichon Frise is a small-sized dog with a sturdy, compact build. Bichons typically weigh 12-15 pounds and stand between 9.5-11 inches in height. These dogs have a rounded head, cute floppy ears, and black eyes and nose. Bichons have a well-plumed tail that curves over their back.
Bichon Frise Temperament
Bichons are a breed that’s hard not to fall in love with. These dogs are typically gentle, friendly, playful and affectionate; it’s easy to get swept up in their charm. Bichons are very sociable and love to be the centre of attention. They have a natural tendency to engage with people and other pets. Bichons are known to suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time.
Grooming Your Bichon Frise
Although the Bichon Frise does not shed much, their curly double coat can be high maintenance when it comes to grooming. Bichons have a soft, dense undercoat, and a coarse overcoat that stands away from the body, giving them that distinctive white powder-puff hairstyle. Bichons require daily brushing to prevent their fur from becoming tangled and matted. Bichons also need regular nail trimming, ear cleaning and dental care.
Training & Exercise for Your Bichon Frise
Bichons are willing to learn and eager to please. Early socialization and puppy classes are recommended to ensure your Bichon grows into a well-behaved dog. Although they are keen learners, Bichons have a reputation for being difficult to house train. Bichons respond well to positive reinforcement and need patience and consistency in order to thrive.
The Bichon Frise is an energetic dog that needs a moderate amount of exercise. At the very least, your Bichon should get 30 minutes of daily physical activity. Bichons love daily walks around the neighborhood and do well in homes with a fenced in area where they can run freely. As a playful breed, regular games and interaction are a great way for your Bichon to burn energy and stay mentally stimulated.
Health Considerations for Bichon Frises
The Bichon Frise is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 14-15 years. To ensure your Bichon gets the most out of these years, it’s important to be aware of some of the common health issues Bichons are prone to, such as allergies, bladder infections, cataracts, diabetes, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation and obesity.
Bichon Frises are prone to allergies that affect their skin (feet, belly, ears and folds of skin). Allergies can be caused by many different things including pollen, dust mites, parasites and various proteins such as beef. Symptoms include obsessive licking, scratching and chewing of problematic areas. There are many treatment options available if your Bichon develops allergies such as a change in dog food or medication. Your veterinarian can help determine the best treatment options to ensure your Bichon continues to live a healthy and comfortable life.
The Bichon Frise is predisposed to urinary tract infections and bladder stones. The main cause of UTIs in Bichons is the unwelcomed entry of bacteria through the urethral opening. This can develop when feces, dirt or other debris infect this area. Some common symptoms your Bichon may encounter with a UTI include bloody or cloudy urine, frequent urination, urinary incontinence, fever and straining or whimpering during urination. Your vet will likely conduct a urinalysis to determine the cause and best treatment for your Bichon.
A cataract is developed when the lens of the eye clouds, preventing light from reaching the retina. Signs to watch for in your Bichon Frise include changes in eye colour, cloudy pupils in one or both eyes, confusion and clumsiness. This condition can be treated with surgery but if left untreated can lead to blindness.
Compared to other breeds, the Bichon Frise has an above average incidence of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes is an endocrine disease that affects the amount of glucose (sugar) in your Bichon’s blood. This occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to transfer glucose from the blood and into the cells so they can be used for energy. If your Bichon has diabetes, they may show signs such as excessive thirst, increased urination and weight loss. Treating diabetes may require daily injections of insulin once or twice a day, along with a regulated diet and exercise routine. If your Bichon shows any of these symptoms, contact your vet to get a proper diagnosis and management plan.
Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is one of the most common canine ailments. It’s a genetic condition that causes an abnormal formation of the hip socket, which can eventually lead to lameness and arthritis of the joints. This hereditary disease can be magnified by factors including excessive growth rate, age, types of exercise, and improper weight and nutrition. While mild conditions can be managed with prescription medication and physical therapy, more severe cases could require surgery. To prevent or reduce the severity of hip dysplasia, it’s important to ensure your Bichon Frise gets a proper diet and the right amount of exercise.
Patellar Luxation is a condition common in small dogs, including the Bichon Frise. A luxating patella is a knee cap that moves out of its normal position. When this occurs your Bichon may have difficulty bearing weight on their leg. This condition can cause your Bichon to have cartilage damage, pain, inflammation and in some cases ligament tears. Some symptoms to look for in your Bichon Frise include limping, lameness or sudden lifting of the hindlimb. Treatment will depend on the severity of the condition; however, surgery may be needed to hold the patella in its appropriate location.
Obesity can be a significant health problem in Bichon Frises. This condition can be caused by lack of exercise or overfeeding your Bichon Frise. Excess weight can put pressure on the joints and exacerbate other health problems such as diabetes and urinary stones. A great solution to keep your Bichon’s weight in check is to balance mealtime and provide adequate exercise.
What Makes a Bichon Frise Unique?
Bichon Frises are hypoallergenic
Although Bichons require extensive grooming, they’re considered to be hypoallergenic dogs. If you’re typically allergic to dogs, being around Bichons likely won’t cause an allergic response. Not only do Bichons shed very little but they produce less dander than other breeds.
The Bichon Frise is a work of art
The famous Spanish painter Francisco de Goya featured a Bichon in several of his paintings during the 18th century. The most famous piece was called, “The White Duchess”.
Bichons were entertainers during the 19th century
With their clownish personalities and love for attention, Bichons were popular street performers and members of circuses during the late 1800s. Bichons were easy to train and had a natural ability to draw an audience.
Bichons are great travel companions
According to their history, Bichons make great travel companions. During their early years, Bichons were used as ship dogs by Spanish sailors who would take them along for long travels at sea. Bichons are adaptable, easy-going and are friendly to everyone they meet!
Why NutriCanine Is Great For Bichon Frises
Top 10 Facts About Bichon Frises
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