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Bichon Frise - Small Breed Dog Profile

Updated: Apr 2

A white Bichon Frise dog

Bichon Frise: A Small Breed Dog with a Big Personality


The small breed dog, the Bichon Frise is a fantastic little dog. They make superb companions for older people and families.

They are super affectionate and fun characters! At Mary Puppins luxury dog home boarding, we always have Bichon Frise doggy guests.


"Bichon Frises are born people pleasers with high intelligence and a willingness to learn. This breed can be prone to separation anxiety and don't like being left alone for long periods; they will thrive in environments where someone is home most of the day. Bichon Frises can be quite vocal, so training and early socialisation is key." - Petplan


What is the origin of the Bichon Frise?


The charming Bichon Frise, often referred to as the Bichon, has a fascinating history that dates back centuries.

This breed's name is derived from the Middle French word "bichon," which means small dog.

The Bichon Frise is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean region, with ancestors that include the Bichon Tenerife, the Maltese, and the Coton de Tulear.

What is the Bichon Frise bred to do?


The Bichon Frise was primarily bred as a companion dog. Throughout its history, this breed was cherished by nobility and royalty, from Spanish and Italian courts to French kings.

Their delightful personalities, hypoallergenic coats, and small size made them the perfect choice to accompany their owners on long sea voyages or provide comfort and amusement at home.

What are the physical characteristics of the Bichon Frise?


The Bichon Frise is a small dog with a distinctive appearance. They usually have a weight range of 10 to 18 pounds. Stand around 9.5 to 11.5 inches at the shoulder.

Their most notable feature is their soft, curly, and hypoallergenic coat in white and canary yellow shades.

Their dark, round eyes and black nose give them an endearing, expressive look. Their plume-like tail often curls over their back, adding to their overall charm.

What are the personality traits of the Bichon Frise?


The Bichon Frise breed is widely recognised for its happy and loving temperament.

They are friendly, playful, and highly sociable dogs.

Their personalities are a delightful blend of confidence and gentleness, making them great companions for families, seniors, and singles alike.

These dogs thrive on human interaction and have a reputation for being incredibly loyal and devoted to their owners.

Bichon Frise Dog Grooming Requirements


High dog grooming needs due to their fluffy, curly coat. Regular grooming and haircuts are necessary.

The Bichon Frise's beautiful coat requires regular grooming to keep it in top condition.

Their hypoallergenic hair doesn't shed much, but if not correctly cared for, hair can become tangled and matted.

Daily brushing and occasional professional grooming are essential to maintain their elegant appearance.

Regular eye cleaning and dental care are also recommended to keep them healthy.

Bichon Frise Dog Walks and Exercise Requirements


Bichon Frise have moderate exercise needs, including daily dog walks and indoor dog enrichment play.

Despite their small size, Bichon Frise are active dogs that enjoy playtime and daily walks.

They may not need extensive exercise but appreciate opportunities to burn off some energy.

Interactive games and play sessions in a secure area keep them mentally and physically stimulated.

Bichon Frise Breed Characteristics


Bichon Frise are cheerful, playful, and good with families. Often called "merry" dogs.

Bichon Frise are known for their adaptability.

They can comfortably fit into various living situations, from apartments to houses with yards.

Their amiable nature makes them excellent with children and other pets, and their size is ideal for indoor living.

However, they should be supported for extended periods, as they require companionship.

Bichon Frise Lifespan and Age Range


Bichon Frise have a relatively long lifespan for a small breed, typically 12 to 15 years. With proper care, they can provide companionship and joy for many years.

Bichon Frise Measurements


Bichon Frise typically measure: Height: 9.5-11.5 inches (24-29 cm); Weight: 12-18 pounds (5.4-8.2 kg).

Their compact size and charming appearance make them popular for families and individuals.

What are the health issues of the Bichon Frise?


Like all breeds, Bichon Frise can be prone to specific health conditions. These may include:


Bichon Frise can suffer from skin allergies and sensitivities.

Eye Problems

They may be at risk for cataracts and glaucoma.

Ear Infections

Their floppy ears require regular cleaning and care to prevent infections.

Joint Issues

Some Bichon Frise may develop joint problems like patellar luxation.

Final Thoughts


For pets to remain healthy and happy, it is critical to make sure they get regular veterinarian exams and a balanced diet.

The Bichon Frise is a delightful small-breed dog with a rich history and a charming personality.

They make excellent companions and, with proper care, can bring joy and affection to their owners for many years.

Grooming, exercise, and attention to their health needs ensure they remain happy and healthy.

FAQs bichon frise


Are Bichon Frise good pets?

Bichon Frise dogs are renowned for their friendly and affectionate nature, making them excellent pets.

Their cheerful disposition and love for human companionship make them a delightful addition to any household.

Bichon Frise are well-suited for families, singles, and seniors, as they thrive on attention and bring their owners a sense of joy and companionship.

Do Bichon Frise dogs bark a lot?

Bichon Frise are known for their vocal tendencies, and they can bark, particularly when they want to alert their owners or are excited.

While they make good watchdogs due to their alertness, excessive barking can be managed through proper training and socialisation.

Are Bichon Frise high maintenance?

In contrast to their elegant appearance, Bichon Frise are relatively low-maintenance dogs.

Their curly, hypoallergenic coat requires regular grooming but is less demanding than it may seem.

They are, however, high-maintenance in terms of social interaction and companionship.

Bichon Frise thrive on human attention and can become anxious or exhibit undesirable behaviours when left alone for extended periods.

Is Bichon Frise a low-maintenance dog?

Yes, Bichon Frise are considered low-maintenance in terms of exercise requirements.

While they don't require intense exercise, they enjoy playtime and daily walks.

They are content with moderate physical activity and well-suited for households needing more outdoor spaces.

How many walks does a Bichon Frise need?

Bichon Frise benefit from at least one daily walk but are not high-energy dogs.

Short walks and playtime in a secure area are usually sufficient to keep them happy and healthy.

The key is to provide them with mental stimulation and social interaction to prevent boredom.

How far can a Bichon Frise walk?

Bichon Frise are not long-distance walkers, and their small size and short legs limit their endurance.

They are more comfortable with shorter walks, typically around 20-30 minutes, and they enjoy exploring their surroundings at a leisurely pace.

Do Bichons bond to one person?

Bichon Frise are known for their loving and sociable nature, and they often form strong bonds with multiple family members.

While they may have a favourite person, they tend to be affectionate and loyal to everyone in their household.

Their amiable nature makes them an ideal option for both families and individuals.

Are Bichon Frise indoor dogs?

Bichon Frise are indoor dogs, and they thrive in a climate-controlled environment.

Their small size and delicate coat make them sensitive to extreme temperatures, so they are best suited for indoor living.

However, they enjoy outdoor activities and playtime in a secure garden, as long as it's done in moderation.

Can small dogs be left alone?

Small dogs like Bichon Frise can be left alone for short periods.

Still, they are social animals that thrive on human companionship.

Leaving your pets alone for extended periods can lead to separation anxiety and undesirable behaviours.

It's essential to provide them with toys, mental stimulation, and a comfortable environment if you need to be away.

Is it OK to leave a puppy alone for 8 hours?

Puppies, including Bichon Frise, have different needs than adult dogs.

No, it's not advisable to leave a young puppy alone for 8 hours, as they require frequent bathroom breaks, socialisation, and training.

Puppy care often involves more frequent attention and shorter intervals of alone time.

Can I leave my dog alone for 3 days?

No, leaving any dog, including a Bichon Frise, alone for three days without human interaction is not recommended.

Dogs need daily care, feeding, and socialisation. Extended periods of solitude can cause stress and anxiety, impacting their well-being.

Is it okay if I leave my dog home alone for 8 hours and 5 days a week?

Leaving a dog alone for 8 hours, five days a week, is a common scenario for many working dog owners.

However, ensuring your dog has a comfortable and safe environment with toys and mental stimulation is vital to keep them occupied during your absence.

Regular breaks, such as a midday walk or potty break, help alleviate their need for interaction.

We do not recommend leaving your dog alone for so long and recommend using a good doggy daycare.

Should I crate my dog when I leave the house?

Crate training can be valuable for many dogs, including Bichon Frise.

Crates provide a safe and secure space for them when you're not home, preventing them from getting into mischief or causing accidents.

However, using the crate humanely and ensuring your dog associates it with positive experiences is essential.

Why do dogs lick you?

Dogs, including Bichon Frise, use licking as a form of communication and affection.

Licking can be a sign of bonding and a way for dogs to show their love and trust.

It's also a way for them to gather information about their environment and the people they interact with.

Bichon Frise are wonderful pets known for their friendly and low-maintenance nature.

While they may bark occasionally, their loving and sociable personality makes them ideal companions for individuals and families.

Providing them with the attention and care they need is crucial to ensure a happy and fulfilling life.

What do Bichon Frise usually die from?

Bichon Frise dogs usually die from age-related ailments such as renal failure, cancer, or heart disease. However, some may succumb to accidents or injuries.

How long do Bichon Frise live?

The average lifetime of a Bichon Frise dog is 12 to 15 years. However, some may live longer with the correct upkeep.

How much is a Bichon Frise?

A Bichon Frise's price can change based on several variables, including its pedigree, breeder reputation, and location. On average, they may range from £500 to £2500 or more.

What is a Bichon Frise?

A Bichon Frise is a little dog breed distinguished by its happy demeanour and curly white coat. They are popular companion animals and are valued for their affectionate nature and playful personality.

How much are Bichon Frise?

The cost of purchasing a Bichon Frise can differ based on elements, including geographic location, pedigree, and breeder repute. On average, they may range from £500 to £2500 or more.

How to groom a Bichon Frise?

Grooming a Bichon Frise involves regular brushing to prevent matting, as well as trimming the coat every 4-6 weeks to maintain its characteristic fluffy appearance.

For their general health, frequent washing, nail cutting, and ear cleaning are also necessary.

What were Bichon Frise bred for?

Bichon Frise dogs were initially bred as companion animals. They were favoured by European nobility for their charming demeanour and hypoallergenic coats.

They were often kept as lapdogs and were prized for their affectionate nature and entertaining personality.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider

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Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny, an expert in small breed dogs and a pet parent to her own beloved small dogs.

With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families,

Kate shares her top tips with you.

Kate guides readers on small dog breeds, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate lifestyle for their small dogs.



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