Description: One of the most popular household dog breeds, once loved by the 16th century French royal courts. Their name in French fittingly translates to curly coated. Their desire to please their owners once made them excellent circus performers. They are an extremely affectionate breed who will happily cuddle for hours on the couch with their owners. Their loving temperament and adaptability make them make them great family dogs, especially a family with children. Despite their ability to lounge around, it is still important to give the Bichon regular daily movement in the form of a walk or outdoor play. It’s important to keep them on a leash or in a fenced in area as their natural curiosity can lead them to wander. Bichons make wonderfully loyal best friends who enjoy plenty of physical activity and movement.
Other Names: Bichon Frise
Group: Non-sporting (U.S), Toy group (U.K.)
Height: 9.5 – 11.5 inches
Weight: 7-12 pounds
Coat: Thick, curly, silky soft coat that doesn’t shed
Grooming Needs: Frequent-brush daily, bathe monthly, and trim hair and nails monthly. Daily cleaning of the hair around the eyes is required as their teary eyes will cause the hair in that area to turn rusty red or pink. Gently wiping with a mild soap is all that is needed to keep the hair clean and white.
Temperament: Happy, friendly, loving, affectionate, energetic, intelligent, and curious
Kid friendly: Its cheerful and loving nature make the Bichon an excellent family dog. As the Bichon is a smaller dog, care must be taken with especially active older children who, while playing roughly, could easily step on and potentially injure the dog (supervision of all dogs around young children is recommended).
With Other Pets: Works well with others, especially cats
Guard dog: Keen alertness makes them excellent watchdogs, but that can often lead to frequent barking unless properly trained
Training/Learning: Consistency and firmness is key! A bichon is a quick learner if given plenty of reinforcements while training. Quick to learn if the teacher is firm and consistent with training starting young
Exercise/Activity Needed: Moderate
Special Needs: In the early days of ownership, it’s important to not leave your Bichon alone for long periods of time as they thrive best with plenty of companionship. Take your time in the beginning as you and your Bichon get used to longer periods of being apart. Consider a crate to help your Bichon feel safe.
Living Environment: A Bichon will be comfortable in most homes, and due to their smaller size, even smaller apartments. Either way, it is best to “dog proof” your home as a Bichon’s curious demeanor can sometimes lead them to think that potentially dangerous objects such as small toys and electrical wires are meant to be played with.
Health Issues: Skin allergies, hip dysplasia, dental issues, cataracts
Life Span: 12-15 Years
Litter size: 4-6
Country of Origin: Canada, Belgium, France, Spain
First Registered by the AKC: 1972
AKC Group: Non-sporting
Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 9), KC (UK), NZKC