The Bichon Frise, known as the bichon à poil frisé in France meaning a curly haired lap dog is a small sized breed with a cute appearance. These dogs are known for their high level of intelligence alongside a strong and dominant personality.
Head: Well-balanced and slightly round
Muzzle: Prominent but not pointed
Eyes: Black or brown, and round in shape
Ears: Long, drop and hairy
Tail: Well plumed and curved to the back in a graceful manner
|Other names||Bichón Tenerife, Bichon à poil frisé|
|Coat||Double coat: Undercoat – Soft, plush, velvet and dense; Upper coat– Coarse and curly|
|Color||White on the base with shades of cream, apricot, and buff|
|Average life expectancy (How long do they live)||11 to 16 years|
|Size (How big do they get)||Small|
|Height of a full grown Bichon Frise||9 to 12 inches|
|Weight of a full grown Bichon Frise||12 to 18 pounds|
|Litter size||4 to 6 puppies|
|Behavioral characteristics||Affectionate, gentle, loyal, curious, intelligent, alert|
|Good with children||Yes|
|Climate compatibility||Cannot tolerate excessive heat|
|Shedding (Do they shed)||Excessively|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/Information||FCI, ANKC, AKC, KC (UK), NZKC, CKC, UKC|
|Country||Canary Islands, France|
The Bichon Frise belongs to the family of small white dogs referred to as the Barbichon which also include breeds like the Havanese, Maltese, and Bolognese. These dogs of ancient origin are said to develop on Tenerife, the largest region in the Canary Islands. Of the several breeds found there, one of them rose to popularity among the sailors of the island due to their merry nature and was called the Bichon Tenerife, which is one of the main ancestors of the present day Bichon Frise.
In spite of being developed in Spain, it is known as the French dog since the latter contributed towards developing them into a variety of lap dogs. They rose to great prominence among the royals of Italy, Spain, and France, but underwent a drastic downfall post the French Revolution when many of the nobles were ruthlessly killed. This led many of the Bichons out on the street to sustain in their own. It is at this point of time that they caught fancy of street entertainers and were trained to perform in circuses.
The two World Wars in the 20th century again led them into devastation and were on the verge of extinction, but for the initiatives of the dog fanciers in France and Belgium. IThey were transported to the United States of America in 1955, attaining AKCs recognition in 1971under the Miscellaneous Class. It gained complete recognition in 1973 under the Non Sporting Group.
They are one of the most beautiful breeds regarding temperament because of their gentle, cheerful, merry, sensitive and affectionate disposition.
They enjoy all the love, care and attention, not failing to please their family members with their grace and charm. They detest being left alone for prolonged periods as this can trigger separation anxiety, prompting it to display destructive behaviors like tearing or chewing anything it finds at hand.
Because of their alert and curious nature about everything happening around them, the Bichon Frise makes for a fantastic watch dog.
These cute and cuddly lap dogs are famed for their high levels of energy which often results in a sudden outburst where it would be seen in a complete frenzy, racing around the house, barking or growling. This could last for thirty second or a few minutes post which they get down to a relaxation mode.
The Bichon Frise has an excellent rapport with children, loving to romp around as well as join them in their games or sit on their laps, because of their energetic and playful nature. They would also get along with other canines as long as they get the needed adulation from their owner. However, they could only get territorial if they are made to understand which their domain is by their owners. Though according to modern breeding standards, they do not qualify under the category of retrieving dogs, they are fond of water since they accompanied sailors in the past.
However, if you find brushing it every day a hassle then make sure you comb it at least two or three times a week using a pin brush.
Check its ears to ensure that there is no wax built up. Also, make it a point to remove any extra hair growing in the air canal, you could seek help.
Clean its eyes too on a routine basis and ensure that there is no mucus formation within.
Brushing its teeth twice or thrice a week and trimming its nails one or two times in a month are the other hygiene requirements needed to be followed. Since grooming them could be a challenge you can hire a professional groomer who would maintain your Bichon Frise well in every 4 or 6 weeks.
They are noted for their high intelligence level and quick learning ability, hence training them would be an immense pleasure, though a firm, strict taskmaster.
The National Research Council of the National Academies mentions that an adult Bichon weighting about 15 pounds needs approximately 370 calories on a daily basis. While choosing dog food for your Bichon Frise make sure that it consists of meat meals and whole meats both of which are considered to be a good protein source, as well as chicken fats. Avoid dog foods containing wheat, soy, and corn alongside additives and artificial colorings.