By Sergey Uhanov (Certified Veterinarian)Dr. Sergey Uhanov Last updated: 7th February 2023

Bichon Frise


Sergey Uhanov (Certified Veterinarian) Dr. Sergey Uhanov
Last updated: 7th February 2023

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.

Bichon Frise Pictures

Quick Information

PronunciationBEE-shon Free-ZAY
Other namesBichón Tenerife, Bichon à poil frisé
CoatDouble coat: Undercoat – Soft, plush, velvet and dense; Upper coat– Coarse and curly
ColorWhite on the base with shades of cream, apricot, and buff
Breed typePurebred
GroupCompanion, Toy
Average life expectancy 11 to 16 years
Size Small
Height of a full grown Bichon Frise9 to 12 inches
Weight of a full grown Bichon Frise 12 to 18 pounds
Litter size4 to 6 puppies
Behavioral characteristicsAffectionate, gentle, loyal, curious, intelligent, alert
Good with childrenYes
Barking tendencyHigh
Climate compatibility Cannot tolerate excessive heat
Shedding (Do they shed)Excessively
Competitive Registration Qualification/ InformationFCI, ANKC, AKC, KC (UK), NZKC, CKC, UKC
CountryCanary Islands, France

What does the Bichon Frise look like

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

Video of Bichon Frise Puppies Playing

History and Origin

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.

Temperament and Personality

They are one of the most beautiful breeds from the aspect of 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 energy levels 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.

These adorable breeds have been mixed with other purebreds to create crosses that would certainly inherit some of their amazing disposition alongside that of the other parent. Here is a list of some of these mixes.



Because of their immensely dynamic nature coupled with high energy levels, the Bichon Frise needs to be exercised on a regular basis, requiring daily walks along with sufficient playtime. Since they are fond of water, a swimming spree once in a while would also entertain them to the fullest. Dog sports and events like rally, agility, and obedience are well suited for them.


They require a lot of maintenance, and daily brushing is the best to keep the hair on their coat free from mats and tangles.

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.

Clean its eyes 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 taking care of them could be a challenge you can hire a professional groomer who would maintain your Bichon Frise well in every 4 or 6 weeks.

Health Problems

Some of the common issues the Bichon Frise may suffer from include hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, elbow dysplasia, von Willebrand’s disease, bladder problems like stones and other infections, diabetes, and patellar luxation. They are also said to be allergic to tics, pollens, chemicals, dust, and fleas.


They are noted for their high intelligence level and quick learning ability, hence training them would be an immense pleasure.

  • Crate training should be imparted to the Bichon Frise puppies so that they learn to be on their own at least for some time of the day and are not always dependent on you. Keep all the things which give them comfort within so that they may feel at home and not consider the object as an alien. You should even allow your dog sufficient time to explore the crate at first rather than forcing him within. Never lock him inside as a punishment for any of his misdoings.
  • Obedience training, particularly a lesson on commands should be taught since their puppy days. Teach them to listen to a “stop” or a “no” so that when they are engaged in a noiseless barking or frenzied running, a harsh command from your end will compel them to stop their destructive activities.


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.

2 responses to “Bichon Frise”

  1. Robert Shale says:

    looking for a bichon to join my other little yorkie be well looked after and have a good home

  2. Mercedes Hendrickson says:

    I like the Bishon Frise because it has hair not fur, so I was told.

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