Bichon pros and cons
Bichon Frise owners report many pros and cons associated with this small companion breed. The advantages of owning a Bichon Frise are many. This small and cheerful companion pet has a lively and playful personality. Bichons are very sociable and friendly dogs that make good family pets. Bichons get along with older children and these dogs aren't aggressive. Bichons don't drool and don't shed much, which is another advantage to owning this breed. Bichons can live in either an apartment or in a country home as long as they get to spend plenty of time with the owners.
Bichon cons include the housetraining difficulties - this is not an easy breed to housetrain. Bichon Frise dogs can be stubborn and can be a challenge when it comes to training even basic commands. High grooming requirements of this breed can be a disadvantage for people who do not have the time to groom the dog at home or take the dog to a professional groomer at least once a month. Bichon's beautiful coat needs to be brushed every day to avoid mats and tangles. Bichons are demanding little dogs that need lots of attention from the owners. Bichon Frise dislike being left alone and need to be around the owner most of the day.
Bichon Frise size
Bichon Frise weight
Bichon Frise male weight: 12 to 15 lb (5 to 9 kg)
Bichon Frise female weight: 12 to 15 lb (5 to 9 kg)
Bichon Frise size
Bichon Frise male height: 9.5 to 11 in (24 to 29 cm)
Bichon Frise female height: 9.5 to 11 in (24 to 29 cm)
Bichon Frise coat: thick, cushy, low shedding, double coat
Bichon Frise colors: white
How many puppies do Bichons have?
Bichon Frise litter size: 2 to 6 puppies
How long do Bichons live?
Bichon Frise lifespan: 12 to 13 years
How much does a Bichon Frise cost?
Bichon Frise price starts at around $250 per puppy and up, depending on many factors
Bichon Frise grooming
Many people are attracted to Bichon Frise's happy face, but not many people are aware of how much time an owner needs to invest into grooming their fluffy pet. The white beautiful coat is a result of constant hard work on the part of the owner of the dog groomer. This small dog needs to be brushed daily and bathed at least every couple of weeks. In addition, to keep the cute dog haircut fresh, you will need to see the groomer once a month which can be expensive. If you are planning to give your dog haircuts yourself, do you have enough time to dedicate to the maintenance that a Bichon requires? If you don't have the time to keep his haircut fresh, the dog's coat very quickly will turn into a mess with plenty of mats that will keep the dog very uncomfortable at best and with painful skin conditions at worst. Think twice before you decide that a Bichon Frise is the right dog breed for you because he will need a lot of your time for grooming.
Bichon Frise grooming tools
Professional dog clippers
In order to trim Bichon Frise's fluffy coat at home, you will need professional grooming tools. Owners that like to groom their Bichon dogs at home save a lot of money on grooming and can spend more time on bonding with their pet while grooming the dog.
Bichon brushes and dog hair accessories
Rubber tipped pin brush with a cushioned pad
Teflon-coated dog combs
Hair clips for dogs
Bichon Frise nail grooming tools
Dog nail clippers
Bichon care also involves trimming the dog's nails. Use a good pair of plier-type, small-size nail clippers, and styptic powder. Trim Bichon's nails once every six weeks.
Styptic powder is used by dog groomers when they accidentally cut the dog's nail too far. There's a small vein located in each dog's nail and if it's cut, it may bleed and styptic powder is an effective way to stop the bleeding.
Ear wipes for dogs
Bichon teeth care
Brush Bichon's teeth every day with a canine toothpaste to remove plaque. If plaque on teeth is not removed regularly, it will turn into a yellow crust, called tartar. Tartar harbors a lot of harmful bacteria that can damage not only the dog's teeth but can also affect the dog's overall health. Clean the dog's teeth starting when he is still a puppy and is more flexible when it comes to training. Dogs of any age can be trained to accept having their teeth brushed but older dogs may take longer.
Bichon eye stain remover
Many Bichons have eye stain problem when a reddish or brownish color is seen around the dog's face. Use an eye stain remover for Bichons to safely remove the unattractive coloring around his eyes. If you notice more discharge from the dog's eyes than usual, check with your vet to rule out the possibility of health issues.
Bathing supplies for a Bichon include a canine shampoo. Whitening shampoo for dogs, which are blue or violet and contain deep-cleaning agents, may brighten and correct coat color. But they can also cause skin irritation in some Bichons. Dog shampoo for sensitive or dry skin may work best. A conditioner for dogs helps to keep their skin from becoming too dry and their fur from tangling. Avoid products with moisturizers, because they may soften the Bichon coat too much, cause it to fall and make it spongy or prone to tangling. A dematting spray may also be helpful. Dog shampoo that is designed for Bichon Frise's coat:
Follow with a dog conditioner to keep his coat in best condition:
Bichons need to be trained to accept grooming starting at an early age. It's important to teach your dog to positively accept grooming. Provide plenty of positive reinforcement and treats as you are grooming your pet to create that positive association with being groomed. Start early with training your puppy to lie quietly while you touch him. As he gets used to the tools and the focused touching, gradually increase the amount of time you work with him each session. Add combing to the routine and offer praise when he behaves. Never punish your dog for not holding still, because this can cause him to dislike or be fearful of being groomed. Instead, offer treats when he is calm and allows grooming. This way the dog will be looking forward to grooming sessions.
It is important to have the correct supplies for grooming a Bichon. Select stainless steel or Teflon-coated combs with widely spaced teeth, in coarse to medium sizes. Small- and fine-toothed combs can be useful for finishing work or for combing in the facial area. Slickers are useful for removing debris from the coat and for fluffing. A pin brush with polished tips is handy for additional brushing after the coat has been combed. You will also need a set of professional clippers with the proper blades, as well as high quality, blunt-tipped curved and straight scissors for trimming and shaping.
The most popular Bichon Frise cuts include The Lamb Cut (also known as Puppy Cut) and features a very short cut all over the dog. Only the head and the tail have longer fur with this practical Bichon haircut. The Panda Cut is slightly longer than the Puppy Cut. And finally, the Show Cut is the best known cut for the Bichon dog breed and features the famous puffy appearance. Scissors are usually used for the Show Cut by Bichon Frise professional groomers. When you are selecting a groomer for your Bichon, it is a good idea to check with the groomer how much experience they have with this specific dog breed before you select the right groomer for your special dog.
See a video where a professional Bichon Frise groomer is showing how to give a Bichon a show cut.
Bichon head haircut video by a professional groomer.
Bichon Frise temperament
Bichon Frise dogs are known for their cheerful temperament. Bichon Frise dogs have the right personality to be superb companion dogs. Their mood often reflects that of the owner. These small fluffy white dogs are cuddly and extraverted. Most importantly, a Bichon has a happy disposition and makes an upbeat and perky family member who is delightful to those around. The most common issues that Bichon Frise owners face include extensive grooming, there can be difficulties with housetraining and experts recommend to start housetraining as soon as you bring the dog home. these small fluffy dogs need a lot of attention from their owner. Developed as a companion breed, Bichon Frise is not happy when left alone for long periods of time. The dog has a lot of love to give and is most joyful around his family. Bichon Frise breed is adaptable to various living conditions. This small dog can live happily in an apartment or in a large house with a yard.
Are Bichons good with kids? Many Bichon Frise breeders will not sell a puppy to a family that has kids under the age of 8. The delicate dog is not a toy and small kids may unintentionally hurt the animal. Some Bichon Frise dogs will snap at younger children if mishandled. This is a natural response to engage in defensive warning behavior or biting. Children must be supervised when they spend time with dogs. Teach your kids how to play with the dog in a gentle manner. Bichons make excellent companions for elderly people as long as the income allows for frequent grooming and energy level is sufficient to walk the dog and take care of housetraining issues. If you are planning to get a Bichon Frise puppy, it is important to understand that this particular dog breed will need a lot of grooming and coat maintenance, otherwise the dog's coat will mat, which leads to dog's discomfort and can cause certain health issues with the dog's skin. Despite all the maintentance work that will keep you or your dog groomer busy for the duration of the dog's life, the Bichon Frise breed is considered to be among the best hypoallergenic dogs, meaning their coat is low shedding and their skin does not produce as much dander and allergens as skin of many other dog breeds. Bichon Frise dogs are the breed to consider for people who suffer from pet related allergies. Individuals with allergies should spend time around these dogs first to see if the fur, dander, or saliva causes any reaction. If not, it might be fine to get a Bichon, with your doctor's approval. Keep in mind that no dog breed is completely allergen free, but some breeds, including Bichon are the safest bet. If you are looking for a dog breed that will not start showing signs of aging until about 10 years of age, Bichon Frise is among the breeds known for their longevity. Some owners report that their Bichon Frise dogs lived to be 14 or even 16 years old.
Training a Bichon Frise puppy
Many Bichon Frise dogs end up in dog shelters and rescue centers because this breed is so difficult to potty train, which is a disadvantage to owning this breed. Even a trained Bichon Frise dog who received plenty of housetraining may still relieve himself indoors on occasion. If this bothers you, then the Bichon Frise dog breed is not for you. It takes a considerably longer time to potty train a Bichon Frise dog, on average from 6 to 18 months! Owners who successfully housetrained their Bichon Frise often mention that they were able to accomplish good results only after crate training.
Crate training is important and will help you to achieve positive results with potty training your Bichon Frise. Dogs do not like to eliminate in a place where they sleep. When you are crate training your Bichon Frise, do not rush. Let the dog naturally get used to the crate by making the crate a comfortable sleeping place for the dog. Throw in some treats and do not rush with closing the crate's doors too soon. Wait for a few days until the dog is fully comfortable using the crate as his sleeping place before training the dog to be comfortable in a closed crate. Never use the crate as a punishment, as the dog will learn to associate it with negative things and will not be comfortable spending time in the crate. Your Bichon's crate should be his safe haven where the dog can sleep and relax.
Most dogs enjoy to have a predictable schedule, and your Bichon Frise will also benefit from an orderly meal and walking schedule. Having a predictable schedule will help you to determine when your dog is ready to be taken out for a walk to relieve himself and in turn helps with potty training your dog.
Best dog food for Bichon Frise
The quality of the dog food that you are feeding your Bichon Frise will determine his overall health and longevity. Premium-grade dog foods will be higher priced, but your dog's health and appearance will greatly benefit from good nutrition.
How often you feed your Bichon Frise will depend on his age. Puppies up to 3 to 4 months of age should be fed four times daily, because they have smaller stomachs that fill more quickly and they need to consume more calores because of their increased energy levels. After 4 months of age, reduce feedings to 3 times daily until they are about 10 months old. Once a puppy is full grown, he can be switched to an adult schedule of 2 meals per day.
Bichon Frise shedding
Does Bichon Frise shed? One of the advantages of owning a Bichon Frise is that they almost do not shed. Bichon Frise shedding is minimal and these low-shedding dogs are considered to be hypoallergenic. Even though Bichons do not shed much, the individual hairs that do fall out get stuck in Bichon's coat, creating mats and tangles. To avoid mats and tangles from forming, brush your Bichon every day.
Bichon Frise care
Brush your Bichon's coat daily to prevent mats to to keep the coat in best condition. When you find a mat, hold the fur next to the skin to keep it from pulling. First, try to separate the mat with your fingers. Next, starting at the bottom of the mat, comb through to the end of the fur. Move higher up in the mat and work the comb down again to the end. This method prevents the tangle from tightening. Repeat until the mat is removed.
Besides caring for the dog's coat on a daily basis, a Bichon Frise owner needs to brush the dog's teeth to prevent tartar build up that can cause dental and other health issues in dogs. Be sure to only use canine toothpaste when you are brushing your dog's teeth. It is safe to swallow for dogs and many dogs enjoy the taste. Human toothpaste should never be used on your pet because it contains ingredients that may be dangerous for your dog's health. Some Bichon owners claim that using a soft children's toothbrush works great for their pet. In addition to brushing Bichon's teeth every day, you will need to trim your dog's nails every couple of weeks or as soon as you can hear the nails clicking on the hardwood floor when the dog is walking. See a helpful video that explains how to trim a dog's nails by visiting the how to trim a dog's nails page. Start getting your pet used to having his nails trimmed and teeth brushed while the dog is still a puppy and is more flexible when it comes to training. Dog of any age will benefit from having the teeth brushed and nails trimmed, and the owner of an older dog that is not accustomed to these procedures will need more patience and time to accustom the dog to these procedures.
The fluffy coat of Bichon breed makes it easy for bacteria to accumulate in the ears, making this breed more susceptible to ear infections. Keep the dog's ears clean and be sure to wipe the ears with a clean, dry towel after each bath to help prevent ear infections.
White coated dogs like the Bichon often feature pinkish or brown stains around their eyes. Some reasons for this staining are caused by health issues, allergies or even by diet. Hair should be trimmed around eye area at least once a week. Washing the area with a cotton ball moistened with warm water or sterile saline helps reduce tear staining. The most important step in controlling tear stains is to determine and remove the cause. Check with your veterinarian to figure out what is causing the staining.
Bichon Frise health problems
Bichon Frise breed is prone to the following health problems: allergies, urinary conditions, orthopedic problems. Chronic health problems in dogs may mean sleepless nights and cancellations of plans for the owners in order to take the dog to the vet. Treating some of the chronic conditions may be expensive.
Bichons are considered to be one of the top 15 breeds to experience chronic skin allergies. Bichons can be allergic to dust, mold, pollen, grass, flea bites and certain foods. Food allergies can cause itchy skin, but also vomiting and diarrhea. Allergens in food can be from meat proteins or dairy products, from grains like soy, corn or wheat; and various additives such as fillers, artificial coloring, flavoring and preservatives. It is best to consult your veterinarian to find the exact cause of the allergy and the best treatment for the allergy.
Bichon Frise origin
Historians believe that Phoenician traders carried little white dogs with them as goods to be traded for other products along their routes. One of the main ports of call for the Bichon Frise was Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, located off the northwest coast of Africa. From here, the dogs were later rediscovered by either Italian or Spanish sailors, who brought the small white dogs to Europe, where they became favorites of the nobility. "Tenerife Bichon", "Barbichon" and "Tenerife Terrier" is reported to have been introduced to the French, Spanish and Italian courts during the first half of the 16th century. The upper crust of the European Society enjoyed this breed for the next 200 to 300 years, but eventually the dog fell from his high position and became a dog of the streets. Bichons were granted a recognition as a registered breed in 1974.