The Bichon Frise is a white puff-ball of a small dog with a cheerful attitude. This jaunty toy dog breed carries its head high and its plumed tail over its back. The Bichon has dark intelligent eyes and well coated ears. The Bichon has a soft dense inner coat while the white outer coat is fine and silky with soft corkscrew curls when not brushed out.
After it has been bathed and brushed the coat stands out giving the appearance of a puff-ball. The Bichon stands about 9 to 11 inches at shoulder height and weighs from 7 to 12 pounds.
The exact origin of the Bichon is unknown. Some experts say this toy dog breed originated in the Canary Islands and became a favorite of the 16th century French and Italian nobility. The name translated from the French means “curly lap dog”. While the Bichon has served as an organ grinder’s dog and performed in the circus, today the dog functions as a companion.
The Bichon was ranked 26th out of 154 dog breeds registered by the AKC in 2004.
The Bichon is a charming little companion dog that is lively, playful and affectionate. This dog breed barks very little and is easy to live with. The Bichon adapts well to families and children but doesn’t like the rough handling that small children display towards pets. Bichons are easy to train for obedience and to do tricks although they are like all toy breeds and are resistant to housebreaking.
They are social dogs and get along well with strangers and other pets but will make good watch dogs. Bichons do well with first time dog owners.
Bichons are fairly active indoors and adapt well to apartment life. This dog breed doesn’t need long walks but it does enjoy a walk and playing outside.
Bichons should be brushed daily and bathed every month. This breed requires professionally grooming once per month. Bichons shed almost no hair and are good pets for those people who suffer from allergies and some people call them ‘hypoallergenic’.
Bichons have a long life expectancy and will live to 15 or more years of age. The breed has few common inherited health problems but some suffer from blocked tear ducts, skin allergies and cataracts and are very sensitive to flea bites.
Prospective buyers should ask for the breeding parents Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) test results for hip dysplasia and also the Canine Eye Registry (CERF) recent ophthalmologists report for eye disorders.