The Bichon Frise has been around since the 1300s, and was the result of breeding between the Poodle and the Barbet Water Spaniel. The breed gained prominence during the middle ages, when the French and Spanish sailors traded them around the world. The Bichon Frise has had mixed fortunes; it was a favourite at the French royal court, but has also had spells as organ grinder’s dog and circus performers. The interest in Bichon Frise was piqued again with Herge’s The Adventures of Tintin, which featured a white fox terrier Snowy.
Ranked as the 40th most popular dog in the USA, the Bichon Frise was accepted for registration in the AKC Stud Book in 1972.
Described as merry and cheerful by the American Kennel Club, the Bichon Frise is gentle mannered and affectionate. The breed is playful, active and loves human company. It is also extremely intelligent.
- Activity level: 4/5 (very active)
- Intelligence level: 4/5 (very intelligent)
- Curiosity: 3/5 (curious)
- Friendliness: 4/5 (very friendly)
- Vocal: 2/5 (mildly vocal)
The Bichon Frise is a small, sturdy breed. It generally has a white, curly fur which is short and coarse. The most common characteristics of the Bichon Frise are:
- Fur: Short, curly fur; the outer coat is coarser than the undercoat, which is dense. Generally white in colour, however other colours such as cream, apricot and grey may be present.
- Eyes: Round eyes; generally black or brown.
- Body structure: Small body with straight, medium boned legs.
- Facial features: Rounded skull, short muzzle. Droopy ears covered with long hair.
- Weight: The Bichon Frise weighs around 7-12 lbs.
Despite its small size, the Bichon Frise is a sturdy, resilient breed. However, it may suffer from a few health ailments such as cataract, autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA) and liver shunting. Cataract can be diagnosed by physical examination, ocular fluid analysis and ophthalmic tests, whereas AIHA is diagnosed through haemolysis and Coombs test. Ultrasonography, laboratory bloodwork, CT scans and rectal portal scintigraphy are used to diagnose liver shunt. Also, being a small breed, the Bichon Frise also suffer from Patellar Luxation, which is diagnosed through X-Ray analysis and synovial fluid examination.
Though it does not moult much, frequent grooming and monthly bathing are recommended for the Bichon Frise, as is trimming of hair around eyes and ears; a blunt scissor is preferred to avoid any damage. Also, as it is an extremely active breed, it has to be exercised regularly to avoid behavioural issues and development of weight related issues.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
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