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Bichon Frise: Breed Characteristics, Training, Care & Nutrition

The Bichon à poil frisé, as it is correctly called for the sake of completeness, belongs to FCI Group 9 as a “companion and companion dog” and is classified there in Section 1, among the Bichons and related breeds. He’s small and white, but he tells us colorful stories about the people of the Mediterranean who discovered the Bichon Frisé early on as a companion dog and learned to appreciate it. Even the Romans and Greeks “used” it to love and at the same time did something good for their souls. Today it is the Belgians and French who proudly mention it as a pure companion dog in their studbook. He is a companion dog with the sweet charm of a southern conquest.

Bichon Frise Dog Breed

Size: 23-30cm
Weight: 3-5kg
FCI Group: 9: Companion and Companion Dogs
Section: 1: Bichons and related breeds
Country of origin: France
Colors: white
Life expectancy: 12-15 years
Suitable as: family and companion dog
Sports: –
Personality: Playful, Affectionate, Gentle, Sensitive, Cheerful, Feisty
Outlet Needs: Medium
Low drool potential
The thickness of hair rather small
Maintenance effort: high
Coat Structure: Thin, silky, corkscrew-like, loose
Child-friendly: rather yes
Family dog: yes
Social: rather yes

Origin and breed history

The origin of the little French is probably on the Canary Islands. Although he is called “Bichon Ténériffe” there and has left traces 520 years ago, the unequivocal identity has not been clarified. Equally uncertain is the mixture of his “blood”. Miniature poodles and water spaniels should unite in him. However, the latter made its way from Persia via Spain to Ireland, so the water dog could have been on “holiday” there for a little longer. A “maybe” leaves enough room for speculation. A cynologist from France even called the Bichon the “Tenerife silk poodle”.

In any case, the Bichon Frisé was a dog of the better circles for a long time, it was passed on as a gift and was considered a “quick-living” medicine for stomach ailments and for the psyche. To this day he is a dog with no real “purpose”, he is just there and his owner can be wrapped around his paw effortlessly. The Bichon is the symbol for a new position of dogs in human life. The four-legged friends no longer have to do anything to be liked and cared for. They are loved for their own sake alone. And yet the curly head can if he wants to! For example, he can kill rats and mice, watch out like a big one, and warm cold fingers. The Bichon Frisé is traded today as a French Belgian or as a Belgian Frenchman.

Nature & Temperament of the Bichon Frisé

The Bichon Frisé works as a professional coach of humans, escort service, including love. He is intelligent and unlike the terriers who are very awkward in social matters. Over the centuries, the Bichon has become an experienced “lap dog” that anticipates its owner’s wishes.

In addition, the Frenchman discovered his talents and began to expand them in times of economic difficulties at the beginning of the 20th century caused by the First World War. He lived with and for the poor on the streets, performing tricks and amusing the passers-by, so that money regularly fell into the hat for his owner and him. Over the years, the little guys cultivated their original image beyond the French borders. Once the dog of the nobility, the Bichon Frize grew in popularity as a middle-class companion dog and is now a favorite of all people who long for a small dog that can go with them wherever they go.

He is spirited and friendly to other dogs, socializes well with other animals, and is quite open to children. Precisely because the Bichon Frize has been able to spend so much time “reading” people, interpreting their moods and feelings, they are extremely knowledgeable about bipeds and, of course, are able to use this knowledge to their advantage because he is a very smart little dog. For this reason, the owner should have a clear idea of ​​what he expects from the dog and what “preferences” he does not want to live with. Consistency is also an important part of the upbringing of this breed and determines the “tone” in the future partnership.

Does the Bichon Frise bark?

No, that’s an advantage of the breed. The bichon will lash out at unfamiliar sounds and bark a few times to let his family know. Then he stops.

The appearance of the Bichon Frise

The coat of the Bichon Frise is legendary. Corkscrew curls beg to be styled, and the bichon doesn’t shed a bit. It is therefore also recommended as an allergy dog. But the coat needs regular brushing to keep the undercoat from matting. The topcoat can be up to 10 centimeters long and its color is white with two dark button eyes.

A Bichon Frise grows to be 25 to 30 cm tall and weighs around 5 kg. It can live up to 15 years and to ensure that it always stays in the best of health, the owner makes sure that the Bichon Frisé is not handled too roughly as a puppy or has to jump up and down around the house on a regular basis. His delicate bones should develop optimally. Although the Frenchman takes on rats, he is not a particularly robust opponent, he is and remains primarily a dog to love.

Upbringing & husbandry of the Bichon Frisé – this is important to note

The Bichon Frise was originally bred to “give humans a companion”. The little French Belgian is simply good for the soul and drives away the gloom effortlessly. He learned to live with people, he didn’t learn to be alone. Under certain circumstances, this can become a problem for one or the other Bichon. In this case, the Belgian Frenchman with the sonorous name can also travel with you. He is unobtrusive and well-adjusted if only he doesn’t have to be left alone.

The Bichon Frise is an intelligent dog who is a quick learner once they understand the rationale behind the exercises. Sometimes the owner needs a little more patience than usual, and sometimes obedience is not a word in the bichon’s language. Learning obedience is part of a solid basic education. The Bichon gets along well with other dogs when properly socialized. He is also extremely adaptable in the household. He is compatible with children if they also follow the rules. Cats and other dogs are accepted, as long as he can have his human to himself again and again.

Of course, the Bichon Frise is so much a dog that he loves walks and games. With no hunting instinct and no great potential for aggression, the Bichon is also suitable for beginners. He settles in just as quickly in an apartment as in a house with a garden. The relationship with his human is the most important condition for the bichon’s happiness.

What is the maximum length of time I can leave the Bichon Frise at home alone?

On average it will be four hours. Of course, the duration varies from dog to dog. However, the bichon should not have to be left alone for a whole working day.

Diet of the Bichon Frise

In terms of nutrition, the little French is uncomplicated. Of course, the amount of food is adjusted to the size, age, and physical activity of the dog. However, there are no known intolerances in this breed. Of course, there are also ready-made foods that have been specially developed for this breed. For a healthy Bichon Frisé, however, high-quality wet food with reduced sugar content is sufficient to maintain health. It is important to ensure that the feed is declared as a complete feed and contains a high proportion of meat. The species-appropriate diet also places value on the fact that the feed does not contain grain, coloring, or attractants and no added sugar.

Health – life expectancy & common diseases

The Bichon Frisé belongs to a down-to-earth breed that has little to do with hereditary diseases. However, like many small dog breeds, Bichons sometimes have to do with patellar luxation, popping out of the kneecap. Watery eyes and tartar are used against the dwarf in the field, but probably have more individual circumstances as a cause.

Bichons who are fed small treats throughout the day will eventually respond with obesity and bad teeth. If the Bichon gets enough exercise and is fed a healthy diet, the risk of being overweight or suffering from bad teeth is probably no greater than with any other breed of dog.

In general, the Bichon Frize is a hardy dog ​​that can cope well with high temperatures. Among connoisseurs, it is even described as weatherproof. In any case, he is not a dog to be coddled. On the contrary, it follows its owner everywhere for up to 15 years. There is even a known Bichon Frisé who lived to be 19 years old.

Care of the Bichon Frise

A characteristic of the Bichon Frise is its white coat with twisted curls. The fact that the little one has a dense undercoat requires regular grooming by the owner. If you are buying a puppy, it is a good idea to get the “dwarf” used to the care procedure straight away, as it gets easier over the years. Regular brushing, combing, and plucking are on the agenda.

The black eyes must remain free of hair. In this context, the lop ears are examined, which hide under a “splendid fur” and have to be cleaned from time to time. Since there is no shedding in this breed, bichons shed very little and do not need trimming.

After long walks in the forest in rainy weather, the Frenchman can also be bathed. However, this should not happen too often, as the coat and skin suffer and lose their protective function over time.

Bichon Frise Activities and Training

The Bichon Frisé is a house cat, but not a couch potato. He really likes to go for walks with his loved one and if the two-legged friend thinks that dog sports are part of it, then the curly little one will join in eagerly for his owner, who is so happy about it. The little one does everything for him. If he is allowed to choose himself, he will prefer “conventional” walks. He much prefers to practice tricks and thus delights the children’s hearts in the family. Although the Bichon feels comfortable in an apartment and has an even temperament, exercise is not only optional for the little guy, it is a must – every day.

Good to know: Special features of the Bichon Frisé

With the purchase of a Bichon Frisé, the owner knows about the regular care of the coat, the time, and trust. The coat becomes matted quickly if it is not brushed and groomed. On some days, extensive body care also conforms to Bichon’s ideas, on other days, the four-legged friend has something playful in mind and then they fidget while combing and the dog owner can’t even pull his hair out of his eyes. This is where patience and persuasion come in. This is also necessary when it comes to leaving the little Frenchman alone for a few hours.

Staying alone is not exactly one of Bichon Frise’s strengths and must be carefully “trained” with the owner. For a long time, no bichon will tolerate loneliness. Surprises with regard to a newly formatted home furnishing can await the owner or a wailing ball of white wool, crouching anguished in a corner of the living room, which even with the favorite treat cannot be lured out. The Bichon Frise has had a few centuries to study humans and learn how to affectionately manipulate them. He is a small but confident smart dog!

How does the Bichon Frise behave towards children?

As a rule, he is very tolerant and open-minded towards children. Some bichons even seek out the company of children because they are always ready to play.

Disadvantages of the Bichon Frise

Grooming is on the side opposite the “having side” and staying alone. Two “shortcomings” that can also bring points at a second glance. Grooming brings people together enormously. If your loved one is allowed to “fiddle” with the Frenchman’s stomach and ears unhindered, the friendship is already sealed. The problem of staying alone could vanish into thin air if both sides are open to an arrangement.

Is the Bichon Frise right for me?

Of course, the question could also be, am I ready for a Bichon Frisé?

  • Is my apartment set up for a new family member?
  • Is there enough space for the bichon to retreat as well? A dog, even one that is as clean as the
  • Bichon Frisé inevitably brings dirt into the home after a walk.
  • Do I have enough time for the little guy who needs exercise every day and wants to romp around outside in the fresh air?
  • Will I be able to love him without him getting on my nerves?
  • How will he behave towards the children and vice versa? Where is he if he can’t come with you, who can take care of him?
  • The most important question, however, is the “what if?” What if everything goes wrong and I have to give the dog back? If the bichon is from an emergency program or the animal shelter, it should not be brought back there if possible, but should be given the chance to find a private owner.

What is the maximum length of time I can leave the Bichon Frise at home alone?

On average it will be four hours. Of course, the duration varies from dog to dog. However, the bichon should not have to be left alone for a whole working day.

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