Bichon Frise Dog: Everything You Need to Know
Bichon Frise are fantastic dogs! Their names are French for “curly white lap dog” and they look a lot like Maltese, but they’re not, and they’re very low-maintenance. This breed is quite unique and there’s a lot to be learned about them.
If you’re thinking of getting your own Bichon Frise, today we’ll be taking a look at everything you need to know about them. From maintenance to temperament, and everything in between.
Where Do Bichon Frise Come From?
The Bichon Frise comes from France, quite predictably. The root of the word “Bich” comes from old French translations. Much like the Maltese, there are different Bich breeds that originated from the Mediterranean and have made their way throughout Europe as a result of European trade.
Sailors would bring these breeds with them, and because these dogs are so friendly and cheerful, they would become quite popular. Especially in Spain. Later on, the Italian nobility would take them in because they’re just so enjoyable to have around.
This sailing background shows because Bichon Frise is a breed that can enjoy swimming and retrieving, although they’re certainly not hunting or retrieval dogs. This breed has also been quite popular in France, from the French courts of Napoleon II to the streets of Paris. They were also formally recognized, like may other dog breeds, in recent centuries.
Bichon Frise Pedigree
The Bichon Frise shares some resemblance to the Standard Poodle and the Water Spaniel, and the same is true the other way around. This is because both the Standard Poodle and the Water Spaniel are direct ancestors to the Bichon Frise. The Barbet Spaniel, which is another name for Water Spaniel is of particular note.
Bichon Frise have found many different homes through the ages, as mentioned above. Spain, France and Italy are the main ones, but they’ve also made their way to the Canary Islands and then back to their European homeland.
This breed, along with others like the Maltese, have enjoyed a varied history and they’ve been popular among nobility and royalty as well as the common classes. This has been due to their cheerful personalities, which continue to make them popular and a favorite dog breed for many even today.
Bichon Frise Diet
The diet of a Bichon Frise focuses on whole foods and good cuts of meat. You can spoil them quite easily, but always make sure they have a steady diet of whole, natural foods they enjoy. Be certain not to overfeed them because you want to avoid any health issues related to this. It’s not difficult to keep your Bichon Frise well fed, just make sure their food is healthy and of quality.
Is It Difficult to Train Bichon Frise?
When it comes to training a Bichon Frise, you shouldn’t worry at all. One of the reasons this breed has been so popular in the European trading world is because it’s very easy to acclimate them to anything. Their temperament is super cheerful and they’re willing to learn. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t need patience, specially if you’re a first-time dog owner. Proper training will benefit you both, but you need to do it right. Also, make sure you take your Bichon Frise socializing with other dogs as early as possible.
Bichon Frise Temperament
The Bichon Frise is a curious dog. They’re incredibly cheerful and have a ton of energy, which is why they were such a popular breed back in the day and today as well. If you like your dog to be happy and active, you’ll love your Bichon Frise.
Common Health Problems for Bichon Frise
The most common health problem for Bichon Frise is that they’re prone to allergies. In fact, they’ve been bred to work well with people who are also prone to allergies. That’s because Bichon Frise, contrary to what you may think, are not big shedders, although they will leave some hair around. They’re also prone to autoimmune diseases, so you will need to consult with your vet to understand what kind of warning signs you should be aware of.
How Long Do Bichon Frise Live?
Bichon Frise dogs live up to 13 years if they have a healthy life, which is quite typical for a dog of this kind and size.
When you look at Bichon Frise dogs, your number one concern is probably grooming. And yes, their coats are a big responsibility. You will need to brush them and comb them every week. Clipping and trimming should be done every 6 to 8 weeks as well. If not, their coats will continue growing and they will become a huge mass of hair.
The lovely puff ball look that Bichon Frise tend to have on TV or on photos actually takes hours of work and it requires some expertise as well. So, don’t expect your Bichon Frise to look like that unless you’re willing to take them to a professional groomer. If you do, the downside is that you won’t want your dog to go outside and play, but that’s not healthy.
The easiest thing to do is to keep your Bichon Frise’s coat short so that you don’t have to brush or comb that much. They will still look adorable and they’ll be free to play outside as much as they like.
Another common concern is housebreaking. The Bichon Frise is actually one of the hardest breeds to housebreak. So you need to prepare. Crate training is essential and it needs to be consistent. Their potty area should also be covered because many Bichon Frise don’t like getting wet.
If this is a deal-breaker for you because you don’t have the time to focus on housebreaking your dog, remember you can always adopt a Bichon Frise that’s already housebroken or rescue an adult Bichon Frise.
Bichon Frise Are Right For People Who…
Are small but sturdy.
Enjoy playing and outdoor exercise.
Suffer from allergies, because they don’t shed.
Want an alert watchdog that’s not aggressive.
A pet who’s social and good with other pets.