Who can resist the cute, comical and puffball of a dog — the bichon frise? With an outgoing personality to match its teddy-bear like appearance, the bichon frise dog breed is a great companion, as long as you’re willing to put in a little work. Bichons tend to be low maintenance when it comes to barking and training; however, they’re high maintenance when it comes to grooming needs.
The bichon frise (pronounced “bee-shawn free-say”) hails from the same lineage as the Maltese, the Bolognese, and the Havanese whose roots loosely trace to the 13th century and the Canary Islands, according to the AKC.
Do Bichon Frises Bark a Lot?
Of the seven common reasons dogs bark — alarm, anxiety, attention, frustration, greeting, injury, and response — the bichon scores on the lower end in all barking tendencies. So, if your bichon is barking, pay attention.
Bichons are smart, communicative and tend to thrive when they’re around people. They hate being alone, so they have a reputation for separation anxiety. This is when bichons’ barking can become problematic. They deal with their frustration by barking … and destroying your stuff.
Some experts recommend that single people who work away from home and are gone for long periods arrange for doggie daycare or dog walkers … or find another breed that does well when left alone.
This high-energy dog needs regular exercise, so a good long walk before you leave them alone could tire them out so they’ll sleep instead of fret over your absence.
Are Bichon Frises Easy to Train? Are Bichons Good Family Dogs?
Because the breed is smart and a people-pleaser, the bichon frise is a good family dog. They are easy to train and respond well to positive reinforcement, including our train, treat, repeat approach to dog training with The BarxBuddy and our peanut-butter flavored dog training treats. Take caution when treating your bichon; this breed can be prone to weight gain.
The important thing to remember with this dog breed is that giving in to their barks reinforces their behavior, good or bad. They also do not respond well when you yell at them or punish them.
Yes, the bichon dog breed responds well to training devices like The BarxBuddy. Use it to train your bichon to stop barking following the step-by-step (and super easy) instructions in our training guide.
This dog breed does well in active households — lots of playtime and walks. Bichons tend to live longer than average (according to AnimalPlanet) and don’t have a lot of health issues. As with all dog breeds, take caution around small children, as some bichons can be snappers.
Do bichon frises make good pets?
Yes! This dog breed makes great pets for first-time dog owners, singles, couples, families, empty-nesters and apartment dwellers.
If you are a frequent traveler, the bichon frise dog breed might not be for you — they do not like being left home alone for long periods and they’ll make sure you know!
The bichon is not the best guard dog. Your bichon will let you know when someone is at the door, but to this dog breed, nearly every human is a friend.
Facts About the Bichon Frise Dog Breed
Bichons live 14 to 15 years and some even longer. This dog bread doesn’t have a lot of health issues that require lots of trips to the vet, AnimalPlanets breed info says, other than cataracts and skin allergies.
- Size: Both maile and female bichons average 9 to 11 inches tall (at the shoulder), and their ideal weight ranges from 12 to 18 pounds.
- Life expectancy: The bichon frise can live up to 15 years or longer.
- Coat: Their coats are medium in length and curly. They appear solid white but actually have shades of cream and even red tones.
- AKC group: Non-sporting
Do Bichon Frises Need Grooming?
The bichon frise dog breed is often referred to as hypoallergenic. The tradeoff with low-allergen dogs is that you’ll probably need to do a lot of grooming. You can get away with brushing them a few times a week, but we recommend daily brushing. Bichons also need regular baths.
The Bichon Frise Club of American acknowledges that this is a high-maintenance breed. You can do regular at-home grooming, including brushing and trimming or grinding your dog’s nails, but you might want to consider monthly visits to a groomer for a full bath and coat trim.
Always consult with your doctor or a specialist in allergies if you or someone in your household suffers from severe pet allergies.
Bichons can suffer from excessive eye tears and tear stains — their watery eyes can result in a rust-color stain on the hair around their eyes. Some tear staining is normal; however, excessive tearing could be the result of an underlying condition including allergies. Talk to your veterinarian about it before trying at-home treatments.
Do Bichon Frises Shed?
The adult bichon has a double coat, which means they have a mix of softer undercoat hair along with a thicker, coarser outer coat. They do not shed a lot, but their hair is prone to matting, so you’ll need to brush them regularly and likely take them to a professional groomer for shampoos and trims every four to six weeks.
They do well with the pin brush, like the self-cleaning dog brush we feature in our shop, which also has a button that makes hair removal easy.
What If My Breed Is a Bichon Frise Mix?
Consider yourself a winner in the doggie adoption game if you’ve got a mixed breed that includes some bichon frise heritage. Of course, a dog’s temperament is the product of many factors, including genetics and environment. Nevertheless, bichons mixed with other dog breeds can produce some excellent pets that include the best of both breeds.
Some fun-sounding names mix with the bichon frise:
- + Afghan hound = Afghan chon
- + Boston terrier = Bostchon
- + Chihuahua = Chi chon
- + Corgi = Corgi frise
- + Golden retriever = Goldichon
- + Poodle = Bichpoo or poochon
- + Pug = Pushon
- + Shetland sheepdog = Shelchon
- + Shih tzu = Zuchon
- + Yorkie = Borkie
Resource Links for More Bichon Frise Info
Bichon Frise Club of America (official AKC-recognized club)
Bichon Frise Facebook group (15,000+ members)