The Bichon Frise, a member of the Non-Sporting Dog Group is a fantastic all around little dog. Known for their great disposition. Could a Bichon be the right dog breed for you? Here are the dog breed standards and other important information you should read prior to buying a new dog or puppy for your home.

History: Originally from the Mediterranean, the Bichons Frises breed has descended from the Water Spaniel or Barbet Species. These dogs were hugely successful with sailors in Spain and it is presumed that Spanish sailors introduced these dogs to the Canary Islands. Taking a liking to the helpful and pleasing nature of these dogs Italian sailors later brought them back to the continent sometime during the 12th century. For a long time they were a favorite among the Italians as well as the French. Henry III of France often carried two or three around in a shallow basket that he hung around his neck by ribbon straps. Bichons Frises were commonly used in circuses by the 1800s. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1955.

Type of Work the Breed Does: These breeds of dogs are not particularly great at hunting and are not classified as the hunting dogs. They are better known for their mild disposition, and can cheer you up when you are feeling down. Thus, I have seen them used as great companion dogs for the physically and mentally disadvantaged. This is one of the very few dog species that have eyes that are similar to human beings. They are capable of expressing their happiness through their eyes, making them even more endearing.

Physical Representation: Their white fur is dense and soft underneath and curly above, giving them a powder puff look that is characteristic of these small dogs. They have a thick coat, which springs back when touched. The fur feels velvety when properly groomed. The buttock and lower thigh muscles are very powerful. They have black or dark brown eyes with a curious face. The lips and nose are dark and they have long ears.

Personality and Temperament: They are generally affectionate and very friendly and will attempt to cheer you up when you are down. Though they are patient, at times they can be stubborn.

Care: Proper grooming is a must as the Bichons Frises are very prone to skin infections and shedding fur. The fur should ideally be trimmed short so that there is no matting of foreign elements or entangling of fur. Get them into the habit of being groomed from a very tender age and make it a pleasurable experience for both of you. Frequent grooming will make their coat look fluffy and glossy. They should be dried and brushed everyday and also after a bath. Preferably hair dryers for dogs should be used to dry fur rather than human dryers, as they are cooler. Excess fur from ears and footpads should be clipped away. Hair in front of eyes should also be trimmed to avoid mucus from forming in the eyes.

Living Environment: In general, they hate to be left alone and try to make friends with other dogs. At times when they have bouts of energy in form of “buzz” or “blitz” they tend to jump around in circles.

At a glance:

  • Breed Group: Non Sporting Dogs

  • Height: 9.5- 11.5 inches

  • Weight: 10- 18 lbs

  • Color: White fur, often crème, buff or apricot shades are seen near the ears.

  • Life Expectancy: 13-15 years

  • Average litter size: 5