Bichon Frise


A small white Bichon Frise
Bichon Frise Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)9-12in (23-30cm)
Weight10-18lbs (4.5-8kg)
Hair Colour(s)White
Lifespan14-17 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size4-5
Barking TendencyLow
Exercise requirementsLow
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsHigh
Animal compatabilityHigh
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftLow

The Bichon Frise is a small but sturdy little dog sporting an alert and keen expression. It has a black nose and dark eyes, drooping ears and the tail can curl upwards. The most striking and characteristic aspect of this dog is its gleaming white coat of long hair that curls loosely. In fact Bichon Frise literally translates (from French) as curly lap dog. When groomed to show dog standards, they almost resemble powder puffs.


Bichons Frises are sweet-tempered, merry and eager little dogs. They can be very entertaining and affectionate and make great companions and family pets. Although some can be independent, these dogs are not bossy or dominant and are suitable for both novice and experienced dog owners alike. Bichons are highly sociable animals and get along fine with children and other pets, and are also amiable around strangers. They are intelligent, obedient and easy to train, which is why they were once used in ciruses, and should dispell any internet rumours that they can be difficult to housebreak. They are not prone to barking and yapping, and are not suitable as guard dogs, but they do make good watchdogs as they will alert owners to the presence of strangers. Bichons need plenty of attention and devotion and love to show off and perform tricks, and should not be left alone for long periods of time - although they will handle this just fine.

History & SKills

Bichons Frises are though to originate from 14th century Tenerife as the result of crossbreeding between the Poodle and the Barbet Water Spaniel. After reaching other parts of Europe, they became popular in France and Spain and were a favourite of the royal courts in the 16th century. By the 1700s, however, Bichons were more commonly associated with organ grinders and the circus. These days they are popular as family pets and show dogs.

Breed Specific Ailments

Bichons Frises tend to live between 14-17 years and are a relatively healthy breed. Some of the health problems associated with it however incude luxating patella, epilepsy, cataracts, bleeding disorders, allergies, and bladder stones.


Bichons Frises are often quoted as dogs that do not shed but this is misleading. They are very low shedders, helped in part by the way in which their hair grows but also by the relatvely high level of grooming they require which strips out the dead hair. The coat needs brushing daily and clipping occasionally too to keep it under control. The ears should be checked regularly to reduce the chance of infection, and the hair around the bottom should be kept trimmed for hygiene reasons. A regular bath is essential also to keep the coat white. It is often claimed the eyes should be cleaned in order to prevent staining, but in reality this often can be reduced by avoiding a diet high in artificial colourants.

Exercise & Environment

Bichons Frises are highly adaptable and will be happy in various living environments. However, they are primarily great indoor dogs, and being around people is more important to their well-being than having a lot of space, making them suitable for small homes. They will still greatly appreciate a daily walk and a yard or garden to romp around in.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

Breed Clubs

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Owners Gallery

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