Discovering the Bichon Frisé: A Guide to Your New Furry Friend

Exploring the endearing qualities of the Bichon Frisé breed, a charming and affectionate small dog

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By Linda Ferraro

bichon frisé

ittle dogEncountering it is increasingly rare, but the Bichon Frisé remains one of the most “aristocratic” and refined companion dogs in history. Let’s get to know it better and discover its peculiarities with a guide entirely dedicated to it.

Origin

Reconstructing the origins and history of the Bichon Frisé is certainly not simple. The most accredited thesis places its appearance in the times of the ancient European courts, especially French ones, from where it seems to originate.

Others, however, argue that it was imported from Spain to France under the name ‘Tenerife,’ which would suggest much more exotic origins. It was certainly the favorite dog of the nobility in ancient Rome and experienced a period of great diffusion throughout various European countries until the mid-20th century.

Today, this dog breed has become somewhat less widespread. the Bichon Frisé is quite popular most Western countries. It’s a beloved breed among dog enthusiasts and families alike for its friendly nature, manageable size, and adorable appearance. Bichon Frisés are often seen participating in various dog events, such as conformation shows, obedience trials, and agility competitions.

Additionally, many people choose Bichon Frisés as family pets due to their affectionate personalities and suitability for apartment living.

Bichon Frisé: Physical Characteristics

The Bichon Frisé is a small-sized dog, well-proportioned and of pure white color. The slightest deviation in coat color is considered a serious defect in terms of breed purity.

This adorable little dog’s coat is soft, dense, and very fine. If well maintained, the fur can reach up to 10 centimeters in length and closely resemble that of the Mongolian goat, to which it is often compared.

The tail is raised and fluffy, lying flat. It remains high and elegant relative to the backline, sometimes slightly arched but never curled. This particular feature gives the Bichon Frisé a regal and composed gait.

It is a very graceful dog, very similar to a plush toy, with a slightly pointed muzzle and round, dark eyes. Even the ears are covered with dense, fluffy fur, as are the legs, which are straight and well-developed. Despite concerns about its coat for allergic individuals, there is nothing to fear. It is, however, part of dog breeds that do not shed much hair, except in minimal amounts.

bichon frisé
A cute 9 weeks old puppy

This dog breed is also perfect for those who suffer from allergies, as the fur does not trigger any such reactions. The Bichon Frisé is known as a low-shedding breed. And, while no dog breed is entirely hypoallergenic, the Bichon Frisé typically sheds very little hair.

Overall, the Bichon is a fairly sturdy, healthy, and dynamic dog. The height at the withers ranges from 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 centimeters), while the weight fluctuates between 7 and 13 pounds (3 and 6 kilograms). These dimensions make the Bichon Frisé a small but robust dog, very agile and lively, particularly suitable for agility training.

Bichon Frisé: Temperament

The Bichon Frisé is undoubtedly a perfect companion dog. Cheerful, lively, and always ready to play, it tends to become deeply attached to its owner, showing love and loyalty. It is a bright, very active dog, and its liveliness makes domestic life more lively and dynamic. This little dog is a precious playmate for children, but it also makes an excellent friend for elderly people, who are less active and exuberant than it is.

It loves to curl up on the couch and play with any object it finds at home, but it also needs to go for walks outdoors every day and socialize with other dogs.

In terms of family-friendliness, Bichon Frisés are typically excellent family pets. They are affectionate, sociable, and enjoy being around people, making them great companions for families of all ages. Their playful nature also makes them suitable for households with children. However, it’s essential to supervise interactions between dogs and young children to ensure both the dog and the child are comfortable and safe.

With proper socialization and training, Bichon Frisés generally get along well with children. They tend to be gentle and tolerant, although individual dogs may have different levels of patience. As with any breed, early socialization and positive experiences with children can help ensure a harmonious relationship between a Bichon Frisé and kids.

bichon frisé

Bichon Frisé: Training and Education

Socialization, in particular, is an important aspect of its education that helps to prevent the development of aggressive and bothersome behaviors over time.

Bichon Frisés are generally considered to be moderately easy to train. They are intelligent dogs and can learn commands with consistency and positive reinforcement training methods. However, like any breed, individual temperament and personality can vary, so some Bichon Frisés may be quicker learners than others.

Bichon Frisé: Care Tips

As you can imagine, the most demanding care for the Bichon Frisé concerns grooming its fur. The coat, in fact, needs to be groomed at least 2 to 6 times a year in specialized centers and must be regularly washed to prevent it from staining and brushed vigorously.

Equally important for preserving the dog’s health is ear hygiene. The fur covering the ears must always be clean, especially at the edges. Likewise, the eyes must be cleaned daily, especially after outdoor outings. Just like other small dog breeds, dental hygiene must be provided with the help of a veterinarian.

Given these precautions, the Bichon Frisé proves to be very long-lived (the average lifespan is around 14 years) but is subject to various hereditary diseases. The main ones are dislocations, cataracts, and epilepsy. Training will not be particularly demanding, but it should receive firm and gentle education to avoid excesses of exuberance that could be difficult to manage in the long run.

A final note on feeding: the Bichon Frisé needs to receive two meals a day. Snacks between meals should be avoided due to this breed’s tendency to gain weight easily.

Bichon Frisé: Price

Until some time ago, the Bichon Frisé was a highly sought-after dog, whose price could easily exceed 1,000 dollars. Today, it is purchased for a price ranging from 800 to 1,000 dollars, but much depends on the purity of the breed and the overall health of the puppy.

Bichon Frisé in Summary

Summarizing, the Bichon Frisé is a charming and affectionate small dog, known for its fluffy white coat and cheerful demeanor. Originating from European courts, it has a rich history as a companion to nobility.

Despite its aristocratic past, it remains a beloved family pet, cherished for its playful nature and loyalty. With proper grooming, it sheds minimally, making it suitable for allergy sufferers. Adaptable to apartment living, it thrives on daily exercise and social interaction. Overall, the Bichon Frisé embodies a perfect balance of elegance, companionship, and joy.

Here is a useful recap table of this dog breed:

Feature Description
Appearance Small-sized with pure white coat, fluffy and soft, typically 8-12 inches tall and 7-13 pounds.
Temperament Cheerful, lively, affectionate, and loyal; great for families and adapts well to various living situations.
Training Moderately easy to train with consistency and positive reinforcement; intelligent but may vary in learning speed.
Socialization Important for preventing aggressive behaviors; generally gets along well with children and other dogs.
Grooming Requires regular grooming to maintain its coat; low shedding but needs brushing and occasional professional grooming.
Health Long-lived breed with an average lifespan of around 14 years; prone to hereditary diseases like dislocations, cataracts, and epilepsy.
Exercise Thrives on daily exercise and playtime; adaptable to apartment living but needs outdoor walks and socialization.
Family-Friendly Affectionate and sociable, suitable for families with children; requires supervision during interactions.
Adaptability Adapts well to apartment living; can live in various environments with proper exercise and mental stimulation.
Price Varies, but typically ranges from $800 to $1,000 depending on breed purity and health.
Overall A charming, affectionate, and adaptable breed, embodying elegance, companionship, and joy.

 

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