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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

Origin: Spain

AKC Group: Non-sporting

Height: 9 inches (Male)

Weight: 7 pounds (Male)

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Male height: 
9 inches
Male weight: 
7 pounds
The double coat forms loose curls that can grow to 3 or 4 inches (7.5 or 10 cm) in length.
White with buff, cream or apricot shadings on the body or around the ears.

The Bichon Frise was discovered by sailors on Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands off the coast of Spain. This small, fluffy dog was instantly popular with the sailors, who traveled with him and traded him in their ports of call. He became a favorite of the 16th-century French royals, and when the aristocracy's fancies turned to other breeds, the Bichon was the loyal companion of organ grinders and circus performers. He became quite fashionable in the early 1980s, which caused a spike in his popularity that has since tapered to more normal levels.

The Bichon is an outgoing, cheerful, personable dog. He is self-assured and congenial, making him a delight as a pet. He is a true companion dog - he wants to be with his owner as often as possible and needs and thrives on attention.
At home: 
Because of his small size, the Bichon Frise makes a good apartment dog. He is predisposed to allergies, so the home environment should be low in dust, mold and other allergens. Because the Bichon sheds very little, he won't leave hair all over the house. This can also make him a good choice for allergy sufferers.
The Bichon is an active dog who is happy to have most of his exercise needs met by accompanying his owner everywhere and engaging in play sessions with the whole family. Daily walks will also help keep him fit.
The Bichon Frise can suffer from many health conditions that can be aggravated by food, including food-specific allergies. A premium diet is essential for this breed.
Eager to please, the Bichon responds well to training, although housetraining can be a challenge. He is often used as a trick or performance dog because he has the added charm of being so irresistibly cute.
Although most Bichons get along with children, the majority of breeders don't recommend them for families with very small children because they might inadvertently hurt this small breed. Bichons make great companions for seniors and get along well with other dogs and small pets.
The average life span of the Bichon is 13 to 16 years. Breed health concerns include cataracts; ear problems; epilepsy; skin allergies; and weak knees. These dogs are particularly sensitive to fleabites.
Fun fact: 

The Bichon's head is not carried forward when he moves but is instead held up, which lends him the appearance of an attentive and perky dog.

Grooming blurb: 
The Bichon may not shed much, but his skin and coat need regular attention. Most owners have their Bichons professionally groomed; they are cut to appear square and compact, with the hair on their face and ears and at the end of their tail left rather fluffy. Bichons are typically groomed using scissors so that the look can be sculpted and refined.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.