The Bichon Frise – Cheerful and Affectionate

Adorable Puppies
bichon teddy bear cut

The cute Bichon Frise, pronounced BEE shan FREE say, are a small breed dog, full of playful energy and perfect for apartments. 

Bichon Frise are excellent companion dogs and are great with people and other dogs. They are easy to train, don’t shed hair and make great family pets as they enjoy being around young kids. If you’re interested in getting a Bichon Frise, we have all their breed information below so you are armed with knowledge before you make your decision on this cute little dog!

Bichon Frise Facts

Breeding Background Facts

The Bichon meaning is a contraction of “barbichon” which means “little barbet”. This is because the Bichon Frise breed is believed to be descendent from a large, similar breed of dog called Barbet.

These playful pups date back to the 14th Century when French sailors brought the dogs back to Europe. This small dog was popular in royal courts and amongst Kings. They lost popularity during the 1800s but the French swooped in and worked to keep the breed from going extinct due to their intelligence and playful nature. The Bichons made it to America back in the ’50s and entered dog shows as part of the American Kennel Club by 1975. 

Bichon Frise Temperament and Behavior

Bichon Frise are a great family dog and love to be around humans. They are affectionate, with a cheerful personality and thrive when they are the center of their human’s attention.

Bichon love to cuddle and will happily sit on your lap. This doesn’t mean that is all they are good for though! Other traits include their intelligence and their love of learning new tricks which they pick up quickly. 

These adorable dogs are great with other dogs and young children and they make a fantastic family pet.

Because of Bichon’s playful, human loving ways, they do struggle on their own and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long. They can then become destructive and chew or dig, so this is an important consideration to factor in when considering this breed.

Like many breeds, at a young age, Bichon Frise puppies will bite. This is something a new owner must be aware of as it can be a difficult trait to break them out of if they start biting young. Bichon Frise barking is another trait you must break early on.

As with all dogs, preventing them from doing this in their first 6-12 months of life can be detrimental in determining your dog’s future behavior.  

A Bichon Frise will make an alert watchdog but they are not aggressive and are easy to train overall. They can be difficult to housebreak so engaging in excellent, reward based obedience training early on is a must. 

bichon frise guard dog


These cheerful characters adjust well to different sized dwellings. Of course, like with most dogs, a yard is preferred but they are also suited to apartment living because of their small size.

If they are walked one to two times a day, and if their humans are home with them most of the time, they can happily live in an apartment, making them a great all rounder pup. 

One thing to note is that they can be prone to barking, like many small dogs. If you are in an apartment with close neighbors and you won’t be home, it is very important to have them well trained and occupied with toys and regular exercise so this is kept to a minimum. 

Bichon Frise lifespan

Not only are these dogs suitable for a variety of families, but Bichon can live between 12-15 years.

Fun fact: the oldest Bichon lived for 21 years!

Bichon Frise Size

Dog size is obviously an important factor when thinking about adding a new addition to the family.

Female Bichon Frise weigh 3-5 kg and are 23-28 cm tall.

Males weigh 3-6 kg and are slightly taller at 23-30 cms tall. 

Bichon’s stop growing by the time they are one year old. They are then no longer considered a puppy and will have grown to their full height and weight. 

Bichon Frise Price

In America, Bichon Frise puppy prices range from $250 to $2,500, depending on the breeder. The Bichon Frise price range is considerably fair for a pure bred dog, as many other breeds can go up to $7000!

The Bichon Frise breed is popular all over America and fortunately, there are reputable breeders in most states or counties. Healthy puppies come from:

·       Breeders who provide a high standard of care for both the puppies and their parents

·       Are open to questions and care about their dogs 

·       Happily provide you with ongoing support for your pup after purchase

·       Can provide references if asked and meet any legal requirements.

There are a few ways you can seek out a reputable breeder. An excellent resource is the Bichon Frise Club of America site as they have an extensive breeder directory for the whole country. You can also ask local veterinarians, asking other dog owners of the same breed or even joining Facebook groups and asking the community.

How To Look After Your Bichon Frise

Socializing Your Bichon

A Bichon Frise is a good family pet! They love all humans and are great with young kids as well as other dogs. This breed also learns quickly and can be trained easily. Like with any dog, socialization and training from a young age are important. A well trained Bichon can be taken out with you to dog parks, cafes and to off leash dog areas, making them a fantastic companion dog

A Bichon Frise can be left alone for small periods of time. Anything longer, and this breed can experience separation anxiety and become destructive. They are often sought out as family pets as it is common for someone to be home through the day, or for older people, who are retired and aren’t away from home for long periods.  

Grooming a Bichon Frise

bichon frise grooming

A Bichon’s coat will need regular grooming as it is curly and can get matted. This is something to take into consideration if you purchase one as their coat can be difficult to look after.

Because of their coat, Bichon grooming will need to be incorporated into their training routine at a young age so they are used to it and can tolerate it on a regular basis.

An important thing to note about Bichon grooming:

·       Bichon shedding is non-existent! They don’t shed hair, like poodles

·       You will need to do a full brush of the Bichon Frise’s hair at least two to three times per week

·       They need regular baths, every one to two weeks

·       They can get tear stains on their white curly hair which can be wiped away with a damp tissue, it is important to keep their eyes clean.

Bichon Frise haircut or the Bichon puppy cut are often made to look like a cute teddy bear! Because of their curly coat, groomers can easily tease the fur around their ears to puff up and look like a stuffed bear.  

The Bichon Frise show cut is another popular way to groom your dog. The head is like a teddy bear, but the rest of the body is also permed to puff up all over, including the fur on their little legs!  

How to groom a Bichon Frise at home 

Learning to groom your Bichon Frise at home is a good skill to have as this breed requires grooming often. We have written a full article on How to Wash Your Dog At Home but the Bichon needs a little extra love. 

This YouTube tutorial is a great help. Our tips for grooming a Bichon at home include:

·       Be patient! Grooming their fur can be a difficult feat so make sure you begin with enough time

·       Brush first! Unlike other dogs, a Bichon must be brushed before washing as any water can strengthen existing mats 

·       Make sure you brush and comb thoroughly, using a high quality brush

·       Use a whitening shampoo if you want to get their coat whiter and fade any dirt

·       Towel dry and then use a hairdryer, making sure to check it is not too hot by blowing the air on your own skin

·       Brush again before you use the clippers, a number three guard for the body is a good length

·       Trim the eye hair carefully as they can get tear stains and it is easier to remove them with shorter hair around this area.

Bischon Frise Health Problems

The Bichon Frise health issues are relatively small and manageable.  Unfortunately, they can have weakened immune systems which means they can suffer from allergies. Some things you may need to be wary of is their reactions to fleas, certain grasses, shampoos or pollen. 

Another common health risk is their susceptibility to patellar luxation, also known as loose knees. In worst case scenarios, this can require surgery. If this, and their allergies are managed appropriately with the help of a trusted veterinarian, these pups can live a stress free, healthy life.

Are Bichon Frise Hypoallergenic?

Yes! Bichon Frise are hypoallergenic, making them a perfect option for allergy suffers. As mentioned above, they don’t shed hair and they are not considered ‘drooly’ dogs. If they do have saliva around their mouth that might cause your allergies to flare up, you can wipe this away to keep their fur clean. 

As for the Bichon Frise’s gorgeous curly hair, this will begin to show from the time they are a year old. Depending on your dog and the climate you live in, it can take up to three years for it to curl. 

Bichon Frise Training

Training a Bichon Frise is relatively easy as they are eager to learn and love being taught new tricks. Gentle dog training is best for their temperament as they respond well to positive reinforcement and rewards. They can be sensitive and will not respond well to harsh or punishment focused training. As with most dogs, starting training at a young age is best. 

Some Bichon Frise behavior problems include their difficulty to housebreak. It can take a bit more effort for them to learn to wee outside, because of both their small bladder and their excited ways. Another behavior problem can be their tendency to bark. Many small dogs can be labeled ‘yappy’ but if this is nipped in the bud early and they are trained well, you can ensure your dog doesn’t get this label! 

This breed of dog should not be left on its own for too long. They can become destructive and chew your shoes, dig in your yard or wee inside. They are best suited to an owner who will be with them the majority of the time.

Do Bichon like to cuddle?

bichon companion dog

Generally Bichons are not known for being lap dogs or seeking out physical contact. They are more likely to be found lying on the couch by themselves or chasing around after children in the family. If you’re looking for an affectionate pup that likes to snuggle up with their owner then this may not be the best fit. However, if you want a happy and loyal companion who will cheerfully greet anyone at the door then welcome home!

What are some cute Bichon Frise names?

Female Bichon Names:

  • Annie
  • Bonnie
  • Brandy
  • Buffy
  • Coco
  • Fifi
  • Gracie
  • Lady
  • Lucy
  • Lulu
  • Nipper
  • Nova
  • Pixie
  • Poppy
  • Rose
  • Sasha

Male Bichon Names:

  • Ace
  • Charlie
  • Eddie
  • Jack
  • Harry
  • Max
  • Ollie
  • Teddy
  • Timmy

What dogs are similar to the Bichon Frise?

Bichon vs Maltese

Both the Bichon Frise and Maltese are very popular family pets because they are gentle, friendly, good with children, and require minimal grooming. They will make you laugh with their innocent antics that remind us of childhood innocence. Both breeds come in a variety of colors including white, black, brown or gray, however, the maltese is more likely to be found in solid white than any other color. The bichon frise is smaller than the maltese but still has plenty of personality!

Bichon Frise vs Toy Poodle

Both the Bichon Frise and Toy Poodle are companion dogs, but they differ in size and they are both hypoallergenic. The Bichon is a larger breed of dog with an average weight of 10-18 pounds. It has a long soft coat that comes in white, cream, apricot or black and tan. This dog originated from France and was bred to be a companion for nobility because it does well living indoors all day.

The Toy Poodle is smaller than the Bichon with an average weight of 6-8 pounds and has a tight curly coast. This small breed originates from Germany where it was bred as a retriever for hunting birds which makes them very active pets that need lots of exercise on walks or runs

Bichon Frise vs Havanese

The Bichon Frise is a small, square-built dog that has long silky hair. The Havanese is a medium-sized toy breed of dog known for his luxuriantly long coat with the appearance of being fluffy. Both breeds are companion dogs and make wonderful companions for people who live in smaller homes or apartments. The Havanese has an average life expectancy of 12 to 16 years while the Bichon Frise can live up to 15 years on average.

Both breeds are very popular family pets because they are gentle and friendly with children, strangers, and other animals and they don’t need much space. Both dogs are relatively easy to groom; and they have no doggy odor so are well suited to living inside.

Recommended Resources

Bichon Frise Club

American Kennel Club

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