Bichon Frise

Dog Breed Profile
Bichon Frise

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• High energy level
• Low exercise needs
• Very playful
• Very Affectionate
• Very friendly towards other dogs
• Very friendlyy around other pets
• Very friendly around strangers
• Difficult to train
• Great watchdogs
• Not very protective
• High grooming requirements
• Medium tolerance to heat
• Medium tolerance to cold


The Bichon Frise is a perky dog breed that looks like a fluffy powder puff, thanks to his double coat that will easily spring back when he’s being petted. This once street-performer has a soft, sweet expression and effortless trot, which has made him a popular pet for many people who just can’t resist the happy and good-natured breed.

Perfect for families with children, other dogs and pets, the Bichon Frise is very affectionate and playful, and although he can be difficult to train, he is responsive and sensitive and worth every minute of the extra grooming required. He’s got a lot of energy but his exercise needs are relatively easy to accommodate.

  • Not suited to living outdoors
  • Health conditions that need to be tested for are his knees and eyes
  • Grooming needs include at least twice weekly brushing and more when shedding
  • The Bichon Frise is a very affectionate and friendly, loving animal that can be difficult to train
  • Has a great relationship with family members, young and old, not very protective but do make decent watchdogs
  • The average size of a male is 11 to 16lbs and 9.5 to 11.5 inches tall
  • The average size of a female is 10 to 15lbs and 9.5 to 11.5 inches tall

Care & Health:

Be prepared to give your Bichon Frise a good brush at least every other day, plus a trip to the salon every other month to trim his beautiful fur coat. He’s a breed that doesn’t shed, but without proper maintenance of his coat the hair will mat.

Be sure to get him daily exercise, either a walk, or romp in the yard. He’s not meant to live outdoors, and he’s ideal for apartment dwellers that are looking for a friendly companion.

Major Health Concerns:

– patellar luxation

Minor Health Concerns:

– tooth loss, cataracts

Test for:

– knees, eyes

Life Span:

– 12 to 15 years

Breed History:

This friendly little spitfire has roots from two different types of dogs, small white lap dogs and a large water dog. These two dogs, from the Mediterranean, were mixed to produce the Barbichon. From this cross came four different dogs, one being the Bichon Frise. He finally made it to France in the 1500s, where it wasn’t long until royalty and high ranking members of society took a liking to him.

In the following centuries he went from being a favorite among royalty to a lowly street performer. World War I almost made this breed extinct, but a few French breeders eventually made an effort to revive them. World War II almost put an end to them once again, but he managed to make it to the US in the 50s, where it took further grooming and publicity to make him a popular dog. The AKC recognized him in 1971.

  • Family history is Bichon, companion, water dog
  • Originally from France
  • First bred in ancient times
  • Original purpose was companion, performer
  • Today they are used for companion
  • Also known as Tenerife dog, bichon Tenerife, bichon a poilfrise