Bichon Frise is a very beautiful breed with compact bodies, baby-doll ears, and fuzzy white hair, whose features are improved by a perky, good-natured temperament. Sometimes, they are mistaken for white poodles.
The Bichon, as he is affectionately called, is related with many small breeds: the Coton de Tulear, a dog that originated on an island near Madagascar off the African coast; the Bolognese, raised in northern Italy near the city of Bologna; the Havanese, bred in Cuba; and the Maltese, bred in the Mediterranean on the island of Malta. Bichons also seem to have arisen in the Mediterranean and have been moved to other countries on trading routes.
Bichons can be small puppies, but they are hardy, with large examples only exceeding a foot in height. Despite their small size, they are not listed by the American Kennel Club as a toy breed; they are part of the Non-Sporting Community instead.
Bichons, with black eyes and black noses, are always white (although puppies can be cream or pale yellow). They get a proud, assured look from their arched necks, while their well-plumed tails curl gracefully around their shoulders.
Try the Bichon if you're looking for a wonderful family companion. This dog likes playing. He is generally content (except for long stretches of time when left alone), and his attitude is affectionate and sweet.
Since they don't shed like most dogs, bichon is also preferred for those with allergies. This is something you can explore with the allergist, and not everyone responds to a Bichon in the same manner. Before you make a decision to have a Bichon—or other type of dog—be sure to invest some time in the presence of the breed if you have allergies.
Bichon has a reputation for suffering from fear in separation. If you have to leave your dog home alone for a long time, it might not be a dog for you. Bichon doesn't simply want to be with their family, they deserve to be with their families. They respond well to a number of lifestyles.
The Bichons are excellent dogs for people who live in apartments because of their compact size. They do have a lot of stamina, though, and they require everyday exercise, including walks and sports.
Bichons are clever and they want to learn tricks, and they can be highly educated. You need to be strict yet compassionate during teaching. Harsh corrections and scolding are going to break the spirit of Bichon. Most owners of Bichon prepare their dogs for discipline, agility, and competitiveness for rallies. This exercise is loved by both dogs and trainers, and it's a nice way to tie your Bichon more tightly. Another practice in Bichon that brings out the best is therapeutic work. Since they are gentle and sure to put a smile on the face of everyone, they make great therapy dogs for visits in nursing homes and hospitals.
Bichons usually get along well with other animals and humans, but they'll notify you when visitors come to the house.
• Bichons can be difficult to housebreak. Crate training is recommended.
• Bichons don't like to be left alone for long periods of time.
• Bichon Frise puppies are tiny and should only be handled by children under careful adult supervision.
• Bichons are intelligent and cunning. To help your Bichon be the best companion possible, obedience training is recommended.
• Grooming is a must! Be prepared to pay for professional grooming. Highly motivated owners can learn the technique, but it isn't easy and requires a lot of time.
• Bichons can be prone to skin problems and allergies.
• Because they're cute and small, you might be tempted to overprotect your Bichon Frise. This is a mistake and can lead to your dog becoming spoiled, shy, and fearful. Be watchful for dangerous situations, but teach your Bichon confidence by acting confident about his ability to cope with people, other animals, and situations.
• To get a healthy Bichon, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
The precise origin of the Bichon Frise is, as many dog breeds, unknown. Popular opinion holds that the Bichon is a medium-sized, woolly water dog descended from the Barbet, and that the name Bichon is derived from barbichon, which is the diminutive of the word barbet. The Bichon Frise, the Bolgnese, the Coton de Tulear, the Havanese, and the Maltese form the Barbichon family of dogs. Both have a similar appearance and temperament and emerged in the Mediterranean.
The earliest accounts of the breed Bichon Frise date from the 14th century, when the dogs were carried home from Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands, by French sailors. It is believed that the Bichon Frise dogs were brought there by travelers who used the Phoenician trading route, and that the Bichon Frise was initially developed in Italy.
Other historians also claim that Spanish seamen introduced the breed to Tenerife and, in the 14th century, Italian (rather than French) sailors brought it back to the continent. According to this version of the story, after the French conquered Italy in the 1500s, many Bichon Frise dogs were taken back to France as a war booty.
Regardless of how the Bichon Frise arrived in Europe, with royalty, the breed soon became a major favorite. During the reigns of King Francis I of France and King Henry III of England in the 16th century, Bichons were common in the royal courts. King Henry III was so fond of his Bichons that he carried them wherever he went in a special basket that he hung from his neck . Bichons became favorites of Spanish royal families and even of such painters as Goya, who included a Bichon in several of his paintings .
During the rule of Napoleon III, interest in the Bichon Frise remained high, but then the little dog fell out of favor with royalty until the late 1800s. By that time, it was considered a common dog, sometimes owned by organ grinders or circus performers and sometimes trained to help lead the blind. Had it not been for the Bichon's intelligence and appeal, the breed probably would have become extinct during this period.
However, after World War I, French breeders became interested in Bichon and worked to conserve the breed. The official breed standard was introduced by the Société Centrale Canine de France on 5 March 1933, by which point the little dog had two names: Tenerife and Bichon. Later the same year, after the Bichon Frise was recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, the president of the FCI, Madame Nizet de Leemans, called the breed Bichon à poil frisé ("Bichon with the curly coat"), and the moniker was anglicized to Bichon Frise. On October 18, 1934, the first Bichon Frise was added to the French Kennel Club studbook. In 1956, Bichons Frises was first brought to the Untied States. In September 1971, the breed became eligible to enter the AKC's Miscellaneous Class and was admitted to the American Kennel Club Studbook in October 1972 for registration. In April 1973, the breed became eligible to show at AKC dog shows in the Non-Sporting Group.
Males and females are around 9 to 11 inches tall and 7 to 12 pounds in weight.
The exceptional trait of the personality of the Bichon is a cheerful attitude. This dog loves to be loved, enjoys being the center of attention, and is adept at charming his winning personality with his family, neighbors, groomer, or veterinarian.
The Bichon has a playful, independent streak, but that doesn't mean that he wants to be alone. In fact, this breed hates being alone and sometimes suffers from separation anxiety if left alone for several hours. In such cases, Bichon can become aggressive, chewing and tearing up everything in sight. Obviously, Bichon is not a race of choice for people who have been away from home for a long time.
The extremely intellectual Bichon needs to be taught the correct canine etiquette, so it's necessary to sign up for obedience school, starting with the puppy lessons. Bichon is a simple sample, therefore bringing them to classes like this can be really satisfying. They're good at tricks, too, and some canine games.
A number of variables, including inheritance, training, and socialization, affect temperament. Puppies with lovely temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach and be held by individuals. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the puppy who beats his littermates or the puppy who hides in the corner. To ensure that they have nice temperaments that you are comfortable with, always meet at least one of the parents, usually the mother is the one who is available. It is also useful to meet siblings or other relatives of the parents to evaluate what a puppy will be like when he grows up.
As other dog, Bichon wants early socialization—exposure to several different people, sights, sounds, and experiences—when they are young. Socialization aims to guarantee that the Bichon puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog. It's a perfect start to enroll him in a puppy kindergarten class. Inviting friends on a daily basis and introducing them to busy parks, shops that accept puppies, and leisurely strolls to see neighbors would also help him polish his social skills.
Bichons are usually good, but like all breeds, they are vulnerable to certain conditions of health. Not all of the bichon will get any or all of these diseases, so it's good to be aware of them if you're worried about this breed.
If you are to buy a puppy, find a good breeder who will show you health clearance for both parents of your puppy. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for a specific condition and cleared of it. In Bichons, you should expect to see health clearances for hip dysplasia (with a fair or better score), elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand's disease from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA); from the University of Auburn for thrombopathy; and from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certifying normal eyes. Health clearances can be confirmed by checking the OFA website (offa.org).
bladder stones and bladder infections: are not rare in this breed. Many factors can cause bladder stones, including excess protein, magnesium, and phosphorus in the diet, or long periods of time between urine. Bladder infections can be traced back to bacterial or viral infections. If your Bichon has to urinate regularly, has bloody feces, or appears to have trouble urinating and lack of appetite, take him to the vet for a check-up.
Bichons can have allergies due to a variety of various reasons, including touch allergies and food allergies. Bichon is well known for being susceptible to fleabites as well. If your Bichon is itching, cleaning his hands, or rubbing his face sometimes, assume that he has an allergy, and have him tested by your vet.
In small dogs, this is a common problem. The kneecap is the patella. Luxation means that an anatomical part is dislocated (as a bone at a joint). Patellar luxation is when, causing pain, the knee joint (often a hind leg) slides in and out of place. This can be crippling, although many dogs with this condition lead relatively normal lives.
This sensitivity affects some Bichons, and many suffer even from routine vaccinations. Symptoms generally include hives, swelling of the face and lethargy. A vaccine-sensitive dog will develop complications or even die in rare instances. Carefully watch your Bichon for a few hours after he's been vaccinated and contact your vet if you find anything odd.
This is a hereditary condition in which the thighbone does not fit into the hip joint properly. On one or both rear legs, some dogs show pain and lameness, but others do not exhibit outward signs of discomfort. (The most specific way to diagnose the problem is X-ray screening.) Either way, as the dog ages, arthritis can develop. Dogs with hip dysplasia should not be bred, so if you buy a puppy, ask the breeder for evidence that the parents are free of problems and have been tested for hip dysplasia.
Relatively young (less than six years old) Bichons sometimes develop cataracts. It's believed to be genetic. When buying a Bichon puppy, make sure to ask if the breeder's breeding stock is approved by the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) and ask to see the certificates yourself.
Bichons are active dogs, but they do better as apartment dwellers with good exercise and play—and they live to play. Don't leave the Bichon alone for a long time to come. To discourage aggressive actions, the prudent owner leaves Bichon in a crate when he leaves the house for a short period.
A double-coated breed, always white, is the Bichon Frise. The soft and thick undercoat and the outer coat of the course combine to produce a soft but substantial texture. The coat stands, giving it a powder-puff appearance, away from the body. A Bichon's most popular trim follows the lines of the body of the dog, leaving the coat long enough to give him the signature "poufy" look.
Bichons have a reputation, which isn't exactly true, for not shedding. All creatures shed hair. With double-coated Bichons, however, instead of falling to the floor, the shed hair is caught up in the undercoat. If this dead hair is not eliminated by brushing or combing, it can mold mattresses and tangles, which can lead to skin issues if left unattended.
Grooming a bichon is not for cowards: it's a high-maintenance breed. You're going to need a lot more time for brushing and bathing: you're going to have to brush it at least twice a week or more, and you're going to have to bathe it if it gets muddy to keep the white coat clean. Be careful to make sure that the coat is free of mat and tangles before bathing, or the mat are tightened and almost difficult to remove.
To ensure they're clean, you should check your Bichon's ears often. Sometimes the hair that grows in the ear canal has to be plucked out (which a groomer can do if you don't feel comfortable with the job). Take him to the vet to make sure he doesn't have an ear infection if you notice a buildup of wax, redness, or a foul odor, or if your dog scratches his ears and shakes his head.
Most owners of Bichon take their dogs every four to six weeks to a professional groomer for a bath, brush, haircut, nail trimming, and ear cleaning. Check out the many good grooming books and videos on the market for instructions if you want to learn how to groom your own Bichon.
Keeping Bichon's face clean and trimmed is as vital to health as it seems. Mucus and eye discharge appear to collect in the hair that grows around the eyes, and eye issues can occur if you do not clean the area regularly.
Tearstains are normal as a result of eye disorders or food allergies. Since Bichon is vulnerable to a variety of eye diseases, it's safer to have your vet inspect your dog if tear-staining is a problem. Bichons are vulnerable to blocked or narrow tear ducts, eyelashes that expand towards the eyeball, or eyelids that turn inward and allow the lashes to brush against the cheek. Your vet will be able to decide whether you have any of these problems.
To remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it, brush the Bichon's teeth at least two or three times a week. When you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath, daily brushing is even better.
To avoid painful tears and other problems, trim nails once or twice a month if your dog does not naturally wear them down. They are too long if you can hear them clicking on the floor. Dog toenails have blood vessels in them, and you can cause bleeding if you cut too far, and your dog may not cooperate when he sees the nail clippers coming out next time. So, if you don't have experience trimming dog nails, ask for pointers from a veterinarian or groomer.
Start to get your Bichon used to being washed and checked while he's a puppy. Handle his hands frequently—dogs touch their feet—and look into his mouth. Render grooming a fun experience full of praise and rewards, and you will pave the groundwork for simple veterinary tests and other handling when you're an adult.
When you groom, look for sores, rashes, or symptoms of injury, such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation of the lips, nose, mouth, and eyes, and feet. The eyes should be clear, without redness or discharge. Your careful weekly test will help you detect possible health issues early.
Bichons are healthy family pets and great children & friends. They love messing around with children, engaging in their games or sitting in their laps. They are very forgiving of children's noise and commotion.
As with all breeds, however, you should always teach children how to approach and treat dogs, and always monitor any contact between dogs and young children to avoid any bite or ear or tail from pulling on either side. Teach your child never to touch any dog while feeding or sleeping, or attempt to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with an infant.
The Bichon Frise is a very handsome little dog, full of charm and very beautiful. Vigorous, stylish and optimistic, the Bichon Frise draws attention everywhere it appears. This fluffy breed is also smart, extremely attentive, and shows very well at the completion of the ring. The Bichon greatly enjoys his family's warmth, company and affection.
If he is to be fostered to his full temperament, the Bichon Frise puppy should be cuddled regularly and given a snug bed of his own with some secure toys to play with. The pup may become shy and withdrawn without such displays of affection, much human interaction is needed for the true personality of the Bichon Frise to blossom.
There is an unmistakable air of dignity about the Bichon Frise, but his noble bearing never makes this little white dog look aloof. Instead, the Bichon is active, and bouncy, especially while still a puppy. The quality of the dog is maintained throughout its lifetime. An interested Bichon is always curious when it comes to "meeting" new people.