Is the Bichon Frise the right breed for you ?
Please read through all the information provided on this site before you consider applying to adopt a Bichon Frise from us, or even if you are considering buying a puppy - we have tried to give you as much information as we can to help you make an informed decision about this breed and whether it is right type of dog for you and your home circumstances.
The History & Origin
The Bichon Frise is a cross between the Barbet water spaniel, and a Poodle.
The Origin of the Bichon is from the mediterrean area ( Canary Islands)
A small / medium sturdy little dog that has a white curly coat with a tail that rides high onto the back ( plume)
The KC Breed Standard is 9-11" high at withers, however we are seeing Bichons being bred that are alot larger and taller than in years gone by.
The sizes are variable nowadays due to different genetic lines introduced via various breeding outlets , there has been a sharp rise in Bichons being sold on the internet via various sites & Puppy Farmers who breed Bichons then sell them on to pet shops.
Some Bichons may have apricot / cream within the coat. and black spots ( pigment) on the skin visible more so when the Bichon has been bathed or cut shorter.
Bichon Frise can live up to 15 years old
High - due to the type of coat, must be bathed and groomed every 6-8 weeks, this can be expensive. Also must be brushed everyday, sometimes for up to an hour if the coat is getting knotty.
A happy lively little dog, however they need to have a patient consistent owner, as they do tend to start to run the household very quickly.
The Bichon is very intelligent, but house training can be a slow process and can even carry on well in to adult hood
This breed is very much a human companion dog, dosn't like being left alone for long periods of time, and in many cases will soil in the house even if left for a short space of time ( please take that in to consideration)
They are very quick and will cock their leg or squat if they think you arn't paying attention to them.
Bichons do not like being shouted at, kennelled or being left all day while you go to work, they can be left emotionally damaged that may transpire into anxiety and other difficult behaviours.
Bichons do love your attention on their terms, they like to sit on your lap, on the sofa ,or on your bed.
But be aware it dosn't take long for them to claim your chair or bed as their own, which may result in confrontations when you want them to get down, "growling and snapping" when owners try to remove them isn't unheard of..
Bichons arn't for a family with small young children, they do love to be centre of attention and again this can cause problems if they feel they arn't getting 100% of the owner.
Changes in the home can also cause emotional/behavioural issues in a Bichon .. ie new baby, going back to work , another animal introduced etc..
In the wrong enviroment Bichons can get overly protective of items,people and food and they may become " snappy"- they need to be with an owner that will set boundaries and limits and dosn't over baby them, they have 4 legs not two.
They can be notouriously vocal, but make a good alarm dog, they have extremely sensitive hearing and will bark at almost anything, so understanding neighbours are a bonus :)
if you do buy a Bichon and then go to work fulltime, Bichons will bark if they are distressed and bored because they are on their own too long, and the area your Bichon has been left in will probably be covered in pee's and poo's when you get home.
They get very stressed and can also start to chew at their skin and fur.- so if you do work fulltime forget a Bichon the maximum time they can cope with being left alone is approx 3-4 hours, coming home at lunchtime dosn't help - they want you there for more than an hour lunch break.
Bichons can be very lively and love good long walks, others don't want to go very far, a well socialised Bichon is a happy Bichon, and does well being introduced to different sights and sounds, people and places as soon as you can
However some can be very nervous, and this can result in nervous aggression or a scitty dog on the lead that barks at anyone or any another dog that approaches you both outside the house on a walk, or if anyone new enters your home.. they can be quite protective of their owners .
Potential health issues
Skin allergies, from diet, enviroment, fleas household dust mites,ear infections , epilepsy , luxating patellas ( slipping knee caps) cataracts
heart murmurs, Cushings, Diabetes and Addisons.
Best type of owner and home enviroment
An owner that is willing to be patient and consistent , & dosn't work long hours, hasn't any very young children and dosn't mind a dog that has house training at the bottom of their " to do list"
Bichons particularly do not like to pee or poo outside when its raining!... so you may find that a mop & bucket or a carpet cleaner becomes apart of your "household essential kit ".
Bichons like to think they are the leader within the home enviroment, and its difficult to try undo behaviours you have let pass over a long period of time, they can escalate into a behaviour that has become alot harder to address
In the right enviroment this little dog thrives, they are a highly intelligent breed but are unlike any other, they will bring you alot of joy & happiness but that "cutesy" ball of fluff has high demand and attention needs, and if those arn't being met you are going to have behavioural issues that may manifest pretty quickly.
Two further informative USA sourced articles.
Please take all of the above information into account before you consider a Bichon Frise.