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Bichon Frise…. Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

Now there are a few dog breeds out there were we here at IndulgeYourPet feel compelled to warn folks to simply try to avoid.  Now this could be cause they’re a “notoriously” unhealthy breed or perhaps they’re not good with children or in some cases it’s simply because they may be too LARGE of a dog for someone living in an apartment.

Whatever the case…

May be, we always try to give our readers  a “fair warning” when it comes to “certain” dog breeds.

This is why…

When it comes to discussing the Bichon Frise, we feel that it’s only appropriate that we WARN you right from the start that if you put yourself in a room with a Bichon Frise puppy, chances are, you WILL become the owner of a brand new Bichon Frise puppy by the end of the day!

“They’re that CUTE!”

But that doesn’t mean…

That this little bundle of “love” should become your next pet.  Which is why in this article, we’re going to try to discuss some of the pros and cons of owning a Bichon Frise, so that if you are considering making one of these amazing little creatures your own, you won’t be disappointed in your decision six months from now.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Bichon Frise Dog Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin: Spain

Original Purpose:  Toy Dog, Show Dog, Companion Dog

Height:  9.5 to 11.5 inches tall

Weight:  10 to 18 pounds

Life Span: 15 years or more

Dog Breed Classification:  Non-sporting Group

Origins of the Bichon Frise

Despite the fact that the Bichon Frise has an almost “unnatural” look about him, this little dog has been around for 100’s of years spread out all across the Mediterranean.

It is believed…

That these little guys come from a “family” of dog breeds know as the Barbichons, which was latter shortened into the term Bichon which we now commonly use to describe them.

And by them…

We’re referring to the 4 different types of Bichon’s that exist today which are the:

And the Teneriffe, which later became known as the Bichon Frise.

Now like most other…

Bichon’s, that received their name from the city or town they developed in, the Teneriffe or Frise Bichon, got their original name for the same reason.

So, for those that are…

Not completely familiar with European geography, there is a chain of islands off of Northern Africa that is owned by the Spanish government called the Canary Islands.  And included in this “chain” of islands is one particular island known as Tenerife where it is believed that the Bichon Frise was first created.  He is also called as the Bichon Tenerife for this reason.

Now we know this because…

It was Italian sailors during the 14th century who first discovered these Spanish “gems” and brought them back to Italy where they quickly became quite popular with the social elite.

Which is why…

You shouldn’t be surpised that this little guys often made it into some fo the most famous painting created during this time (AKA the renaissance).

But things changed in the 19th century…

As the royal and noble “class” began losing ground across the West the Bichon also began losing some of his old exalted status as well.  After all, during this time, most folks who owned a dog, wanted one that could serve a purpose other than being able to fit on one’s lap and be super cute.

That said however…

There was a reaon why folks fell in love with this little dog and that reason was because they are super cute and a natural little entertainer.  Two traits which made him perfect for “show business” and during this time, the only show in town was the “circus”


You guessed it, this little guy often found his place in the circus.  And he loved it! He loved to entertain people and play the clown.  Because, after all, dogs don’t care whether the person they entertain is rich or poor, a royal or someone from the working class!

But more than that…

His role in the circus also allowed the breed to “expose” itself to the general public insuring the fac that this breed would be around for centuries to come.

Bichon in America

You would think that will a dog this cute that it wouldn’t take centuries for him to make it across the Atlantic ocean, but ironically, that’s exactly what occurred.

You see…

It wasn’t until the mid 1950’s that this little guy was “officially” brought to the United States by French breeders who recognized just how popular he would become once properly introduced.  But, once they made it to America, it didn’t take long for them to become a “hit”!

Which is why…

It only took 10 years for the first Bichon Frise Club to be formed within the US and it only took about 20 years for the American Kennel Club (AKC) to decide to “officially” recognize the breed in 1973 (which isn’t all that long for the AKC).


The Bichon Fise is also recognized by the Westminster Kennel Club, Societe Centrale Canine and the Federation Cynologique International, and remains a very popular dog in America.

Physical characteristics of the Bichon Frise

Let’s start with the good news – Bichon Frises are cute!  But… they are a bit of a “high” maintenance breed.  And while the Bichon Frise may have an outer coat covered by wavy white hair, that doesn’t shed, that white coat is also going to need some “professional” styling if you want your Bichon Frise to be looking his or her best all of the time.

Which means that…

These little guys are going to need to groomed more that once or twice a week and probably need to see a “professional” groomer at least once a month!

That said however…

Your Bichon is going to be more than just a pretty coat.  His small ears and dark, expressive eyes which hide more than they reveal also add to the charm and allure of these heart breakers.   And don’t forget his little black nose which contrasts against the rest of his body, which of course will be all white.

Leaving little doubt that..

When you carry this dog around, people will stop you on the steer and ask you about him.  He is a great conversation starter for sure!

Bichon Frise Temperment

Historically, the Bichon Frise has been breed to be a very “cuddly” dog. They enjoy being loved and appreciated by people, especially all the hugging and touching.

But bewarned…

It is important not to indulge your Bichon Frise too much, no matter how you are tempted to.  When you spoil him rotten and never reprimand him for anything, he will start barking at strangers, snapping at people or nipping at kids.

That’s why…

His training and socialization should begin as early as possible. And why this adorable little fur ball should be treated just like any other dog when it comes to what one should expect as appropriate behavior.

Bichon Frise’s make…

Very good family pet, but probably not suitable for families with small children.  Now we say this not because of concern for your child, but rather for concern for your Bichon.

You see…

Small children who may not be old enough to understand that your Bichon is a living creature, may not be “aware” of how to treat these little guys.  To them, they often appear to be “walking” teddy bears which can be grabbed, pinched, or “tossed”.

And when they…

Do that, small dogs such as the Bichon Frise tend to “snap back” at them.  And we don’t want that!

Bichon Frise Health Issues  

Bichons are among the healthiest of all dog breeds. The proof of that is that they have a life expectancy of 15 years or more, which is greater than that of most dogs.   That said however, they are still prone to develop certain medical conditions which can take a “bite” out of your wallet so we do want to at least mention them.

Common medical conditions that could affect your Bichon Frise may include…

The cost of the treatment can vary from $300 to $3,000. Not as much s that for many dog breeds because the Bichon is small and generally healthy.

But still, that is a lot!

That’s why…

If you are seriously considering purchasing a Bichon Frise puppy or better yet adoping a Bichon Frise rescue dog, we would encourage you to take a moment and see what it might cost for you to also purchase a pet insurance policy on him or her.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But understanding what these policies will and won’t cover and knowing how much they cost could potentially save you from being on the hook for 100% of the cost should your dog need veterinarian care later on.

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “Best” pet insurance policies in the industry, feel free to check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • coup d2x2 May 13, 2019, 4:11 am

    cute but fluffy, every part of my house is covered in fluff.

    • indulgeyourpet May 13, 2019, 7:15 am

      That sounds about right!

      Thanks for sharing.


  • Alice W. February 17, 2020, 2:14 am

    Looking for bichon frise

    • indulgeyourpet February 17, 2020, 9:03 am


      We would recommend that you visit your local dog shelter and let them know what you’re looking for and see if they might know of a local Bichon Frise rescue program.



  • Emily G. April 8, 2021, 4:19 pm

    Hm… still deciding whether to have an American Eskimo Dog, a Bichon frise, Pomeranian or a Papillion. Can you tell me which one is better? (I don’t want one that costs too much though)

  • PamperedPups April 17, 2021, 12:03 am

    Bichons are non shedding and hypoallergenic. One of the many fantastic things about these amazing little creatures is never needing to worry about your black clothing or couches being covered in fluff. If you have a purebred Bichon that is dropping a lot of wool it might be worth a quick blood work up at the vet to check everything is ok. As a long time Bichon owner the only time fur(wool) should be a noticeable is after a good brush as sometimes tufts can be overlooked and left lying around after brushing, or post grooming if the groomer hasn’t managed to blow away all of the wool successfully after the scissoring process when shaping the dog. Hope you manage to get your little cutie to a non shedding state soon.

    • Emily G. April 25, 2021, 8:55 am

      Thank you so much! 🙂

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