Breed Group: Non-sporting Group
Shoulder Height: 9-12 in.
Weight: 10-20 lb.
Life Span: 12-15 years
Colors: White, apricot, buff, cream
- Originally developed in the Mediterranean area, the Bichon Frise is one of the first European breeds developed specifically for companionship.
- Their constant use by sailors as a barter item with other cultures ensured the breed's rapid spread.
- These charming little dogs soon became popular as companions for European royalty.
- Although they have an affinity for water, the Bichon Frise was never considered a water dog since they never did any actual work aboard a ship.
The Bichon Frise is an enduring breed that enjoyed rapid international popularity thanks to their travel on Mediterranean sailing vessels. As a result, they are one of the most successful modern breeds with what is possibly the largest population worldwide.
Their popularity is due largely to their happy and rambunctious personality. With high amounts of energy and a short stature, this makes the breed popular with children. They do have a tendency to demand nearly constant attention, but this differs from individual to individual. Bichon Frises also get along quite well with other dogs and strangers, but still benefit from early socialization.
Training is essential if you are going to be happy with your Bichon Frise. If you start while they are young, they typically make ideal companions and are very obedient. It's important that you remain assertive and don't give in to their pretty face and dark eyes.
Their thick, curly coat is more like hair than fur, so it is prone to matting. They'll need regular trimming to keep their hair tidy. Their small size also means that indoor play is sufficient for their exercise needs.
Bichon Frises are traditionally very hardy dogs and do not fall victim to many illnesses.
- Skin allergies can cause grief to Bichons and their pet parents, with itching inflammation and hair loss.
- Calcium Oxalate bladder stones occur in the breed. Symptoms include straining and pain on urination, and blood in the urine.
- Patellar luxation occurs when the kneecap slips out of position, resulting in a skipping lameness.
- As with many small breeds, there is a risk of dental disease and pet parents should pay close attention to keeping their pet's teeth clean.
- Sadie Frost has kept Bichon Frises for a number of years. The actress and fashion designer is often seen with a Bichon in public.
- Several of the greatest works of Francisco de Goya, the Spanish painter, feature Bichon Frises as the subjects.
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