The Bichon Frise dog breed is small in size and very lovable and cute. Originating from the Mediterranean, it belongs in the non-sporting group. They are cherished as great companion dogs because they are playful and affectionate, and love to be with their owners. They are very sociable and good with children too, an added advantage for families with kids and those who travel.
Bichons come in different categories, but they all come from the Mediterranean region. They have been known from the early 1300s. Bichon Frise breed in particular was named by the Queen and is thought to be a crossbreed of a Maltese dog and a poodle that were already with her. They were carried to different countries by sailors and became popular for their looks and merry nature, but their popularity waxed and waned over the centuries.
This breed first came to the United States in the mid-twentieth century, and interest in these dogs steadily grew in the following decades. They became sought after as show dogs as well as companion dogs. The Bichon Frise became an official breed of the American Kennel Club in 1971.
The Bichon Frise breed dogs are small, measuring less than a foot at the withers and weighing less than 20 pounds. Some may be slightly bigger in size. The natural coat is made up of dense, curly, fur that is similar in some respects to that of poodles. Solid white is the most common color, but small patches of cream, buff or apricot may be present, usually near the ears or the paws. Solid grey and solid apricot dogs also occur. The black nose and eyes add a nice contrast.
The body is well proportioned with a rounded head, a short fluffy tail and folded ears. The actual shape of the body within the furry coat is rarely visible. The different types of fancy trimmings are done by the owners or professionals.
The Bichon Frise breed dogs are often described as being extremely cheerful in disposition. They are gentle and affectionate too. They love to be around humans and actively demand attention from you. These dogs cannot be left alone for extended periods of time as they have separation anxiety, and will keep on barking until the owners are back.
They like to play with children because they have similar energy levels. They get along with other animals too, a good quality when the owners are into socializing. Even though they are not water dogs, they love to be in water, probably due to their previous association with sailors.
These dogs have to be trained early to become obedient. This breed is considered as having medium-high intelligence. They can be trained to become territorial if need be. Otherwise, they are extremely sociable and easily take to strangers, which make them poor guard dogs
Grooming and exercise
Bichon Frise dog breed understandably requires quite a bit of grooming. Its coat has to be brushed at least once in 2 days to keep it in prime condition. Even though it does not shed much, removing any dead hair remaining in the coat will prevent matting. Occasional trimming is necessary too.
Despite its small size, the Bichon Frise breed requires some regular exercise such as a daily walk around the block, or running several laps in an enclosed yard. If outdoor activity is not possible, active games inside the house can compensate. These dogs are happy coming to the person when they are called, and this can be made into a game between two people and a dog when the owners are not up to any physical exertion.
Common health issues of Bichon Frise dog breed
Bichon Frise dog breed has a long life span, the average life expectancy being around 15 years. Many of them live longer, so it is important that they should be kept in good condition with regular health checkups so that prompt attention can be given to potential medical problems. As a breed, Bichon Frise is prone to Cushing’s disease, so you have to watch out for the typical symptoms. Other common musculoskeletal disorders of dogs such as hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and elbow dysplasia can affect these dogs. They are prone to eye problems and allergies too.