The Bichon Frise: An All-Around Great Pet

Discover the world of the Bichon Frisé – a charismatic and affectionate companion. Explore their charm and unique qualities here!

Jan 31, 2024By Nikita Hillier
the bichon frise an all around great pet

With a super distinctive coat and light, fun personality, the Bichon Frisé has become a very popular and beloved family companion all over the globe. This breed has a beautiful charm that extends way beyond its cute appearance and ventures into so much more. This breed's friendly demeanor and naturally playful temperament make it the perfect pet.

In this breed profile, we will take a look at everything you need to know about the Bichon Frisé and why this interesting breed has captured hearts all around the world!

Fast Facts About the Bichon Frisé

small bichon freeze dog staring at camera
Image Credit: Matt Briney on Unsplash

Before we dive in, let’s take a look at a brief summary of the amazing Bichon Frisé breed:

  • Size: Usually, these small dogs are roughly 9.5 to 11.5 inches tall. They have a compact yet strong stature.
  • Weight: At full maturity, these dogs weigh between 10 to 20 pounds. This allows them to live comfortably in a number of living spaces, making them ideal for apartment life.
  • Lifespan: The Bichon Frisé breed has a pretty long lifespan, ranging from 10 to 14 years on average. They offer friendship that lasts a long time.
  • Affection level: While these dogs are pretty independent, when treated with love and care, they form really strong bonds with their families.
  • Good with children: When socialized correctly, Bichons are usually great with children. They have a protective nature and loyal qualities that make them the perfect family dog.
  • Good with other dogs: Bichons are known for their great pack mentality, so they can get along well with other dogs when properly socialized.

The Origins of the Bichon Frisé

bichon frise dog lying down on grass
Image Credit: Matt Briney on Unsplash

Throughout history, the Bichon Frisé has been hailed as an amazing family companion. They are affectionate, offering unwavering loyalty. These dogs are also a great size for family members of all ages to enjoy safe play.

People have always said that these amazing dogs integrate easily into households and foster beautiful bonds with humans and other animals. Bichons have a long history tracing back to the Mediterranean region. It is thought that they originated from the Barbet, which is a water spaniel.

These dogs have long been loved by European royalty. Sailors even took them on their adventures, allowing the breed to spread all across the world. The name comes from the Middle French word "bichonner," which means "to pamper" or "to make a fuss over." The second part of the name, frisé, refers to its curls.

By the 19th century, these dogs became very well-known for their work in circus acts and street performances.

Characteristics of the Bichon Frisé

bichon frise dog running on grass
Image Credit: Gabriel Crismariu on Unsplash

There is no denying that Bichons are very unique dogs. They have plenty of characteristics that make them interesting household pets and beloved companions. They’re smart, fun, loving, and so much more.

You really can’t go wrong by welcoming one of these lighthearted pups into your home. Whether you have a large family or you’re a sole dog owner, a Bichon Frisé could be just what you need to make your house a home.

A Bichon Frisé could be the right choice for your family if you’re looking for:

A Small, Compact Companion

The Bichon Frisé is a relatively small dog standing compact and small. Its compact frame is adorned with a very distinctive, and quite frankly adorable double coat. The undercoat of Bichons is soft, dense, and warm.

The outer coat on the other hand is often loosely curled or wavy. Often, they are white in color, but they can also be apricot, gray, cream, or a color between all of these shades.

A Pet With a Lively Personality

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Bichons are very well-known for their kind, friendly, and warm nature. They absolutely love human companionship and are known to be very good with children and any other household pets. This breed thrives on socialization, making it the perfect choice for anyone who wants to spend a lot of time with their pal.

Bichons are playful and energetic. This means that they absolutely love interactive playtime and quality bonding time with their owners.

A Smart, Easy-to-Train Pal

Don’t be fooled by their small, smiling faces; Bichons are incredibly intelligent. They learn quickly and excel in trick and obedience training. Their innate intelligence makes them great service dogs, helping owners with disabilities thrive.

A Mini Watchdog

Bichon Frisé service dog
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Bichons have a very keen sense of alertness. This makes them amazing watchdogs. While they don’t look like your usual guard dog, they will always alert their owners to any unusual sounds, activities, or people. This can make your household feel far more secure.

An Adaptable Friend

These dogs are super adaptable to different living environments and lifestyles. Whether you’re a city dweller or prefer to live in the country, the Bichon Frisé is a great companion for a large variety of settings. They are equally content curling up beside you on the couch or enjoying outdoor adventures.

Health Considerations with the Bichon Frisé

fluffy bichon frise dog blue background
Image Credit: Viktor Talashuk on Unsplash

While the Bichon Frisé is a pretty healthy and tough breed, as a responsible pet owner, you must be aware of any potential health concerns that may affect your dog. Here are some common health considerations to be mindful of:

Dental Health

Bichons are very much prone to dental issues. The most common dental issues include tooth decay and gum disease. Regular dental care, including tooth brushing and providing toys and dental treats, is crucial to maintaining their oral hygiene.

It can also help to prevent health complications.


Some Bichons can be susceptible to allergies. This can include common skin conditions like itching, red feet, and bald patches. Make sure that you monitor their diet closely along with their environment.

Also ensure that you stay up to date with regular veterinary check-ups to manage and address any allergies.

Joint Problems

Like many other small dog breeds, Bichons can be super prone to joint problems, including luxating patella. Make sure you provide a balanced diet and help your dog maintain a healthy weight. Both considerations could reduce joint inflammation and other concerns.

Ear Infections

Bichons have floppy ears that can often create an environment perfect for ear infections to occur. Make sure you engage in regular cleaning and inspection of the ears to prevent infections. If your Bichon is showing signs of discomfort, including head shaking or excessive scratching, make sure you speak to your vet ASAP.

Respiratory Concerns

The Bichon Frisé is a brachycephalic dog breed, meaning it has a flat facial structure that can affect breathing. Make sure that you avoid exposing your dog to extreme temperatures and be cautious of any strenuous exercise. Regular veterinary check-ups can help to monitor their respiratory health.

Bladder Stones

Bichon Frisé dogs can be prone to bladder stones. By offering them constant access to fresh water and a balanced diet, you can help to prevent the formation of these stones.

Cataracts and Eye Conditions

Bichons can often be susceptible to cataracts and other problems with their vision. Regular eye examinations can help find and address any issues as soon as they occur. Prevention and early detection can ensure the preservation of your dog’s eye health.

The Bichon Frisé Needs Care and Maintenance

bichon frise dog on the sand at beach
Image Credit: John Holden on Unsplash

Bichon Frisé dogs are pretty low maintenance, and you can keep them happy with regular care. However, there are some care needs including grooming, exercise, and health that will need to be kept in mind. For example, their grooming and maintenance needs will vary from those of a Pitbull.

You need to speak to your vet and do your research to ensure that you are prepared to keep up with your dog’s individual needs.

What to Know About Grooming

The Bichon’s gorgeous double coat requires regular brushing to keep it in the best condition possible. Make sure you engage in daily brushing to prevent any matting and tangling that may occur. You should also book your pup for periodic professional grooming appointments to keep them in great condition.

Regular dental care, ear cleaning, and ear trimming should also be part of this grooming routine for overall health and well-being.

These Dogs Need Some Exercise

white dog in sink
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Despite their size, this breed is fairly active and will benefit from regular exercise. Consider daily walks, interactive play, and access to a secure outdoor space to keep your pup mentally stimulated and physically fit.

Puzzle toys can also help meet their mental exercise needs.

Bichons Need Consistent Training

Bichons are super intelligent, meaning they are easy to train. However, offering them positive reinforcement with some training tools will work best for them. Socializing them as early as possible will ensure that they grow up to be well-mannered and comfortable in various situations and around different people.

These Dogs Crave Attention and Affection

Bichons thrive on affection and attention from their owners. In fact, some would say it is absolutely crucial. They are truly at their happiest when they can spend time with their family. Love and affection will need to be consistent to keep your pup happy.

Consider regular cuddles, playtime, and positive interactions to strengthen your bond with your dog.

Facts About the Bichon Frisé

small white bichon frise dog black background
Image Credit: Kristin O Karlsen on Unsplash

The facts below highlight the rich history of the Bichon Frisé, their distinctive characteristics, and the fun qualities that have made them beloved companions for many centuries. Here’s what to know:

  • These dogs used to perform in circuses: In the 19th century, these dogs were very popular in circus acts and street performances because of their entertaining qualities and innate intelligence. They were able to learn tricks quickly––making them ideal performers.
  • Bichons have minimal shedding: Bichons are hypoallergenic dogs. Their curly coat really doesn’t shed much, making them ideal pets for those with allergies.
  • The Bichon Frisé is very social: These dogs are super social and thrive on human companionship. They love being part of the family and form great bonds. They offer a friendly nature, which makes them perfect for many living environments.
Nikita Hillier
By Nikita Hillier

Nikita is a huge animal lover who has grown up on a farm with many different animals, from dogs and cats to horses and cows! She has a lot of experience in the equine industry and is even in the process of studying for an internationally accredited Equine Sports Massage Certificate! In her spare time, she enjoys writing and spending time with her beloved animals!