|Sensitivity to strangers
|Affection for family
|Suitable for first-time owners
|Ease of grooming
The origins of the Bichon Frise, also known as the curly-haired Bichon, are not clear but we do know that it was present in the noble and bourgeois families of the 1700s.
The Bichon Frise is a canine breed of uncertain origins, perhaps French or Spanish. In the past it was a dog that was mostly found in upper-middle class families and in noble families. After a period of oblivion, in which it lost “prestige”, it found it again around the 1930s, in French luxury settings. The Bichon Frise is recognized by the AKC and the FCI, and classified as a companion dog.
Its unique trait is precisely its fluffy and slightly curly coat, which is the classic conformation of the Frise, a characteristic that gives it its name, since “frisé” in French means “curly”. The curly-haired Bichon is typically white. It is also distinguished by its lively and affectionate character. This dog loves to play and be outdoors. The Bichon Frise is a dog that becomes very attached to its family and especially to children. It is sociable, affectionate and has no problems with strangers or other pets.
Bichon Frise: Origins
The Bichon Frise is an intelligent and sharp dog. It learns quickly and understands the orders of its owner, but sometimes it does not want to obey them. It doesn’t like to be alone and loves being the center of attention. The Bichon Frise, due to its skin’s hypoallergenic properties, is also suitable for people who are usually prone to allergies.
The origins of the Bichon Frise are uncertain, perhaps French or Spanish. They certainly originated in the Mediterranean and date back to 600-300 BC. These dogs were used by maritime traders as bartering products, which contributed to them spreading. Certainly, the upper bourgeois and noble classes loved the company of this breed.
At the beginning of the 19th century, this breed began to lose prestige, it was found in circuses or on the streets. Only since the 1930s was it possible to find it again in high-class French environments. In 1933, this breed was officially recognized in this nation, while in 1960, the FCI officially established its Franco-Belgian origin.
The oldest ascendant of the Bichon dog is the “Barbet”, from which it took the initial name Barbichon, which was later changed to Bichon. Four dog breeds descend from the Barbichon:
- Bichon Bolognese,
- Havanese Bichon,
- Maltese Bichon,
- Bichon Frise or Tenerife, from which the Frise characteristic seems to descend.
The Bichon Frise is recognized by the FCI with standard No. 215. It appears in the group of companion dogs.
Bichon Frise: Appearance and Characteristics
We are talking about a small dog, with a height of 10 to 12 inches (25-30 cm) and that weighs 11 lb. It has a proud and distinctive bearing, with a loose and bold walk. The head posture of the Bichon Frise is always upright. In harmony with the body, it has a flat skull, although the hair gives it a rounded shape, which appears longer than the muzzle.
The curly-haired Bichon’s snout is not too thick and has a round black nose. The eyes are round and dark in color. It has a bright expression that reflects its cheerful character. The ears of the Bichon Frise are covered with long, curly hairs, they hang down, but if the dog is attentive, they turn forward. The neck is moderately long and the thorax is well developed, with the hips well retracted towards the abdomen.
The tail is usually raised. It is not in contact with the back, although at times it curls towards it. The front legs are straight and perpendicular, the hind limbs have a wide pelvis, a wide and muscular thigh.
The body of the Bichon Frise is covered in long, smooth fur with a silky texture and an outer coat that is curlier than the underlying one. The outer layer consists of small curls with very loose spirals (frise). The length is between 3 to 4 inches (7 and 10 cm). Generally their hair is shortened on the eyes and legs. It is white in color although it is not uncommon to find specimens with cream, gray or apricot spots.
Thanks to the fur’s hypoallergenic properties, this breed is also suitable for people prone to suffer from allergies In general, the Bichon Frise has an agile and solid build, suitable for practicing agility.
Bichon Frise: Health
This canine breed has an average life expectancy of between 12 and 15 years. The curly-haired Bichon should be fed at least twice a day to keep it in excellent condition, trying to prevent it from becoming overweight.
They are generally in excellent health. Like many small dog breeds, the Bichon Frise can also be subject to urolithiasis, that is, urinary tract stones. This problem is easily solved with therapeutic diets and drinking more water.
Other disorders that can affect it are puerperal eclampsia and Von Willebrand’s disease. The former is typical of the postpartum phases and is caused by a decrease in calcium in the mother’s blood and occurs during lactation. The second is the most common hereditary bleeding disorder in dogs, consisting of excessive bleeding after an injury.
Bichon Frise: Temperament
The Bichon Frise is a very pleasant pet dog, always lively and cheerful. It becomes very affectionate with the family and provides the same affection to all members, even his affectionate and playful nature leads him to bond more with children than adults.
It is precisely because of this characteristic that the Bichon Frise is perfect as a playmate for children. It is sensitive to the mood of its owner and the air that is breathed in the family. It is sociable and affectionate with everyone, loves to be in company and immediately makes friends with strangers.
It coexists well even with other dogs and cats. It does not like loneliness and is not suitable for families who are away from home most of the time. Left alone too long, it could manifest destructive behavior. The Bichon Frise likes to be the center of attention and every occasion is good to play and be pampered.
The Bichon Frise is an intelligent and cunning dog. It understands the owner’s orders easily, but often wants to do his own and does not want to obey. For this reason, it needs a sweet and cheerful owner who also knows how to be constant and consistent with its education, you have to train it with kindness and firmness, someone who is the leader, the guide it needs.
It is bred exclusively as a pet dog, it is not a guard dog, but by being always alert, it can notice dangers and warn its owners in a timely manner. It adapts perfectly to apartment life and lives well even in small spaces, although the Bichon Frise loves to play outside and has to go for a walk every day.
Bichon Frise: Breeders
According to data from canine associations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, India, Scotland and South Africa, there are specialized and registered Bichon Frise breeders.
Bichon Frise: Price and Puppies For Sale
A Bichon Frise puppy has a price of no less than 800 dollars, about 700 English pounds: if you are going to buy one, ask for official certificates. We advise you not to contact individuals: you will pay less, but you will not have the necessary documentation to understand the history of their parents and that of the specimen. You will not be able to know if it could be subject to hereditary diseases.
You may be interested in reading another article related to other dog breeds such as:
- Bichon Frise
- Little Lion Dog (Löwchen)
- Japanese Chin (Japanese Spaniel)
- Shih Tzu
- French Bulldog
- Jack Russell Terrier