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Bichon Frise Dog Breed Profile

Bichon Frise

Other Names
Bichon Tenerife, Tenerife Dog, Bichon a Poil Frise 
Dog Group Kennel Club
Breed Classification
Bichons belong to the toy group and are used as companions and obedience dogs. With their extraordinary coats they also make excellent show dogs. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
< £4 per week
Feeding Requirements
Bichons are very inexpensive dogs to feed and normally eat very little. The main expenditure is their grooming requirements. 
Other Expenses
The average price of a puppy is £500 - £600. 
> 15 years
Bichons are long living dogs, averaging 15 to 17 years of age. 
Average Litter Size
Litter sizes can vary from 1 to 6 puppies but the normal is 4 or 5. 
General Physical Description
Well-balanced dogs with smart appearances, Bichons are small, solid dogs. Their jet black eyes and noses contrast against their snow-white coats and their tails are like plumes which are curved and carried over their backs. Their silken coats which consist of spirally formed hair give them the appearance of powder puffs. Their bouncy stride gives them a happy, carefree presence.

Height Min Max
Bitch 23cm (9") 30cm (12")
Dog 23cm (9") 30cm (12")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 3kg (7lbs) 6kg (13lbs)
Dog 3kg (7lbs) 6kg (13lbs)
Size Category
Weight Height Range
Both dogs and bitches measure between 23 to 30cms at the withers and weigh between 3 to 6kgs. 
Bichons are very healthy little dogs and relatively free from hereditary and congenital problems. Dislocation of the kneecap and epilepsy have been recorded in the breed and bladder stones can occur in bitches. The most important factors are proper care of teeth, eyes and coat. Regular inspection of these must be done as a matter of course as well as preventative treatment to ward of pyorrhea and pemphigus. 
Common Ailments

Dental Problems  
Susceptibility To Illness
Centuries ago the Bichon Frise was popular in France and Spain. The Bichon has been depicted in portraits of the royal families of both countries. Bichon type dogs were developed on different islands in the Mediterranean and Tenerife is were the Bichon Frise is thought to have originated. The Bichon of Malta (known as the Maltese today) is a close relative. 14th century sailors are thought to have taken them over to Europe from Tenerife. In the 18th century the royal whims turned to other dogs and the Bichons became the dogs for commoners but their winsome ways and agility soon brought them fame as circus dogs and organ-grinders' dogs. After World War 1, the servicemen took a liking to these little dogs and, once again, the French breeders took notice of them. In 1934, a standard was drawn up and the breed was renamed by the president of the International Canine Federation, Madame Nizet de Leemans. Its proper plural is Bichons Frises. 
These are bright little dogs who quickly catch on to what you want them to do therefore there is no real problem training them.< 
Show Characteristics
All pigmentation should be black. The head should be slightly rounded with a moderate but definite stop. The hair should be clipped to give a rounded appearance. The jaws should be strong with a complete scissor bite. The eyes should be round and dark and show an alert expression. The ears should hang closely to the head and be well-covered with flowing hair and set on slightly higher than eye level. The neck should be arched and fairly long, being carried high and proudly. The body should be square with well-sprung ribs; the front legs straight and not too fine-boned, the thighs being well-rounded with well-bent stifles. The feet should be tight, rounded and well-knuckled up. The tail should be raised and curved gracefully over the back, with only the hair touching the back, set on level with the top-line. 
Country Of Origin
Famous Examples
Records Held
Overall Exercise
0 - 20 minutes per day.
Bichons will adapt readily to the amount of exercise available from the family circumstances. 
Distress if Left Alone
Personal Protection
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children


General Character And Temperament
These are lively, happy little dogs who adore family life and, as such, make ideal children's pets. They love to accompany the family on all outings but can be left alone occasionally. They socialise well and are fine in the company of other dogs and pets in the household. 
Coat Length
Grooming Requirement
Every Day 
Requires Professional Groomer
Owning a Bichon means spending a lot of time on grooming. The coat should be combed thoroughly every day to prevent matting and subsequent skin problems. Trimming is required occasionally to prevent it becoming too long. Check the hairs round the eyes regularly to ensure they are not causing irritation and clip excess hair between the pads of the feet. As this breed does not shed hair, it is important to remove dead hairs with a brush. To keep the show-ring appearance of a 'powderpuff', it is recommended to use a professional groomer every 5 or 6 weeks. 
Bichons are always snow-white. 
Suffers From Allergies

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