Bichon Frise Dogs

When you first set eyes on a Bichon Frise, you might think, “that’s a cuddly looking dog,” but with some dogs, it doesn’t always work out that way. With Bichons, it does: These charming, friendly and intelligent companions are soft and sweet, naturally social and get along with the whole family—even other pets. Easily trained and eager to please, they have a gentle and affectionate manner. Just don’t forget to give them attention—and lots of it. They crave human companionship and can suffer emotionally if neglected.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise Pictures

  • Bichon Frise dog named CHEYENNE
  • Bichon Frise dog named Princess
  • Bichon Frise dog named Bentley
  • Bichon Frise dog named Trinity Blue
  • Bichon Frise dog named Juniper
  • Bichon Frise dog named Joey
see Bichon Frise pictures »

Quick Facts

  • 10 - 18 pounds
  • 9 - 12 inches

Ideal Human Companions

    • Singles
    • Seniors
    • Families
    • City dwellers
    • Cuddlers

Bichon Frises on Dogster

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Trademark Traits

    • Snow-white fur
    • Goofy and fun
    • Amiable and pleasant
    • Soft and Cuddly
    • Love attention

What They Are Like to Live With

Intelligent and alert, Bichon Frises also have a feisty streak. Sometimes this results in sudden bursts of energy. But these feisty outbreaks are rarely destructive and mostly involve lots of running around. Friendly with strangers, Bichons will still bark and make a fuss if they sense a threat to the household.

Not requiring much exercise, Bichon Frises are ideal apartment/city dogs. They are very adaptable to living environments, pleasant to neighbors and are relatively clean.

Things You Should Know

Though Bichon Frises don’t shed too much (a bonus for people with allergies), regular brushing is needed to prevent matting. After a week or two without brushing, they can look a little scruffy. Many Bichon fanciers choose the professional grooming route, getting theirs clipped in fabulous poodle-esque styles.

Some Bichons are difficult to housetrain. Experts recommend crate training for puppies. Also, pay attention to the areas around their eyes: Bichons tear easily, causing watery streaks down the face. This can be controlled with the occasional swabbing.

The average Bichon Frise can live as long as 15 years (and sometimes longer). Common health problems include allergies and cataracts.

Bichon Frise History

Originating in the Mediterranean, the Bichon Frise descended from a mixture of Poodles and Water Spaniels. It is believed that Spanish and Italian sailors discovered these dogs and carried them around the world on their voyages, sometimes using them to barter for other goods. European nobility caught the fever, and eventually Bichon Frises were appearing in Renaissance paintings alongside their royal owners. During the late 1800s Bichons were considered common show dogs, but in 1934, after being recognized by the French Kennel Club, they returned to popularity.

The Look of a Bichon Frise

Bichon Frises are small and sturdy with distinctive puffball coats, sometimes groomed “lion-style” with a close-cut body and puffy mane. They have slightly rounded heads, medium-length muzzles, hanging ears (usually covered in hair) and protruding black noses. Their dark eyes have a curious and lively expression. They have long necks and defined chests. Their plumed tails carry over the back. Usually trimmed, Bichons have a cottony coat that consists of a rough and curly outer coat and a soft, dense inner coat. Overall, Bichon Frises carry themselves with a cheerful and jaunty spirit.

Talk About Bichon Frises 

These dogs will give you lots of love, but they need lots of grooming!

My Bichon is very smart and playful, so we play more advanced games to keep his mind occupied! He is very friendly and loves to meet other people and dogs! My little man, Baxter, brings me more joy then I could have ever imagined and I only hope I do the same for him. If you are thinking of adopting one of these white, fluffy balls of love, know that they require lots of grooming: daily brushing, weekly baths and nail clipping. Also, be prepared to fall head over heels in love with your new addition. I never regret the day I adopted my little man!

~Janet M., owner of a Bichon Frise

Beware the "Bichon Buzz"

I love my Bichon, Perky, but he stays clean for about 5 minutes. We've never had him groomed in the purebred Bichon style - in the summer, he's cut very short. Bichons, if handled a lot in puppyhood and exposed to many people, are a lot of fun and LOVE people! If you want a dog who is independent, don't get a Bichon. They want to be around their family and be included in all activities. Bichons are fantastic with kids. Beware though, they get what we call the "Bichon Buzz," which is a sudden urge to tear around the house while growling at an imaginary foe. They are great family dogs.

~Dorothy S., owner of a Bichon

Such a loving breed

My Bichon, "Buddy," is such a love. He is so affectionate and cuddly but can be extremely protective also. From the day we brought him home he has give overwhelming joy and happiness. A lot of care is needed but so worth it.

~Linda F., owner of Bichon Frise

A happy, affectionate dog

My Bichon is such a friendly dog, and that's one of my favorite things about this breed. My Benji is great fun to live with but requires daily brushing and fortnightly baths! But don't let the grooming deter you, these are happy, affectionate dogs you will fall in love with straight away!

~Grace D., owner of a Bichion Frise

A very special breed

My Little Dakotah Bear II is seven years old today. He was given to me at the age of nine weeks as an "antidote" for depression. I was diagnosed with cancer in February of that year, and had fallen into a deep depression. Little Bear is a cure for any unhappiness, and although I am still fighting the cancer, he has given me a reason to live, and I shall prevail. I have had several different breeds of dog over the years and the Bichon, especially this little boy, is VERY special!

~Jerry H., owner of Bichon Frise

Brushing is a Zenlike exercise

My Bichon is now 6. When I got him he was very timid and clingy, but is now a confident and affectionate dog. I sit him on patients' laps in nursing homes and watch the patients' eyes come alive. They hug and pat him and he patiently sits there until I remove him.

I take him to the groomer every couple of months and don't bathe him in between, though he needs daily brushing. This is an almost a Zenlike exercise -- I leave some hair in the brush and that keeps his fur white. He was easily trained to all commands, except ... he loses it when he sees another dog.

He is quiet when I work at my computer but is always ready to play. He can also be a clown: My first bichon loved walking around with a paper cup over her nose, which would send my little children into hysterics.

~lucille m , owner of a Bichon Frise

Who rescued who?

Our 15-year-old Cairn Terrier died in January and we were all heartbroken. The house was too quiet without a dog, so I began the search. I wasn't looking for a Bichon, but noticed a rescue group in our area and filled out an application.

Nina came into our lives in April and has been a sweet, loving girl. She is completely different from the terriers I have always had. She is a constant companion -- she does not like to be left alone and expects to go everywhere with us. She really looks depressed when we have to leave her at home.

She loves everyone (except our cat) and is is a little standoffish to other dogs, but we are working on that. She is very smart, energetic, and loving. I now believe that a Bichon could fit in with almost any owner -- they are such great little dogs!

~Phyllis M, owner of a Bichon Frise

Loves to have a wrestling match

I got Amigo, our Bichon puppy, for my wife as a Christmas present in 2010. He is a true lap dog for her, but he is a buddy for our two sons.

When you bring one of these pups home, be prepared for "puppy moments." Those usually last for about two minutes of them running around faster than a speeding bullet. He has been known to run across the room and jump up on me to have a small wrestling match in the evenings. Don't get me wrong -- he is not agressive, he just loves to pull on a rope once in a while. They are very content with a few minutes of playtime, then rest.

Bichons do tend to be guard dogs, barking at the door bell, etc., but they are sociable pups who seem to love everyone. A sparkling personality is one of their best traits. Big dark eyes, and a wagging tail carried high let you know how friendly they are!

~Jeff D., owner of a Bichon Frise