The Bichon Frise is a delightful little dog with a cheerful and merry personality. Developed exclusively as a companion dog, the Bichon has a rich and illustrious history.
The breed was originally developed from the Poodle and Barbet Water Spaniel, and can trace its ancestry back to Spain in the 1200s. Spanish sailors used them as an item of barter and this is perhaps how they came to France, where by the 1500s they were the chosen lap dogs for members of the French Royal court.
The Bichon has always had an unsurpassed ability for learning tricks, and for this reason has always been a popular performing dog with circuses and other entertainment troupes.
The Bichon Frise is a small dog that is classified in the Toy or Companion Group by most registries. They are sturdy little dogs, weighing up to 12 pounds and standing between 9 and 12 inches tall. The coat is soft and silky and is considered hypoallergenic, making the Bichon an ideal pet for someone with allergies. Coat color is always white, although there may be apricot or cream shading on the ears.
Given their history as companion dogs it is no surprise that these little guys are renowned for their winning personalities. They form close bonds with their people and are known to be excellent with children. They also generally get on well with other pets in the household.
Training one of these dogs is generally a breeze, as they are very intelligent and biddable. Surprisingly though, the Bichon is difficult to potty train.
As with most small dogs, the Bichon enjoys a relatively long life and it is not unusual for these dogs to live beyond 15 years. They are not immune to health problems though, with cancer, cataracts, epilepsy and fleabite allergies among the conditions that can occur. Another common concern is a disease called liver shunts, which requires surgery to correct.
As you’d imagine with that luxuriant, white coat, grooming can be a challenge. Your Bichon will require brushing every day, and the coat will also have to be trimmed regularly to keep it in shape. You can also bathe the dog once a month, but don’t overdo it as the dog has sensitive skin. Also be sure to use a mild, dog shampoo.
It goes without saying that this is an indoor dog. The Bichon is perfect for apartment living and needs to always be close to his human family. They are quite prone to separation anxiety, and should therefore not be left unattended for long periods. As with all dogs, the Bichon needs regular exercise, and while much of this can be met with indoor games, you’ll still need to get your dog outdoors for a short walk daily.
Photo by Matt Briney on Unsplash