Believed to date back to the 13th century, the true origin of the Bichon Frise is subject to some debate, with general opinion placing its ancestry in the Mediterranean. Pictorial evidence of the time indicates the breed's early heritage, with portraits featuring small, white dogs aligning strongly with our modern perception of the Bichon Frise. Originally traded by Spanish sailors, the breed became a favourite amongst royalty and the French aristocracy but lost favour during the French Revolution, subsequently becoming associated with lower street performers, musicians and organ grinders.
Part of the 'toy' branch of canines, the Bichon Frise is a compact dog characterised by a fluffy coat in colour variations of cream, solid white, apricot or grey, a proportioned body and limbs, a short muzzle and dark eyes. The tail and ears of the breed are not traditionally docked or reduced, but left to a natural appearance. Typically manageable in terms of its hypoallergenic coat and temperament, the Bichon Frise is progressively popular as a companion pet and is the ideal breed choice for modern families or the sole owner, particularly suited to living indoors. Despite not being a loud or incessant barker, the Bichon Frise is vigilant to change and threat, making it a great watchdog.
Though small in size, the Bichon Frise is a highly energetic and intelligent breed, compatible with children and other family pets if introduced to them gradually. The weight of the Bichon Frise is roughly 3-5 kg, with an average life expectancy of 15 years, although it is not uncommon for the breed to reach 20 years, when cared for accordingly. Typically happy and affectionate, the Bichon Frise is a great lover of people, something it demonstrates through its loyal, obedient and friendly manner.
Common breed-specific ailments include optical disorders such as cataracts and watery eyes, as well as epilepsy, which can be easily managed with medication, susceptibility to knee dislocation and flea bite sensitivity. Due to its reduced size, the Bichon Frise gains weight easily so feeding human foods is not encouraged for this reason. Behavioural problems are also often associated with the 'toy' branch of canines.
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Owning a Bichon is pretty much the best thing ever. They are the cheeriest dogs I have ever known. They are pretty strong willed, but on the whole very eager to please. With a happy smile present all of the time, and a jolly presence in the house, they are wonderful pets. Also, contrary to maybe the popular belief, they are not just little lap dogs which don't like rough and tumble. My dog Brian is at the beach every day, bouncing about in the shallow waves, and takes home half the beach each day. He goes out on the boat sea fishing with us (with a life jacket) and loves to walk up the hills with us.
Grooming is done by me, and although time consuming is worth the savings. I keep Brian short trimmed (as he gets wet at the beach each day), and a jacket in the winter is all he needs to keep warm.
Allergies can be present in the breed, and my pooch is extremely allergic to dust mites - meaning a clean house must be kept by me, and the occasional wear of a collar when allergies flare up. Also, a quality WET food or RAW diet must be fed, as storage mites present in dry food and dry treats will set his itches off something awful.
House training can be a job too. He became house trained in about 4 months (longer than most breeds) but kept marking in the house. This stopped overnight when he was neutered at 1 year old. Stopped like a light switch which was a great relief!
All in all, I am crazy about Bichons and would recommend to anyone who has someone in the household staying at home (not a dog to leave alone regularly), and has the time to give to grooming and regular walks. You have to allow that Bichon excitement to be released. A truly wonderful pet who will make you smile every time you look at them. Everyone Brian meets falls in love with him, I swear! A dream dog!
I have a x bichon frise/jack russel who is 11 months old. She is a mischievous energetic dog who loves playing with our german shepherd Woody.
we have got an amazing bichon frise she is a pleasure to own, she was given to us from a woman who had kept her in a cage for 8 months ever since she got her as a puppy as she never had time to walk her and she wouldn't fit in her handbag, some people just don't know the real meaning of owning a dog.
Our bichon Frise - Alfie also likes being on the sands but doesn't like the water. He is so friendly with other people and dogs and justs want to play all the time. Such a good companion and enjoys being curled up on the settee with me in the evening!
Alfie also loves the sands but doesn't like the sea. He just is so playful with other dogs and loves being with my grandchildren. Loves curling up next to me on the settee. Yes - his coat can get knotty which you have to take care of but I get it cut regulary and just groom him in between cuts and cut out any knots that I find. Wouldnt be without him!!