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The Bichon Frise originated from the Mediterranean but became a popular breed in France especially with the nobles. It is a small, compact breed weighing 10 to 20 pounds and standing 23 to 30 centimetres at the withers. It is a great a family companion because of its gentle and loving personality. It is highly trainable but can be challenging to house train.
Are you thinking of getting a Bichon Frise? Here is a brief background of this perky and fluffy toy dog.
The history of the Bichon Frise is debatable as there are differing versions. One common belief is that the breed descended from a water dog from the Mediterranean called the Barbet and the name was derived from barbichon, which refers to the pocket-sized Barbet. The Barbichon group of dogs included the Bichon Frise, the Bolognaise, the Maltese, the Coton de Tulear, and the Havanese.
According to historians, Bichons were used as sailing dogs and when French sailors brought them to France in the 14th century, these dogs easily became a favourite especially with the nobles because of its gentle disposition. They were often seen at the royal courts of King Francis I and King Henry III. However, during the 19th century, the Bichon lost its appeal with the nobles and became a common dog. It is believed that it almost became extinct but after World War I, French breeders preserved the breed, giving it two names: Bichon and Tenerife. It was later on renamed Bichon Frise, which is shorter for Bichon à poil frisé (Bichon with the curly coat). The first Bichon Frise was listed on the French Kennel Club studbook in 1934.
The Bichon Frise is a lively and smart-looking dog. A small, compact and well-proportioned dog, it weighs 10 to 20 pounds and stands 23 to 30 centimetres. Its head is slightly rounded, neck long and arched, jaws strong with a perfect scissor bite, and ears hanging close to the head, covered with hair. Its eyes are black with a keen and alert expression.
The Bichon boasts of an attractive, white and fluffy double coat with cute curls. Often mistaken for a white Poodle, it has a soft and dense undercoat, paired with a course outer coat. The hair stands away from its body that produces a powder-puff look. It should only come in white colour with cream markings only visible until 18 months. To maintain this beautiful coat, it needs to be brushed every single day with a soft slicker brush to avoid matts and tangles. It needs to be proper trimming by a professional groomer every four to six weeks to keep the appropriate Bichon shape.
To fully take care of the physical health of your dogs, you must also make sure that the nails are clipped, ears free from wax build-up, and skin checked for spots and parasites. Owners tend to spend all their time on the coat yet forget to check other grooming aspects.
The cute appearance of the Bichon Frise is complemented with an endearing personality. This ball of fur is friendly, comical, perky, and fun-loving. It is a perfect companion for any type of family, and even first-time dog owners. It can also be a good apartment dog. It loves to be the centre of attention and join family activities, and as a result, tends to develop separation anxiety. The Bichon loves and tolerates children, and would gladly sit on their laps and play games with them. It also gets along with any type of pets but remember to shower it with equal attention or it may get jealous.
As an intelligent pooch that loves pleasing its owners, the Bichon is easy to train. However, house training is a different story. It takes a lot of patience and consistency to teach it to relieve itself at specific areas.
Breeds do tend to be generalised and have certain characteristics but heredity, environment and training can also help build its personality and intelligence.
A typical serving for an adult Binchon Frise is 1/2 to 1 1/2 cups of excellent quality dry dog food per day. The amount of food depends on a lot of factors such as your pet’s age, size, build, and others.
Typical calorie needs of adult Bichon Frise per day:
The type of food you feed your Bichon Frise depends on you. Making your dog’s food, raw or cooked, is a great idea as you can choose fresh and high quality ingredients. However, make sure to provide supplementation to avoid nutrient deficiencies. If you go for commercial dog food, dry or canned, ensure that you only choose reliable brands with limited ingredients. Grain-free will be perfect for your Bichon. Also incorporate supplements that would keep its coat healthy like Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
The Bichon Frise is generally healthy but like other breeds, it can be prone to certain health problems. They can develop allergies, bladder issues, vaccination sensitivity, and juvenile cataracts. It can also have joint and bone problems like Patellar Luxation and Hip Dysplasia.
This breed is an active dog by nature so 30 minutes’ worth of exercise will suffice. While it may be fine with an owner with a sedentary lifestyle, it needs to be exercised every day to maintain a healthy weight. It can be in the form of a short walk or games in a fenced yard.
Dog abandonment is a growing concern in the UK and one of the primary reasons is financial difficulty. A lot of people assume that owning a dog is easy or cheap not realising that it is like raising a human being because of its demanding needs. Before getting a dog, make sure you do your research and see if you can afford it.
Firstly, buying a well-bred Bichon Frise from a reliable breeder costs around £500. Daily food and treats are around £40 a month. Routine veterinary visits and preventive care add up to £900 annually. To avoid unforeseen expenses caused by ailments or accidents, always obtain for a pet insurance, which will be a monthly expense of £20 for basic coverage and £40 for a lifetime policy. Initial costs for necessities and equipment will be £150 to £200.
Are you sure the Bichon Frise is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Still having doubts if the Bichon Frise is for you? Try taking our Pet Finder to know which breeds are suitable for you.
3rd Jan 2019
Reading Time: 5 minutes
There are many arguments regarding the accuracy of hypoallergenic dog breeds claims. Can you be allergic to some dogs and not others? People who have allergic reactions to dogs are not allergic to dog hair. Instead, they suffer an allergy from the dog’s dander.
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