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The bichon frise originated in the Mediterranean but became a popular breed in France especially with the nobles. It is a small, compact breed weighing 10–20 pounds and standing 23 –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-size Barbet. The barbichon group of dogs included the bichon frise, the Bolognaise, the Maltese, the Coton de Tulear, and the Havanese.
According to historians, the bichon breed was used as a sailing dog and when French sailors brought it to France in the fourteenth century. This dog breed easily became a favourite especially with the nobles because of its gentle disposition. It was often seen at the royal courts of King Francis I and King Henry III. However, during the nineteenth 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 renamed bichon frise, which is a short name for Bichon à poil frisé (bichon with the curly coat). The first bichon frise was listed on the French Kennel Club stud book in 1934.
The bichon frise is a lively and smart-looking dog. A small, compact, and well-proportioned dog, it weighs 10–20 pounds and stands 23–30 centimetres. Its head is slightly rounded, its neck is long and arched, its jaws are strong with a perfect scissor bite, and its ears hang 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 outercoat. 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 eighteen months. To maintain this beautiful coat, it needs to be brushed every single day with a soft slicker brush to avoid mats and tangles. It needs 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 are free from wax build-up, and skin is 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. As a result, it 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 in 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 bichon 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 an adult bichon frise per day:
The type of food that 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 supplements 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 omega-6 fatty acids.
The bichon frise is generally healthy, but like other breeds, it can be prone to certain health problems. It 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 thirty minutes’ worth of exercise will suffice. Whilst it may be fine with an owner that has 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.
A well-bred Bichon Frise from a KC-registered breeder costs around £500-£600. On top of the purchase price, you will have to spend £150 to £200 for basic dog supplies and equipment. You must also set aside around £40 a month for a high-quality dog food that provides the daily nutritional requirements to keep your Bichon Frise healthy.
The costs of regular veterinary visits and preventive care add up to £900 annually. To ensure that you are prepared for unforeseen expenses caused by ailments or accidents, get pet insurance. The monthly insurance premium is £20 for basic coverage and £40 for a lifetime policy.
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.
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