• The bichon is a descendent of the barbichon family of dogs, which in turn descends from the barbet, a large water dog.
  • Bichons were divided into four types: Maltaise, Bolognese, Havanese and Tenerife.
  • The Tenerife, developed on the Canary Island of Tenerife, was brought to Italy in the 14th century. They quickly became favored pets of the upper class.
  • After a series of French invasions of Italy in the 1500s, the dogs were brought back to France where they once again became favored pets of the aristocracy.
  • For some unknown reason, the breed fell out of favor with the upper class. It survived as a street dog, performing tricks with organ grinders to entertain passersby for money.
  • World War I nearly brought about the demise of the breed, but a few people tried to save it.
  • In 1933, a breed standard was drawn up and it became an official breed, the bichon frise.
  • Bichons came to America in the 1950s, and received AKC recognition in 1971.
Bichon Frise Behavior Concerns
  • Makes an affectionate and exuberant companion.
  • Playful, gentle and very good with children.
  • Very friendly to strangers, other dogs and other pets.
  • Does best with reward-based training involving food or games.
  • Eager to please, bright and responsive.
  • Some tend to bark a lot, which should be discouraged from an early age.
  • Some can be difficult to housetrain.
Bichon Frise Suggested Exercises
  • Makes a lively and alert housedog.
  • A walk around the block once or twice daily, plus a vigorous game, will meet its exercise needs, not counting bathroom breaks.
  • Many bichons have been trained to use indoor potty systems.
  • Dog parks can work out well as long as bichons are not expected to mingle with much larger dogs.
  • Games and tricks provide needed mental exercise.
  • Its thick coat provides some protection against cold weather, but its fairly small body size nonetheless makes it vulnerable to the cold.
Bichon Frise Grooming
  • Coat is curly, coarse and dense.
  • Brushing and combing every other day is necessary to prevent matting.
  • Most people have their dogs professionally clipped every month.
  • Shedding is below average.
  • No breed is actually non-allergenic, but bichons may cause fewer allergies compared to most other breeds.
Suggested Bichon Frise Nutritional Needs
  • Bichons tend to stay in good weight. The thick coat can sometimes obscure weight problems, so be sure to use your hands to feel.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise dog breed picture
12 - 15 years
10 - 12 inches
10 - 16 pounds
Bichon Frise Traits
  • Jogging Partner
    2 out of 5
  • Lap Dog
    4 out of 5
  • Good With Children
    5 out of 5
  • Warm Weather
    3 out of 5
  • Cold Weather
    3 out of 5
  • Grooming Requirements
    5 out of 5
  • Shedding
    1 out of 5
  • Barking
    4 out of 5
  • Ease Of Training
    4 out of 5