Breed review: Bichon Frisé puppies and dogs
Once a French queen’s lap dog, street performers and the inspiration behind Tin Tin’s pet ‘Snowy’, the Bichon Frisé has a fascinating story.History
The Bichon Frisé is commonly associated with seafaring endeavours as Spanish sailors took these cheerful dogs on board for company during their long voyages – a habit picked up by other sailing nations.
This part if its history accounts for the fact that the Bichon Frisé breed enjoys playing in water, although it isn’t a water fowl retriever.
This little white dog was also a favourite in the 14th century French court and retained this status for several centuries before becoming a popular performing dog for organ grinders on the streets of Paris.
It was recognised as a breed in France in the 1930s and in the USA and UK in following decades. It has also featured in European TV series and the Belgian Tin Tin stories.
The Bichon Frisé weighs 10-20 pounds and stands up to 9 inches high. It has a round head, dark round eyes and a black, blunt-looking muzzle. It’s a nicely-proportioned dog and one notable feature is the tail which is groomed to be long-haired and curls over the back of the dog.
Fur is solid white, grey or apricot in colour.
‘Merry’, ‘cheerful’ and ‘gentle’ are words that breeding associations use to describe the Bichon Frisé. It’s affectionate and playful and loves human company. In fact, it can be quite demanding of its owner’s attention and enjoys being taken along on outings!
These little dogs get on well with children and other pets if they are introduced sensitively and this makes it ideal for family homes.
Exercise and health
Bichon Frisé live for about 13 years, with old age being the most common cause of their demise. Cancer is also quite common but, if suffered, is usually towards the end of the dog’s life.
Watery eyes, cataracts, skin and ear ailments are fairly usual and, to a lesser degree, so is epilepsy. These dogs are very energetic so regular indoor or outdoor activity is necessary to keep them happy. These friendly dogs are naturally obedient and respond well to early and continued training as they need to know who is in charge. If they are not trained, they can become rather bossy.
Grooming a Bichon Frisé
Owing to the recommended grooming routine of the Bichon Frisé is often regarded as an ideal dog for those who suffer from allergies. Professional grooming every four to eight weeks and daily brushing help rid the dog of loose hair and this, in turn, reduces the need for the dog to groom itself excessively which reduces the spread of saliva: a strong allergen.