Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

15 September 2023

Let’s talk about… Bichon Frise: what are they?

  • The Bichon Frise is a small breed that is known for its playful and affectionate nature.
  • These dogs have a cheerful and friendly disposition, making them great companions for families and individuals alike.
  • With their fluffy white coats and expressive dark eyes, Bichon Frises have an irresistibly adorable appearance.
  • These dogs originated in the Mediterranean and were often favoured as companions to sailors and nobles.
  • They are a part of the Bichon family, which includes other breeds like the Maltese, Havanese, and Bolognese.
  • Bichon Frises are known for their hypoallergenic coats, which shed minimally and are considered more suitable for people with allergies. However, it's important to note that no dog is completely allergy free, and individual reactions can vary, so borrowing a dog first can be a great way to see if you’re ok around a Bichon before getting your own.
  • On average, Bichon Frises stand at a height of about 23-30 cm.
  • They tend to weigh between 3-5 kg.
  • They have a life expectancy of around 12-15 years.
Bichon Frise  Exercise needs 3/5 Grooming Ease 2/5 Trainability 4/5

What is the temperament of Bichon Frises like?

  • Bichon Frises are known for their friendly and gentle nature.
  • They are social dogs that thrive on human companionship and enjoy being part of a loving family.
  • These dogs are generally good with children and can get along well with other pets if properly introduced and socialised from a young age.
  • They have a playful and curious personality, often displaying a sense of humour.
  • Bichon Frises love to entertain and make people laugh with their silly antics.
  • Their happy-go-lucky attitude and eagerness to please make them a joy to be around.
  • It's important to note that Bichon Frises can be prone to separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. They prefer to be in the company of their owners and may experience distress when separated.
  • Providing them with sufficient attention, mental stimulation, and companionship is crucial to ensure their well-being.
Cindy, the Bichon Frise
Cindy, the Bichon Frise

How much exercise do Bichon Frises need?

  • Bichon Frises have moderate exercise needs and typically require around 30 minutes to 1 hour of physical activity per day.
  • This can be achieved through daily walks, playtime in a secure area, and interactive games.
  • They are adaptable to apartment living as long as they receive regular outdoor exercise and mental stimulation.
  • When it comes to Bichon Frise puppies, it's important to strike a balance between exercise and rest. Puppies have growing bodies and developing joints, so excessive exercise can be detrimental.
  • Aim for short play sessions throughout the day, gradually increasing the duration and intensity as they grow older.
  • Puppies should not engage in long walks or intense exercise until they have fully developed, usually around 12-18 months of age.
Coco, the Bichon Frise
Coco, the Bichon Frise

Do Bichon Frises need a lot of grooming?

  • Bichon Frises have a thick, double-layered coat that requires regular grooming to keep it in good condition.
  • Their hair is soft and curly, resembling a cotton ball.
  • To prevent matting and tangles, daily brushing is recommended.
  • Regular grooming sessions also help maintain the Bichon Frise's distinctive appearance and keep their coat healthy.
  • Professional grooming every 4-6 weeks is advisable to ensure proper trimming, shaping, and hygiene maintenance.
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Louise, the Bichon Frise
Louise, the Bichon Frise

Are Bichon Frises easy to train?

  • Bichon Frises are intelligent and eager to please, which generally makes them receptive to training.
  • However, like any breed, they have their own unique personality traits and may require consistent and patient training methods.
  • Starting training from a young age is recommended to establish good behaviour patterns and socialise them effectively.
  • Positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats, praise, and rewards, work well with Bichon Frises.
  • They respond positively to gentle guidance and consistency in training sessions.
  • It's important to note that some Bichon Frises can have a stubborn streak, so keeping training sessions engaging and varied is essential.
  • Mixing in fun activities and mental stimulation, such as puzzle toys and interactive games, can help maintain their interest and prevent boredom.
Pablo, the Bichon Frise
Pablo, the Bichon Frise

What do Bichon Frises eat?

  • Bichon Frises should be fed a balanced and high-quality small breed dog food that meets their nutritional needs.
  • The amount of food depends on factors such as age, weight, activity level, and metabolism.
  • For Bichon Frise puppies, a specially formulated puppy food is recommended to support their growth and development.
  • Puppies should be fed 3-4 times a day until they are 6 months old when this can be reduced to twice daily.
  • Puppies typically transition gradually to adult dog food around 12 months of age, but this can vary depending on individual needs.
  • It's important to consult with your veterinarian or a canine nutritionist to determine the appropriate food and portion sizes for your Bichon Frise.
  • Avoid overfeeding and excessive treats, as Bichon Frises can be prone to weight gain.

Are Bichon Frises healthy?

Bichon Frises are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they may be prone to certain health concerns. Some common health issues observed in Bichon Frises include:

Bones and Jones

  • Luxating patella - this is when a dog’s kneecap moves out of where it should normally be


  • Periodontal Disease - a buildup of plaque and tartar on a dog’s teeth leading to  inflammation, infection and tooth loss


  • Cataracts - a common cause of blindness due to a clouding of the lens of the eye


  • Diabetes -  a condition where your dog can’t produce enough insulin to control their blood sugar levels


  • Porto-systemic shunt (PSS) - when the blood circulation bypasses the normal cleaning processes of the liver resulting in signs like stunted growth and abnormal behaviours


  • Atopy - when the immune system overreacts to an allergen and results in skin irritation.


  • Bladder Stones - Stones form in the bladder which can be uncomfortable and cause a blockage

This list is by no means comprehensive. If you have any concerns about the health of your Bichon Frise, or if you want to discuss further if a Bichon Frise is right for you, consult with your vet.

BorrowMyDoggy loves Bichon Frises

BorrowMyDoggy has 6148 Bichon Frise members.

Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health, contact your local vet.

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