Bichon Frise dog breed characteristics, origin and care

Bichon Frise breed characteristics

  • Size: Toy
  • Traits: Sharp, Affectionate, Feisty, Gentle, Cheerful
  • Maintenance: High maintenance, regular brushing, bathing, and clipping required (can be expensive and time consuming)
  • Best Suited To: Responsible Owners, Families With Older Children
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years

When these little guys are done up, they are possibly the most toy like pooches going around. For this title, they are battling with the likes of the Maltese and Shi Tzu, however, just one look and you will agree that if any dog could run on batteries, it's the Bichon Frise.

Where I'm From

The Bichon originated in the Mediterranean region as a result of crossbreeding between Barbets and smaller lap dogs. When Spanish travellers began taking them on their journeys to the Canary Islands, the breed was developed into what was then known as the “Bichon Teneriffe”.

In the 14th Century, Italian sailors rediscovered the irresistible pooches and took them back home. Quickly after, Bichons became the loved companions of many royal families across Europe. These spoiled pets would be pampered and groomed as members of the nobility, and received the name “Bichon Frise”.

What I Look Like

The word “frise”, describes the characteristic long, curly, white hair of these tiny creatures. Their fluffy appearance comes as a result of the combination of a soft undercoat, and an outer layer of harsher hair. Bichon Frises are cuddly friends who always have dense, white fur.

These extremely cute dogs are very small in size. Their petite bodies mean they are very fragile and need to be handled delicately.

How I Act

Bichons have always been great companion dogs. Their friendly personalities and eagerness to please, make them a cheerful pet for any dog lover. They are highly energetic and love to have a bit of a play. Bichon Frises are very intelligent creatures who are not afraid to show their affection.

Looking After Me

These active pooches need a regular exercise routine. Bichons will be very grateful if you take them out for a 15 minute walk every day.

Despite looking like a toy, it’s important that you handle these fragile dogs with extreme care. Young children can inadvertently hurt their little pet by playing around and smothering them in love, which is why a Bichon Frise might not be a good fit for young families.

Bichons are always seeking attention, and need to be constantly looked after. If they feel abandoned and alone, they will most likely become destructive. To avoid them from biting and tearing through everything in their path, make sure you don’t leave them alone too often.

It is common for these tiny dogs to easily become fearful or spoiled if they don’t receive proper training. To avoid bad behavior, you need to expose your Bichon to other people and animals as early as possible.

Professional grooming is essential to maintain the clean and soft appearance of this breed. Bichons need extensive care that requires time and skill, so owners might need to take them to a salon.

It might be tempting to constantly treat these adorable pooches, but restricting their diet to two small meals a day, will stop them from becoming overweight.


  • Their unique appearance sets them apart from other pets
  • Bichon Frises are energetic and playful
  • They are the perfect companion for people looking for a loyal friend


  • Require high levels of maintenance
  • Can become destructive if they don’t receive enough attention
  • Their fragility means they are not suitable for young children

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