An alert, happy breed, the bichon frise enjoys performing for and spending time with its owner. The bichon is quite adaptable and fits well into city or country dwelling families. The dog does not shed so is considered an ideal choice for people with allergies.
According to the American Kennel Club, the bichon dates back to the 13th century as a descendant of the water spaniel. The breed became a favorite of French royalty and was depicted in many early Spanish paintings The bichon was first recognized by the AKC in 1972 and is a member of the non-sporting group. Its primary function today is as a companion animal.
The bichon frise is dark-eyed with a curly, cottony double coat. The coat coloring is white but may feature buff, apricot or cream shadings around the ears or on the body. His plumed tail is carried high over his body. The breed ideally stands 9 to 12 inches and weighs 7 to 12 pounds.
A merry, pleasant dog, the bichon has a playful, gentle spirit. Although intelligent, the dog may be difficult to housebreak due to its desire to be the leader. You need to start showing it leadership from an early age. It is important that your bichon knows that you are the leader of the pack in order to head off any behavioral issues, which could include: biting, guarding and separation anxiety. The bichon frise enjoys being with its owner and likes the company of children and other pets. This breed does well living in an apartment.
Health problems affecting the bichon frise include: skin, eye and ear problems, epilepsy and luxating patellas. The bichon has a lifespan of approximately 15 years.
Daily walks are a requirement for your bichon to help it work off excess energy that can lead to behavioral issues. This breed loves to play, and chasing balls and romping in the back yard are favorite activities. The bichon has a silky undercoat that does not shed but continues to grow. Regular brushing is necessary to prevent matting. Professional grooming should be done every two months. Scissor trim the hair around the eyes and ears. The eye area should be cleaned thoroughly to prevent staining.