Bichon Frise

Country of origin: Belgium, France
Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC
Occupation: Companion
Size: 9.5 to 11.5 in tall; 10 to
16 lbs
Longevity: 13 to 15 years
Exercise: Low activity level
Training: Easy to obedience
train; challenge to
Grooming: Difficult

The Bichon Frise originated in the Mediterranean region, and by the 14th century it had been taken to Tenerife, hence its other name of Tenerife Dog. By the 15th century it was a favourite at court, but after that it fell into obscurity until its successful resurgence in the 1970s. Of “powder-puff ” appearance, the Bichon makes a good-tempered family dog. It is so amenable to training that it has even proved itself at herding sheep. The coat needs daily grooming, and the teeth and gums require attention. However, unlike many white-haired breeds, the Bichon has fewer allergic skin problems.


If you have ever wondered what a marshmallow with dark eyes looks like, you’re in the right place. First it should be mentioned that they started out in the Mediterranean and were of four separate classes. They were only distinguished by their curly, white hair and placed into the “bichon frise” category. They supposedly descended from water spaniels and barbets. The ancestors and predecessors of these dogs were man’s best friend to Italian sailors.

These sailors started bringing Bichons along for the ride and realized their worth as barters. People simply loved these balls of snow-white fur and they used it to their advantage. They spread to outer islands and finally made their way to Italy in the 1300s. They were adored by French and Italian royalty.

Again, they became popular during the times of Henry the Third and of Napoleon the Third. They were subjects in famous paintings. Everyone wanted to be apart of the Bichon Frise craze that was taking over. These little guys were so happy and even performed in circuses.

In 1933, standards were created and clubs were formed for the breed. A couple decades after ending up in the United States in 1956, they became apart of the AKC in 1972.


As many noble rulers would tell you, they were desirable because of their happy, loving, and playful traits. They have plenty of energy to keep you smiling and serve as an affectionate companion. These personality attributes add up and equaling to a fantastic choice for a family dog. They can be as peppy as your toddler running around, thus great for children.


Most notably, is the white coat of the Bichon. There are often times where off-white shades or a cream color can spot the dog near where its features meet. However, they are known for mostly being their cotton-ball selves. Their eyes and facial features are black. Their coat is curly and hypoallergenic.

Bichons are small and usually only weigh 10 to 20 lbs. They are 9 to 12 inches tall. Don’t mistake them for being weak, as they are fairly sturdy dogs. Their tail seals the package by pluming into an arch of white feathery fur over their small backs.


Bichons have a medium energy level and they absolutely love to run around and play. They will require a fair amount of exercise and play to keep them happy. Obedience classes and puppy training is recommended to keep them well-rounded, good listeners. Rest assured, they are easy to train. They respond better to positive reinforcement rather than harsh punishments.

As mentioned before, Bichons are hypoallergenic. So you will not find them shedding microscopic, white hairs on your black shirts and all over your couch. Though grooming is still necessary as to avoid mats and dirt buildups. They will require daily brushing, occasional haircuts, and baths about once a month to keep them clean and happy.


Bichons have a healthspan of around 16 to 18 years. This breed can be susceptible to dental issues and skin problems, but they are generally healthy. Fleas tend to irritate the skin and can become a source of allergies. It is best to properly maintain your Bichon to avoid these issues and discomforts.



Popular Questions

Previous article
Next article