Developed solely to be a companion dog, the Bichon Frise is a friendly, happy little dog. These delightful little characters have a long and interesting history.
The breed originated in Spain during the 13th century, and is thought to have been created by crossing Poodles and Barbet Water Spaniels. They were used as an item of trade by Spanish sailors and as a result reached many European countries. In France, they became a particular favorite of the aristocracy, and by the 16th century, the Bichon was entrenched as the favorite dog of the French royal court.
In addition, Bichons found their way into circuses and performing troupes due to their remarkable ability to learn and perform tricks.
The Bichon Frise is a small dog that is classified in the Toy or Companion Group by most registries. They are sturdy little dogs, weighing up to 12 pounds and standing between 9 and 12 inches tall. The coat is soft and silky and is considered hypoallergenic, making the Bichon an ideal pet for someone with allergies. Coat color is always white, although there may be apricot or cream shading on the ears.
As a dog bred to be a human companion it’s no surprise that the Bichon has a wonderfully balanced personality. They are friendly, outgoing and affectionate, forming close bonds with those they love. They are good with children and other pets, and generally just a joy to have around.
These intelligent and attentive little dogs are easy to train, except in one area – they can be a real hassle to housetrain.
In common with many small breeds, Bichons enjoy a relatively long lifespan, and quite commonly live for 15 years or more. Common health problems include canine cancers (especially in older dogs), cataracts, epilepsy, and fleabite allergies. Bichons may also suffer from a condition known as liver shunts, which needs to be corrected surgically.
As you’d imagine with that luxuriant, white coat, grooming can be a challenge. Your Bichon will require brushing every day, and the coat will also have to be trimmed regularly to keep it in shape. You can also bathe the dog once a month, but don’t overdo it as the dog has sensitive skin. Also be sure to use a mild, dog shampoo.
It goes without saying that this is an indoor dog. The Bichon is perfect for apartment living and needs to always be close to his human family. They are quite prone to separation anxiety, and should therefore not be left unattended for long periods. As with all dogs, the Bichon needs regular exercise, and while much of this can be met with indoor games, you’ll still need to get your dog outdoors for a short walk daily.
Good names for a Bichon Frise can be hard to find. The best advice is to search one of the online dog names, sites, and my personal favorite is Puppy Names HQ. This site has thousands of excellent dog names, including a mega-database of cool dog names to pick from.