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Also known as the Bichon a’poil frise, or the Tenerife Dog, the Bichon Frize is a stocky little dog with an intelligent exterior. The literal translation of their name in French is “curly lapdog” due to their original purpose of being the lapdogs of French royalty. The male Bichon Frize is between 9 and 12 inches, while the females are between 9 and 11 inches. This breed weighs an average of 7 to 12 pounds, regardless of gender.
A Bichon Frize’s coat is long, slightly curly, and puffs outwards all over the body. The coat of this breed is double layered, with a generous amount of hair on the head, ears, beard, mustache, and tail. Their coat color is white, although some crossbreeds have cream or cream-toned patches in their hair.
The Bichon Frize requires low level exercise as they are capable of exercising all day with their playfulness and high energy. Due to their small size, they do not need a lot of space. Outdoor walks, family backyard activities, or even playing at a local park are enough for this breed. The Bichon Frize is not ideal for hunting or hiking in the mountains.
Bichon Frises are playful and affectionate. They are calm, friendly and charming, lively, bold and adaptable. This breed is one of the few smaller breeds that are great with children of all ages, including adults. They are the favorite dogs of those who want a relaxed pet with an attitude towards the world, even with pets, strangers and other dogs. A very sensitive dog that is easily hurt, this breed is willing to hug its owners.
The Bichon Frize is an independent, highly intelligent, charming and confident breed that is a barker, making it a great watchdog and thrives on human interaction. But as with other small breeds, the Bichon Frize is difficult to train. Proper training is the key to educating this breed, as all puppies and dogs can be trained, but not all trainers can do it correctly.
The Bichon Frize is a calm mannered breed that is versatile, intelligent and hardy. This breed was once a favorite of French royalty and is now popular as a house pet or show dog.
The Bichon Frize requires a lot of care. Their coat should be thoroughly brushed every day to prevent matting and subsequent skin problems. Trimming from time to time is a must to keep it from getting too long. The hair around the eyes should be checked regularly to ensure it is not causing irritation, and excess hair between the pads of the feet should be clipped. Visits to a professional groomer every five to six weeks are recommended to maintain the ideal exterior of the show ring.
The Bichon Frize needs firm and gentle training, as it is very sensitive to any rough training or negative attitude. All owners need a collar and leash to begin training. Buckle-down collars, inverted pinch collars, and leather rain collars are acceptable, as nylon and chain chokers tangle in hair and weigh it down. Training this breed with treats along with the collar and leash is highly recommended.
The Bichon Frize is fast, smart and easy to train. This breed is naturally obedient, with a highly trainable history as a brilliant entertainer performing agility shows, therapy work, and even tricks.