Pampered and beloved by aristocrats in Renaissance Europe, the darling bichon frise is no stranger to the spotlight. These white powder puffs are natural-born performers who delight in entertaining their families. Bichon frise puppies are peppy, they’re playful, and they’re endlessly curious companions.
The breed’s French name translates to “curly-coated,” which is certainly an apt moniker for this irresistible charmer. Owners of the breed can confirm that the bichon frise has both personality and good looks in spades.
Bichon frise puppies are a loveable bunch with a knack for winning over hearts with ease. But is bringing home one of these cuties in the cards for you? Check out our comprehensive breed guide to learn more about what life might look like with a bichon frise puppy.
|Size||Small. Fully grown, a bichon frise will reach a height of 9.5-11.5 inches. Typically, they weigh a manageable 12-18 pounds.|
|Breed Characteristics||The first thing that catches people’s eyes is the bichon’s snowy, white coat—curly in appearance and soft to the touch, this breed’s fur has the added bonus of being hypoallergenic. The bichon frise is small yet sturdy, and his dark eyes lend him an alert, inquisitive look that will pull on your heartstrings.|
|Temperament||Bichon frise puppies have no trouble making new friends, as they tend to get along beautifully with other dogs and children. These dogs are lovers, not fighters, and they have a winsome, happy-go-lucky attitude that you’ll find contagious. You can expect an affectionate and spirited companion who will have you in stitches over his mischievous antics.|
|First, the good news: these dogs aren’t heavy shedders, and their coat is considered to be hypoallergenic. But in order to maintain your bichon frise’s glorious coat, you’ll be in close contact with your dog groomer for frequent baths and haircuts—we’re talking every 4 to 6 weeks. Outside of this, your goal should be daily brushing to remove shed hair that can become trapped in your dog’s undercoat, forming painful mats.
Usually, a bichon frise will enjoy a long and healthy life. They can, however, experience tooth decay, so dental hygiene cannot be overlooked. Bichons can also experience “luxating patellas,” a condition where the kneecaps slip out of place. Unfortunately, the breed is also prone to eye problems that could result in blindness at a young age.
|Training||As former circus performers, bichons love the opportunity to show off tricks they’ve learned. The American Kennel Club reports that the breed is intelligent and easy to train, although they can be tricky to housebreak. The AKC also states that a bichon frise will respond to positive reinforcement much more successfully than negativity.|
|Energy Level||In terms of their energy levels, bichons hit a happy medium. These playful pups will have intermittent bursts of manic energy where they dash about in an excited frenzy. But these periods of play are often followed by tranquil stretches of calm where your bichon will happily lounge around the house with you. Vetstreet recommends a daily walk of about 15 minutes to keep a bichon content and healthy.|
|Life Expectancy||By canine standards, the bichon frise will usually enjoy a long life, living an average of 14-15 years.|
It’s not hard to be won over by a bichon frise puppy—his fluffy coat and dark eyes are practically begging you to bring him home. But is a bichon a good match for your lifestyle?
The first thing you need to understand about this breed is that a bichon thrives on human companionship. Left to his own devices for long stretches of time, a bichon will be miserable and can even become destructive. Be prepared to shower your bichon frise with all the love and attention that his adorable self deserves.
Bichons can make lovely family pets, but if you have rambunctious kids, playtime with this tiny dog must be supervised. If things gets too rough, a bichon can be easily injured.
Coat care is another thing you’ll need to consider. Looks this good don’t come easy, and the bichon’s velvety white coat is no exception. Professional grooming will likely be a necessity, but on the upside, these dogs don’t shed excessively and they’re considered hypoallergenic.
For the most part, a bichon is easy to train. But when it comes to housetraining—not so much. Owners of the breed have reported difficulty getting that lesson to stick, so you’ll need to be patient and consistent.
Tiny yet confident, a bichon frise makes a terrific pet for city-dwellers or apartment living. Their moderate exercise needs and adaptability make this breed a hit with all types of living environments.
The decision to adopt or to work with a breeder for your new bichon frise puppy is a personal choice that requires research. Thankfully, there are many resources out there to help you find a rescue or a breeder who offers healthy, ethically-sourced bichon puppies.
Adopting a bichon frise puppy
It may come as a surprise, but adopting a bichon puppy is possible. According to the AKC, most shelters report that the majority of their rescue dogs come from individual owner surrender due to a lifestyle change or an incompatibility with the dog. What this means for you: there may be adoptable purebred dogs and puppies out there who are looking for a new forever home.
The main difference between a breeder and a rescue is that a rescue may not always have young puppies to choose from. The benefit, however, is that most are mandated to only adopt out dogs that have been microchipped and spayed/neutered. This means you may end up with a dog who’s already been housebroken and doesn’t need these common medical procedures. You may also find a bichon frise mix that has all the traits you want from the breed, but with a little extra thrown in.
Finding a bichon rescue can be as simple as searching the internet. You can check out the Bichon Frise Club of America to find local rescues.
Finding a bichon frise breeder
The first step is to do your research. Sadly, there are many puppy mills posing as reputable breeders along with many online scams. Be aware, and reach out to different online forums for conversations about getting your future furry family member.
Be sure to ask questions, and make arrangements to meet the parent dogs or mother. In the end, you must follow your gut. If something seems wrong at a breeder you visit, or the bichon puppy seems too good to be true, there’s probably something fishy going on. The AKC also offers resources for finding a breeder, with fairly strict guidelines on who they let participate.
Knowing what you’re in for when you get a bichon frise puppy is an important step in being a responsible pet owner. Whether you find an ethical breeder or are planning to adopt, prepare yourself for an affectionate and friendly addition to your household.
After you find the right bichon frise puppy, it’s time to prepare your home! Here are a few resources to get you started.
- How to Survive the First 24 Hours with Your New Puppy
- How Long Can You Leave a Puppy Alone?
- How Often Should I Walk my Puppy?
- The Essential New Puppy Checklist
- Puppy Training Resources
Featured image via Flickr/MrRobot