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I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that owning a Bichon Frise, like owning any dog, is a big commitment. Making sure you can properly look after your new pupper is something that requires a lot of time and patience so you want to make sure you are properly considering everything before you buy a Bichon Frise.
Once you’ve made the decision to become a Bichon owner and are bringing your new puppy home to meet the family, there is truly no better feeling.
I am certainly glad we have our Bichon Scully who keeps us company every day, through thick and thin.
By taking some time to ask yourself the questions below and honestly considering your answers, you’ll know for sure if you are ready to take that step to become the proud owner of a Bichon Frise.
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1 What Is the Temperament Of The Bichon Frise?
So just what are you getting yourself into when you buy a Bichon Frise? It’s a good idea to know about the temperament of the Bichon Frise to understand the kind of care and attention this dog needs.
While determining the temperament of one dog based on the breed, in general, isn’t an exact science, it is pretty accurate and something worth knowing.
For example, the Bichon Frise is a very affectionate dog. They enjoy spending time with their owner. They also love playing with other people and other pets.
While this is a positive trait for a dog, in the Bichon Frise this can also result in separation anxiety if they are left alone for long periods of time.
Bichons also tend to be playful and like playing fetch or simply running around the garden. They are always up for a trip to the beach or to a nearby park for some fun and activity.
On the other hand, the Bichon Frise can be a feisty little dog from time to time. Excessive barking can become a problem if not prevented from a young age. This is something to look out for.
Male And Female Temperament
While we just looked at the temperament of the Bichon Frise breed as a whole, it’s also important to examine how the temperament of a dog can differ depending on their gender. Males and females tend to have slightly different traits.
This difference can be most obviously seen between non-neutered males and spayed females.
Male dogs tend to be more dominant and territorial. You will often see them marking their territory or behaving aggressively if someone is playing with their toy for instance. Aggression can also be a negative trait most commonly associated with non-neutered dogs.
Female dogs, on the other hand, tend to be easier to train and to housebreak. With that said, females can sometimes be more demanding of attention. What’s more, aggression or dominance can sometimes be seen in females that are not spayed.
With all of this said, these traits are not set in stone. This may not always be the case with every male or female dog.
Proper socializing from a young age as well as consistent training and care and exercise can result in a happy and obedient dog.
Common Traits Of A Bichon Frise
- Separation Anxiety – The most common trait you hear about when it comes to the Bichon Frise is separation anxiety. If a Bichon is left alone in the house for instance for long periods they become destructive. Furniture gets chewed and shoes become annihilated. They may also bark or whine intermittently. Proper training can alleviate the symptoms of separation anxiety. If you work a lot, it’s worth considering doggy daycare or a pet sitter.
- Excessive Barking – Another common trait of the Bichon is barking. This is usually when the doorbell rings or there is a strange noise outside. While this alertness to the environment can make the Bichon a great watchdog, this barking can become excessive. If your Bichon ends up like mine, their bark can be a powerful sound that wakes up the whole house! Again, consistent training can help to alleviate excessive barking so it’s important to start this from a young age.
- Small Dog Syndrome – Because the Bichon is a smaller breed of dog, this trait can sometimes be present. Small dog syndrome can result in the dog acting scared or aggressive towards larger dogs. They can also want to be picked up constantly or be less obedient to your commands. As with all of these traits, regular and consistent training from a young age can alleviate the worst of these behaviors.
Living With A Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is such an affectionate dog and they are a joy to have in the home. Our Bichon Scully is always by my side. Whether I’m at the computer in the study or cooking dinner in the kitchen. She is always happy just sitting in our company.
She is also an extremely playful dog. Anytime I show her some affection she runs off to grab her tennis ball for a game of fetch which keeps us occupied for ages.
As well as just getting on with me, our Bichon gets on well with friends and relatives. She is always happy to see visitors arrive at the door to play with.
Most recently we introduced her to our parents’ new Cavachon Poppy. The two have been getting on like a house on fire. They are honestly as thick as thieves!
2 Should I Buy A Bichon Frise Mix?
When considering buying a Bichon Frise it’s also worth thinking about the other variations of breeds that now exist. This will indicate if one of those would be more suitable for you.
With that in mind, it’s worth taking a look at what mix-breeds are, the pros and cons as well as some super cute examples of Bichon Frise mix-breeds.
What Is A Bichon Frise Mix?
A Bichon Frise mix (also known as a Bichon Frise cross breed), is simply the dog that results from a Bichon Frise being bred with another breed of dog. Bichon Frise mix-breeds are a lot more prevalent today than they were 10 – 15 years ago.
With the rise of “designer dog breeds” the demand for mix-breed dogs has increased substantially over the last number of years. This is due to their cute and unique appearance.
Pros And Cons Of A Bichon Frise Mix
1 Better Health – A Bichon Frise mix breed can be healthier than their parents. This is because the likelihood of them inheriting the more common health issues of their parents is reduced.
2 Hypoallergenic No-Shed/Low-Shed Coat – A Bichon Frise mix will likely inherit the low shed hypoallergenic coat of the Bichon. This means there will be less hair all over your house and on your clothes. With that said, regular brushing is still required to prevent matting. Though this is much more manageable than a dog that is prone to shedding.
3 A Super Cute Unique Appearance – Probably the most obvious benefit of the Bichon Frise mix is the truly unique and cute appearance of these puppies. The Poochon, for instance, looks exactly like a teddy bear and is incredibly adorable. This factor is likely what has lead to the rise of these designer dog breeds that are highly sought after today.
1 Unpredictable Temperament – As a mix breed could inherit traits from either parent, it is incredibly difficult to predict just what the resulting puppy’s temperament will be. You could argue this is true of almost any dog but purebred dogs, in general, tend to follow the breed’s traits and characteristics.
2 Unpredictable Appearance – As the temperament of a Bichon Frise mix is unpredictable, so too is the appearance of the resulting puppy. It is unknown just what traits and characteristics will be inherited from the parents. While this is not necessarily an important factor for dog owners, others may see it as a sticking point and would prefer a purebred dog.
3 Examples Of Bichon Frise Mix Breeds
There are lots of examples of Bichon Frise mix breeds to choose from right now. All of them are simply adorable. Let’s take a look at 3 of my favorite Bichon Frise mix breeds so you can see just how cute they are.
1 Bichon Frise Poodle Mix – This mix breed is also referred to as the Poochon. As I mentioned above, this adorable mix breed can look like a teddy bear. This mix breed can inherit the low shed coat of the Bichon and the intelligence of the Poodle to result in a unique breed.
2 Bichon Frise Shih Tzu Mix – This mix breed is also referred to as the Shichon. These dogs can have a coat of up to 3 different colors and can either inherit the short curly coat of the Bichon or the long silky coat of the Shih Tzu.
3 Bichon Frise Maltese Mix – This mix breed is also referred to as the Maltichon. This mix breed gets on well with other people and other pets. On the other hand, they don’t like to be left on their own for long periods.
3 How Long Do Bichons Live?
Of course, we generally don’t like to think about how much time we have with our beloved pooch. With that said, it’s something important worth knowing about before you buy a Bichon Frise.
As Bichons develop and age, they require different sorts of care and attention, which is why it’s important to be familiar with the age span of a Bichon.
Average Life Span Of A Bichon Frise
The average life span of the Bichon Frise is approximately 12 – 15 years. Due to their smaller size, this accounts for the longer life span than that of a larger breed like a Great Dane for example.
The oldest known Bichons, according to a 2004 survey, lived to be 16.5 years old.
Illnesses And Diseases A Bichon Frise Can Get
- Skin Allergies – Bichons can be prone to certain kinds of skin allergies which can be caused by their environment or their nutrition. These allergies can cause skin irritation, excessive licking or scratching at the affected area and even hair loss. It is important to seek a vet’s advice if you suspect your Bichon has a skin allergy as this can be treated with medications or removal of the cause of the irritation.
- Eye problems – Bichons can be susceptible to having cataracts. A cataract affects the lens of a dog’s eye and is something that can result in blurred vision and blindness if left untreated. A potential sign of cataracts to look out for is a cloudy eye. If you notice this, it is recommended you take a trip to your vet to get this checked out. To learn more about this condition, check out this article from Fetch By WebMD: Cataracts In Dogs
- Patellar Luxation – patella (knee joint) becomes displaced from its normal position. It can usually be congenital (inherited) or sometimes caused by obesity. Depending on the severity of the condition surgery can be required to correct
To learn more about Bichon Frise health issues, check out this article I wrote:
Ensuring Your Bichon Lives A Long And Healthy Life
- Socialize Bichons From A Young Age – It’s important to socialize your Bichon from a young age. This will get them used to interacting with other people and other animals. It’s a good idea to do this gradually: introduce a new friend or family member one week and a friend’s dog the other. As well as this, bring your Bichon to Doggy Day Care to socialize with a whole host of other dogs and people.
- Consistent Training – Regular and consistent training is the best approach to having a happy and well behaved Bichon. Training should start the moment you bring your puppy home and should always be something you practice. This has the added benefit of increasing your bond with your dog.
- Regular Exercise – A brisk 30 minute walk each day is good for your Bichon and is good for you. Whether it’s a walk around the block or a trip to the beach, exercise and mental stimulation is a very important way to ensure you have a happy and healthy Bichon.
- Frequent Grooming – While the Bichon’s coat is no/low shed, regular brushing is required to prevent their coat from matting. Additionally, it’s a good idea to bring your dog to the groomers at least every 2-3 months to ensure a clean and healthy coat.
- Periodic Vets Visits – Ensure you bring your Bichon to the vets once a year for their check-ups. This will be dictated by your vet but your Bichon will need top-ups of their vaccinations as well as frequent flea and worming treatments.
4 How Big Do Bichon Frises Grow?
Knowing how big a Bichon will grow is especially important if you live in a small apartment. With that said, the Bichon’s small size means they are well suited to living in an apartment provided they get regular exercise.
What Is The Average Height Of A Bichon Frise
The average height of the male Bichon Frise is approx. 9 – 11 inches.
The average height of the female Bichon Frise is approx. 9 – 11 inches.
What Is The Average Weight Of A Bichon Frise
The average weight of a male Bichon Frise is approx. 11 – 16 lbs.
The average weight of a female Bichon Frise is approx. 10 – 15 lbs.
5 Can A Bichon Frise Be Left Alone?
Something worth considering before you buy a Bichon Frise is the amount of time you will be around. Do you work long hours or do you work from home?
Depending on how much time you will be able to spend with your doggo is an important factor to consider before you buy a Bichon Frise
Do Bichon Frises Suffer From Separation Anxiety?
The affectionate and highly sociable temperament of the Bichon Frise may also mean that they suffer from what is called separation anxiety. Bichons enjoy being around other people and animals so when they are left alone for long periods of time, they can become destructive.
Before you even leave the house your Bichon will start barking frantically and become increasingly anxious as you leave. When you are gone they will bark and whine intermittently.
As well as this they can chew the furniture or any shoes you may have laying around the place. When you return home after a prolonged period of time, they will become extremely hyperactive and demand your attention.
How To Prevent Separation Anxiety in Bichons?
While separation anxiety can be extremely prevalent in Bichons, there are some ways to prevent the more serious aspects of this trait.
- Leave A TV Or Radio On – By having some noise around the house, this can calm your Bichon and make them feel as though there is someone in the house. This can be used to treat mild cases of separation anxiety but in more pronounced cases, other options should be considered as well as this.
- Consider Sending Your Bichon To Doggy Day Care – If you work long hours in an office, for instance, a great idea is to bring your Bichon to Doggy Day Care for the day. There they will be able to socialize with other dogs and be mentally stimulated by playing with the trainers. At the end of the day when you pick up your Bichon, they will be ready for a well-earned nap.
- Consider Crate Training – Crate training can be a useful way of preventing some of the effects of separation anxiety in your Bichon. With crate training, the crate becomes a safe haven for them. So much so that they can spend longer periods of time in their crates without issue.
If you’re looking to learn more about the causes and treatments for separation anxiety, I would recommend this great article: Dealing With Dog Separation Anxiety
6 Are Bichon Frises Barkers?
A Bichon Frise, like any dog, is prone to barking, especially from a young age. If not properly trained from a puppy, this can develop into a lifelong habit that can lead to sleepless nights.
The good news, however, is that with training and persistence, excessive barking can be pretty effectively prevented.
Why A Bichon Frise Barks
A Bichon Frise generally barks when they hear an unfamiliar noise. This is to alert their owners to any strange activity that they can hear. Unfortunately, this can often translate into barking fits whenever the doorbell rings or you get a notification on your phone.
This can sometimes be a good thing for deterring any unwanted guests in your house like burglars, but more often than not it’s just a friend or family member stopping by.
Our dog has an especially powerful bark for such a small dog so it can wake us up in the middle of the night if she hears a weird sound outside.
You can learn more about how often a Bichon Frise barks in this article: How Often Does A Bichon Frise Bark? With Simple Training Tips
How To Train Your Bichon To Stop Barking
While Bichon Frises do tend to bark excessively, the great thing to know is that it is possible to prevent the incessant barking with training from a young age.
The recommended tips to keep in mind when training your Bichon are: don’t yell, be patient, positive, and consistent.
- Don’t Reward Your Dog For Barking – It is important to avoid showing your Bichon any attention when they bark. If they are rewarded when they bark they will continue to do so. Once they have quietened down, reward them with a treat.
- Get Your Dog Used To The Cause Of Their Barking – If your Bichon is triggered by the doorbell ringing like our Bichon is, there are some techniques to calm them down. For instance, when the doorbell rings, train your Bichon to sit and reward them with a treat when they do this.
- Teach Your Bichon The Quiet Command – This was not something I considered until I read this helpful article: How To Get Your Dog To Stop Barking. By teaching your Bichon the Quiet command, they will know that they should stop barking when you give this command which will stop them from barking. Genius!
7 Are Bichon Frises Hard To Potty Train?
As Bichons are pretty intelligent dogs, they are relatively easy to potty train. As with all dogs, potty training requires persistence and patience but with some time you will have your Bichon potty trained without much difficulty.
How To Potty Train Your Bichon Frise
- Start as soon as you get home – Training your Bichon starts as soon as you bring them home for the first time. Once you get home, immediately bring your puppy into the garden. More often than not they will go to the bathroom after a few minutes. When they do this, give them lots of praise and attention.
- Take your Bichon outside every few hours and especially after meals – Get in the habit of taking your puppy out into the garden after every meal as that is when they are most likely to go to the bathroom. Eventually, they will associate the garden as the place to go to the bathroom.
- Use a puppy pad or newspaper inside the house – Lay down some newspaper or puppy pads where your puppy went to the bathroom inside the house. Ensure your puppy goes to the bathroom on these pads by placing them onto them when you see they are about to pee. Over time, gradually move these pads closer to the back door and eventually outside. This will train your puppy to go outside to the bathroom.
- Be positive and consistent, accidents will happen – Of course this is not something that happens overnight and it’s important to remember that. There will be an odd accident on the rug or whatnot. Avoid scolding your puppy as this will just scare them. Instead, calmly move your puppy immediately to the puppy pad or outside. Be sure to reward your well-behaved puppy when they successfully go outside.
Common Bichon Frise Potty Training Problems And How To Fix Them
- My Bichon is chewing and ripping up the puppy pads – this is a very unfun problem that my parents had with their new puppy recently. Every time a fresh puppy pad was put down, she immediately ripped it to pieces. They resolved this issue by purchasing a puppy trainer starter kit. I’ve seen these things called by many names but it’s basically a kitty litter tray topped with fake grass. This encourages your puppy to go to the toilet without shredding puppy pads and newspapers.
- My Bichon is not using the puppy pads or newspapers – another common potty training problem is that your Bichon may not use the puppy pads or newspapers at all. If this is the case it is worth buying a can of puppy training spray. This spray contains a scent that will attract your puppy to the place you have sprayed it, in this case, on the puppy pads/newspapers.
8 Will A Bichon Frise Get On Well With Others?
As the Bichon Frise is such a sociable and playful breed, this means they can get on well with just about anyone. This is important to consider if your Bichon is coming into a home with other pets or children.
Will Bichons Get On Well With Other Pets?
Bichons will generally get on well with other pets in the home. As with all social interactions, it’s important to socialize them from a young age and gradually.
If there are no other pets in the home, consider bringing your Bichon to doggy daycare every so often to ensure they socialize with other dogs.
Learn a lot more about this by reading this post: Is A Bichon Frise Good With Other Pets? With Training Tips
Will Bichons Get On Well With Other People?
Bichons can be wary of strangers and are prone to barking or even biting if not managed properly. With that said though they will over time get used to other people and will enjoy any time a guest comes over.
It’s important to introduce Bichons to other people from a young age and gradually.
Will Bichons Get On Well With Kids?
Bichons love any attention and playing. This makes them well suited to playing with kids.
With that said, it’s important to supervise any interaction between Bichons and small children as they can become very enthusiastic which might be too much for a smaller child.
As well as this kids must know how to properly interact and play with dogs. This is to prevent any roughhousing or injury.
Learn a lot more about this by reading this great post: Is A Bichon Frise Good With Kids? With Training Tips
9 What Is Required For Bichon Frise Maintenance?
Bichons, like all dogs, require different types of maintenance to keep them happy and healthy. It’s important to know just what these things are to ensure you’ll be adequately prepared before you buy a Bichon Frise.
Bichons will need yearly checkups at the Vets to receive booster shots and a once over. Worming and flea treatments are needed more regularly and will be prescribed by your vet.
Spaying or neutering is also something worth considering if you do not intend to breed your Bichon.
The grooming requirements of a dog are extremely important to consider before buying a Bichon Frise. You want to ensure you can dedicate enough time to keeping their coat healthy and free from hair mats.
Even though the Bichon has a low shed coat, regular brushing is still essential to help prevent matting.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to bring your Bichon to a professional groomer at least every 2-3 months.
We all have to eat right? Bichons are no exceptions and you want to make sure they are being fed the right stuff.
Check with the breeder to see what food they have been eating. Try to stick with that while they are a puppy if possible. If this is not possible, check with the vet for the optimal food for your Bichon.
If you’re still not sure, I would highly recommend Hill’s Science Plan dog food. I’m recommending this brand in particular as it’s the only dog food we’ve bought for our Bichon Scully and she absolutely loves the stuff.
As your puppy grows up and ages, different amounts, and types of food will be necessary to keep an eye on this as well as your dog’s weight.
Spayed & Neutered dogs are at an increased risk of becoming overweight this is due to decreased energy & metabolism.
With that in mind, once your Bichon has been spayed or neutered, monitor their weight and the amount of food they are eating.
Overweight dogs are unfortunately more prone to health conditions like sore joints and other serious heart problems. This is why it’s important to keep your Bichon at their optimal weight.
We talked about quite a lot in this article so let’s run through everything we covered to summarize things.
Here are the 9 best questions to ask before you buy a Bichon Frise:
- What is the temperament of the Bichon Frise?
- Should I buy a Bichon Frise Mix?
- How long do Bichons live?
- How big do Bichons grow?
- Can a Bichon Frise be left alone?
- Are Bichon Frises barkers?
- Are Bichon Frises hard to potty train?
- Will a Bichon Frise get on well with others?
- What is required for Bichon Frise maintenance?
By knowing the answers to these questions you will be very well prepared when you buy a Bichon Frise of your very own.
Have any questions about anything covered in this article? Let me know in the comments below.
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