Bichon Frise Grooming - Cover Image

Bichon Frise Grooming – A Helpful Beginners Guide

The idea of grooming your Bichon can seem like a daunting one at first glance.

The sheer amount of care and attention that’s needed can seem overwhelming if you’re not sure where to start.

Don’t lose all hope just yet. I’m here to show you that it can be done and you might even enjoy the process.

By simply learning about each of the aspects of grooming your Bichon Frise you’ll be able to understand each part and in turn, master them.

In this article we’ll look at: how often a Bichon Frise needs to be groomed, the benefits of grooming, a guide to Bichon Frise puppy grooming as well as adult grooming, professional grooming and finally the different hairstyles the Bichon Frise can have.

This might sound like a lot but by taking things one section at a time, you’ll become truly knowledgeable before you know it.

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How Often Does A Bichon Frise Need To Be Groomed?

Let’s start off by breaking down the different aspects of grooming and how often they should be done.

I’ve put together this simple table below to summarize this info:

Eye CleaningDaily
Ear CleaningEvery Other Day
BathingMonthly or when dirty
Teeth CleaningTwice A Week
Nail ClippingEvery Other Month or When Being Professionally Groomed

It’s up to you on how you manage this. You could set up recurring calendar events to remind you or create a chart that you keep in the kitchen or similar that has this information on it.

We’ll look at each of these activities in more detail in the Grooming Your Bichon Frise section below.

Benefits Of Grooming Your Bichon Frise

At this point, I’m sure you are wondering just what the benefits of grooming your Bichon Frise are.

Let’s take a look at just why each of these grooming activities is important.

1 Ensures A Clean & Healthy Dog

This is probably the most obvious but definitely most important benefit of grooming your Bichon Frise.

Regular brushing of your dog’s coat will prevent the build-up of mats and removes dead skin and loose hairs from their coat.

Eye cleaning and ear cleaning will ensure that your Bichon doesn’t develop skin irritations or allergies which they can be prone to.

Bathing will also remove excess dead skin and hair as well as keeping their coat clean if they have been rolling around in the mud.

Regular teeth cleaning ensures good teeth and gum health. This means your dog will be less likely to develop dental disease which could result in tooth loss.

Nail clipping will ensure that your dog can run and jump around to their heart’s content. Not to mention the fact that their claws won’t scratch as much if you are playing with them.

2 Prevents Allergies

Regular brushing will greatly help to reduce the amount of hair or dead skin that is stuck to their coat. This dead skin (dander) is a common source of human allergies so it’s important to remove it where possible.

By regularly grooming your dog you will be able to keep a close eye on their physical health. You or your groomer will be able to identify any skin irritations or allergies that may be developing and determine the best course to prevent them.

You or your groomer may also be able to check for ear mites which is pretty common in puppies and is easily treatable.

3 Get’s Your Dog Used To The Process

Regularly grooming your dog from a young age will ensure they are used to this process.

All aspects of grooming from brushing to washing and drying can be alien to a dog at first but if you are patient and consistent they will easily get used to things.

Teeth cleaning can be a particularly difficult thing for your dog to get used to and some dogs may even flat out refuse to do this. This is why starting from a young age is important.

If your dog refuses to have their teeth cleaned then at least you can consult with your vet for the best alternatives.

Bichon Frise Puppy Grooming Guide

Bichon Frise puppies are just adorable I’m sure you’ll agree. With that said though, it’s important to start their grooming from an early age to get them used to the process.

Let’s now take a closer look at Bichon Frise puppy grooming and what it involves.

Bichon Frise Dog Names

Bichon Frise Puppy Coat

A Bichon Frise Puppy’s coat will differ from that of a fully grown Bichon. Puppies will often have a soft fluffy coat that’s super soft and cuddly.

As well as this, some puppies can have champagne or apricot coloring in their coat.

As they develop into fully grown Bichons they will shed their puppy coat. This usually starts from about 3 to 6 months.

This process can take up to 3 years and by that time your Bichon will have their fully grown coat. By now their coat will be fully white as well.

With this in mind, it is important that your Bichon Frise puppy is regularly brushed to prevent excess shedding around the house. We’ll talk about that more down below.

When Should You Get Your Bichon Frise Puppy Groomed?

It’s a good idea to have your puppy professionally groomed once they have had all of their vaccinations. This is usually at 3 – 4 months of age.

By this point, they can be around other dogs and other people for small periods of time.

Most groomers will offer a puppy grooming package which gets them used to the grooming process and is a great way to start off.

Start Brushing Regularly

Even though Bichons are considered to be a low-shed dog, puppies will shed more frequently as they develop their adult coat.

With this in mind, brushing their coat regularly minimizes the hair stuck to their coat and around the house.

This will also get them used to the brush and used to the process of being brushed which will make your life a lot easier in the long run.

Over time they will simply sit back and allow you to brush them which is the dream.

2 great brushes to have in your toolkit for brushing are:

  1. The Pin Brush – this is used for light brushing and doesn’t damage your puppy’s coat.
  2. The Slicker Brush – this is used for general brushing and to remove mats or tangles in your puppy’s coat.
Bichon Frise Shed - Brushes

We’ll talk more about these brushes in the Brushing A Bichon Frise section down below.

How Often Should You Wash A Bichon Frise Puppy?

The general rule of thumb is to wash your puppy about once a month. If they are particularly dirty after playing outside then they can be washed at any point as well.

The advantage of the small size of Bichon puppies means that you can easily wash them in the kitchen sink.

It’s important to get your puppy used to being bathed as you’ll be doing it a lot.

Be sure to use puppy shampoo that is gentle on their skin. Most pet supply stores will have puppy shampoo that you can pick up.

Finally, make sure you keep things fun and have a positive attitude and your dog will enjoy this too.

Get Them Used To The Hair Dryer

A common thing for small puppies to be terrified of is the dreaded hair dryer.

It’s a good idea to get puppies used to the hair dryer from a young age as it will be a part of their lives any time they are being dried.

The loud noise can be startling at first but over time this is something they will get used to.

You could also invest in a quieter dog hair dryer which might be easier for your puppy to get used to.

Start off by simply allowing your puppy to get used to the hair dryer without turning it on. Be sure to praise them with treats and affection to form a positive association with the hair dryer.

After some time, turn on the dryer to the lowest setting and start drying your puppy.

Over time your puppy will become used to the hair dryer and you’ll be able to do this easily.

Grooming Your Bichon Frise

In this section, we’ll break down each of the activities related to grooming your Bichon Frise and outline just how to do each one.

There will also be some helpful tips included that I have picked up over the years so keep an eye out for those.

Washing A Bichon

Bichons should generally be washed about once a month or when they are super dirty.

Trust me, when your Bichon runs through a field of buttercups and becomes a yellow dog, the last thing you want to do is wash them but you should. This literally happened to Scully and as funny as she looked, a bath was the only thing for it.

As Bichon’s can be prone to skin allergies, it’s important to keep their coat as clean as possible. This is why regular bathing is important.

It’s also a good idea to use a dog shampoo that is gentle on their skin to avoid any irritations.

If you’ve been washing your Bichon from a young age, they should be used to the process by now and you should have no problems.

Let’s step through the process of washing a Bichon:

  1. Pour some lukewarm water into a bathtub or kitchen sink up to a couple of inches.
  2. Pop your Bichon into the tub ensuring that you have removed their collar.
  3. Using a soft sponge, ensure you have thoroughly wet their coat. Take care to avoid getting water in their eyes and ears.
  4. Now, taking a small amount of dog shampoo, gently work this all over ensuring a good lather develops.
  5. Next, it’s time to wash the shampoo out. To do this you can fill up a measuring jug or another container with warm water or simply use the shower hose. Make sure there is no shampoo left and you are good to go.
  6. Let the water out of the bath and your Bichon will likely do a big shake at this point. Take them out and gently towel dry them.
  7. Give them a dry with the hair dryer and ensure you give their coat a brush to as it can become tangled when wet.

Brushing A Bichon Frise

The two main brushes you should have when brushing your Bichon Frise are the Pin Brush and the Slicker Brush. Let’s look at these in more detail and talk about what they’re used for.

Bichon Frise Shed - Brushes

1 Pin Brush

The Pin Brush is most commonly used for show dogs with longer length coats.

It is used for light brushing as the brush’s structure prevents the dog’s coat from being damaged.

This means that the pin brush is gentle on the dog’s skin. With that said though, the pin brush is less effective at detangling hair or removing mats. That’s what the Slicker Brush is for.

2 Slicker Brush

The Slicker Brush is suitable for dogs of all sizes and with all lengths of coats.

Its main function is to remove tangles and dead hair as well as help to break up mats that can develop.

This makes the slicker brush a perfect brush to use on your Bichon’s coat.

The one piece of advice I would have is to learn how to properly brush your Bichon’s coat. This sounds silly I know but this brush can scratch their skin if you’re not careful.

Watch this video below to learn how to properly brush your dog’s coat.

Shaving A Bichon Frise

The process of shaving your dog is likely something best left to a professional groomer.

This has been my experience anyway.

Removing Tear Stains From A Bichon’s Eyes

Bichons are prone to excessive tearing which can result in the red-brown patches under their eyes.

In order to prevent this from happening, regular eye cleaning is necessary.

Most pet stores will have an eye cleaning solution that you can use with a small piece of cotton wool. Alternatively, you can make your own tear stain remover using coconut oil.

If you want to learn more about what causes these tear stains and how to make a homemade tear stain remover for yourself, I highly recommend reading this article: How To Make A Homemade Tear Stain Remover For Your Bichon Frise.

Cleaning A Bichon’s Ears

A Bichon’s ears can be a breeding ground for dirt and bacteria to develop. This is why regular cleaning is essential for great ear health.

Most pet stores will have an ear cleaning solution that you can pick up. This can be applied with a small piece of cotton wool and used to clean your Bichon’s ears.

For a more in-depth guide on cleaning your Bichon’s ears, watch the video below.

Trimming A Bichon’s Nails

How often a Bichon’s nails should be trimmed will actually depend on the surfaces that your dog walks on.

Nails will be worn down slightly from walking on concrete and tarmac rather than from walking on grass.

Avoid trimming your dog’s nails if you are any way nervous or your dog is fidgety. You don’t want to cause any bleeding.

Keep an eye on their nails frequently to ensure they don’t become too long.

Professional groomers will trim your dog’s nails so it’s enough to have this done every couple of months.

Cleaning A Bichon’s Teeth

Oral health is another part of keeping a healthy and happy dog.

Just like us, dogs need to have healthy teeth and gums or they risk dental disease or tooth loss.

Avoid dental chew or dental stick type products, especially the more popular brands as these are full of sugar and cause your dog to develop dry skin.

We noticed this when our dog started scratching frantically at her ears. After a trip to the local pet store, we were told that the dental chews were the cause of this dry skin.

Replace these dental chews with half a carrot to ensure your Bichon’s teeth remain clean and healthy.

To learn more about cleaning your dog’s teeth, I highly recommend reading this article: How Often Should You Brush Dog Teeth and Cat Teeth?

Best Bichon Frise Grooming Tools

Now that we’ve looked at the various activities associated with grooming your Bichon, let’s examine the best tools for the job.

The table below summarizes the best grooming tools to use for grooming your Bichon Frise:

Grooming ToolDescriptionWhere Can I Buy This?
ShampooUsed when bathing your dog Natural Dog Shampoo
Slicker BrushUsed for brushing your dog & to remove mats Pro Slicker Brush
Pin BrushUsed for brushing your dog Andis – Premium Pin Brush
Eye Tear Stain RemoverUsed for cleaning your dog’s eyes Eye Envy Tear Stain Remover Kit
TreatsAlways a good idea to have some treats around Wellness Soft WellBites

Professional Grooming For Your Bichon Frise

Professional grooming is a great service you can make use of when you own a dog.

Finding a friendly and reliable groomer is key as you will likely stay with them for a number of years.

Let’s take a look at how often to bring your Bichon to a groomers and the benefits of this service.

How Often Should You Get Your Bichon Frise Professionally Groomed?

A Bichon Frise should be professionally groomed about every couple of months.

This ensures that their fur doesn’t grow over their eyes leaving them unable to see! We were almost at this point with Scully once as we were waiting so long for a grooming appointment.

With that said, it’s a good idea to create a recurring calendar reminder to remind you when this is due. That way you can book an appointment in advance and won’t be waiting for long.

Benefits Of Getting Your Bichon Frise Professionally Groomed

There are many benefits of getting your Bichon professionally groomed.

These are:

  • Helping to maintain your dog’s coat
  • While grooming the groomer can check for skin issues, irritations or fleas
  • You don’t have to do it – things like clipping their fur or trimming their nails is something best left to the professionals in my opinion.
  • Taking your dog to be groomed regularly will get them used to the process

Bichon Frise Grooming Styles

Now for some nice happy things to talk about before we end, let’s look at some of the cutest hairstyles for the Bichon Frise.

Show Cut

Bichon Frise
Image Credit: Wikipedia

This is likely the style of cut you are used to seeing when you think of a Bichon Frise.

This hairstyle is difficult to achieve and is normally done by professional groomers.

It’s done only using scissors and no clippers.

Plenty of brushing is required daily to maintain this show cut.

Lamb Cut / Puppy Cut

Bichon Frise Lamb Cut
Bichon Frise Lamb Cut

This is a more common cut for everyday Bichons that won’t be in the show ring.

The lamb cut, or puppy coat as it can also be called, involves clipping the coat short but leaving the fur on the ears and the tail slightly longer.

This makes the Bichon look like an adorable tiny sheep which is where the name comes from.

This type of cut is common on puppies as it’s simple enough to achieve and relatively low maintenance.

Utility Cut

Bichon Frise Utility Cut
Bichon Frise Utility Cut

This type of cut is low maintenance and would be the one to choose if your dog likes to run around and get into mischief outside.

The utility cut simply involves clipping the coat close to the skin.

You won’t have to worry about mats and with regular brushing, you’ll be able to maintain a healthy coat.


We were able to cover a lot of simple and practical information in this article. If you found this information helpful, please consider sharing this article on social media. It will help other dog lovers like you to find it.

Let’s summarize what we covered before we end:

  • First, we answered the question, how often does a Bichon Frise need to be groomed?
  • Next, we discussed the benefits of grooming your Bichon Frise.
  • After that, we looked at how to groom your Bichon Frise puppy.
  • We also covered in simple steps how to groom your adult Bichon Frise.
  • After that, we discussed professional grooming for your Bichon Frise.
  • Finally, we looked at some of the hairstyles of the Bichon Frise and just how adorable they are.

If you have any questions about any of the information in this article, please leave a comment below.

Finally, if you enjoyed this article, I highly recommend you read these next: