Bichon Frise | Dog Breed Guide

Bichon Frise | Dog Breed Guide

by Scritch

These happy lap dogs have lived alongside 13th century royalty and have worked as circus performers. Today, they’re an all-around happy breed and a family favorite.

Weight: 12-18 pounds

Height: 9.5-11.5 inches

Life Expectancy: 14-15 years

Group: Non-Sporting group

Temperament: upbeat, inquisitive

Energy Level:

Ease of Training:

Grooming Requirements:

History and Personality

Bichons Frises come from the Canary Islands, and their ancient breed group includes Maltese dogs. Catching rats on sailboats, Bichons Frises travelled their way into the courts of royals all over Europe. According to the AKC, Bichons almost lost their place after the 1789 French Revolution, but that’s when their sunny personalities and nimble footwork landed them a job as performers. 

Though there were ups and downs and two World Wars, Bichons made it to modern times and are an established and beloved breed. Their fluffy curls grow long and shed little, but combing and brushing are needed to keep dander at bay. This breed requires extensive grooming and daily attention, and returns the effort in a flexible nature that loves to cuddle, run and play, or enjoy whatever you’re doing. 

These dogs make great family additions, as they love other pets, can socialize with cats, and enjoy being a part of the family unit, kids included. Bichons accompanied humans on long sailing journeys, and now are fixtures of both the living room and the dog park. Enjoy socializing with your Bichon and you can take walks as a pack, stopping where you please. Bichons Frises are portable and personable, making them great travel companions. Bring along a comb to keep hair from matting and you’re good to go.


Professional grooming is needed to keep a Bichon Frise in clean and clipped condition. Haircuts and baths should be done monthly, and daily brushing is needed to detangle and avoid dander build up. Keep teeth clean and nails clipped for the optimal long-term health. Bichons also require daily gentle eye cleaning to prevent tear staining. 

Energy Level

You can play or stay with a Bichon. They need exercise but are content on skip day too. A daily walk will keep a Bichon happy. 

Health Concerns

  • Cataracts
  • Skin allergies
  • Joint issues

For this breed, bathing and brushing are necessary for more than just appearance; it helps reduce buildup that can cause skin issues and sensitivity. Bichons are susceptible to cataracts and joint issues, so be sure to keep up with annual vet checks and consider pet insurance to help with unexpected veterinary costs.