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Bichon Frise

The fact that no one has written a story about a Bichon Frise that became a major motion picture mystifies us!  Very few breeds embody the history of feast and famine of this little dog.  From the most pampered (in fact the breed name came to mean "to pamper") dogs of the French Court during the Renaissance to a scrappy little survivor of a street dog during the 19th century and the companion of Spanish sailors during the 14th and 15th century, the Bichon has had a clear sense of how to find a good time no matter what life might deal!  Do not confuse this "ball of fluff" with an airhead!  This personality filled and intelligent companion will definitely require guidance and loving training to become the exceptional performer (no doubt, its his/her nature) that also doubles as your best friend.  Compact and yet, quite energetic, the Bichon is a great choice for an active or quiet family or home that provides plenty of activity and naptime.

By Breed Name
By Breed Name
General Information
Group(s): Non-Sporting Height: 9.5-11.5 inches
Weight: probably around 13-18 pounds Longevity: teens
Colors: white Coat type: curly and profuse over the entire body; undercoat is soft and dense with a crisper, curlier top coat
Recognized Registries: AKC, FKC and others
Overall Appearance: Compact, happy and alert. The Bichon Frise is a companion that has been compared to a cloud, but not because he is a lightweight. In fact, for his diminutive stature the Bichon tends to lean toward a solid structure unlike many small breeds that are overly refined. Bright eyes and lush coat give him a fashionable look all his own.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: generally high until later in maturity
General Nature: exceptionally happy, easily overwhelmed by rough handling
  with Children: generally good with well behaved children
  with other pets: generally quite good
  with dogs: generally very good
Socialization requirements: To help prevent shyness, socialization is required. Very few creatures are more charming than the well socialized and thus confident and happy Bichon.
Ideal home characteristics: Aware of the need to avoid overindulgence, enthusiastic about spending time with their friend, interested in becoming familiar with positive training techniques and philosophies, dedicated to sound communication, preferably a fenced yard
Temperament Notes: happy... energetic, did we mention happy?
Training requirement: Easily guided and molded by consistent handling, as a dog bred to be a companion, your happiness is their paramount goal
Trainer notes: Do not fall into the trap of calling a Bichon stubborn or spiteful!  These dogs will do what they are trained to do... instead look at your handling and treatment for errors that communicate to the dog that you desire the very behaviors you are about to punish the dog over.  if there is a challenge in training a Bichon, it is that their lighthearted approach to life and love is such that very few things are treated with great seriousness.  This may not be the more precisely trained dog in the world as instead, he/she strives to be the most entertaining.  Definitely a training partner to "enjoy the process" with as their approach will make it all a pleasant adventure.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: 1934 the French Kennel Club
Country of Origin: Mediterranean later specifically France
Original Function: noted in artistry of the Renaissance as a companion to the royal and wealthy
History: From prince to pauper and then beloved companion of many, the Bichon was developed from the Barbet and became recognized as the Tenerife. A companion of Spanish sailors (he may have been used in barter), he spread around the coast of the Mediterranean.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard:
Health Notes: ear infections, eye problems (cataracts), patella luxation, skin/allergy issues, dental issues, bladder infections, immotile cilia syndrome
Health Testing: CERF, a finished CH is unlikely to have incorrect dentition
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!

  • How long have you had Bichons?
  • What titles do you seek for your breeding stock?
  • What health issues do you see in the breed?
  • What health clearances do you get for your breeding stock?
  • Will you be keeping a puppy from this litter?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • What do you consider correct Bichon temperament?
  • What do you look for in homes for your pups?
  • What methods do you recommend for training and socializing puppies?
  • How did you select the sire for this litter?
Web Sites:

You and your Bichon can step out in style and share your message with matching Ts from Bark Out Loud! from patriotism to spay/neuter to breast cancer awareness - you'll find the perfect message for you and your canine in a super design. Rescue FAQ for Bichons Rescue Directory, nationwide - EXCELLENT article with points to consider, questions to ask and questions to expect to answer about getting a Bichon Puppy! Another good article explaining the concept of hypoallergenic dogs and the reality of that... reading for everyone who is considering a breed on the basis of this issue

Other Resources
Breed standard: - The Breed Standard as per the Bichon Frise Club of America
Breeder Ethics: -Code of Conduct for all those associated with Bichons by the BCA

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