Bichon Frise Dog Breed
Aliases: Tenerife Dog, Bichon Tenerife, and Bichon a poil Frise.
|Life Span:||12-15 years depending on its physical condition and health with some living as long as 21 years of age|
|Litter Size:||1 to 6 puppies, ranging with 5 as an average|
|Recognized By:||CKC, AKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR|
|Color:||The color of the Bichon Frise is white, with some bloodlines having cream or patches of cream shadings in the hair.|
|Male Height:||9 to 12 inches tall at the withers,|
|Male Weight:||7 to 12 pounds|
|Female Height:||9 to 11 inches tall at the withers.|
|Female Weight:||7 to 12 pounds|
|General info courtesy of terrificpets.com. Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.|
|Living Area:||Apartment or small living establishments are for small dogs, large low-level energy dogs, or pet owners who can offer on a routine schedule a vigorous plan of exercise to their pet and themselves. And the Bichon Frise is a breed that should not live outdoors due to its gentle nature and small size--not needing a lot of space to move around, the Bichon does well living in an apartment or small trailer. Their well-being is highly important, more important than their living conditions, as they are "people orientated." They require moderate cold and hot temperatures, not being able to be too color or too hot.|
A charming white powerful that loves children, the Bichon Frise is a small dog with loosely curled double-coated hair that is 3-4 inches long, and is virtually less hypoallergenic than other breeds. With a moderate muzzle that is not sharp or pointed, its bite is one of scissor, and has beautiful quizzical eyes that are dark and intelligent with well-covered hanging ears. The breed has a long neck and a well-developed chest, with a cute little plumed tail curled over its back.
The Bichon has a powder-buff appearance that is not only striking but derives from its double coat. This special coat has a double purpose, which is a soft and dense coat on the top with a coarser coat, with a "poodle" curly look until it is groomed. The double coat causes the fur to stand up, springing back when it is patted or touched. With a build that is longer than tall, the breeds quickly starts out with an effortless trot that is beautiful to behold-which was how it began in the show rings and as performers in their early development days. With no gross or incapacitating exaggerations, there is no inherent reason for any lack of balance or even unsound movements. If this is seen, the puppy has something wrong with it, and should not be purchased.
In the 1980s, the Bichon Frise was part of the "Yuppie Puppies" choice of the majority population, and everyone just HAD to have one. Due to this, over-breeding occurred with less experienced breeders or back-yard breeders who paid no attention to the higher quality traits, mingling all levels of the Bichon genetic lines. When purchasing ones, make sure you get personal references on the parents and previous litters out of that line before choosing.
The Bichon Frise has a double coat, consisting of a curly outer coat with loose hair and a soft, silky undercoat. This double coat keeps the dog warm in the winter and cool in the summer. But good grooming is required once shedding begins, as the undercoat needs to be removed once the weather begins to warm up or excessive shedding will leave piles of hair throughout the home.
Many people, instead of grooming their dog or having them professionally done, will shave the hair off completely in order to keep the dog cool in the summer. But what they do not know is that the hair being removed is what cools down the dog\'s body. Once this protective layer of hair is gone, the dog will become more susceptible to the sun, wind, and bugs. Shedding treatments, such as Furminator, help keep the extra undercoat cleaned out, so hair will not get all over the furniture or routine grooming--which is always better as it becomes bonding time for the owner and the dog.
The Bichon Frise was developed in the Mediterranean area, when a Barbet (a large water spaniel breed) was crossed with small white lapdogs. The Barbet name was later developed to "Barbichon cam," which was later shortened to "Bichon." Similar breeds that were developed from the Barbet were the Poodle (also called the Caniche) and the Maltese. Even though they are now separate breeds, they have a common ancestry that gives them certain similar similarities. The group of dogs known as the Barbichon developed into four breed lines: Bichon Bolognese, Bichon Havanese, Bichon Maltese, and the Bichon Tenerife.
The Bichon Frise of today has its ancestry in the Bichon Tenerife breed line, which found its way to the Mediterranean area, onto the Canary Islands or rather, "the Island of Tenerife." Called the Dog of Love, sailors used to bring these little puppies into the area for the women they admired and sought favors with. Eventually, the Bichon\'s popularity developed under Henry III. Carrying his little white Bichon around in court, other court individuals did as the king did. The term "bichonner" became one with the beautiful, beribboned, and pampered little Bichon Frise from then on.
As human nature does with mankind\'s whims and whistles, by the end of the 1800s, the cute little court favored cuddly pet was out on the streets. The little white dogs learned how to earn their keep by doing tricks in the circuses or fairs. The characteristics of the pampered darling of the court demonstrated to the world that its charm, cunning ability, and physical sturdiness brought the little dog to where he is now.
The temperament of the Bichon Frise is sweet, perky, bouncy, active, and very playful with sporadic bursts of energy that leads them into many unknown adventures--usually beyond the fenced in yard or when they get loose from the leash, even though they are considered to be gentle creatures. High on the playfulness range, along with friendliness toward strangers, watchdog ability, and grooming requirements-anyone who purchases the Bichon will be a powder-puff challenge, to say the least!
They are one of the very few smaller dogs that get along well with children of all ages in addition to adults, and are completely hypoallergenic for those with allergies. This is a favorite breed for those desiring a "happy-go-lucky" pet with an attitude toward the world, even to strangers, pets, other dogs, and the garbage man or mailman! A sensitive dog whose feelings get hurt easily, it is the breed who\'s favorite past time is to cuddle up in someone\'s lap, especially someone who appreciates the Bichon\'s sensitivity, responsiveness, and affectionate behaviors.
An independent dog, the Bichon Frise bond well with adults and children and is also very highly intelligent, affectionate, charming, and self-assured. One of the few smaller breeds that is not a "yapper," even though it barks a lot due to its watchdog ability, and loves all human company. It can be shown either trimmed as a poodle or longhaired with clippings at the feet and muzzle, with requiring trimming for a rounded appearance. Easy to train and used as watchdogs, performing tricks, extremely sociable with everyone and everything-this competitive and obedient breed is a joy to have around. The only thing that may provide difficulty is its housebreaking, which has been known to occur with most smaller breeds as they need to toilet more often and are harder to watch in the home. And as usual, this has a lot to do with the trainer or owner and how they train. Absolutely all dogs and puppies can be trained, but not all trainers and owners can train properly.
Thyroid Disease - Low Risk
The Bichon Frise ranks #132 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. This is considered a low risk breed so your chances of obtaining a dog with the disease is small. It is still suggested that dogs meant for breeding still be tested to help bring the incidence of disease even lower (or even eliminate it).
|Rank Among Breeds||Number of Dogs Tested||Percent of Dogs With Disease|
You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here
Other Health Problems
The major concern for the Bichon Frise is the patellar luxation, or when the kneecap is out of place. This will cause the dog to cause lameness, refuse to bear weight, or the knee may become locked. It can be seen when the dog is around six months of age, or when older if the condition is mild. As a result of the patellar luxation, other degenerative joint changes will occur, such as osteoarthritis.
The way to find out if a dog has this disease is to have the dog physical examined by a veterinarian, along with having a palpation done. Radiographs can be done to see if any further degenerative joint changes are going on. Treatments vary on the severity of the disease. Minor diseases for the Bichon are tooth loss and cataracts, with suggested tests for knees and eyes. Allergies, eye conditions, and ear infections are also prone to the Bichon, with a needed focus on dental care.