The Bichon Frise (sometimes called the “Tenerife Dog” or “Bichon Tenerife” after the Canary Island) is much like their French name suggests – a “curly white lap dog”. They are a popular pet that resembles a larger version of the Maltese. Their friendliness, cheerful spirit and non-shedding coat that necessitates a high amount of grooming attention make the Bichon Frise a suitable companion dog for families, allergy sufferers or apartment dwellers who are willing to commit to a high level of grooming.
Origins Of The Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean area during the 13th century and was transported throughout the world by Spanish sailors as an item of trade and companion which led to popularity among French royal courts and appearances in several Spanish paintings. Later their popularity declined and in the 1800s they were largely used as street performers in traveling circuses. They are understood to be a descendant of large water spaniels such as the Barbet, small white dogs and the Poodle.
Average Size Of The Bichon Frise
Bichon Frises are classed as a small-sized breed. The recommended standard size for the Bichon Frise male and female is 9.5-11.5 inches tall from paw to shoulder and a weight of 14-16 pounds.
Temperament Of The Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is renowned for their playful, cheerful and affectionate temperament. They are usually friendly with unfamiliar people, which along with their small size can mean they are unsuitable as a guard dog.
The Bichon Frise is also accepted to be quite intelligent – ranking equal 45th compared to other dogs when taking into account their capacity to be trained obedience instructions.
They are renowned to be great with children – meaning they are highly suitable as a family pet. The Bichon Frise is very well-matched with other animals such as cats and other dogs.
Living Requirements Of The Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise doesn’t need a large yard to give them space to roam around in, and they can be very suitable for apartment living provided they are given adequate exercise. They prefer warmer weather, and they will be less comfortable in cold weather as their curly coat is not designed to protect against it – so they will need extra clothing to keep them warm during cooler months.
Health & Life Expectancy Of The Bichon Frise
Similarly to a lot of small-sized dog breeds, the Bichon Frise is usually long-lived with a life expectancy of 12-15 years. The leading health problem for Bichon Frises is regularly known to be patellar luxation. They are also prone to conditions that include eye problems such as cataracts, ear infections or sensitivity to flea bites and other allergies.
Exercise Needs Of The Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise takes pleasure in pastimes such as playing games in the yard or at the local dog park. They have a fairly high degree of energy and this calls for daily exercise in the form of moderate to long walks to stop behavior problems such as excessive barking.