A Bichon Frise is a small breed of dog of the Bichon type. The Bichon Frise is a member of the Non-Sporting Group of dog breeds in the United States, and a member of the Toy Dog Group in the United Kingdom.
The Bichon Frise descended from the Barbet or Water Spaniel and the Standard Poodle. The word bichon comes from Middle French bichon ("small long-haired dog"), a diminutive of Old French biche ("bitch, female dog"), from Old English bicce ("bitch, female dog"), related to Old Norse bikkja ("female dog") and German Betze ("female dog"). Some speculate the origin of bichon to be the result of the apheresis, or shortening, of the word barbichon ("small poodle"), a derivative of barbiche ("shaggy dog"); however, this is unlikely, if not impossible, since the word bichon (attested 1588) is older than barbichon (attested 1694). While "Bichon Frise" is derived from the French "Bichon à poil frisé" meaning "curly lap dog," the preferred English spelling does not include accents and is written simply, "Bichon frise."
The Bichon Frise is a small dog that weighs approximately 5–10 kg (10–20 lbs) and stands 23–30 cm (9–12 in) at the withers, but slightly larger dogs are not uncommon. The skull is slightly rounded and the muzzle is not pointy. The tail is groomed to be long and curly and is carried over the back. It has a black nose and dark round eyes; its white hair consists of a curly, dense coat with little shedding , although many of the breed do tend to have less curly hair than others. A small amount of buff, cream, or apricot color may be seen around its ears, snout, paws or body, but normally these colors do not exceed 10% of its body. FCI/AKC Standard coat color is pure white; other colors such as apricot or grey are not recognized. A white coat is preferred in the show ring. The head and legs are proportionate in size to the body, and the ears and tail are natural . The coat is trimmed often to make the hair seem like an even length. Bichon Frises can have a medium-high intelligence.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) refers to the Bichon Frise as "merry" and "cheerful", and the breed standard calls for a dog that is "gentle mannered, sensitive, playful and affectionate." The Bichon Frise loves human company and demands much of your attention. They are generally very sociable and do well with an owner that takes them along on outings. They are charming, affectionate, and intelligent. Bichons do well with children because they are playful and have lots of energy. If affiliated with a particular territory and encouraged by owners, they can become very territorial. Bred to be companion dogs, the Bichon Frise tends to get along well with both children and other animals. Bichon Frises are very obedient if training is started early and continued constantly.
Bichon Frises require a huge amount of time for grooming. The coat needs much grooming. The hair must be combed from the coat to remove mats and tangles. While it is recommended to have your Bichon Frise professionally groomed monthly, as an owner, it is imperative to comb their coat twice a week.
As Bichon Frises are white dogs, frequent bathing is required to maintain the color. The coat must be combed thoroughly in order to prevent tangles. They are prone to having ear infections, so keeping their ears clean will prevent that.
Bichon frises are easily trained. Training must be done with a gentle, but firm hand. However, you should not scold or harsh corrections. They respond well to being trained with being provided treats after accomplishing a lesson.
Bichon Frises are very sociable, but if they are not properly trained, they can become too active. The Bichon Frise Club of America recommends against purchasing this dog from a pet shop and to instead adopt from a pound.