CHARACTERISTICS OF THE
Once you have fallen in love with the Bichon Frise',you will be enamored for life! Because the Bichon Frise is small, intelligent, loveable and well behaved, it is easy to keep more than one.
WHO CAN RESIST?
The Bichon Frise' through fairly small in stature, has a big personality and is great fun to own. Described as "energy and affection in a power-puff package," this is a remarkably affectionate and intelligent breed with stylish good looks.
A long-lived breed, the Bichon Frise can often live to 15 or 16 years of age, so this is another factor that must be seriously contemplated before deciding that this is really the breed for you. Clearly when taking a new pet into your home, the most important aim will be that the dog remains with you for life.
The Bichon Frise is a small to medium size dog – The AKC does not specify how much the dog should weigh. The normal Bichon weight is approximately 10 to 18 pounds, depending on the size of the dog, about fifteen pounds on the average—when full grown. The preferred size range is 9 ½ to 11 1/2 inches for dogs and bitches. However, according to the AKC, dogs and bitches 9 to 12 inches, are still considered in the standard. You may see many ads that advertise it as a toy breed only because they are breeding only to smaller Bichons.
The Bichon is a white dog. The contrast between the white coat and the black nose, halos (the black or dark brown skin that surrounds the eyes), eye rims and etc. is what the ideal specimen is known for and should be adhered to. There is some allowance made in the AKC standard for shadings in small amounts. Puppies are often born with shadings of buff, cream, or apricot. However, these shadings usually disappear by the time the dog is 12 months old.
They can be very difficult to housebreak/potty train. You must be consistent and patient while house breaking a Bichon. They are very intelligent but Bichons are not always cooperative with house breaking. Bichons are a slow maturing breed and, as such, take longer and are more difficult to housebreak than many other breeds. Sometimes they never are 100% housebroken. It takes patience; time and a great deal of determination to housebreak a Bichon puppy.
If a dog having an "accident" in your home is going to bother you, then the Bichon is not the breed for you. They have lots of accidents. Especially if someone is not home during the day, this is not the breed for you. They really need to get out every two hours. (May I suggest you put in a doggy door)! When you are gone, place a playpen around the doggy door so the pup can have access to the outside, but limited space inside.
Although a Bichon has a great temperament and would not harm a child, this breed does not bond well with young children. They want the adult’s attention. So, when the time comes that your child wants your attention so does the Bichon. They know who is in charge and that is the person whose attention they seek. Parents should supervise younger children playing with the small dog to make sure the children do not hurt the dog
Having older children could also present some problems. The Bichon is an "in your face" dog, demanding a lot of human interaction and attention. With older children, as they become involved with various extra-curricular activities, they may have very limited time to give to a dog.
No breed is hypoallergenic, all dogs have dander, but the Bichon ranks second only to the poodle as the best dog for people with allergies. If you do have allergies, you can definitely be allergic to the Bichon. Also, some people are allergic to dog saliva. Well, as I said above, this is an "in your face" breed, so you’re going to get exposed to their saliva.
It is imperative that the Bichon undergo regular grooming otherwise the coat mats. Since the Bichon does not shed, mats are a serious concern, as they may result in skin sores, tearing and skin disease. Heavily matted animals must be shaved to solve the problem. Grooming means a thorough brushing at least once a week (and then you will find mats but they shouldn’t be too bad) Daily brushing is much better. If done on a daily basis, it will take approximately 15 minutes. "Pet Cut Bichons" will have a shorter coat and should go to the groomers for cuts every 6 to 8 weeks. If you have allergies the most important thing to remember is NOT to put perfume on the dog. Many groomers will enhance the dog with, rose or pine scent. The perfume is what most people are allergic to.
It can be very difficult, but not impossible, to groom a Bichon yourself. There are several videos and books available to help you in this field. They are white and get dirty quickly, so bathing every two weeks is recommended. First, brush and comb them out completely and remove any mats. If mats are left in, they are impossible to get out after the coat gets wet. After the bath, you will need to blow dry while brushing the coat out (low or no heat is recommended to avoid burning the skin). The average time it takes to bathe and brush out a Bichon is 1 ½ to 2 hours, if the dog is in pet cut. These times do not include the time it takes to trim the nails (on a weekly basis) and pluck the hair from the ear.
The Bichon is a very dependent breed. They are always in your face, on your lap, and under your feet. They require a great deal of affection and can make owners feel guilty when they are not able to give them this type of attention. If the adults in the house work outside the home, there will be problems. The Bichon does not do well stuck at home alone for 8-10 hours a day. Besides that, you will never housebreak your Bichon if you’re gone all day. Therefore, I do not place my puppies in homes where they will be left alone for long periods of time. If you work and there is no one home to care for the puppy, you might consider purchasing a second dog as companions for each other. Or a different breed. PLEASE CONSIDER THE WELL BEING OF THE PUP BEFORE YOU PURCHASE.
I am telling you all of this because everything I have warned paw-parents about has turned out to be the reason(s) people have abandoned their Bichons. Bichons do not have trouble bonding to new owners. The hallmark of the Bichon breed is their temperament. They are friendly, loving, and great companion dogs. Bichons adjust very quickly too new surroundings and people. They love to be the center of attention.
After seeing how much maintenance Bichons require you’re probably asking yourself why some people are still so fond of this breed. What is so good about them, you wonder? Well, Bichons can make great pets. Many wonderful dogs have been placed in loving homes. However, in these cases, the new owners were home during the day, their children were well mannered and supervised, and they were willing to take – or – make – the time to give a lot of love and attention to their Bichon, thus producing a very affectionate and loving pet. They have also been willing to follow the instructions on the dog’s diet, proper housebreaking techniques, keeping vaccinations up to date, and providing obedience training. As a result, the new owners have been very successful in making their Bichon a beloved and well-cared-for member of the family.
What if you need to give the dog back? Good breeders will co-own the dog with you for life because they want to be assured that the dog is well taken care of for its entire life
There are several books about the Bichon Frise, one I would recommend your reading "The Bichon Frise, by Mary and Kathie D. Vogel".