Bichon Frise: 101 Is a Bichon the right breed for your family? From breed information, health issues and where to purchase a puppy... You'll find it all right here...
Watch Dogs-Bichons are devoted watch dogs! You can trust your Bichon to alert you upon every knock at the door or ring of the bell.
Friendly-This is a very "people friendly" breed. Not especially shy or timid, he can be trusted not to nip at the heels of strangers. This breed is also friendly with and tolerant of other animals, especially other Bichons.
Size- Show dogs typically range between 9 1/2" to 11 1/2" high at the shoulders and 7 to 18 pounds. Temperament, as opposed to size, should your first consideration when shopping for any breed. Pet quality dogs can vary in size.
Trainability-Patience will get you much further than scolding with any breed. Shouting, impatient or harsh training is completely unnecessary and will hinder progress. Patience will go a long way when training a Bichon Frise. They have a tendency to be stubborn and are noted for having a mind of their own. We highly recommend these positive training techniques.
Excitability- More sensitive than quick-tempered, adult Bichons are gentle and easy going. They are known to love children and are normally tolerant, but supervision is always recommended.
Maintenance- Bichons need regular grooming including attention to their fur, as well as teeth, ears, nails, etc. Matting fur can become severe and out of control quickly, so grooming is not optional, but necessary. This is an extra expense that should be taken into consideration before owning this breed.
Housebreaking difficulties- Some toy breeds are difficult to housebreak... A Bichon Frise is no exception. You'll need to be very patient and probably clean up several messes in the meantime. Small dogs come with small bladders. Click here for helpful training tips for tricks and housebreaking.
Separation Anxiety is common. He will show you his frustration by destructive chewing and barking or by having "accidents" on your furniture. This is probably not the breed for you if you work long hours and would have to leave him home alone.
High Maintenance- Care must be taken to keep the face of your Bichon clean. Discharge from their eyes accumulates in the fur and can cause serious problems when it builds in front of the eye. Brushing at least twice weekly is recommended on top of regular grooming. All dogs need basic maintenance, but the maintenance needs of the Bichon are on the higher end.
Not recommended for homes with small children- Though the Bichon Frise is a sturdy little dog for the most part, they are still a small breed dog. They are known to enjoy the company of children, but small dogs and toddlers don't mix. A Bichon Frise would be much better suited to a home with older, well-behaved children, as opposed to a home with toddlers.
A 10-15+ year commitment- Dogs lose their homes for some of the saddest reasons. When considering a dog, some people think only of what the dog can do for them... companionship, watch dog and crazy enough, some people consider them status symbols.
If you're currently renting, considering a move, school, career change, feel like you won't have time for the dog, etc. or any of the other reasons people abandon their pets, consider the bad things that happen to dogs when their owners can no longer care for them before you purchase a puppy.
Luxating patellas-A joint condition in which kneecaps dislocate. This is very painful for your dog and expensive to correct. This is a common complication among many small breed dogs. The use of Pet Steps has been shown to significantly decrease the occurrence of hip and knee conditions in dogs of all sizes.
Kidney Stones- Obviously painful, Bichons seem to be at the disadvantage of being predisposed to painful bladder and kidney stones. Fresh water should always be available to your dog and can help prevent minerals from forming.
Skin Disorders also affect Bichons. Dog allergies are pretty common and can lead to unsightly bald spots and irritation caused by their own chewing and pulling out of fur. Learn more about allergy symptoms and treatment.
Cataracts and Ear Infections are also common ailments of the Bichon Frise.
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