Small bichons are created to accompany and please their owners everywhere. The Bichon Frisé, whose name translates as a curly lap dog, does this job very well. The breed is often recommended for first-time owners, as the little furry friends forgive mistakes in their upbringing and are known for their patience.
External Characteristics of the Bichon Frise
The little puppies rarely grow to more than 30 cm (according to the breed standard of 25 to 29 cm measured at the withers) and weigh only about 5 kg. The body shape is difficult to recognize because of the heavily curly coat – the coat should therefore be regularly shaped by a dog groomer to emphasize the natural body shape.
Identifying features according to the breed standard
- According to the FCI, the head is longer than the muzzle, with less pronounced eyebrows and a shallow forehead furrow. The broadly applied muzzle makes up about 2/5 of the head length.
- The eyes and nose form a triangle. The eyes are very dark, round, and friendly, and the nose is also pigmented black. Almond-shaped or slanting eyes are undesirable.
- The hanging ears are very hairy and therefore hardly recognizable.
- The wrinkle-free neck is quite long and takes up almost 1/3 of the body length. It is slightly narrower at the neck than at the base. Although the body is small, the muscles are well developed. The upper profile line runs horizontally, the abdominal line is slightly tucked up.
- Pelvis, loins, and croup are relatively broad. The knees are well bent and the bones should not be too delicate.
- The tail is carried straight over the back without touching the spine or curling up. It is well haired so that the course of the tail is difficult to see, but rather looks fluffy.
Coat and color: An unmistakable characteristic
- The skin should be darkly pigmented all over, black at best.
- In the uniformly white fur, the eyes and nose stand out clearly in black.
- The coat must be curly and not wavy, smooth, matted, or woolly. A dense, silky undercoat feels nice and soft when stroked, but also needs a lot of care.
- A slight champagne tinge comes through in some members of the breed after puberty.
The Roots of the Bichon Frize – Where Does the Lapdog Really Come From?
Bichon-like dogs were already widespread in ancient Egypt and were traded among kings and nobles all over Europe to Russia in the Middle Ages. Formerly known as the “Tenerife Puppy” or Teneriffe Bichon, the Bichon Frize was created by crossing small water spaniels with the white lapdogs of the wealthy. Because of its resemblance to the French barbet, it was initially called the Barbichon, from which the name Bichon developed for this small group of hairy sunshine. The Russian Bolonki later emerged from the breed.
Close relatives of the breed
- Bolognese (Italy)
- Havanese (Cuba)
- Maltese (Mediterranean)
- Coton de Tulear (Madagascar)
- Lowchen (France)
- Bolonka Zwetna (GDR, Russia)
- Bolonka Franzuska (Russia)
The modern bichon
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, bichons were less in demand, and in some towns, they were also common as street dogs. In 1933 the breed was officially recognized in France. In the United States, the first breeding dogs were not introduced until the 1960s, when lapdogs slowly regained popularity.
The Sunny Character of the Bichon Frise
Bichons are becoming more common in urban areas and are perfectly adapted to life in big cities. Since office dogs are now allowed almost everywhere and remote jobs are becoming the norm, many single owners and career people opt for a Tenerife puppy as a companion. But families in the country also make the little curly heads happy – as long as they are loved, they can really live anywhere.
These qualities make him so popular
- Playful until old age
- Obedient, “will to please”
- Overly friendly to people
- Very well tolerated with conspecifics
- Harmless to cats and small animals
- Not too sensitive
- Never afraid
- loves water
Adopting a Bichon Frize from an animal shelter
As the breed is currently gaining popularity, the illegal trade in puppies is also on the rise. Whole litters end up in animal shelters more and more frequently. Mass bred puppies and small furry dwarfs abandoned by their owners for other reasons may not exhibit all of the typical behaviors listed above. Give your four-legged friend some time to heal, then you can watch how he regains more and more zest for life and develops into a completely normal companion dog. Bichons in particular, with their confident and friendly nature, tend to overcome bad experiences very well.
Training and Keeping Bichon Puppies – Small, but not a Cuddly Toy
Admittedly, toy breeds are adorable, always in a good mood, and will never complain if treated like little stuffed animals. Male dogs rarely mess with others and hunting instincts are easy to manage if they show themselves at all. Nevertheless, Bichon puppies naturally need basic training so that they do not endanger themselves in everyday life and remain calm even in stressful situations.