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Alternative Name

Bichon à poil fries (The Curly Lap Dog)

Basic Info

A Bichon Frisé (French, literally Curly lap dog; often spelled Bichon Frise in English) is a small breed of dog. They are popular pets, similar to poodles. They are often devoted to their masters. Color - Almost completely white, sometimes with cream, apricot or buff shadings around the ears. At least 90% must be white in a pure bred Bichon. Face - Expression should be alert, soft, inquisitive. The eyes are usually very dark, either black or dark brown. The skin surrounding the eye is also very dark. The nose and lips are always black. The ears are drop and covered in long, flowing hair. Coat - The undercoat is soft and dense while the outercoat is curly, giving it a powderpuff look. The coat feels thick and should spring back if touched.


Although many all-white breeds suffer from a variety of ailments including ear infections and skin problems, Bichons have, for the most part, escaped these problems. Bichons live an average of 12 to 14 years. Care must be taken to keep the face of a Bichon Frisé clean and trimmed, as eye discharge and mucus tend to accumulate in the fur that grows in front of their eyes. Bichons do not tolerate the heat well. It is not unusual for members of this breed to have problems with luxating patellas and cataracts.



Bichons are intelligent little dogs and demonstrate an inquisitive personality. They are very energetic and enjoy going for long walks, climbing on furniture, and chewing bones. However, Bichons are most comfortable being close to their owners regardless of the activity, and enjoy lounging as lap dogs. FriseBichons are easily housebroken using the crate method, but males tend to be a bit easier to train than females. They may become territorial, and sometimes jealous of attention given to other household animals, but generally get along well with other dogs (particularly other Bichons). Bichons are extremely friendly dogs and are easily excited when encountering people. There is a mutual fondness between Bichons and children, and therefore they make great pets for families. The Bichon Frise exhibits a trait called the “Bichon Buzz” - suddenly the Bichon will put its ears back, start growling and run feverishly around in obstacle-course fashion for a few moments.


Belgium / France


Bichons originate in the Mediterranean region, and were bred as lap dogs for the French royalty. The dogs ended up on the streets during the French Revolution, where they were caught and trained to be circus dogs. But their earliest orgins are traced to the Canary Islands.

Grooming Needs

The Bichon Frisé's distinctive curly coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. Regular brushing and occasional professional grooming help maintain the powderpuff appearance. Owners often opt for stylish trims, enhancing the breed's charming and fluffy appeal.

Training Tips

Known for intelligence, Bichons excel in training sessions, responding well to positive reinforcement. Consistent training, starting at a young age, is crucial for socializing and preventing behavioral issues. These playful dogs thrive on mental stimulation, enjoying various activities with their owners.

Temperament and Socialization

Bichons are renowned for their friendly and affectionate nature. Their social disposition makes them wonderful companions for families, and they get along well with children and other pets. Bichons love being close to their human family members, forming strong bonds and displaying loyalty.

Exercise Requirements

Despite their small size, Bichons are energetic dogs that benefit from regular exercise. Daily walks, playtime, and interactive toys contribute to their physical and mental well-being. Owners should provide outlets for their energy to ensure a happy and healthy Bichon.

Health Considerations

While generally robust, Bichons may face specific health concerns, including luxating patellas and cataracts. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and a healthy lifestyle contribute to their overall well-being. Careful monitoring in warm weather helps mitigate their sensitivity to heat.

History and Royal Connection

Originally bred as royal lap dogs in the Mediterranean region, Bichons found favor with French royalty. During the French Revolution, they faced a shift from palace life to circus performances. Despite this tumultuous past, the breed's resilient spirit endears it to families worldwide.

Bichon Buzz

Owners often witness the delightful "Bichon Buzz," a burst of energy where the Bichon Frisé playfully races around with ears back and growls. This endearing behavior adds to the charm of these lively and spirited companions.

Origin Clarification

While commonly associated with Belgium and France, the Bichon's earliest roots trace back to the Canary Islands. Their journey from royal laps to circus rings showcases their adaptability and enduring popularity.