If you are looking for a dog that is small and with a beautiful hypoallergenic coat, has a great personality and loves being mischievous from time to time, and has nothing but love to give you, your best choice would be the Bichon Frise.
This toy-looking dog is perfect for people or families who live in an apartment.
Though he wouldn’t mind living in a house with a yard, it is not on his list of priorities because what he wants the most is the love of his owner, and he is always ready to cuddle or play.
The happy and cheerful personality is the reason why many decide to go with this breed. They are low demand, yet have plenty to offer.
Also, thanks to their high intelligence level, they are easy to train and they quickly become well mannered fluffy little citizens.
But, as with any other breed, finding a puppy that is healthy, has good genes, and exemplary temperament is not that easy to find.
Exactly, for this reason, we have decided to help you out and let you in on all the things you need to know before and after you start your search for a new member of the family.
To start off, let’s take a look at what are the most important things you need to know when it comes to finding a high-quality Bichon Frise puppy.
The Bichon Frise Puppies – Before You Buy…
Before making the decision that the Bichon Frise is the breed you want to go with, there a few things you should be aware of first.
For example, you need to know if the price of the puppy suits you.
Also, you need to know how to find a reputable breeder so that you are sure the puppy you are buying is healthy and with good genes.
And finally, you need to know more about the puppies and what to expect from them so that you don’t end up with more than you can handle.
So, let’s start with the price first.
What price are the Bichon Frise puppies?
A Bichon Frise puppy can be found with a price range that goes from $300 to $2500. Of course, the higher the price the better quality the pups are.
But, if you aren’t looking for a dog show champion puppy, the average price tag you can expect is around $600.
For that price, you should expect all the necessary documentation such as medical history and health test clearances for both parents.
And, you can also expect to deal with a serious breeder that will give you a detailed insight into the breed and what to expect, as well as how to feed and take care of your puppy.
If you find a Bichon Frise puppy for less than $300, you will probably deal with a backyard breeder or a puppy mill.
In both cases, the puppy you buy will most likely be in bad health shape and with possible genetic issues that will trouble him later in his life.
How to find reputable Bichon Frise breeders?
One of the first indicators of a reputable breeder is the price of the puppies. If it’s too low, you are probably looking at a backyard breeder puppy sale ad, and we recommend avoiding such deals.
The problem with backyard breeders is not just the health of the puppies, but lack of knowledge about the high-quality breeding process.
In most cases, there is no guarantee that the puppy you buy will grow up to have a temperament that is predicted for the breed.
The red flags that point out that you are dealing with a backyard breeder are that they have just the mother of the pups with them and that they don’t know much about the breed.
Also, if the breeder doesn’t offer you an insight into the complete documentation, both for the litter and the parents, you should look for another breeder.
As for puppy mills, we strongly recommend not buying pups from such places because you will have nothing but problems. And, when you have already got attached to your puppy, it will only be painful to see them suffer.
Puppy mills can be hard to spot, but there are some red flags that will warn you in time.
For example, when searching for a breeder online, if you see an ad that always has available puppies, and they have a lower than average price, and there’s no mention of who the parents of the litter are, the chances are high that this is a puppy mill.
And, if you see an option for online purchase and home delivery, you are definitely looking at a puppy mill ad.
On the other hand, if you didn’t notice any red flags online and you are already visiting a breeder, here is what to keep an eye on:
- There are many litters available at the same time
- The living conditions are not good
- The “breeder” doesn’t look like he loves his dogs
- The “breeder” doesn’t know much about the breed and seems like he is in a hurry to just take your money and see your back
- There’s no documentation for neither the puppy and the parents
- The pups don’t seem healthy and playful
- The adult dogs that are around are aggressive
- All the dogs seem malnourished
These are all signs that you are looking at a puppy mill and that the puppy you buy is not only currently in a bad health shape, but its parents were most likely never tested for genetically heritable diseases.
Most of the dogs there probably never visited a vet.
With a reputable breeder, however, you shouldn’t have these problems because, first of all, they are in this business because they are in love with the breed and they care about keeping it healthy and making it even better.
They know everything about the breed and will tell you what to expect, how to take care of your puppy, and even offer you their help and advice after you take the puppy home.
Also, they will have a complete documented medical history and all the necessary test clearances for the parents of the litter.
With a reputable breeder, you know what you are paying for and you can be sure the puppy you bought will have the personality traits of its parents and not cause you problems as it grows up.
3 Little-known facts about the Bichon Frise puppies
Now that you know how to find a reputable breeder and take home a healthy puppy with great genes, let’s see if you are ready for some of the things that are associated with the Bichon Frise puppies.
- They can be complicated to housebreak
Due to their mischievous side, Bichon pups can be complicated when it comes to housebreaking. Therefore, crate training is recommended until they learn how to behave in the house or apartment.
- They are fragile
Bichon puppies are tiny and fragile and they can get hurt easily. This especially goes, if children are playing with them. So, if you have small kids, never leave them alone with the puppy.
At least until they realize that the pup is not a toy and that they should be careful when playing with it.
- They can get spoiled pretty easy
Due to their small size and huge cuteness, people tend to cut them slack more than it’s needed.
This includes carrying the puppy around instead of letting it walk, and treating it like a baby all the time.
We are not saying that you shouldn’t show your puppy that you love him.
On the contrary, it needs to feel the love, but it also needs to be treated like a big dog because it can easily get spoiled and develop the infamous “small dog syndrome”.
This will be a problem because it will “freak out” every time you don’t want to carry it around and start thinking that he is the Alpha in your household and that he runs the show.
Physical Traits of the Bichon Frise
After getting an insight into the whole process of finding out if the Bichon Frise fits your budget and how to find a high-quality puppy, it’s time to see if the physical traits of this breed are actually what you are looking for.
Let’s see if you are okay with the Bichon’s size and life expectancy. Hint, they are neither big or small, and they tend to live a long life if taken care of properly.
How big is a full-grown Bichon Frise?
When it comes to Bichon Frise breed, the tallest you can expect your puppy to be is some 11 inches.
Depending on the parents and how well it develops during his “teenage years”, it can be even a bit taller, or shorter but it shouldn’t be under 9 inches.
As for the weight range, Bichons are usually within the 7 to 12-pound weight range.
Again, it all depends on how the dog develops and how you feed him, but it shouldn’t be outside this range too much if you are feeding it with a proper diet, about which you will find out more, later in the guide.
What is the life expectancy of the Bichon Frise?
If taken care of properly, and by properly, we mean an appropriate diet, regular amounts of exercise, and regular vet checkups, your Bichon Frise will live some 14 to 15 years.
Of course, this is an average lifespan for this breed, which doesn’t mean your dog won’t live even longer.
Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Bichon Frise
Sure, Bichons are not big dogs, but don’t you for a moment think that they have a small heart as well.
Their playful nature and the ability to be little, mischievous fluffs, well exceeds their physical size.
Also, even though they are a small-size breed, the AKC has placed them in the non-sporting instead of the toy breed group.
In general, Bichons are great family dogs and they love spending time with their human family.
They don’t just love it, but need it because they tend to get attached, really fast.
These dogs are also well known for adjusting to the owner’s (or family’s) lifestyle but don’t like being alone for long periods.
They can also stay alone at home while you are working, but they are also known for suffering from separation anxiety if the owners are gone for more than a day.
Another thing worth mentioning is that this breed is an excellent choice for people who live in apartments, due to their small size and the fact that they don’t shed pretty much at all.
But, that doesn’t mean they can stay in the apartment the entire day.
On the contrary, they are lively little dogs and they do need their exercise and outdoor running sessions each day, twice or three times a day.
When it comes to their intelligence, you can rest assured that the training will be easy as they are highly intelligent. They love learning tricks and respond to training exceptionally well.
But, they tend to have a slightly stubborn side so you do need to be firm, but also gentle because they are highly sensitive.
If you raise your voice when your Bichon makes a” mistake” during the training, he can take it personally and even get sad and depressed. Yes, they are that sensitive.
However, the training doesn’t have to be that dramatic if you just have a strong-headed approach and a serious voice, and praise or give him a treat him every time he does something good.
You will discover, once you are a Bichon owner, that many other owners train their Bichons for rally competition, agility, and obedience, as these activities present a great way to bond with your dog, train him, and have fun at the same time.
And speaking of fun, this is pretty much the main highlight of having a Bichon Frise as they are crowd pleasers and love to make their owners laugh.
All in all, a Bichon Frise is an intelligent little dog that can be a great family pet.
Whether you live in a house or an apartment, and with proper training and plenty of love, he can turn out to be a wonderful, funny companion, and a well behaved dog that everyone will be glad to see when you are out and about together.
Bichon Frise Diet
When it comes to feeding, you should know that the Bichons have quite an appetite.
Therefore, if you want your puppy to grow up into a healthy dog, you need to satisfy his hunger with high-quality food.
Each meal your Bichon needs to be at least 50% made of meat.
Whether you prepare the dog’s meal yourself or you buy commercial food, just make sure the main ingredient is a quality, checked source of meat.
For your Bichon, great sources of protein can be venison, fish, lamb, and poultry. Bichon-friendly choices include poultry, fish, lamb, venison, and others.
Also, to make the meal even more healthy and full of nutrients and other ingredients that provide a healthy development of your dog, you can add fresh produce. Bichons love melon, peas, zucchini, and carrots.
Furthermore, you also need to consider adding essential fatty acids to your dog’s diet as they are great for fighting off inflammations that are associated with many diseases.
Good sources are sardine oil, wild salmon, and safflower oil.
How much Exercise does a Bichon Frise need?
Generally, Bichons are characterized as relatively active. But, this is a general characterization, and there are many cases where the owners couldn’t keep up with their Bichon’s energy levels.
They are no Jack Russell, but Mastiffs neither. In most cases, Bichons have long periods of being calm and just sitting or laying on the sofa during the day.
These calm periods are interrupted with high energy stints where they are like a miniature tornado set free inside the house.
Therefore, every Bichon needs at least two walks, combined with playtime and running with other dogs in the park, so that the indoor energy bursts are minimized.
They will enjoy spending time in the yard and play with you or with the kids, but you need to be aware of the fact that the Bichons are lightning-fast and they can make a run for “freedom” unexpectedly.
So, if you have a yard, make sure that it is properly fenced and that he can’t find a hole to go through and escape.
The Bichon Frise Health and Conditions
The Bichon Frise is a breed that is known as a relatively healthy breed.
Like with any other breed, there are certain health conditions and illnesses that are associated with them. Here is what you need to be aware of:
- Bladder Problems
- Patellar Luxation
- Vaccination Sensitivity
- Hip Dysplasia
- Juvenile Cataracts
To have a piece of mind and know that your puppy has lower chances of suffering from these conditions during its life, make sure the breeder you buy the puppy from, has all the tests clearances for both of the puppy’s parents.
With the loving and over-friendly personality that a Bichon Frise has, you will have almost no problem while teaching your pet to socialize.
You will notice that the more you take your dog out for a walk or to the park, the happier it will become.
This is because this dog breed is very cheerful and remains extremely happy among people.
As a result, you can sit close to your dog and just observe how well it is interacting with other dogs or people.
That being said, never leave your dog alone with others because it is very tiny and can be easily hurt, scared, or stolen.
Moreover, this dog will quickly learn whatever social manners you teach it.
This is why telling it simple commands or explaining things slowly will work wonders when it comes to its manners.
Do not simply disregard your pet’s bad manners as habits that you cannot possibly change.
A Bichon Frise is quite an intelligent dog which is why you can shape its personality to help it become a more peaceful and amiable part of society.
In addition to this, do not spoil your dog too much just because it is ‘too cute’ because this will ruin its habits and make it forget its social manners.
However, despite how easy this dog is to train, you are still supposed to start its socialization as early as you can because what your Bichon Frise learns at a young age will stay with it later as well.
My final thoughts on the Bichon Frise
Okay, you have officially reached the end of our Bichon Frise in-depth guide.
Do you now feel more confident about becoming a Bichon owner?
In the case you are still not sure, here’s a short summary of everything we covered today.
The Bichons are a small-dog breed, but with a heart that is the size of a house.
They are loyal and devoted to their owners and can be heartbroken if left alone for longer periods.
Also, thanks to the fact their curly coat pretty much doesn’t shed at all, they are a perfect choice for people who want a dog but suffer from allergies.
They can sometimes be stubborn and in some cases, housebreaking can be a longer-than-you-want process. But, if you have time to properly train them, they will catch up pretty fast because this breed is exceptionally intelligent.
All in all, the Bichon Frise is a great choice for any type of a person as he adapts to any lifestyle quite fast, can be trained easily, and is a happy attitude dog as long as he is with you.
So, do you think this is the breed for you? Do you think that your friends will also be thrilled with a Bichon Frise?
Feel free to share our guide on social media so that your friends can also see how great the Bichons are, and perhaps decide to welcome one into their home.
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.
- The Bichon Frise Puppies – Before You Buy…
- Physical Traits of the Bichon Frise
- Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Bichon Frise
- Bichon Frise Diet
- The Bichon Frise Health and Conditions
- My final thoughts on the Bichon Frise