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AKC Meet the Breeds: Bichon Frise

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

A cheerful, happy dog, the Bichon Frise is small and sturdy with a dark-eyed, inquisitive expression and a plumed tail he carries merrily over his back. The breed is often compared to a cotton ball due to its curled double coat, which consists of a textured outer coat and a silky undercoat. The coat must be white, but may have shadings of buff, cream or apricot around the ears or on the body.

A Look Back
The Bichon Frise appeared in the 13th century as a descendant from the Water Spaniel. Traded by Spanish sailors and transported from continent to continent, the breed eventually became a favorite of those in the 16th century French royal courts. The breed was also favored by the painters of the Spanish school, who often included them in their works. Although the breed's colorful past includes use as a circus dog, today the Bichon is enjoyed primarily as a companion animal.

Right Breed for You?
The Bichon is a naturally gentle, playful dog. He loves activity and requires regular exercise. His hair grows continually and does not shed, so extensive grooming is a must to prevent mats. Bichons also tend to be a good breed for allergy sufferers.

  • Non-Sporting Group; AKC recognized in 1972.
  • Ideal size between 9 1/2 and 11 1/2 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Companion.



AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.

Comments (4)

  • Diosa Arachana 25 Jul, 2012

    Absolutely the most lovable, playful, adorable, happy, loyal, ohhh what else can I say!! Fantastic with children, extremely inteligent and a true inseparable companion. Beside this, she is one of the most beautiful dogs I've seen. My husband and I are in love with our beautiful Penélope, and so are everybody that knows her. Truly a real gem. And yes, loves to dress up all the time. Doesn't chew, bite or destroy anything. Absolutely the perfect dog. She is like a very special little person!!!

  • Lynnbagwell 27 Dec, 2011

    I love my bichon. Does any one know how to eliminate tear stains?

  • mistenegetz 18 Dec, 2011

    We brought home a Bishon pup 31/2 years ago. The best dog we have ever owned. She is so very intelligent, beautiful, playful, loving diva I have ever encountered. She is so intuned to us its as if she knows what we are doing. She loves to be near us and will let you know when she is not happy with something. She is the prettiest dog with the most beautiful knowledgable eyes I have ever seen, she loves the snow.Needs grooming every 5 weeks and makes your heart feel great always. So so fast too.

  • nova72 11 Aug, 2011

    hi...the bichon is the best dog ever. our dog looks different but is the same. she is my best friend. you would swear that they listen to what you are saying and they do what they are told. she is so smart and loving. you can do anything and she just follows you around. she loves company. everyone loves her. she is just like a little human. i can put her winter jacket on or a lite summer one and she loves it. i dont know what i would do with out her...terri loves pebbles...