This peppy, fluffy breed would be a great addition to any family or home, particularly for those with mild dog-related allergies or who want a cheerful, small dog. A Bichon Frise will usually stand 9-12 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 12-18 pounds. Bichons are active, happy dogs that don’t like being alone but are great for those in apartments or novice dog owners.

The Bichon Frise is a part of the Barbichon family of dog breeds, which means they’re related to other small breeds like the Havanese from Cuba and the Maltese. These dogs all have some origins in the Mediterranean area and have similar looks and dispositions. The earliest records date back to the 14th century for the Bichon Frise when French sailors brought the dogs back from one of the Canary Islands. Other historians believe it was actually Italian sailors that brought the breed to Europe.

Regardless of the breed’s exact origins, the Bichon Frise dogs are now incredibly wonderful dogs. Despite their small size, these dogs will actually need plenty of regular exercise and training. Positive reinforcement training can be really helpful, as these dogs are eager to please! While Bichon Frise dogs easily adapt to a variety of living arrangements (including apartments), they are prone to behavior issues like separation anxiety, periods of prolonged barking, and difficulty house training.

While generally healthy, Bichons are more prone to certain health issues and bad breeding practices from subbar breeders can only enhance these problems. Bichons are prone to bladder problems (like bladder stones or infections), allergies, patellar luxation, sensitivity to things like flea bites and vaccinations, hip dysplasia, and juvenlie cataracts. Regular vet care can help prevent or treat these problems.

Bichons have a soft double coat that actually grows continuously and these dogs are considered hypoallergenic by some. Instead of loose fur falling to the floor, dead hair is actually caught up in the dog’s undercoat and needs to be removed by regularly brushing their coat. If a Bichon’s coat is left alone for too long, tangles, mats, and skin problems can develop, which makes regular grooming all the more important. But if you brush your Bichon several times a week and bathe when necessary, grooming should be manageable. If not, a trip to a professional groomer may help!

For those looking for a happy, active, and small dog to join their family, a Bichon Frise may just be the right breed! These dogs may be small in stature but they are large in personality and love to be active with their people. Bichons can be prone to behavior and medical conditions, like seperation anxiety, barking, bladder issues, and hip dysplasia, but with positive reinforcement and proactive vet visits, life with these dogs can be great. Given the right routine and training, these dogs can easily adapt to any sort of living situation (like apartment life) and because of their coats, they’re also great for those who still want a dog but have mild dog allergies.

Have you ever had a Bichon? Let me know in the comments!