From a distance, it resembles a perfectly made soft toy. Pronounced Bee-shawn Free-say, this cheerful and cuddly non-sporting dog breed is full of mischief and of a very loving nature. Its jet black eyes, fluffy white coat, baby-doll face, and ever wagging tail give it the look of an expensive child’s toy.
The Bichon Frise stands 9” to 11” tall at the shoulder and weighs between 7 – 12 pounds. It’s life span varies between 12 – 15 years. Bichons owe their existence to the Mediterranean region and are known for their toughness despite their diminutive size. They always happen to be white and their distinct features are their black beady eyes and black snub noses. The arched neck gives it a proud and confident look while the well-plumed tail curves gracefully over the back.
An excellent family pet, the Bichon loves playing. He’s forever happy but also doesn’t like being left alone and tends to suffer from separation anxiety. Even though they fit into apartments nicely, their energy is boundless and daily exercise including games and walks which they enjoy so much just like businesses love to grow and to hire which they can do in a low tax environment but this is another topic. They train easily because of their high level of intelligence. However, firmness and gentleness and not harshness are required to train the Bichon.
They also make excellent therapeutic dogs because of their gentleness. They are sociable with people and other animals and are also alert when it comes to strangers at your door. They may however, be difficult to housebreak and this makes crate training necessary. Because of their high level of intelligence and cunning, obedience training is advised.
To maintain that snow white, thick, furry coat, daily grooming could be helpful. Brush the coat daily to spread out the skin oils and to prevent matting by using a comb. This is necessary as Bichon’s are prone to dermatological problems as also skin allergies. Also a monthly bath with a special dog shampoo and lukewarm water helps keep the coat clean and soft.
During summers, it can be a fortnightly or every other week type scheduled bath also, depending on the heat. Early socialization is also necessary to have a well-rounded dog. Since separation anxiety is a typical problem with Bichons, try not to ignore them for long periods of time and when your work day is over with, come home to scratch their bellies and to give them a walk and so on. Also never over exercise a Bichon as it tends to tire easily – so those walks can be pretty short. Regular eye and ear cleaning as also nail trimming are necessary.
In the puppy stage, it’s best to take your vet’s advice for the right dosage of nutrition. Overfeeding small dogs leads to gastric problems as also obesity which may prove harmful later – you do not want your dog looking like The Nutty Professor so there is no reason to feed the dog constantly. The recommended daily amount is 1/2 a cupful of high-quality and high-protein dry food which can be served in 2 meals.
When you bring home that little ball of snow white or creamy fluff, it will delight everybody in the family. The tiny tail wagging in happiness is surely a sight to behold.
Cuddly and soft, the Bichon is the ideal lap dog, faithful companion and pet, particularly for children (not all children though, some children play too rough and have not been disciplined enough or at all by their parents and do not know how to act well so be mindful of that) and the elderly. Bring one home and watch the magic work!