We’ve been blogging away about all things dog (and occasionally cat) every week now for over a year. We try to mix it up a bit, and as such, have added ‘dog of the month’ to our repertoire.

First up, the spotlight is on the adorable Bichon Frise. The Bichon Frise is a happy little house dog who loves people, playing, snuggling and being nosey (perching on furniture to see what’s happening outside the window!). They can have a feisty streak with sudden bursts of energy – the Bichon Buzz! The American Kennel Club (AKC) Standard calls the Bichon Frise “a white powder puff of a dog whose merry temperament is evidenced by his plumed tail carried jauntily over the back and his dark-eyed inquisitive expression.” – suppose that’s one way of describing it!

Bichon Frise history

The Bichon dates back to the 13th Century where it was a companion dog for Spanish sailors who also used to trade them occasionally, hence the spread across continents. The Bichon was a popular dog in France in the 16th Century, and its name comes from ‘bichon’, French for ‘small long-haired dog’ or ‘lap dog’, and ‘frise’ is French for ‘curly’ – so it’s a ‘curly lap dog’ in English, not quite so elegant!

Bichon Frise selling points

  • Small, friendly dog that loves people.
  • Doesn’t need much outdoor exercise – but does love to run around and play.
  • Has a curly outer coat that doesn’t shed – hence one of the best breeds for allergy sufferers.
  • Makes a good watchdog – but is not aggressive.
  • Is good with other pets.

Things to consider before buying a Bichon frise

Can be difficult to housetrain – a Bichon Frise can be one of the more difficult breeds to housetrain. Crate training is recommended.

Can suffer from separation anxiety – the Bichon Frise is so sociable and dependant on human companionship that they don’t do well when left alone too long – they tend to express their unhappiness through destructive chewing and barking.

Can be barky in general – and it can be high-pitched and not great on the ears!

Health ailments – Bichon Frise can lead a good long life (12-15 years) but can suffer a number of health ailments. They are often allergic to fleas, grass, pollen, and can drive themselves mad with chewing and scratching. They are also prone to ear infections (often a lot of hair grows in their ears, you need to take care you dry the ears properly after a bath), cataracts and diabetes. Also, the Bichon Frise can have loose knee joints, making them prone to knee problems.

Grooming – The silky undercoat can mat easily. It requires regular brushing and combing. Their eyes can run a lot leading to a sticky build-up and staining (the red staining is an enzyme in its tears). You need to swab down regularly.

Bichon Frise quirky facts

  • The Bichon Frise doesn’t like the water even though it’s a descendant of a water spaniel!
  • The Bichon Frise was a popular circus dog in the 19th Century. They’re great at tricks and entertaining, if trained to do so.

Tell us about your Bichon Frise quirks and traits

As always, we’d love to hear from you. Email Hilary on info@petinsure.ie