Bichon Frisè

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The Full Bichon Frisè Description

This cheerful little dog looks like a gentle puffball, but is healthy and sturdy enough for play and exercise. Bichons get along with just about everyone, including strangers and other animals. They are active, alert, and curious. They are also highly trainable with gentle handling.

Did you know?

The Bichon Frisè originated in the Mediterranean area.

On October 18, 1934, the Bichon Frisè was admitted to the stud book of the French Kennel Club.

You can find Bichons Frisè in several of the paintings by the Spanish painter Goya.

So you want to own a Bichon Frisè?

The Bichon Frisè's name translates to mean, "Curly Lap Dog." He is a tough and healthy dog who was bred to be a lap dog for French Royalty, but during the French Revolution, became street dogs, and only the toughest survived.

To keep the Bichon's coat healthy you must brush it frequently.

A cheerful attitude is the hallmark of the breed

Indicative Breed Standard


General Appearance

Well balanced dog of smart appearance, closely coated with handsome plume carried over the back. Natural white coat curling loosely. Head carriage proud and high.


Gay, happy, lively little dog.

Head and Skull

Ratio of muzzle length to skull length 3 : 5. On a head of the correct width and length, lines drawn between the outer corners of the eyes and nose will create a near equilateral triangle. Whole head in balance with body. Muzzle not thick, heavy nor snipey. Cheeks flat, not very strongly muscled. Stop moderate but definite, hollow between eyebrows just visible. Skull slightly rounded, not coarse, with hair accentuating rounded appearance. Nose large, round, black, soft and shiny.


Dark, round with black eye rims, surrounded by dark haloes, consisting of well pigmented skin. Forward-looking, fairly large but not almond-shaped, neither obliquely set nor protruding. Showing no white when looking forward. Alert, full of expression.


Hanging close to head, well covered with flowing hair longer than leathers, set on slightly higher than eye level and rather forward on skull. Carried forward when dog alert, forward edge touching skull. Leather reaching approximately half-way along muzzle.


Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Full dentition desirable. Lips fine, fairly tight and completely black.


Arched neck fairly long, about one-third the length of body. Carried high and proudly. Round and slim near head, gradually broadening to fit smoothly into shoulders.


Shoulders oblique, not prominent, equal in length to upper arm. Upper arm fits close to body. Legs straight, perpendicular, when seen from front; not too finely boned. Pasterns short and straight viewed from front, very slightly sloping viewed from side.


Forechest well developed, deep brisket. Ribs well sprung, floating ribs not terminating abruptly. Loin broad, well muscled, slightly arched and well tucked up. Pelvis broad, croup slightly rounded. Length from withers to tailset should equal height from withers to ground.


Thighs broad and well rounded. Stifles well bent; hocks well angulated and metatarsals perpendicular.


Tight, rounded and well knuckled up. Pads black. Nails preferably black.


Normally carried raised and curved gracefully over the back but not tightly curled. Never docked. Carried in line with backbone, only hair touching back; tail itself not in contact. Set on level with topline, neither too high nor too low. Corkscrew tail undesirable.


Balanced and effortless with an easy reach and drive maintaining a steady and level topline. Legs moving straight along line of travel, with hind pads showing.


Fine, silky with soft corkscrew curls. Neither flat nor corded, and measuring 7-10 cms (3-4 ins) in length. The dog may be presented untrimmed or have muzzle and feet slightly tidied up.


White, but cream or apricot markings acceptable up to 18 months. Under white coat, dark pigment desirable. Black, blue or beige markings often found on skin.


Ideal height 23-28 cms (9-11 ins) at withers.

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