After Flynn, the adorable Bichon frisé won Best in Show at the 2018 Westminster Kennel Club competition, interest in the breed is spiking.
But is a Bichon frisé, pronounced BEE-shon Free-ZAY, the right dog for you?
Don’t make an emotional decision just based on how cute Flynn is — and, yes, he is an adorable puffball. Instead, do some research and consider these facts:
Bichon frisé characteristics
Bichon frisé, which is French for “fluffy white dog,” is an excellent general description for this breed that was originally bred to be pampered by French royalty.
The American Kennel Club says the breed is easy to train and has a charismatic, cheerful and curious disposition. At Westminster, Flynn put those characteristics to great use by charming the judge by holding up his paw to shake and by enthusiastically wagging his tail.
The breed alternates between short bursts of energy and cuddly, snuggle time. They are good with children and other dogs. The dogs are small, typically 12-18 pounds and have a typical life expectancy of 15 years.
Grooming the bichon frisé
Bred to be hypoallergenic, the dogs rarely shed. The bichon frisé belongs to the same family of dogs as the Maltese, Havanese, Bolognese and Coton de Tulear, but differs because the bichon frisé is the only one with a double coat.
That fluffy white cloud of a coat requires daily brushing to prevent mats and tangles and occasional professional grooming to keep it trimmed.
Grooming is critical for these small dogs. Neglected coats can easily become matted, which can lead to serious skin infections.
If left alone, the dog’s coat is long and curly. The breed’s distinctive look is created by creative hair cuts performed by professional groomers or skilled owners, according to VetStreet.com.
Acquiring a Bichon frisé
Purchasing a Bichon frisé from a breeder will cost from $250 to $2,500, with an average price of $650.
You also can adopt the dogs through either PetFinder or Small Paws Rescue, which has rescued more than 10,000 bichon frisés during the past 16 years from across the United States. The group rescues the dogs from shelters and owners who no longer can care for them.
Sara B. Hansen has spent the past 20-plus years as a professional editor and writer. She’s also the author of The Complete Guide to Cocker Spaniels. She decided to create her dream job by launching Dog’s Best Life. Sara grew up with family dogs, and since she bought her first house, she’s had a furry companion or two to help make it a home. She shares her heart and home with Nutmeg, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy. Her previous dogs: Sydney (September 2008-April 2020), Finley (November 1993-January 2008), and Browning (May 1993-November 2007). You can reach Sara @ [email protected].