Bichon Frise, the French lap dog

First off, this was the first dog I ever owned and the breed has a special place in my heart. I named him Leo because that was his astrological sign.  I was a little kid when I got him. He was the most loving dog I ever had and he lived 17 great years and I couldn’t have asked for a better breed to introduce me to the amazing world of pet ownership and animal companionship.  My mom and little sister are both severely allergic to dogs and cats, so a hypoallergenic pet was a must. Previously I had only owned fish and occasionally raised caterpillars into butterflies, so this was a huge step for my parents trusting me with responsibility.


Generally weighing between 12 and 18 pounds, the Bichon Frise has an average life expectancy of 13 to 14 years. This breed is small, loving, and most importantly, hypoallergenic. This breed has hair, like a human, rather than fur and is ideal for a single owner or a family.  They are generally friendly and don’t look at strangers as such, but as friends they have yet to meet. While the name sounds French and you might think that’s where this loving breed originated, They actually come from Spain. The French took the breed and turned it into a fun loving lap dog as the name suggests.

more on the breed


This dog doesn’t shed, but requires a lot of maintenance to keep their coast from getting knotted.  This fun loving breed needs daily brushing to get loose hair out of the coat and prevent matting. Clearly this breed is high maintenance.  The Bichon needs a bath and haircut once a month and most owners rely on professional help with their fluff ball. When you give your Bichon a bath, she needs to get dried with a towel until she is damp, then dried with a hairdryer while getting brushed.  Brushing teeth should be a daily routine with all dogs, but is something most dog owners neglect to do. Smaller dogs have a higher rate of tooth decay and should 100% get their teeth brushed each day.

more on grooming


This breed is a great first dog for anyone who doesn’t have experience owning a dog. They train very easily and are happy to learn commands and tricks to better please their owner.  As a puppy, this dog should be taken outside to go to the bathroom every few hours. To show that this is the right thing to do, bring a treat with you and give it to your dog along with verbal praise when he or she goes potty outside. This positive reinforcement will teach your dog that it’s good to “make” outside and after just a few months, will mostly stop the dog from peeing in the house. Unlike most small breeds, the Bichon usually doesn’t bark at every little noise.

Is this the right breed for you?

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