The Bichon Frise is a purebred pup and with their black eyes and fluffy white coat, the Bichon looks almost like a child’s toy but they’re known to be great furry friends, because they’re such a cheerful, small dog breed with a love of mischief and a lot of love to give… it makes them a great choice for any home.
Although often mistaken for white poodles, Bichons are actually a specific breed to themselves.
The largest of this breed is barely a foot in height, but despite their size, they’re not classified as a Toy breed by the American Kennel Club which sometimes surprises people!
Bichons are always white (although puppies may be cream or pale yellow), with black eyes and black noses. Their arched necks give them a proud, confident look, while their well-plumed tails curve gracefully over their backs. It is this overall look that makes them beautiful dogs but can cause issues when it comes to care and grooming and keeping that white fur looking picture perfect at all times.
The Bichon Frise is a double-coated breed although their fur can also be classified as curly/wooly because of its texture and, as we said, it is always white. The soft and dense undercoat and coarse outer coat combine to create a soft but substantial texture giving them lots of enviable body. The coat stands away from the body, giving it a powder-puff appearance. The most popular trim for a Bichon follows the lines of the dog’s body, leaving the coat long enough to give him the signature “poufy” look especially around the face where you can create that ‘halo’ of soft, white fur.
Bichons have a reputation for not shedding, which is why they are recommended for people with allergies although this is not exactly true. All creatures with hair shed but on the Bichon the hair that has been shed is caught up in the undercoat instead of falling off so this dead hair needs to be removed with regular grooming (or brushing) because otherwise matting and tangling can occur.
There’s no easy way to say this but the Bichon Frise breed – whilst adorable – is high-maintenance when it comes to grooming! They need care and attention and a lot of time put aside for both grooming and bathing. A Bichon should be brushed at least twice a week, if not more and bathed whenever they get dirty or you have no hope of maintaining that gorgeous white colour. If you are bathing your Bichon make sure that you remove matting and tangles before you do so or the water will solidify these making them impossible to deal with.
A lot of Bichon fur parents will take their dog’s to a professional groomer every four to six weeks for a bath, brush, haircut, nail trimming, and ear cleaning but it is possible to do it yourself with some practice and at home ‘training’ using tutorials you can find online.
Keeping a Bichon’s face clean and trimmed is important for health as well as looks. Gunk, discharge and tears from the eyes tend to accumulate in the hair that grows around the eyes because of it’s length and eye problems can result if you don’t clean the area regularly. In addition to any eye problems the fluid and debris on the fur can cause the red-brown eye stains you often see in light or white coloured dogs leaving your beautiful Bichon looking miserable or unkempt (which we all know isn’t true)
Because Bichons are prone to a number of eye diseases, it’s best to have your vet check your dog if tear staining becomes a problem. In addition to this, Bichons are prone to blocked or small tear ducts, eyelashes that grow toward the eyeball, or eyelids that turn inward and cause the lashes to rub against the eye because of their size. Your vet will be able to determine if any of these conditions, or something else, is causing tear stains but if it’s nothing worrying and it is just a case of natural tearing and staining then Happy Tears is a great solution for treating these marks and ensuring that your pooches perfect fur is whiter than ever.
Don’t forget good dental care and make sure that you’re cleaning your Bichon’s teeth at least two or three times a week, we sell some great bamboo toothbrushes with natural anti-bacterial properties that can help with this job.
Nails should be trimmed once or twice a month (if they don’t wear them down naturally). This is to prevent painful cuts and other problems. A good rule of thumb is that if you can hear them clicking on the floor, they’re too long.
As with any dog you should begin acclimatising them to being handled – for grooming and care purposes when they’re a puppy. Handle their paws frequently, stroke around eyes, look inside his mouth. The more they get used to it early on the easier it will be for you (and your groomer) long term!
Finally, it’s important to note that grooming serves a dual purpose, as you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. This will allow you spot potential health problems early so you can get them treated by a vet.
And above all enjoy you Bichon bundle of joy! Here at Young Woofians we love all dogs but have to admit that we have a special soft spot for these furry friends!
As ever, if you have any questions about how to apply Happy Tears or other staining problems that your dog has, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we’d be happy to help.