Dog Breed

Bichon Frise

Fits in your backpackAdventure Driven
Primary image of Bichon Frise dog breed
Full Name
Bichon Frise
Alternate Names
Bichon Tenerife or Tenerife Dog
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Life Span
14 - 15 years
12 - 18 pounds

The Bichon Frise is intelligent, loyal, and can be a good dog for first-time owners. They have been around for a long time and have quite a history. It is said that they were particularly bred in the early days as "sailing dogs" who would be able to accompany captains and their crew on long voyages.

Bichons can do relatively well on their own when left in the home (comparatively to other dogs at least), but like to be by their owner's side whenever they are around. Because of this, in addition to their trainability, they can make very good therapy dogs. They are very friendly with both dogs and people, but are docked a couple points on child friendliness only due to the fact that they are prone to getting jealous.

The Bichon Frise is one of the most hypoallergenic dogs, so can be an excellent option for anyone who gets dog allergies. Interestingly enough, they are quite prone to allergies though, particularly on their skin.

Bred For
As a sailing dogs, sometimes as a herding dogs
Family Considerations
Child Friendly

Is the Bichon Frise good with children? Nearly all dogs enjoy playing with small children, but some can play too rough, or be a bit careless. In some cases dogs can get jealous of small children, or try and "herd" them due to their natural instincts.

Stranger Friendly

Is the Bichon Frise friendly with strangers? Getting a dog that is friendly with people really depends on what your lifestyle is. Dogs who are more cautious with strangers oftentimes make good guard dogs, which can be a great fit for some owners. If you are social, live in the city, or frequently have guests over, you may want to consider getting a stranger friendly dog.

Dog Friendly

Is the Bichon Frise friendly with other dogs? Of course this is particularly important if you already have another dog at home. However, it's an important factor to consider as well if you plan on frequently going to the dog park. Otherwise, even a dog who is not automatically friendly with other dogs can be an excellent fit, as they can still be affectionate with their human family.

Likes to Cuddle

Does the Bichon Frise like to cuddle? All dogs want love, but they have different boundaries when it comes to physical affection. If you plan on frequently having a dog on your lap or pushed up against you, then you should consider whether this breed enjoys that.


Does the Bichon Frise like to play? All puppies are playful, but as adults certain dogs are more playful. If you have children, or otherwise want to keep your dog active with plenty of play, there are plenty of options of breeds who will be happy to play all day.

Service Dog Ability

Does the Bichon Frise make a good service dog? When looking to train a service dog it's important to consider how they were historically bred, and if their personality makes a good fit. A service dog must be smart, patient, and obsessed with pleasing their owner. Working dogs are a good fits since service dog 'work' gives them a feeling of accomplishment from doing a job.

Overall Ease of Breed
Ease for Novice

Is the Bichon Frise good for first time owners? Dogs that are good for first time owners are ones who are easy to train, and are eager to please their owner. Very large dogs, or dogs with very high energy may also not be the best for first time owners since it adds a layer of complexity.

Training Potential

How well can the Bichon Frise be trained? This rating is about the training potential of the Bichon Frise. Dogs with high training potential oftentimes are good service dogs, police dogs, and dog show competition dogs. This does not necessarily mean they are the easiest to train, since many will be very intelligent and demanding.

Amount of Shedding

Does the Bichon Frise shed a lot?

Ease of Grooming

Is the Bichon Frise easy to groom?

Exercise Need

Does the Bichon Frise need a lot of exercise?


How smart is the Bichon Frise?

Amount of Barking

How much does the Bichon Frise bark? Does the Bichon Frise bark too much? It depends on your lifestyle, and where you live. Dogs use barking to communicate, keep guard, and alert. A strong bark can be a good characteristic for guard dogs, or flock guardian dogs who need to be vocal.In apartment living you should consider getting a dog who is less vocal.

Guard Dog Ability

Is the Bichon Frise a good guard dog?

Tolerates Being Alone

Is the Bichon Frise good at staying alone? Is the Bichon Frise independent?

Home and Environment Considerations
Good for Apartment Living

Is the Bichon Frise a good apartment dog? Can the Bichon Frise live in an apartment without becoming frustrated or destructive? Typically people immediately consider the size of the dog, but energy level and historical habitat are also factors.


How big is the Bichon Frise?

Tolerates Heat

How much does the Bichon Frise tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Bichon Frise?

Tolerates Cold

How much does the Bichon Frise tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Bichon Frise?

Potential to Run Away

Does the Bichon Frise try to run away? Some dogs have natural wanderlust and are escape artists... they will do everything to get out and explore.

Physical Characteristics
General Health

Is the Bichon Frise a healthy dog? The general health of a Bichon Frise should be measured not just by how many years they live, but how often they have health issues during their lives. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

Energy Level

How energetic is the Bichon Frise? Is the Bichon Frise too energetic for your lifestyle?

Amount of Drooling

How much does the Bichon Frise drool?

Prey Drive

Does the Bichon Frise have a large prey drive? Does the Bichon Frise like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals? Prey drive can be bothersome at the park, but really an issue at home if you have small animals, since this comes as a natural instinct for dogs with high prey drive, to chase cats, birds, etc.


Is the Bichon Frise atheltic? Is the Bichon Frise fast and strong?

The Bichon Frise is a purebred dog that belongs to the Bichon sub group, which falls under the larger Non-Sporting dog breed group.
Non-Sporting group: The Non-Sporting group of dogs is probably the most diverse in the sense that it has a variety of dogs, and they were not all bred for one specific purpose. Each breed in the non-sporting group is unique! They have been primarily bred as house pets, and because of that make excellent additions to the family. Exercise is still important for them, but the typical non-sporting dog does not have the energy of of a sporting or working group dog.
Bichon sub-group: Bichons are typically small white dogs that were previously known as Barbichon dogs. Bichon's are a very ancient dog breed, and originate from Spain, presumably from the Canary Islands. It wasn't until the 13th century that they started being associated with royalty... a reputation that still holds today! Bichons need to be frequently groomed, but the result will be an absolutely royal looking dog. Bichons have a hypoallergenic coat, which is smooth to the touch, making them even more of a perfect lap dog. Bichons are adaptable and friendly with children and dogs. They are focused and proud, so can make decent guard dogs. They are the ideal city dogs because of their size, confidence, and swag. On top of all of this, the Bichon can be trained fairly easily, making them an excellent option for first time dog owners.

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