The Dog Behind the Fluff: Meet the Bichon Frise

Carrie Pallardy
 
 
With its white fluffy coat, the Bichon Frise is one of the most recognizable lap dog breeds. The French name of the breed roughly translates to “curly-haired lap dog.” And the name couldn’t be more apt. But, don’t let that fluffy coat fool you. There is plenty of history and personality behind the fluff. Meet the Bichon Frise.
 

A Noble Lineage

The breed name has the ring of nobility, and these dogs have, in fact, been favored by royals over the course of their long history. European nobility as early as the 13th century had an affinity for Bichon Frises, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). The dogs found homes with royals in Italy, France, and Spain. You can even spot them in formal paintings.
 
While the French Revolution had a sweeping impact on the noble way of life, the Bichon Frise managed to adapt. Many of these small white dogs became circus performers, according to the AKC. Today, these pups remain consummate performers and lap warmers.
 

Lap Dog Proportions

 
The Bichon Frise may look larger than it is thanks to that voluminous coat, but the breed only weights seven to 12 pounds, according to The Spruce Pets. These spritely canines typically live up to 14 or 15 years.
 
The term “lap dog” suggests a low maintenance pet who loves to lounge. While the Bichon does fit that bill, owners do need to do a fair amount of maintenance to keep their dog’s coat in good condition. Their lovely white coats do very little shedding but a lot of growing. Bichon Frises need to be brushed multiple times a week, and they need trims about once a month, according to the AKC.
 

The Bichon Personality

Bichons have energetic personalities. They are affectionate and eager to play. Their small size makes them good companions for people with smaller living spaces and children. Though always up for playtime, the breed also lives up to their lapdog reputation with a love for cuddling with their human companions. Though small, keep in mind that a Bichon still needs to be properly trained and socialized.
 

Adding a Bichon to the Family

 
Bichons are a popular breed, which means you can find a number of breeders in the U.S. You can also connect with rescue groups, like the Wisconsin-based Bichon & Little Buddies Rescue, to give a home to a lapdog in need.
 
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