The Bichon Frise is an all-white, curly-furred lap dog that originated in the Mediterranean region. This breed is believed to be a mix of Barbet, poodle and generic white lap dog. The breed has an illustrious history. An early version, called the Barbichon, existed as early as 600 B.C. This dog accompanied Spanish sailors on trade routes throughout the Mediterranean region.


As years passed, the breed name was shortened to Bichon. During the Renaissance the Bichon became a favorite dog of French royalty. Unfortunately, the Bichon became commonplace and fell out of favor among the elite though it gained favor among the common people. Many were trained to perform tricks in traveling circuses. The French added Frise to the name to reference the breed’s soft, curly fur. From the 1930s-1970s, the Bichon Frise’s popularity rose and spread throughout Europe, to Australia, and then to the United tates. The American Kennel Club registered the breed in the non-sporting group in 1973. Today, each Bichon Frise breeder must meet the specific AKC breed standard to register dogs in competition.

The American Kennel Club has breed standard traits required for every breed of dog. For Bichon Frise to participate in AKC competition, the breed standard includes a dense undercoat of fur and a curly topcoat, seven to twelve pounds in weight and nine to twelve inches in height, is outgoing and friendly in disposition, at least ninety percent pure white fur, a black mouth and nose with brown or black expressive eyes and groomed according to the AKC standard. Competition Bichon Frise are groomed regularly and fur is full volume in appearance.

When dogs are not competing, fur is cropped in a shorter puppy cut which requires less maintenance. A Bichon Frise breeder should be able to educate potential buyers of breed standard characteristics as well as how to maintain and groom Bichon Frise. One important trait to note is that Bichon Frise fur is hypoallergenic to humans, however the Bichon Frise suffers from many skin, eye and ear allergies.

Buyers must do their research before choosing a _a_quality_BichonBichon Frise breeder. Buyers should educate themselves on the history and breed standard characteristics so that they have a general idea of what to look for and what questions to ask the breeder. Unfortunately, there are illegitimate breeders working to sell fake Bichon Frise, or worse, unhealthy Bichon Frise, to make a profit from unsuspecting buyers. A good sign of a bad breeder is one who sells Bichon Frise to pet stores. No loving breeder would ship and sell puppies like merchandise to just any consumer. A second warning sign is if the breeder is reluctant, unwilling, or unable to provide proper information of the Bichon Frise such as pedigree, medical records, and registration papers. Finally, a bad breeder will not offer any guarantee on the dog’s health or behavior.

Buyers must ask many questions to make sure they are getting a real purebred Bichon Frise. The Bichon Frise breeder, if legitimate, will also have questions for the buyer to make sure the Bichon Frise will be going to a loving, appropriate home.

  • Playful, Curious, Peppy
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 46 of 193
  • Height: 9.5-11.5 inches
  • Weight: 12-18 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 14-15 years
  • Group: Non-Sporting Group

Bichon Frise Club of America

The Bichon Frise Club is the AKC-recognized national club for the Bichon Frise in the United States of America. BFCA is the guardian of the Breed and determines the official breed conformation standard. Our members are dedicated to the responsible breeding and ownership of the Bichon Frise. We advance and protect the interest of the breed through events, education, research and rescue. If you are new to the breed, the name is pronounced “Be-shahn Freezay” which means curly lapdog.

As a companion, the Bichon Frise is unsurpassed. “A small, sturdy, white powder puff of a dog whose merry temperament is evidenced by his plumed tail carried jauntily over the back and his dark-eyed inquisitive expression.” (Official Breed Standard). Of even temperament, the Bichon is a gentle mannered, sensitive, playful and affectionate member of the family. A cheerful attitude is the hallmark of the breed and one should settle for nothing less. The Bichon is not only beautiful in the conformation ring but is active in agility, obedience, and other performance events.