two curious bichon frise puppy dogs, one looking at the camera and one sniffing around

Bichon Frise

Breed Characteristics

Requires human companionship and should not spend long hours alone; requires a lot of attention. This outgoing trait also means that Bichons can behave well when in the company of other dogs and pets.

Is the Bichon Frise approved as a pet in a Singapore HDB flat?



France or Tenerife (Canary Islands of Spain), 1300s. The Bichon Frise is a descendent of the Barbet Water Spaniel and the Poodle. The Spanish sailors were responsible for the Bichon's presence all over the world, as they often traded the dog on their voyages. The Bichon Frise became a popular pet in the French royal residences in the 16th century. In the 19th century, it became common to see the Bichon perform tricks in a circus. Today, the Bichon Frise is mostly kept as a companion and show dog.

Original Purpose

Companion (the word “bichon” is French for “lapdog”); performing dogs. The Bichon Frise is used as a watchdog and to perform tricks.

Behaviour and Temperament

The Bichon is often described as independent, bold, lively, affectionate. Hardly a barker, though Quincy is a fine howler.

What are some Physical Features of the Bichon Frise?

Bichons average 23 to 28cm tall; and weighs from 3 to 5.5kg. Adult Bichons are always white, but puppies up to 18 months old can have traces of buff, cream, or apricot.

Coat Type and Recommended Grooming

Fluffy, fine, and somewhat silkier than a Poodle’s, although it has Poodle-like curls that are best groomed with a slicker brush; outer coat coarser and curlier. Very high maintenance; the Bichon requires grooming every day, even for a pet coat. Frequent bathing is important, and eyes need special care. Professional grooming is recommended every 4 weeks for a show coat. Does not shed, but dead hair from undercoat must be combed out to prevent mats and hot spots.

Life Expectancy of the Bichon Frise

The life expectancy of the Bichon Frise is between 13 to 15 years.

Have a Bichon Frise?

Health Concerns

Skin problems (allergies), ear infections, eye problems, bladder stones, patellar luxation. The Bichon also benefits from a different vaccination protocol than is common for most breeds.

Exercise Needs

Low. Gets along on only a little exercise such as a daily walk. Play usually takes care of much of the Bichon Frise' exercise needs.


Ideal in any situation; suited for apartment life. Can be active in the house.


They are naturally sociable and are happiest when they are part of a family that includes it in their activities. Excellent with older kids, but a few may be too sensitive for toddlers. Friendly to strangers.


High; This breed is competitive and obedient, excellent at picking up tricks. Some Bichons may have housetraining problems.

Recommended Activities

Obedience, agility, therapy dog.

Bichon Frise Dog Club / Communities in Singapore

There is a growing community of Bichon Frise lovers in Singapore. They can be found in the Bichon Frise Club of Singapore facebook group.