Dog Profiles: Bichon Frise


  • The Bichon Frise is one of a short number of breeds to be hypoallergenic.
  • This breed is classified in the “nonsporting group” of dog breeds and not, as many might expect, in the “toy dog group.”
  • The average height of a Bichon Frise  is just under one foot — standing about nine to eleven inches tall.
  • Their average weight is between seven to twelve pounds.
  • The life expectancy of the Bichon Frise is between twelve and fifteen years.
  • The name comes from the French. Frise essentially means “curly” or “curled,” and Bichon comes from Middle French and means “small long-haired dog” because bichon is the diminutive of biche (essentially similar to the word for a female dog.)
  • The breed originated in Spain and Belgium and were bred via the combination of Poodles and Barbets with the Tenerife.
  • The Bichon Frise was a favorite of royals in the Valois and Bourbon houses during the sixteenth century. They were considered to be beauty accessories as they could be adorned with bows and baubles and were kept in baskets that ladies would wear around their necks. The French verb infinitive Bichonner meant “to decorate or adorn” in respect to these princely pups. Later, during the reign of Louis XIV, the Bichon Frise became the preferred canine of the aristocracy (perhaps because they were so easy to carry around.)
  • The Bichon Frise first came to the States in 1956 by way of a French family moving to Michigan.
  • Even though they were bred from poodles, the Bichon Frise hates water.
  • The breed was often used to barter goods by Spanish sailors in the 1500’s; many people had not encountered the charming dog, and it is because of these trade negotiations that the beed exists in several European styles.