The Bichon Frise is a beloved small breed of companion dog that has been popular for centuries, especially with French nobility during the 16th century. While some experts argue that the breed originated from the Canary Islands and was brought back to mainland Europe by the Italians, most records suggest that it was developed in France.
One of the reasons for the Bichon Frise’s popularity is its small size. As an adult, the breed can weigh between 10-16 pounds and be 9-12 inches long. The Bichon Frise can adapt to life in an apartment, though it thrives with outdoor space to run around, and it is considered a very happy breed, though it has a slight tendency to be vocal. The breed is intelligent and needs to have its intelligence channeled in positive ways, such as through agility or training classes. Early training can also help to teach the Bichon not to jump up and to respond to the “quiet” command, which can be helpful in reducing their tendency towards separation anxiety, a common issue for the breed.
While small breeds tend to reach maturity and stop growing sooner than larger breeds, Bichon Frises will typically be fully grown by the time they reach about 9 to 10 months, though some may continue growing until they reach 12 months. The breed has a typical lifespan of 12 to 15 years and is considered a senior when it reaches the age of between 7 and 10 years, though individual dogs may age differently.
Several factors can affect the Bichon Frise’s size, including genetics, diet, health, and age. While some factors, such as genetics and age, cannot be changed, owners can impact their Bichon’s size by providing a healthy and balanced diet and maintaining good general health through vet check-ups and care.
Bichon Frises typically require between a half and a whole cup of good-quality dry kibble every day. If owners find their Bichon gaining weight, adjusting the feeding schedule and moving to a diet food that meets the breed’s dietary requirements but contains fewer calories may be necessary. Additionally, the raw food diet has become increasingly popular, though it requires careful research and measurement to ensure proper nutrition.
Measuring a Bichon Frise’s height and weight regularly can help owners ensure their pet is meeting the expected size standards for the breed. To measure height, use a tape measure and measure from the floor to the withers, and to measure weight, use scales or weigh yourself holding the dog.
In conclusion, the Bichon Frise is a popular and beloved companion dog breed that makes an excellent pet for those looking for a small, happy, and intelligent dog. With proper training, care, and attention to their diet and general health, Bichon Frises can live long, healthy, and happy lives with their owners.