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A Bichon Frisé (French, literally Curly lap dog; often spelled Bichon Frise in English) is a small breed of dog. They are popular pets, similar to but larger than the Maltese. They are very intelligent and generally have happy dispositions.
The well-bred bichon frise is gentle mannered, sensitive, playful and affectionate. A cheerful attitude is a prominate hallmark of the breed.Most Bichons inherently enjoy sociality with people and other dogs, and are best when there is a lot of activity around them. People who are considering keeping a bichon frise as a pet should know that these dogs are smart and playful, but require a great amount of human attention. They're happiest when they are the complete center of attention.
Longer than it is tall, the bichon frise is an agile breed with a merry disposition. The front legs are straight and consist of medium bone, while the hindquarters offer muscular thighs. The tight, round feet are cat-like with black pads. The round, dark eyes offer an inquisitive and alert, yet soft expression. The drop ears are covered with long hair. The black nose is quite prominent, and the teeth meet in a scissors bite. The bichon has a long, arched neck that blends nicely into the shoulders. The plumed tail curves over the back. The gait of this breed is best described as precise, yet free and effortless. The coat of the bichon is a very important attribute of the breed. It consists of a soft, dense undercoat and a coarse, curly outer coat. The bichon frise is white, but at times shades of apricot, buff, or cream may be found around the ears.
Playful and full of energy, the bichon frise is a delightful addition to the family. A friendly, outgoing dog, it will welcome strangers, and it loves children. This breed will also do well with other family pets, including other dogs. Sensitive and affectionate, this little dog loves to play and cuddle, and it thoroughly enjoys spending time with its family. Some may have a tendency to bark a lot. While this breed is usually easy to train because of its easy-going temperament, it may be difficult to housebreak. Because of its popularity in the 1980s, over-breeding occurred. So it is important to find a reputable breeder when looking to obtain a bichon frise. This will help to ensure that you get a dog with the best personality traits.
Care must be taken to keep the face of a Bichon Frisé clean and trimmed, as eye discharge and mucus tend to accumulate in the hair that grows in front of their eyes, which can lead to serious problems. Furthermore, Bichon owners must take care to thoroughly clean their dog's hind (anal) area with a damp cloth after each bowel movement, as the breed's curly hair will quickly tangle in an environment of dried excrement. You should always try to brush their hair daily, but if that is not possible, at least 2-3 times a week. The hair will puff up if groomed correctly, and their tails curl over their back. This breed is also prone to knots in their hair. As a result, it is important to remove any hair tangles prior to shampooing a bichon. If not, more tangles may develop resulting in matting.
The Bichon lives around about 13-16 yrs. Primary health problems consistent with this breed include bladder infections, bladder stones, and subluxating kneecaps. Bichons are especially prone to allergies and ear infections.
Bichons originate in the Mediterranean region (possibly the Canary Islands), and were bred as lap dogs for the French royalty. They were originally called the Bichon Tenerife. The dogs ended up on the streets during the French Revolution, where they were caught and trained to be circus dogs. But their earliest origins are traced to the African subcontinent.
The Bichon was brought to the United States in 1955 and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1973.
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