YES! They are!
If you have allergies specifically triggered by dogs, and you’re looking for a lively but small, non-shedding dog, the Bichon Frise is a breed you should seriously consider.
This little bundle of puppy-love has a wooly coat (not actual wool at all, though!) and each Bichon Frise brims with personality and charm. And those big appealing eyes? Simply irresistible!
These little guys are excellent family pets and they adapt equally well to apartments and big houses. They’re naturally active little dogs, so daily walks and regular cuddles are a must.
They love and crave companionship, so while leaving them alone for short while is perfectly fine, they tend to suffer from separation anxiety if you disappear for long periods. And remember, we’re using doggy-time here!
The Bichon Frise doesn’t shed and regular grooming will help keep your doggie-related allergies in check.
This breed is also wonderful If you’ve never owned a dog before. They’re SO easy and delightful to raise. But they’re smart as a whip, so they do need to be stimulated. They love been given direction, and this makes them easy to house train.
More about the Bichon Frise breed
What do they look like?
These hypoallergenic pups have puffed-out, fury, white coats – one of their trademarks. They’re ultimately soft and cuddly, but they’re not a toy breed like the toy poodle.
When you look at them, their features are well-balanced. Toy or dwarfish dogs often have stubby snouts, and their ears, nose, and eyes can seem a little out of proportion.
Not so with the Bichon Frise. They’re beautifully proportioned, and their fluffy tails, which they typically carry in a curl over their backs, wag constantly. You’d be forgiven for thinking this is the way the little dog actually propels itself forward!
What about their coat and shedding?
The coat of the Bichon Frise has two layers, and it is low-dander and virtually non-shedding.
Note – they do shed some, but then, so do we as human beings. Skin cells die and new hairs appear on our body as the old ones fall out. In our human lives, we don’t pay this much attention, because this bodily debris simply washes away when we shower or bath.
In the case of the Bichon Frise, the hair that falls out is little, and it is contained by the dog’s coat, rather than spreading to your clothes or furniture. Regular brushing is all that is needed to keep these little guys allergy-friendly.
What do they weigh?
Typically, a Bichon Frise stands around 10 inches at the shoulder and weighs around 10 pounds. But don’t let the small size fool you. They have a BIG personality! And they’re capable of HUGE fun and infinite love and affection.
Are they good around people?
This is really a cheery little fellow or gal. They’re clever as anything. And if you like cuddles, so do they! And they’ll charm their way out of any crisis, so beware!
They’re really a dog that loves and cares for humans – so they have a propensity for separation anxiety. They shouldn’t be left to their own devices for long periods.
Apartment living suits them to a tee, and they quickly become a kid’s best friend. They’re just perfectly sized for little children, they adore attention, and they’re clever enough to quickly become a part of innovative fun.
Are they good guard dogs?
Most people think of a guard dog as a large German Shepard or a Doberman. But they forget that an early-warning system can be equally effective. And that is precisely what the Bichon Frise is in the security department.
In general, they’re not known for excessive barking, but they will make their presence known with a soprano yap. This is what you’ll hear when it sees someone it doesn’t know.
That said, they love to meet new people, and when introduced by their owner, they quickly become a part of the company and conversation.
Do they require a lot of attention?
These guys are smart, so they need stimulation. Otherwise, they’ll get up to mischief. But they really are one of the easiest breeds to train.
Because they’re clever, they respond well to rules and boundaries. The challenge is often getting all family members to reinforce those boundaries by sticking to them! If you can get that right, the Bichon Frise will slip seamlessly into its role as a canine family member.
Walk them regularly, and get them used to walk with you. If you leave them alone outside, be warned – they love to meander and explore. They could end up miles away from home before you or they realize!
It’s important to emphasize again that these little guys just don’t like being left on their own. If you don’t have a lifestyle where you can commit to a regime of daily walks and oodles of cuddles, a dog walker could do that for you.
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Their separation anxiety is very real, and an enormous emotional discomfort for the pup. The emotional distress, combined with their intelligence, may cause them to become destructive and barky if they feel deserted.
Make sure you have a wide selection of chew toys available at all times – you’ll be surprised how many little games these pups can devise with these toys all on their own.
Always remember – dogs are originally pack animals. And that is still an instinctive trait with them. If you’re really busy, getting a second Bichon Frise may well be an answer. It will escalate the games, and vastly reduce the dog’s loneliness.
How about exercise?
Long hikes or runs aren’t necessary. But adequate exercise is. If you live in a house, a yard is a great place for the dog to stretch its legs, especially if you play with it for an hour a day.
They do love walks – specifically because they get to explore. A 30-minute walk every day will give you the time to unwind, and the dog the time to recharge!
And, it’s fantastic bonding time anyway!
Because of their super-intelligence and their natural agility, these little guys are excellent candidates for agility training. This in itself is highly stimulating for the dog – and probably for you too!
A training situation like this is brilliant for socializing your pup with other dogs and people.
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Aren’t grooming and care a pain with that wooly coat?
A proper grooming routine is essential to prevent dull and matted hair. In addition, you’d need to have the coat clipped around every six weeks. It’s perfectly possible to do this yourself, and if you’re unsure about how there are plenty of videos on YouTube that will show you.
If you don’t want to go on that specific adventure, you can always use a professional groomer to save you time and trouble.
Tear stains under doggie eyes often develop with small white dogs. If you spot these, don’t be alarmed. Simply remove them with a damp cloth or moist paper towel.
Hypoallergenic, oatmeal-based doggie shampoos are best for bathing your pup. Their skins are sensitive, so make sure you don’t overdo the bathing. Under normal circumstances, once a week is ample.
And they come with allergies of their own. The saliva of fleas causes major allergic reactions in these pups, so make sure you have a preventative regime firmly in place. A flea collar, as well as a topical application, and even oral prophylaxis is essential.
Do I brush their teeth and clip their nails?
Nail trimming is just good practice. And cleaning the dog’s ears – ditto.
If you brush their teeth twice or thrice a week, it can prevent tartar buildup and gum disease, much like in humans. Again, if you’re unsure how to do that, there are plenty of fun instructional videos available to teach you. And, btw, these teeth brushing sessions are great for bonding too!
To add to the dental health regime, chewing on things is a natural way dogs clean and maintain their own dental health. Bones are great for this.
Are they generally healthy dogs?
Absolutely. They have some allergies, like flea saliva, and they can develop teeth and gum issues as they grow older, but then, so do we! Proper care and diet will sort these issues in a hurry.
Because of their thick coats, mold and pollen can become an issue during summer in certain areas. The same with excess humidity. If they do develop an allergic reaction to a seasonal environmental trigger, your vet will recommend a diet and treatment to prevent further discomfort.
These doggies can also be sensitive to things like grains, chicken, cornmeal, and gluten. Even soy! It’s not always so for all pups, but it has been noted. When these sensitivities are triggered, the dog will indicate by scratching and biting at their own skin, and you may even see patches of pink skin where some of the fur has been scratched or licked out.
A change to better-quality dog food is often all that is required to solve the issue.
A parting shot
Bichons are a popular hypoallergenic breed. Bear this in mind when you consider getting one. You may end up on a waiting list at a breeder, but GUARANTEED, the wait will be worth your while.
The Bichons are non-shedding, and they will love you with the kind of passion you’ll never experience from a human being – totally, 100% unconditional!
If you’re expecting, or if you have a newborn in your family, Bichons are also brilliant pets. Again, they don’t shed, and they’re naturally clean. With a little help from your bathing and brushing routine, they’re completely baby-safe.
Remember, when you’re getting a dog, you’re embarking on a relationship. If you feel that the Bichon Frise is not for you, there are plenty of other hypoallergenic breeds to choose from. Don’t feel pressured. Make sure you and the pup are the perfect match.