The Bichon FrisÃ© is a small, white, lapdog; it is a very popular and intelligent pet. The Bichon FrisÃ© descended from the Poodle, Water Spaniel, and a small white dog which existed in the Mediterranean as far back as 600 B.C. At one point in the breed’s history it was a working Spanish boat dog. It was used to greet weary travelers on boats to make them feel more comfortable.
The fur of the Bichon is white, sometimes with an accent of cream, apricot or buff shading. The outercoat is curly and the undercoat is soft and dense. Its eyes are very dark, as is the skin surrounding the eyes, the nose and the lips.
The Bichon FrisÃ© does not shed and is therefore suitable for some people with allergies. This does not mean they are a low-maintenance breed. The Bichon, on the contrary, is very high-maintenance and requires regular grooming. For more ease in grooming, the Bichon may be kept in a “puppy cut” which is shorter and requires less time to groom. The Bichon should be professionally groomed at least four times a year, and should be accustomed to grooming from a very young age. The fur on the face of the Bichon should be kept trimmed and clean. The Bichon is prone to allergies and skin problems, and therefore needs consistent grooming.
The Bichon FrisÃ© is cheerful, playful and social. The breed is known to have sudden bursts of energy often causing them to run around in circles. The Bichon can be stubborn, but is usually patient and playful; it is generally friendly around children and non-family members.
The Bichon has an average lifespan of about 12.2 years. The breed is often affected by autoimmune hemolytic anemia and immune-mediated thrombocytopenia. These two diseases are responsible for many premature Bichon deaths, and therefore Bichon owners should be aware of symptoms. With autoimmune hemolytic anemia, symptoms include weakness, energy-loss, vomiting, diarrhea, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, loss of appetite, dark urine and pale or yellow gums. Thrombocytopenia often goes hand-in-hand with autoimmune hemolytic anemia, and symptoms of this disease are hemorrhages of the skin and mucus membranes.