Bichon Frisé (BEE-shawn FREE-zay)

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Small and sturdy, the French name couldn’t suit this little perky face any better! Sailors originally found these dogs on the island of Tenerife fell for their charms and took them back to France. With black button eyes and fluffy white hair, they are often mistaken for Poodles but this cheerful furry fella has its own history to tell.

Pampered to the extreme during the French king’s era, this clownish baby doll face was then employed as a circus dog in the 19th Century and found himself depicted in many of Goya’s artworks. Thankfully the circus days are now over, but this bubbly little pooch still deserves attention so read our round-up below about this super-friendly breed. 

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Ideal member of the family

He’s pretty easy to live with: always happy, loves snuggling into laps, playing games and perching on the top of the sofa to peer out of the window. His demeanour is affectionate and gentle but might yapp their pleasure at the attention of a visitor. Warning: no humans will resist their charming personality. However, due to their family-focused attitude they often hate to be alone and can suffer from separation anxiety so is not a breed for people planning on being out of the house a lot.   

Keep it fun!

They are extrovert, full of confidence, with eyes gleaming of intelligence and of course thrive on being the centre of attention. While they don’t need much outdoor exercise compared to some breeds (though they enjoy it!) this solid and sassy dog is rather keen on mental stimulation and can easily get bored – so be prepared for lots of playtime!

Go bold on training

They delight in learning tricks and canine sports. Because he is cute and small - the biggest Bichon Frisé barely reaches a foot in height - you might be tempted to overprotect your Bichon, but don’t!  Yes you may have heard it all before but early socialisation is key, as you wouldn’t like them to become timid and anxious. So avoid carrying them everywhere and let them have a good run around with other dogs – they still enjoy a game of chase with their canine buddies!

Grab a brush!

Grooming is a must! The Bichon Frisé coat is unique, although his signature is a fuzzy and soft white coat; puppies may be born in apricot and cream hues. Future owners, remember: the glam look does require a lot of grooming. If you want a hassle-free furry friend the Bichon Frisé might not be for you as they can’t really be kept au naturel!

They can be prone to skin problems and allergies, so caring for his coat is important in keeping dirt away and skin healthy. In general they enjoy baths and brushing – minimum twice a week. And because they don’t shed like other breeds, Bichons are often well-suited for people with allergies – though this is never guaranteed.

Not set on a particular breed and wish to meet many more beauties?  Then come and get a doggy fix and find out more about all the wonderful breeds at Crufts 2016.

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