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Perhaps you have already fallen in love with the bichon frise’s dark, soulful eyes or their friendly grin. Maybe you have already decided you absolutely need to add these adorable and comical little characters to your household. Else you already have a Bichon, and you feel it’s time to get another.
Now only one question remains, should you get a male or a female Bichon?
Does It Matter Which Gender Bichon Frise You Get?
While there is a big difference between the genders in many dog breeds, this is not the case with the bichon frise. However, that doesn’t mean gender doesn’t matter. For instance, if you already have a female, you may want to get a male to prevent any chance of fighting. This is because bichons frises of opposite genders usually get along better than those of the same gender.
However, while gender may make more of a difference in other breeds, it is less so for the Bichon. Physically, males and females are very similar. In terms of temperament, many say males are slightly more happy-go-lucky and attached. At the same time, some report that females can be a bit more aloof and moody, but this simply isn’t always the case.
Bichons are individuals, and their personalities will differ according to what makes them unique rather than their gender. Therefore, gender might not matter as much as your personal preference and a Bichon’s individual temperament.
Bichon Frise Male vs. Female: A Detailed Comparison
With all that said, there are still important differences to consider when choosing your bichon frise’s gender. As such, let’s dive into the topic deeper by comparing the two in regards to a number of factors.
There is no noteworthy difference in the appearance of bichon frise males and females. Both male and female bichon frise grow to between 9.5 and 11.5 inches at the withers and weigh between 12 and 18 pounds.
Both male and female bichon frises usually have a completely white, cream, buff, or apricot coat. They are low shedders, making them a good choice for allergy sufferers. Males and females also have dark brown or black eyes and always have a prominent, black nose. They both need a considerable amount of grooming to keep their coat from matting and to stay clean. They are both relatively high maintenance.
The only real difference in their appearance is that males are usually a bit bigger than females and carry themselves “more regally.”
Healthy males and female bichon frises alike usually live to around the age of fifteen. In fact, the bichon is considered to be one of the healthiest small dog breeds. Still, a good breeder will screen breeding candidates for allergies, bladder infections, luxating patellas, cataracts, and other potential health concerns.
Unfortunately, the female bichon frise is as much as four times more likely to develop patellar luxation or a dislocating kneecap. However, both genders are susceptible to common eye conditions such as cataracts and gum disease.
As they reach a more mature age, a bichon frise may experience common health problems like osteoarthritis and various forms of dysplasia. However, the latter is far rarer in small dogs.
A healthy, balanced diet, exercise, and keeping a healthy weight will keep your bichon aging gracefully. Another important thing for that will be keeping up with their grooming, clipping their nails, and regularly cleaning their teeth and ears.
Here again, there is very little documented difference between males and females in the bichon frise. However, anecdotal evidence has it that males are sometimes more playful and more attached to their owners. Some also say that the females are a little more dignified and wary of strangers. Still, aside from this, they share the majority of their personality traits and temperament. They usually get on just fine with other dogs and even cats, and are considered good pets for older children.
The bichon is known to snap at younger children, although this is a risk with almost any dog breed. However, they should be okay with strangers, given they have been properly socialized. Most owners attest to the bichon frise being a delightful companion dog. However, they often struggle with separation anxiety. They are ill-suited to families and individuals with busy schedules that often leave the dogs home alone.
Ultimately, while some bichon frise males may be a bit more outgoing, playful, and attached than their female littermates, this will not always be the case. Plenty of bichon frise females will be just as confident and loving. They will also have the same drive to play.
Therefore, when choosing a puppy, look at the puppy’s individual temperament first. Are they shy or outgoing? Are they playful or sleepy? This will tell you more about the bichon than the gender on its own.
Both male and female bichon frise are brilliant. Unfortunately, this intelligence is often used to manipulate their owner into getting what they want. They can quickly learn to use specific behavior to get the response they want from you. This makes training a bichon equal parts daunting and rewarding.
They can learn complex behaviors and “tricks” very quickly but have been known to be difficult to housebreak. Of course, gender can affect how easy they are to housebreak.
For instance, female bichon’s are more likely to develop urinary tract infections (UTIs), which can cause them to pee inside. At the same time, an unneutered male bichon may choose to “scent mark” his territory. Both genders have tiny bladders, and this needs to be taken into account as well.
Aside from being intelligent, both the male and female bichon frise are adept at problem-solving. This level of intelligence requires sufficient stimulation. If a bichon frise becomes bored, they are quick to learn problematic behaviors.
Bichon Frise Male vs. Female: Which Should You Get as a Pet?
With little real difference between the male and female bichon frises, both make for equally good pets. They are ideal for those looking for a full-time companion. They are very playful, but their gentle nature and low exercise requirements do not exclude owners who can’t manage a more active breed.
The female is slightly smaller in terms of appearance and may be cuter for those who find tiny dogs adorable. At the same time, the proud bearing of the bigger male can be equally charming.
Some say the males are more confident, playful, and devoted. But this is not universal, and owners of females will attest to how attached and fun their little girls can be. In the end, every bichon frise is an individual, and their personality does not hinge on their gender.
Male or female, the bichon frise is the perfect companion for many.
Ultimately, the question of choosing between a male or a female will come down to three key points:
- The genders of any existing dogs as it’s generally better to get the opposite gender of what you already have.
- Your personal preference.
- The personality and health of the individual puppy you are looking to adopt.
- Whether you potentially want more puppies – a female bichon frise can get pregnant after all.