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Bichon frise is a small breed that comes with plenty of love and a playful personality. If you love the fluffy look of this dog, you might be considering buying or adopting one for you and your family.
This article looks at all of the pros and cons of this breed that should make it easier for you to make the final choice of whether or not to get one.
9 Bichon Frise Pros
Let’s start with the pros.
1. Not Much Shedding
Compared to many other breeds, bichons frises do not shed much. Although they have a double-layered coat, the hairs that fall get trapped in the fur. If you dislike shedding, this pooch can be an excellent dog for your needs. Unlike other breeds, you do not need to worry about loose hairs or clumps around your home.
Another benefit of their non-shedding coat is that bichons frises are often highly recommended for people with allergies. However, keep in mind that not everyone reacts the same to different allergens, so you should contact your doctor before making this choice. It is also an excellent idea to spend some time with a bichon frise before adopting one to see how you feel.
3. Long-Term Companion
Many dogs live about ten years, but the playful, cute bichon can reach more than 15 years. This life expectancy makes the pup ideal if you want a companion for the long term. You can adopt a pup and make sure you train them, so you will have a dependable best friend for nearly two decades.
4. Ideal for Small Homes
Bichons frises are one of the best companions for you if you live in an apartment or a small house. This is because the fluffy bichon is quite adaptable, behaves well indoors, and can quickly get along with other dogs (and even cats) and become friends with other family members.
5. Friendly and Loving with the Entire Family
Some breeds tend to form a strong bond only with their owner or exhibit preferences for a certain family member while treating others with less interest. On the other hand, the bichon frise is able to show lots of love to all of your family members, including humans and other pets.
Even though being kid-friendly depends on each dog’s personality, bichons are generally good and gentle with the small members of the family too. Make sure you also teach your children how to treat the pup to avoid stressing the pet or even causing your bichon to snap at the little ones.
The small bichon frise is extremely curious and alert. It will keep you informed whenever someone is at the door, when you receive your mail, and even when your neighbors are around. However, the bichon frise is not an aggressive breed, so it is excellent if you want an enthusiast buddy who’s always watching out for you.
7. Easy to Train
Bichons frises are extremely smart, so training can be done easily as long as you praise your pup and offer some treats. These dogs can be taught nearly any trick out there, but make sure you keep each training session quite short, different, and entertaining. You should start training before your pup is six months old to avoid stubbornness.
8. Very Affectionate
Bichons are extremely affectionate dogs. They will follow you everywhere you go, and they want to be with you at all times. These traits make them excellent pups for older people or therapy dogs, thanks to their affectionate, loving nature.
9. Ideal for First-Time Pet Owners
Bichons are known as major people pleasers! You do not need to have much experience as a pet owner to make sure your pup is healthy and happy. It’s a great choice to opt for professional training initially to make sure that your puppy has good manners; after that, these pups are extremely lovable and cuddly, trying to make you happy all the time!
All in all, bichons frises are great for first-time owners.
6 Bichon Frise Cons
While there’s no doubt that bichons frise are great dogs, just like any other breeds, they also come with some cons. Here’s the six most common of them.
1. Very Sensitive
This pooch is extremely loving and playful, so it can make for an excellent companion if you can offer lots of time and attention. However, all it takes from you to break its heart is a bad look.
This breed may not be well-suited for assertive owners or other members of your household, especially if you have a noisy environment in your home, such as frequent parties or an unsteady routine. In this case, you may want to consider a more resilient breed, such as the Pekingese.
2. Requires Much Time and Attention
If you have a busy lifestyle, your fluffy bichon frise will likely suffer from anxiety. In some cases, these pups start panicking when they are left alone, which means that they might adopt a destructive behavior. It is best to leave your dog with another family member when you are not home to avoid anxiety and consequent behaviors, such as chewing, barking, and others.
3. Very Active
Despite the small size of the breed, bichons are extremely active and need plenty of exercise. The owner or family members must take the pup out daily to keep it healthy and happy. They love running and playing games, so it’s recommended to have a backyard where they can fulfill their activity needs, or you should be able to take them to a dog-friendly park regularly.
4. High Maintenance
As briefly mentioned above, bichons frises require plenty of attention and care. Although the breed does not shed as much as others, regular grooming is a must. After all, there are multiple bichon frise haircuts that can make your dog look adorable. Most bichon owners prefer to take their pups to a professional groomer to wash them, cut their nails, check their ears, and keep the fur short and free of tangles.
All bichons come with a pure white, fluffy coat and black eyes. You should be prepared to care for them extensively as these pups suffer from tear stains that might not be treatable. Most people find the rust-colored stains quite unpleasant. Causes might differ, including allergies, irritants, such as eyelashes rubbing against the eye, or blocked tear ducts.
In some cases, such as allergies, tear stains are seasonal. In other cases, tear stains might not be treatable and are permanent. Regardless, it would help if you spent time ensuring your pup is always comfortable by keeping the facial hair short and well-trimmed. You can also use a product for tear stains, but do not use antibiotics – simply because the tear stains are unsightly does not mean that you should overmedicate your pup.
5. Health Problems
Due to the adorable nature of the breed, many owners would tend to overfeed them with plenty of treats. To protect them from diabetes and other health issues, it’s important to feed these dogs with high-quality, nutritious food in appropriate quantities.
This breed is also prone to several health problems that might require a special diet. Bichons are likely to suffer from bladder stones, liver problems, and even food allergies. The main health issues that affect the well-being of most bichons include diabetes, skin allergies, cruciate ligament disease, Cushing’s disease, and dislocated kneecap.
Due to the quick hair growth, it’s important to keep their facial hair well-trimmed, too, to avoid eye infections. If you suspect your pup has any health issues, it’s important to consult a vet that can provide proper treatment for their condition and even a special diet.
6. Training May Be Required
As energetic as the bichon frise is, it may also become quite vocal. This could be an issue if you have children or you live in an apartment. Many owners choose to train their bichons frises to decrease the occurrence of bad behaviors. If you are a beginner, you may want to choose a professional because any harsh corrections or behaviors will easily upset your pup.
Bichon frise is a great family dog and a watchful companion for seniors. It is smart, cuddly, and loves following you everywhere, alerting you about strangers, and is highly sociable. The breed is smart, trainable, and can quickly adapt to small houses or apartments.
As long as you can spend all of your time with your pup – or ask another family member to fill in for you, getting a bichon is extremely rewarding, thanks to its playful, cute personality.