Can Bichon Frise Be Brown?

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Can Bichon Frise Be Brown?The bichon frise is traditionally a pure white pup with its iconic fluffy coat, but can a purebred bichon frise be brown? Many breeds come in various colors and shades, so why don’t we see more brown bichons frises? Are there any brown purebred bichons?

That, and more, is what we will look at below.

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Can a Purebred Bichon Frise Be Brown?

No, purebred bichons frises can not be brown. However, they can be very diluted shades of brown such as apricot and buff.

But why is that? Well, the color of a dog’s coat depends on its genes. Likewise, genes determine a dog’s color pattern, length, and coat texture. Bichons frises usually lack any pigmentation, which gives them their pure white coat. Remember, when it comes to fur, white is not a color. Rather, it lacks color due to a lack of pigment.

Recessive genes can make your bichon produce pheomelanin. However, even that is pretty rare.

It’s in their blood.

Most bichons don’t produce pigments because of their ancestry. The fact that bichons frises descended from a group of dogs referred to as ‘little white dogs’ partly answers the question.

The bichon frise’s forebearers were popular amongst the European aristocracy. They were favored precisely because of their physical traits and companionable character. Therefore, people deliberately selected qualities like their fluffy white coats when breeding. Offering more bichon frise colors wasn’t the goal.

That is certainly one way to limit the variety of coat colors a breed can have. But, what about that pigment we mentioned?


One kind of pigment that persists in the bichon frise’s genetic makeup is pheomelanin. Pheomelanin is responsible for pigments like red and yellow colors. However, selective breeding suppressed the gene in bichons frises. That’s why we don’t have bright red or neon yellow bichons.

However, sometimes the pheomelanin isn’t completely suppressed, which is why we see some purebred bichons frises with patterns of cream or apricot in their coats.

Unfortunately for anyone looking for a brown purebred bichon, there is no combination of genes that can result in a brown bichon frise. That is bad news for owners who have paid for a purebred bichon and have a brown pup in hand. A brown bichon frise is a mixed bichon frise.

5 Bichon Frise Mixed Breeds That Can Be Brown

Speaking of bichon frise mixed breeds, there are some that can be a perfect alternative to a purebred if you are looking to have a brown dog. Below are just a few:

1. Silkchon

The Silky Terrier Bichon Frise Mix is a small bichon frise mix that packs a punch in personality. These little dogs have a long, silky white coat of either tan or brown.

They are an excellent family dog, with all the companionable traits we love in our bichons frises. In addition, this tiny tyke is perfect for urban apartment living.

2. Fo-Chon

The fox terrier bichon frise mix is a more active bichon crossbreed. They are known for their upbeat, quirky personality and a curly coat of brown or white, or a mix of the two.

This little dog is ideal for an active owner living in a small home or apartment. They need a lot of exercise for their size but get on fine in smaller living spaces.

As such, the fo-chon is not for the faint of heart and needs an experienced dog owner to keep them in check.

3. Yorkie Bichon

The Yorkie bichon mix is a protective little dog ideal for the owner looking for constant companionship in their four-legged friends. That said, they are a bit stubborn and single-minded and need proper training.

The Yorkie bichon is a veritable goodie bag of different shades of brown. Their coat resembles their Yorkie parentage more closely, but it can be fluffier.

4. Poochon

The poodle and bichon frise mix make for one gorgeous dog. Even though they are not a recognized breed, even the most discerning dog owners love the poochon. It is no wonder when you consider how many of the great traits of both parent-breeds the poochon retains.

They are virtually hypoallergenic. They have the super fluffy coat of the bichon frise combined with the voluminous fur of the poodle. The poochon can also come in various color combinations thanks to their poodle parentage, including a dusty brown.

5. Cavachon

The Cavalier King Charles spaniel bichon frise crossbreed is as magnificent as its name is long. The mix results in a calm dog that is easy to please.

Furthermore, they are great with kids and easy to train. The Cavachon has a short, curly coat that ranges from cream to light brown. The Cavachon is more prone to separation anxiety than many other bichon frise mixes.


As is the case for all dogs, the bichon frise’s coat color depends on their genes. Furthermore, years of selective breeding have favored the pure-white, puffy coat we associate with the image of the bichon.

That said, some purebred bichons can have a little cream or apricot in their coat. However, a purebred bichon frise can never be brown. Therefore, if you are in the market for a purebred bichon frise, the safest bet is to stick with a pure-white coat.

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