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The bichon frise is a popular breed of small dog, known for its cheerful disposition and fluffy white coat. Full of personality and energy, these little dogs have loads of personality that bely their diminutive size. They are descendants of the water spaniel and have been around since the 13th century.
They were originally used as hunting dogs, but they soon became popular companions for nobility and royalty turning into the lap dogs they are today.
How High Can a Bichon Frise Jump?
Bichons frises are little dogs that are surprisingly agile. Depending on age and gender, these little fluff balls are capable of jumping quite high, often reaching a vertical height of about two feet, which is more than double their own height. While their ability to jump will vary depending on their individual build and strength, their age, size, and gender make a difference too.
Some bichons frises have been known to clear objects as tall as four feet!
This impressive feat is made possible by their powerful hind legs, which help them spring upwards in a single bound. So what affects the jump height of a bichon?
Age, Size, and Gender Matter
Like most dogs, bichons are at their prime when they are about two to six years old. Like humans, these dogs are at their best very roughly about in the 2nd quarter of their lives.
Adult male bichons range between 9 and 11 inches in height at the shoulders and weigh between 11 and 16 lbs. Female bichons stand about the same height at 9 to 11 inches but weigh ever so slightly less at 10 to 15 lbs. A male bichon is likely to be larger than a female, and in his prime, a three-year-old male bichon is likely to clear a greater height than, say, an eight-year-old female.
How Can You Teach Your Bichon Frise to Jump Higher Safely
Maybe you want your bichon to participate in agility, or maybe simply train a few cute tricks to impress friends and family. Before clearing greater heights, you’ll need to teach your bichon how to jump.
Training Your Bichon To Jump
So you want to teach your bichon to jump? Great! You’re in for a world of fun. Training dogs is so much fun, and more so if you’re working with a performing-lovin’ breed like the bichon frise, who is going to love the attention.
Before increasing the height, you’re going to have to teach your bichon to jump reliably on command. Start way low, maybe have a stick or obstacle elevated at about four inches.
Get on the other side of the jump and call your pooch.
Encourage the jump using treats, and toys, and reward immediately when the jump is made. Add hand signals, like a wave or a sweep, so that your bichon knows what to do upon receiving the signal.
Once your bichon is reliably jumping low heights with only hand signals (and without the bribery of treats), you can reintroduce the treats and raise the jump height by an inch or two. Start very modestly and go very slowly. There’s no point in rushing things and taking a step back!
What Are the Risks of Your Bichon Frise Jumping Too High?
Always go very slowly and don’t rush things. Bichons are small dogs that can be stubborn and push themselves beyond their abilities. It is your job to see that they don’t.
If the jump is too high, your bichon could hurt ligaments, joints, and muscles in their legs, especially their forelegs as they land with heavy impact. Constant jumps that are too high can also give tendon problems to the hindlegs, which have to strain excessively, and constantly, to reach the heights that they (and you) want.
In addition, puppies should not be made to jump anything more than their knee height. The growth plates in puppies are underdeveloped, and the impact from jumping higher could severely damage them and lead to many problems in the future.
Should Your Bichon Frise Jump a Lot?
No dog should jump a lot, the bichon frise included. Many dogs that train excessively in agility have reported joint and tendon problems, especially if overtrained.
As a general rule, bichons can easily manage a one-foot jump several times a day, preferably spaced out between multiple training sessions. In addition, any jumps above double their height should be accompanied immediately by some rest and active recovery before continuing training.
Few Things You Can Do If You Need Your Bichon Frise to Access Higher Places
If you need your bichon to make high jumps, say, into your couch or bed, think about putting a stool or platform instead. You can also train your bichon to sit and wait to be picked up, without any excessive whining or barking.
Agility courses cater to different sizes of dogs, and your bichon wouldn’t have to jump the same height as say, a Malinois.
Like humans, dogs love to jump, play, and run around in pure joy. While bichons are athletic, sturdy dogs, they are certainly not the canine athletes that Border Collies or Jack Russell Terriers are.
If you’re realistic in your expectations, jumping your bichon can be a whole lotta fun!