If you have ever wanted to adopt a Tuffy, only rounder and fluffier, you need to look no further than the Bichon Frise. It is a small dog, or how most people call it, a toy dog. Definitely one of the most often depicted dogs in popular culture, here are the things you need to know when getting a Bichon Frise.
Is The Bichon Frise Popular In India?
It is moderately popular in India, as in, it wouldn’t be at the top of the list of most popular dogs. They probably might not even make in the top 20 popular breeds in India. However, there’s no doubt that they are a great option for first time dog owners, because of their easy manageability.
Availability Of The Bichon Frise In India
As any dog of foreign breed, one must look for a certified breeder of good reputation if they are looking to raise a Bichon Frise in India. These dogs are a good fit for the country’s weather due to their tolerance to heat.
Price Of The Bichon Frise In India
The price of the Bichon Frise in India depends on its gender, authenticity, whether its purebred and the breeder that it is procured from. Breeders provide the Bichon Frise in three variants, them being – basic, KCI certified and show quality. The price ranges between Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 for the basic variant, is somewhere between ₹35,000 to ₹55,000 for the KCI certification and can be as high as between Rs 60,000 to Rs 90,000 for procuring a show quality dog. Whichever variant you opt for, always go through a reputable breeder.
See also: Popular Dogs in India
Monthly Maintenance Cost
The Bichon Frise must be groomed extensively so it is wise to get them used to the experience from an early age and to make it pleasant and enjoyable. A show dog would need its cut to be in full volume as is required by most show standards. They must be bathed at least once every two weeks or more depending upon the requirements of any show that they might be a part of.
Tear staining can occur around the eyes which can be taken care of with a saline solution available in most pet stores. Do not miss any vaccinations or health check ups for your dog after bringing them home. Due to the high grooming needs of the Bichon Frise, the monthly maintenance of it could be around Rs 4,500 to Rs 5,500.
The breeder that you bring the Bichon Frise from should be able to fill you in on other minute details of their grooming needs and any other foreseeable requirements.
History And Popularity
Contrary to popular opinion, the Bichon Frise is originally Spanish, not French. It was, however, the French that bred them into tiny docile creatures that is popularly known in the canine world as lap dogs. The ‘Frise’ in its name is a reference to its curly hair, which is how the breed gets its identity.
This dog has had highs and lows in its popularity. At one point, it was used as currency to barter. It was most seen in the late 1500s with the French nobility. It also had a phase where it was treated as a common dog running on the streets. Interest in it was revived after World War I by the French breeders.
A major cause of its popularity and current status stems from the depiction of a small fox terrier in the series “The adventures of Tintin” which led to a surge in the demand of the Bichon Frise as well. Also, people familiar with the works of the artist Francisco de Goya would be aware of the depiction of the pooch in several of his works.
The Bichon Frise is a small dog that weighs between 5-10 kgs and has a height of 23-30 cm. You would be surprised at the long length of the tail which is usually carried at the back. It is typically white though it may have a certain off white or peachy colouring around its ears. This does not exceed more than a tenth of its appearance. A Bichon Frise of any colour other than pure white is not recognised by the AKC standards.
The pooch is credited with medium to high intelligence. They are very friendly and playful and are a good fit for first time dog owners. They are certainly coveted for their cute looks and merry attitude. You also may be happy to know that this dog has an affinity for water and enjoys playing fetch. So you definitely have a fun companion to frolic around with.
Temperament Of The Bichon Frise
Gentle, playful and affectionate are the three characteristics that first come to mind when asked to describe the Bichon Frise. They can be somewhat territorial but are very obedient if properly trained. They get along really well with children owing to their affectionate nature and can be your most enthusiastic and lovable companions.
Bichons do have an independent streak that makes housebreak difficult but they are easily trained and love human companionship. It is a matter of starting training early and being patient and consistent throughout the years. They love to stay active indoors and also play outside while going for long walks.
You will notice sudden bursts of energy in them which is when they start running around the house for no reason. They are social dogs and need a lot of love and affection or they can be very sad.
The Bichon Frise can live up to the age of 12-15 years. So that’s over a decade of constant cuteness and love.
The litter size would be 4-6 puppies approximately.
Is The Bichon Frise Hypoallergenic
Yes, the Bichon Frise is considered hypoallergenic. It is still advisable to be diligent with their brushing schedule and regularly clean their toys and beds.
What Is The Bichon Frise Like As A Puppy?
You would certainly have a hard time looking away from this particular puppy because of the abundance of cuteness that it serves. On another note, it does have a stubborn streak that makes housebreak difficult but they are quick learners and some early training will inculcate the required manners in them.
They love spending time and playing with their owners. Other than their grooming needs, they are relatively low maintenance which makes them ideal for novice pet parents. Just make sure that you have factored in plenty of playtime in their schedule and don’t leave them home alone for extended hours.
Diet Of The Bichon Frise
The key is to find a diet that is nutritionally well balanced. The Bichon Frise has a small stomach so its meals should also be small. As a pup, feed him thrice a day and as an adult, twice. Feed them a mixture of dry and canned food to get the nutritional balance. Choose a food that lists a whole protein like meat or fish as its first ingredient.
Whole grains like barley, quinoa and brown rice are easily digestible grains and would take care of the daily carbohydrate and fibre content required for the dog. Foods containing vegetables and fish oils keep its white coat shiny and soft. Also, Bichon Frise need plenty of water per day so keep their water bowl always full.
The biggest medical concern for the Bichon Frise is allergies. They suffer a number of allergies to certain types of food, fleas, ticks etc and have a certain period of sensitivity to weather changes which can affect their skin.
Liver shunts are also common. It must be detected early to be treatable otherwise it can be difficult to manage or heal later in their lives. Dental problems are quite common with them and their teeth must be cleaned as per a schedule and they must not miss their medical check ups.
The Bichon Frise has a thick coat of hair everywhere which must be regularly cleaned and brushed along with its ears and paws and its nails trimmed which otherwise, would lead to parasitic growth akin to infections on them. They are also prone to above average incidences of heart diseases and diabetes.
The key to your pooch’s good health is to take care of its diet and be observant towards his behaviour and on watch for any anomalies and get their health checked regularly. That should take care of most things.
Things To Take Care Of
Initially, you need to supervise your dog as you would a child. Be mindful of everything they are doing, right from their food to their playtimes to their hygiene and grooming requirements. These are happy dogs that crave attention and activity which is easy to provide, given some planning. Start the training early and keep it constant. The Bichon Frise is one of the best companions you could ask for and it will be your personal sunshine in the house.