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Bichon Frise

Sophisticated, sweet and snow white, it’s the Bichon Frise. 

The Bichon Frise is a congenial family dog with a high sense of curiosity and confidence. They are well known for the extravagant signature “cotton ball” haircut. 

They originated in the 13th century in the Spanish Canary Islands. During this time, they become a popular breed amongst royalty in France, Italy, and Spain throughout the Renaissance period. It wasn’t until 1972 that the Bichon was recognised as a breed by the American Kennel Club. Ranging from 24 to 29cm in height, and 5 to 8kg in weight, the Bichon Frise is a small dog. They are generally either all white or white with shades of apricot or cream. Their life expectancy is 11 to 14 years. 


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Dog Breed Facts & Characteristics


Mediterranean islands

Also known as 

Bichón Tenerife Bichon à poil fries, Bichon

Bred for



Small dog ranging from 24 to 29cm in height, and 5 to 8kgs in weight

Weight Range

5 to 8kgs



Life expectancy

11 to 14 years 


Medium length, curly, low shedding


Alert, curious, confident

Exercise requirements


Best suited for 

Singles, couples, families, seniors  

Apartment Friendly



The Bichon Frise breed is famously friendly to family, friends, and strangers. They also display characteristics of alertness, curiosity, and confidence. 

The breed is moderately active, with occasional bursts of the “zoomies”. They can adapt to an apartment lifestyle as long as they are given daily walks or access to a backyard and plenty of toys. The Bichon Frise enjoys quality time with their owner, whether it be couch-time or play. 

Like all dogs, early socialisation and training with other dogs, people and animals is very important to ensure good manners later in life.


They have a medium length, curly coat that has minimal shedding. They will need regular brushing at least 2 to 3 times a week and a trip to the groomers every month to six weeks to keep them looking their best. Ear cleaning should also be a part of the regular grooming schedule to help keep the ears clean and free from debris to help prevent ear infections. Teeth cleaning should also be a part of the maintenance routine. Prevent parasites by ensuring your Bichon Frise is on flea control all year round and tick prevention if you are in a paralysis tick area. 


When choosing a food for your Bichon Frise, select a premium food appropriate to your dog’s age and life stage. Make sure your pup always has a supply of fresh, clean water available. 

Common health concerns 

In 2020, Bichon Frise dogs visited the vet for skin conditions including allergies and infection, diabetes, gastrointestinal upset, cruciate ligament disease and cancer.

The five most common reasons for a Bichon Frise to visit the vet (excluding routine care visits) according to PetSure data from 2020.

Table: The five most common reasons for the Bichon Frise to visit the vet over the 2020 calendar year. Source: PetSure claims data. 



Average cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)

Highest cost for single treatment (highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)


Skin conditions including allergies or infection








Gastrointestinal conditions including diarrhoea and vomiting




Cruciate ligament disease




Cancer including limb and liver tumours



Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider.

Most popular Bichon Frise names

According to PetSure data (from 2020) the most popular Bichon Frise names are

Most popular names 

  1. Bella
  2. Daisy
  3. Frankie
  4. Louie
  5. Lulu
  6. Luna
  7. Millie
  8. Bear
  9. Bertie
  10. Bindi

Most popular female names  

  1. Bella
  2. Daisy
  3. Frankie
  4. Lulu
  5. Luna
  6. Millie
  7. Bindi
  8. Lily
  9. Bambi
  10. Bonnie 

Most popular male names

  1. Louie
  2. Bear
  3. Bertie
  4. Casper
  5. Charlie
  6. Finn
  7. Louis
  8. Milo
  9. Teddy
  10. Archie 

Did you know?

The Bichon Frise features in artwork from 16th century European artists including Titian, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and Francisco de Goya.

Where can I get a Bichon Frise?

Although they are a pure breed of dog, it may be possible to find a Bichon Frise via a breed specific rescue organisation. You may also find a perfect small dog for you and your family at your local rescue organisation or shelter who needs a loving home. 


  1. Dogs NSW,  Breeds: Bichon Frise, Accessed on 30/03/2021
  2. American Kennel Club, Bichon Frise, Accessed on 30/03/2021
  3. Bichon Frise Club of America, Accessed on 08/04/2021

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Kylie Mitchell is a veterinarian with over 17 years experience in animal health and welfare, including in the veterinary and pet insurance industries

She has three rescue cats (Noah, Bei Bei and Meeka), four very old cockatiels and a pond-full of fish.

Kylie's pets

Bei Bei
Bei Bei