Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

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Breed Notes

The Bichon Frise may have originated in the Canary Islands and then brought to the European mainland by Italian sailors during the fourteenth century. A Bichon is a type of curly coated small water dog that developed on various islands. The Bichon Frise is the only double coated dog of the Bichon type. They are believed to be descendants of a now extinct Barbet or Water Spaniel. They became popular with the French and Spanish royalty. Later, they became popular circus performers. They have been described as charming puffballs. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1971. Canada followed suit in 1975.
The Bichon Frise loves human companionship. He also has a strong, independent spirit with a robust tenacity. He is very good with children. Although he does not tend to have skin problems that some all-white breeds have, he does have some problem with tarter and gum infections. He also needs daily grooming due to his coat texture (see below). To maintain the powder-puff appearance, extensive trimming, brushing and bathing are required.
The Bichon Frise's head forms a triangle from the outer corner of the eyes to the tip of the nose. The muzzle is neither too thick nor too snipey. His eyes are fairly large, round and dark. His eyes are narrow and delicate. They hang close to the head and are covered with long, fine pure white hair. His chest is deep and he has a broad pelvis. His legs are straight and his feet are tight and rounded. The body is longer than tall and the back is straight and level. The tail is set low and carried over the back or may hang limp when the dog is relaxed. His coat is a double coat. The under coat is short and soft. The outer coat is two inches long or more and is fine and silky with corkscrew curls if not brushed out. Color is white. Shadings of buff, cream and apricot are acceptable if on less than ten percent of the body. Average height is between nine and eleven inches and average weight is between seven and eleven pounds. of Denver, CO writes:

Breed sent from heaven!
My Bichon is my best friend. I have never owned a dog or any other type of animal before due to allergies. I got my Bichon two years ago when he was only eight weeks old. My Bichon was truly a gift from heaven. I needed companionship and could not manage a difficult training situation as I have had no experience with pets. He was very easy to housetrain even though I have never trained a pet, barks only when someone comes to the door, sits/lays/down/stays/comes on command and is extremely friendly with other people and pets. He loves attention and likes to be the center of attention.
The only thing that I would warn a future Bichon owner about is the need for constant grooming and attention. I only bathe my fluff once or twice a month and brush three to four times a week and that is about the minimal you can get a away with. You can keep their hair shorter for easier grooming. Also, the Bichon craves attention and needs to be acknowledged frequently. They love to just lay at your feet or on your lap.
As far as activity, they are very sturdy, active dogs. My Bichon has the same endurance and tolerance level as bigger dogs for outdoor activities. He snowshoes with me, hikes and has even done three 14,000-foot climbs in the Colorado Rockies. Of course, this doesn't help the grooming aspect as he seems to always be dirty!
And be prepared for the daily "Bichon blitz" which involves racing around low to the ground, very fast in a figure eight fashion making a funny, low, growling sound. This usually goes on for five to ten minutes each day and is very typical to the breed.
Great breed for anyone who wants a friendly, social dog that gets along with everyone. No shedding and great for allergies! of Canada writes:

An excellent breed that can make any enemy a fan.
Some owners have said that Bichons are stubborn, but we have never had such a problem, he learned to go outside in about three days and can do many tricks to entertain us and our guests. Our little boy has a gift to make anyone he comes in contact love him. What is best about this breed is that they are great at reading their owner, so when you want a break they are content to just chew a bone and when you want to play they will gladly amuse you. We love our little boy so much that we are getting a second Bichon from are breeder. I will never buy another breed. Highly recommended for someone who is willing to put in the time needed to groom and train with consistency. Only one warning: prepare yourself to be licked at least 100 times a day from a dog who lives for you. Bichons are the best. of Sioux Falls, SD writes:

Wonderful companions.
Very nice, loving little dogs. Though housebreaking may be hard, they are so good for people who are allergic to dogs. They are not for everyone. You have to be prepared for the grooming because you have to bathe them quite frequently.

Name withheld by request of Connecticut writes:

All the pee in the world couldn't keep me away from my Bichon.
I was fortunate enough to get my Bichon from the dog pound. He was about two years old; he is five years or so now. He is highly intelligent, not yippy, full of love, playful and the happiest creature I have ever met. He is loved by humans and other creatures. He is especially great around other dogs and my parrots. He does suffer from separation anxiety, and he will occasionally urinate on the carpet. Otherwise, he has never destroyed anything. Patience and persistence is the key. This is the nicest breed you could ever ask for.

Name withheld by request of New Zealand writes:

I love this breed.
Bichons have such a wonderful personality. I have two and both are SO pretty and friendly. Hardly ever bark. They don't shed hair. They are very devoted. My wee girls know tons of tricks and get along with all other dogs and cats. They are so small, too. I can't help pampering mine. They are so gentle and I can't believe how highly intelligent they are. I'll always own a Bichon. They are wee angels and so loyal. They are well-behaved and never bite or yap!

Name withheld by request of Denver, CO writes:

Extremely affectionate and playful.
This dog is a joy to have, but one must keep several things in mind if you are to buy this type of dog. These dogs are extremely intelligent, and if they think they can get away with something, they will. A lot of time and energy must be spent training this dog in obedience classes. Without the classes, I'm sure that our dog would have been unruly. We have had her for twelve years so far, and she still acts very young. Also, when picking out a puppy, get the dog from a reputable breeder (ask your vet). When picking out the puppy, do not pick the most dominant, or the most submissive dog of the litter. I picked out the second to most dominant of the litter, and she was a lot harder to train than she should have been.
Our Bichon always does what she is told. If she is begging for food, she is told to go away, and we rarely have to tell her more than once. She never goes to the bathroom on the floor, or chews the furniture. Whenever she acts up, we give her fifteen-minute training sessions so she knows who's boss. Our dog is also extremely perceptive; she always knows if someone is upset in the family, and tries to comfort them.
The only complaints I have with her, was in her younger years, up to about age five or six, she used to bark frequently at neighbors. This is one habit she's luckily broken, but it took a lot of time to break it. Also, this breed of dog needs to be supervised with children, strangers, and other dogs. For such a small dog, one wouldn't expect her to be aggressive, but in her earlier years, she did snap at people and try to attack other dogs. Because of these tendencies, we always have her leashed.
All in all, this is a great breed of dog if you are willing and able to devote the time and energy to train it. of Tallahassee, FL writes:

Outstanding companion, but will help burglars to the door.
Our Bichon is a great dog, but needs a LOT of attention and grooming. He likes to be around the family "pack" nucleus, and doesn't like being left out of it. Also, very difficult in hot weather, needs lots of clipping.

Name withheld by request of New York writes:

Housebreaking is a chore!
I love my dog, he is the most loyal little guard dog. He is always eager to let me know when strangers are lurking about. I cannot for the life of me understand why this dog insists upon peeing and pooping in my home. I went from crate to the outdoors and he was doing great. As a puppy he cried to go outside. Now he just starts to run around the house, look up at me and pee. He knows he has done wrong and runs back to the kitchen to his crate. I love this dog and I love his gentle nature, but I cannot tell you the amount of time I spend outdoors walking him. I feed him on set schedules and monitor his water intake. His barking has become a bit of a nuisance too. It's almost as if he is doing this to annoy me. I have three kids who spend time with him all day. He is still stubborn and wants things his way. I have tried several training aids and he barks at them too. I recommend this breed for its loving ways, the love he shows, the funny things he does, but if you're not into wiping up all day, it's not the right dog for you.

Name withheld by request of Minnesota writes:

The greatest dog on earth.
I own Bichon Frises, and they are the happiest, most intelligent dogs I've ever worked with. They are easily God-sent angels. When they blitz, it is SO cute! And who could resist those large, dark eyes, peering up at you out of that white fur, with that loyal smile?
Granted, they are hard to house-train, but so are other little dogs &shyp; little dogs=little bladders! That fact is probably their only flaw. They make the best traveling companions, and those that act up, like I've read from other messages on here, aren't likely from the best of breeders.
Once you own a Bichon, you won't want to own any other type of dog. (They AREN'T yippy, either.) These are a type of dog for anyone, with any past ownership of any type of dog, big or little. (These dogs were a relief from owning a Dalmatian and St. Bernard.) Like I've said, these are truly little angels on earth, sent to make our lives brighter! of Fishkill, NY writes:

A wonderful addition to our family.
I researched different dog breeds for almost a year. I spoke to anyone who knew anything about dogs to see what breed would be a good fit with our family. We have two kids, eight years old and 21 months. We found Baxter in November. He was four months old when we adopted him. The very first time that I held him he put his head on my shoulder and cuddled! I was taken immediately. Baxter had never been outside and was never crated. He quickly adapted to going outside on a leash but he has never really adapted to the crate. He sleeps with us and has never had an accident at night. We do crate him when we leave the house and he walks right into his crate but the minute we get home he starts barking like mad. He is an absolute joy to have around and is wonderful with people of all ages. He is a little couch potato! The only problem that we are having is that he keeps having accidents in the house. I take him out every couple of hours so I am not sure what the problem is. We will work through this. I would tell anyone who is considering a dog to get a Bichon. I love this little guy more than I ever thought possible. of Sioux Falls, SD writes:

An angel on earth.
Although my Bichon's halo doesn't always show, she is a true angel. This breed can cheer up anybody. My dog is always in a good mood and ready to play or just sit and snuggle with me when I come home from work. She loves attention and is happiest when she can perform for everyone. We call her the "little circus dog" because she likes to walk around on her hind legs. I have been around a lot of other breeds and the Bichon isn't as yippy as some of the other smaller breeds such as the Terriers. I feel that if Bichon owners have problems with their dogs chewing things up or not being housebroken, it's a matter of training the owner how to teach the dog, because this breed is highly trainable and they aim to please their owner. I would never own another breed and I strongly feel that the Bichon is a great pet for people of all ages, especially children. They are intelligent, gentle, playful and above all else, loving. of Michigan writes:

Highly intelligent and cute, hypoallergenic.
I have severe allergies and the Bichon Frise is the best dog for me because it does not shed, thus I don't suffer from any allergy attacks. My dog is very playful but shy with strangers or when put in an unfamiliar place. But once he gets to know the people or the place, he gets very comfortable. This breed is highly intelligent! He responds to commands well and learns quickly. This breed is the best! of Washington, DC writes on 5/8/01:

Allegry dream come true.
Our Bichon is one year old. We couldn't have asked for a more loving, friendly and intelligent dog. My husband has terrible allergies but our Bichon has not been a problem. He was extremely easy to
housebreak. However he was a bit crazy as a puppy. He's settled down into a lovely calm adult.
They do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. I work at home so this is not an issue.
Stealing socks is his only downfall. If you are looking for a small dog that is fantastic with children
- this is your breed. We'll never own another breed ever - he stole our hearts. We highly recommend the breed. of Watertown, NY and Cocoa Beach, FL writes on 2/20/01:

Best little buddy anyone could hope for!
We bought our little Bichon Frise a year ago. When I was growing up, our family raised Labrador Retreivers and I had only been around large dogs. I never thought I would want a small breed. I considered them to be yappy and annoying little creatures. Our lifestyle now includes spending the winters in Florida and consequently renting a condo for 5 months every year. The usual maximum allowed for any dog in these places is 25 pounds - hence a small breed of dog. We shopped around and read up on different breeds and, one night I saw a Bichon on TV on an "Alpha Dog" program. He stole my heart outright. His enthusiasm and heart in the competition was outstanding and noteworthy. I had never seen such a happy, intelligent-looking little dog. One day, I a puppy and there he was. We fell for each other immediately. He was about 12 weeks old at the time and what struck me is that he didn't bark like the rest of the puppies did in the shop. He was lively and smart and very affectionate. I had heard that you should never buy a dog from a pet store but I knew I had to have him and give him a good home and lots of love. I knew I wouldn't be breeding him or showing him so it seemed like a good solution for him and for me.
He has been a joy to me ever since. I must admit that I work at home and he really does not get left alone very much at all, which made his training a lot easier. He is the smartest dog I have ever had the pleasure of training. He learned how to sit in about 5 minutes the day we brought him home (12 weeks old). I crate trained him to find out what his bathroom habits were and took him out regularly to make sure he understood what was expected of him. He is one of the cleanest dogs I could ever hope to have. He will come and get me and throw himself at the door when he needs to go out. He is really funny. A ham at heart.
He was given his own toys to chew and we played with him a lot so that he knew which were his things and which were not. He has never chewed any of our clothes or shoes. Now we leave him for several hours when we play golf and he is the best boy. There is never a mess to clean up when we come home and there is never any evidence of any mischief on his part. Usually, he is sitting in the window, waiting for our return. He has his crazy moments when he runs crazily around the house for a few minutes but he is hysterically funny at these times. Then he stops and goes to sleep. He loves to sit in your chair and cuddle while we are watching TV and most of all loves to sleep on the bed with us every night. He snuggles right in and doesn't move all night.
The grooming part was unfamiliar to me but I learned that it is fun and a good bonding time for us. He comes in the shower for his bath and then loves to be blown dry. I bought some dog-grooming clippers because I was unhappy with the way the local groomers were making him look. I like to keep him with the "puppy cut" (a shortish cut which is easy to comb and brush and blow dry). If I run the clippers through his coat after I blow him dry, he always looks perfect and we don't have to worry about scheduling grooming appointments. It would be different if I wanted to show him but we would rather have fun.
He has a happy, loving, gentle nature that is infectious. I have yet to have anyone see him for the first time who doesn't break into a smile and say:"What a cute little dog." He just seems to breeze through life, having a wonderful time. It makes you feel good just to look at him and I can't imagine ever being without him. The Bichon is a wonderful animal who responds well to gentle, loving treatment. I have heard people say that they are impossible to train but I can only think that their methods were wrong or that these people neglected the animals in some way. My dog is intelligent, quick-witted, easy to train and eager to please. He is a joy to have around and fills my life with happiness every day that we spend together.

Name withheld by request of Maine writes on 1/11/01:

If you love to cuddle and "do hair" this is your baby.
I've always had big dogs - and this is my first year with the Bichon Frise. My little white fluffball is all of the fun of a big dog and much less of the hassles. Everything is cheaper with a small dog - the collars, the food, the crate. I love obedience training, and my little guy is into learning everything. They can NOT be trained by force - they need to be trained in the "clicker" method, rewarding all the things they do right, and then they learn everything a german shepherd can learn - they just need a few more repetitions - not because they aren't smart, but because they ARE so smart. They need to know WHY you want them to do something, and they need to know, "what's in this for me?" If it's not fun, why do it? Your mission, if you go Bichon, is to try not to be boring.
A Bichon is heavenly -- no shedding! No worry terrorizing the neighborhood! Small poops to pick up! No lawsuits! Heaven! And it is really fun to take a muddy little dog, throw him in the sink, soap him up, blow-dry him, brush him out and emerge from the bathroom (perhaps soaked to the skin)with a little guy who looks like he clearly MUST be a show champion. When you get a healthy pup (avoid any pup from a litter that has leaky red stains around the eyes --you can find plenty of Bichons that will never have that ugly problem), and groom them well, they are the softest sweetest, most cuddly little love-bugs in the world. They are real hams. They dance, they sing, the sit/down/stay/come, but they will absolutely not respond if you foolishly try to "show them who's boss." They respond when you are FUN to play with!
I guess it is their sweet round heads and expressive voices that elicit the lovey-dovey maternal feelings in me. Embarassing to admit but: I can't help but love my little guy as though he was a human two year old -- he's so full of innocent playfulness. It took six months until he really was 100% housetrained, and that made me nervous for six months! But now he both pees and poops on command! They do best with a stay-at-home person who is into training (why waste this breed with people who won't take a clicker training class?). Crate training is essential too, but now that he's grown, my Bichon can "hold it" all day long, just like my Shepherd.
Having a Bichon as a companion to my aging Shepherd is really ideal-- no competition, in fact, they help each other out. My big dog helps protect my vulnerable little dog when we go out on walks -- loose dogs sometimes mistake a Bichon for a rabbit, and want to eat it. And my bichon lets me know when the kitty or dog want to come inside. My old dog isn't threatened by the Bichon-- in fact, even she has to admit that he's awfully cute.
If you think that you are a really understanding parent, and you are a patient teacher, and you liked brushing hair and playing dress up as a child AND if you have a good sense of humor, a Bichon is just the most wonderful little friend in the world. They literally cuddle. They only seem stubborn sometimes (like when they slam on the brakes and won't walk any further) but usually it's for a good reason, like when burr is stuck in their fur (try olive oil to slide it out).
The only bad thing about a Bichon is I will never get over it when this dog gows old and dies. They act so much like a child, it's hard not to love them like a child. As much as I love my big wolfie dogs, it's a whole different kind of love when you meet the Bichon of your dreams ... you'll laugh with them all day long ... you'll teach them silly tricks...

Name withheld by request of Ft.Collins, CO writes on 1/3/01:

Cute little puffballs.
These dogs are extremely cute and that's what attracted me to them. Then I did my studying and found that they are much more than a charming face. These are some of the things I found out: 1.You should bathe them once a week, or at least once every two weeks. This will keep the Bichon's coat the way it should be and it will also keep your Bichon looking like a Bichon. This is not a very good thing, however, if you have little time (for instants if you work more than eight hours a day). 2.Bichon Frises were bred to be "curly lap dogs." They long for human companionship. You need to be able to have a nice play with your dog about once or twice a day. You simply cannot put your Bichon aside when you don't want to see him that day. It's a people dog, and you've got to respect that. 3.Don't act like it's a chore to love your Bichon. If you do, your Bichon may become neurotic. True, they say that the crate option is best for a Bichon and I agree, but you can't just leave it in there forever. That's all. This dog may or may not be the dog for you. I absolutely love the dogs. Well, happy dog shopping! of Texas writes on 12/31/00:

Personality with a sense of humor - and a bit stubborn.
I love this breed, which hardly helps anyone who is considering it. I even love their more difficult aspects. For instance, I love the Bichon Blitz, that burst of energy which leads them to race madly about the home, banking off walls and furniture and going over anything small enough to clear. Some Blitz silently, while others will bark or even growl as they race laps around the place. Nothing is sadder than a person who gets this breed only to ask, "how do I stop this wild racing?" The answer is to avoid this breed if you do not want to sit in your chair laughing at them as they run. The blitz is usually followed by a total collapse into sleep.
Another trait is their tendency to be naughty. They love to shred tissues. They will steal from the purses of your visitors. They will collect pieces of intimate clothing from the hamper and leave them in odd places. Now, proper training will minimize such behavior, but this breed is very difficult to convince. If you want an honest dog, perhaps this is the wrong breed for you? I personally find this cleverness to be half the fun, but I have, sadly, met people for whom it was not funny.
Still another trait is stubbornness. Terriers have nothing on the Bichon Frise for being stubborn. They will think they understand what you want from them, and after that they will stubbornly give you what you requested--even if they got it wrong--and it is easier to pick a new command and begin again than it is to convince a Bichon who believes they have it correct that they are not. I saw one Bichon in classes where the clever little dog had figured out what "sit" meant. He was totally certain "sit" meant to brace himself for his owner to push his rear to the ground. So with great concentration, he braced every time she said sit. The cause was her timing, she said "sit" just before pushing on him, rather than coupling the rear touching the ground with the command. They had to change commands with this dog because once he was sure he had the idea--he was NOT going to change. I loved his conviction. Having trained obedience with mine, I appreciate their determination even if I have to be very careful if how I teach them. This stubborn streak can often come out in housebreaking. The Bichon does not like to potty on wet grass - so very often, they WON'T. They don't like to be uncomfortable-so if you are late taking them out, they may or may not hold it. Being a small breed with smaller bladder, it may take longer (6-8 months even) for the dog to mature enough to hold it well for the time the owner is gone. Paper training can help, as can a doggy door to a secure potty area, but this is a housedog breed and should not be left outside all day.
Outside-this breed gets dirty easily, and a dirty coat matts very easily. Even worse, a wet coat will felt up and be nearly impossible to salvange. Being that the coat also takes blow drying after a bath, it is better to keep your Bichon inside all the time except when walking the dog or letting the dog out to potty--thus saving the owner from giving the poor dog daily baths or worse yet, leaving the dog dirty!
Training, like the above example, training the Bichon can be a challenge. They have a personal agenda - they MUST get the laugh. If you get too serious, they will quit. If they goof and it gains a laugh, from anyone, they will repeat the behavior. These dogs are very sensitive to the moods of their owner. They spoil easily. They love attention.
Grooming is extensive unless you clipper them very short. A nice plush and curly coat cut short will feel rather like crushed velvet. Left long and uncut but kept brushed out, the coat looks like a tiny Old English Sheepdog. The sculpted look for the show ring is not all that easy to scissor in and a groomer who can actually do the cut correctly will be expensive. I prefer the short and plush feel as it is easier to blow dry after a bath and takes less time to brush, thus freeing our time for fun things like training classes and cuddling. I give this breed 4 stars because while they are wonderful, they are not the right dog for everyone. of Pennsylvania writes on 12/13/00:

I'd never get a different breed of dog.
We got our first Bichon this year. Our home was his third home, but he adapted very well being only 13 weeks old. While I have read some very negative comments about training these pups, we didn't have any problem. Sure he had a few accidents in the beginning, but his crate remains dry all day now. He walks through our vertical blinds when he needs to go out. His sister is slowly coming along, but we are definitely making progress. My two aren't "yippey" - they only bark at other dogs, and that's only if they are walking in front of our house. We don't have children yet, but our nieces and nephews adore them. They don't affect my allergies at all. In short, I'd never buy another breed. When it's time for me to purchase another puppy, I'll only buy a Bichon. of Minnesota writes on 11/29/00:

A love/hate relationship.
My Bichon is the most adorable, friendly, social dog. I love him to death because of his sweet, friendly and extremely outgoing personality. I can't help but laugh at him because of his facial expressions, it's as if when I talk to him he knows exactly what I'm saying. But on the other hand, he is very hyper and excitable, very different than the personality of my Lhasa Apso. He is housetrained, but only when I am home. When I go to work, it is an absolute must that he is kenneled as if he has free run, he will destroy the whole house. He rips up garbage and anything else around, and then urinates on it. He has extreme seperation anxiety and hates to be left alone. But when it comes down to it, I wouldn't trade him for the world because I know how loyal he is and how he "loves me best."

Name withheld by request of Santa Monica, CA writes on 11/10/00:

A mixed bag.
I think reading all of the reviews together just about sums up Bichons for me - they're charming, playful, and gentle, but they're impossible to train, although supposedly extremely intelligent. I've owned many types of dogs - and experienced varying degrees of difficulty with each type, no breed is perfect - but I've never had a love/hate relationship like the one I have with our Bichon. We've never been able to house train him, and he now marks on the furniture as well. He also gobbles up any food within reach, and he raids the garbage can! I used to have a dog from an animal shelter that had separation anxiety, and chewed up my house and my car - and I think she was easier to deal with. However, our Bichon is adorable, and always cheerful, and he seems to adore our young daughter --all in all, they're probably best for a calmer person with LOTS of time on their hands, someone who could shower them with nonstop attention.

Name withheld by request of Chicago, IL writes on 9/27/00:

Love the dog.
I had done extensive research on the breed and wanted to get a dog that would not upset my allergies. When we got him we showered him with "welcome to the family " gifts, like a bed, toys, treats. We had to adjust to each other. He developed some protective, lunging behavior that I had to nip in the bud. We went through training, where he was able to socialize with other dogs and where I learned to handle him more confidently. He is exuberant and has these "hyper" episodes in which he'll run back and forth non-stop for a period of 10 minutes. He is a great companion and loves to play
fetch. He's patient with children, but not tolerant of other dogs, unless he really gets to know them in a home environment. Consequently, he has his own little social group of friends. I really value the dog's company and wouldn't trade him for the world!

Name withheld by request of Marietta, GA writes on 9/6/00:

My parents had a Bichon when I was a kid. It was a very friendly dog that loved everyone in the house. She even got along with the cat. However, these dogs are not suitable for most households because they cannot be trained. They cannot learn the things that are essential for dogs to know in order to live harmoniously with people. Our dog never learned to stay away from the table during meals and never became housebroken; our other dogs learned these things very quickly, and learned many tricks too. Even though these dogs are pleasant to be around, they make bad pets because coming home to a soiled carpet every day is too much. Other people that have Bichon's also claim that they have these problems. My parent's dog lived to be 13 years. They had to clean up this dogs feces every day for thirteen years. No dog is worth that much trouble, especially when more trainable dogs are available.

Name withheld by request of South Carolina writes on 7/21/00:

Highly annoying dog!
My parents own a Bichon Frise and I have spent much time with this dog. Admittedly my own preference is for bigger dogs such as Golden Retrievers and Springer Spaniels, but rarely have I met a more "yippy" dog than the Bichon Frise. (I have been around others that my parents have bred theirs with.) These dogs go crazy at the least little noise or someone just walking near the home, they race around, they are very destructive at chewing up furniture and just generally nippy. My parents bought the dog because of his "hypo-allerenic" reputation and this seems to be true. They love the dog, but if you have ever had a "real dog," don't drive yourself crazy with this one. of Clearwater, FL writes on 2/27/00:

Never met a stranger they didn't like.
Bishons are one of the most friendly dogs I have ever met. They never put words in my head like "unstable", "mean", "high-strung" or "possesive". Bishons are very quick to please their master/misstress and is very easy to train. They can keep up with hikers, and keep calm with the elderly. They also don't shed so many (not all) alergic people can live with them. One thing to keep in mind, is that the Bishon was bred to be a companion, and their personality will blossom if they have your companionship most of the time. I have heard that Bishons left alone 8-10 hours at a time have become shy, and lose their outgoing personality. So If you go to work, it will be good if you have two dogs to keep each other company.

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