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The Beauty Of A Bichon-A Great Family Dog

Updated on June 24, 2012

My MiraBella


You Can Say Any Foolish Thing To A Dog, And The Dog Will Give You A Look That Says, "My God, You're Right. I Never Would Have Thought Of That" Dave Barry

The Bichon is a lovely little dog with a fluffy white coat and huge dark eyes that are incredibly expressive. The average weight is 15 pounds but many are much smaller. My own lovely MiraBella is 9 pounds of pure love. No matter the size, this dog is a great addition to the home.

The American Kennel Club calls the Bichon Frise "a white powder puff of a dog whose merry temperament is evidenced by his plumed tail carried jauntily over the back and his dark-eyed inquisitive expression." That description is accurate and indicative of this playful dog’s personality.

While Bichons are very intelligent, they can be stubborn. They can be difficult to housebreak and if dealt with harshly or meanly can be spiteful and sneak off to pee! The crate technique is most effective. Never, ever, strike the dog. It does not teach anything but fear.

This dog displays very human emotion and while mostly happy and carefree becomes attached to his owner and can become depressed and anxious if left alone too long. They are very small so they love to climb on top of something so they can observe more easily and feel part of the action. I leave the drapes open when I am gone from home so my Bichon can keep an eye on the neighborhood happenings. It keeps her entertained and alert.

The Bichon is a great barker also and makes a great watchdog. By allowing yours to see outside, you have a burglar alarm. The bark is high pitched and sharp, easily heard and sometimes painful to the ears. With training, your Bichon will not be a yappy barker but an alert and protective security guard.

At the same time, this adorable creature is a clown and makes people laugh at the antics he gets into. The Bichon is the perfect size to dress up and stores like Pet Smart and Petco carry many outfits that fit them well. I have found some great clothes for my girl at local pet stores and they are easy to sew at home also. Patterns can be found online with a quick Google search. One of my favorite sites is: MiraBella has a huge trophy she won at a show for being the best dressed. Many find it silly to dress up a pet, but we find it fun and when your dog looks extra cute, you will take it with you when you go out.

This is a perfect time to state that you must NEVER leave your Bichon or any animal in the car for more than a few minutes and sometimes never at all. On a 72 degree day, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise to 95 degrees with only an 8 degree outside change. A study from Stanford University shows that even on comparatively cool days, such as 72 degrees, a car's internal temperature will rocket to 116 degrees within 60 minutes. And keeping the windows open a crack hardly slows the rise at all. Go to: and access studies on this. Many, many animals die of heat exhaustion every year in this horrific manner.

Some Bichons are not good with small children. Being small, the dog may become frightened if handled roughly and bite to protect itself. Mine has never even growled and tolerates anything as long as she is getting attention. Children should be reminded that this is a live and real animal, not a toy. Injuries to children or animals should receive immediate attention.

The Bichon’s coat is curly and requires a bit of care. It can become knotted and matted, however just a few minutes a day of combing will prevent this. Since the Bichon does not shed, mats can cause skin sores and other issues. The Bichon loves attention and a great grooming time is in the evening when the two of you are spending time together, watching television. Just keep a comb handy and give a few gentle runs over the soft coat and watch as the hair expands and becomes a cotton ball.

Create a regular bathing routine and your Bichon will grow to enjoy the bath and will remain compliant during this ritual. After bathing my Bichon MiraBella with regular dog shampoo, I finish with a blue shampoo that makes her coat almost sparkle. It removes any yellowness and her coat is white as snow. There are blue shampoos made especially for dogs, but I use one found in the local beauty supply store. As with any product, take care to protect those big, beautiful eyes from the soap.

Of course there are hundreds of grooming salons that do a great job with the Bichon and when cut in the official AKC style, they are adorable. This look is very hard to maintain though as well as expensive. I scissor clip mine because the clippers frighten her. Also, she looks like a puppy again when her hair is short.

A bathed and groomed Bichon is a pleasure to look at and your four legged friend will draw attention and admiration. These tiny performers will preen for the observer and the owner can potentially make new friends from these encounters.

The Bichon is a joy to live with and is quick to learn and intelligent. He will play games and learn tricks to please the owner and earn treats. These dogs are very fast runners and love to play chase with anyone, two or four legged. Use extreme caution when allowing your Bichon to run loose. These are very small animals and the driver of a vehicle may not see them dart into the street.

Exercise is beneficial for owner and dog. The Bichon requires a walk every day or time in a fenced yard so he can run and stretch his legs. Throw a Frisbee or ball to encourage your dog to exercise. He will also easily learn to climb short ladders. A child’s play set is great for your little friend. He will enjoy a small slide and you will love watching him do his tricks. Just remember that this is a small dog and he will tire accordingly. Do not force him to do more than he is able.

Bichons are quite peaceful and get along with everyone, including other pets. Introduce him to other animals at an early age so he will feel comfortable around other animals. He may be shy at first especially around larger dogs. A self confident Bichon will befriend anyone he meets, human or canine. My Bichon gets along with cats and my cockatiel flies free sometimes and MiraBella never bothers him. These dogs like others around.

Overall, one could not choose a better friend and companion than the Bichon. I highly recommend one. And there are many wonderful Bichons in rescue groups all over America and probably the world. The more animals rescued and not purchased from breeders, the fewer live in misery. Utilize rescue resources before getting any kind of animal at all. There are some great breeders so if you decide to purchase a Bichon, do your homework first and buy responsibly.

Edith Wharton said, “My little dog-a heartbeat at my feet.” This is so true of the Bichon. Enjoy your new friend. Because I know you must have a Bichon now!

All photographs and text on this site are protected under United States and international copyright laws-© Brenda Barnes.


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  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Hello Eiddwen. Thank you very much. Sweet Bella is a great little friend. I would recommend a Bichon to anyone. They are great family dogs. I also thought Ms. Carpenter's song was perfect for the Hub. She has so much feeling in her voice.

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

    What a wonderful hub,and the video clip fits in so well; of the eternal Karen Carpenter.

    Beautiful and all else here.

    Take care my frind and enjoy the rest of your day.


  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Thank you Sunshine. She is a jewel and the light of my life. Her humbleness is so sweet and precious. I am glad you enjoyed her. You must miss your friend a lot. Bichons are fun and funny.

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 6 years ago from Orlando, FL

    I had a Bichon when my kids were younger. He was the entertainment for the neighborhood children. Wonderful hub about your Bella.

  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Hello Alicia. We had never had a small dog before Bella. She needed a home so I adopted her and have never regretted it for a moment. I highly recommend these little dogs. They are great friends indeed.

    Thanks for dropping by. It is nice to meet you.

  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    MiraBellasays "thanks" to you vocalcoach. She is the most gentle dog I have ever known And cute. She carries her little stuffed baby everywhere, out to potty, to bed at night, it is so precious. Tell Clancey that she sends a friendly bark hello.

    I am glad to meet another Karen Carpenter fan. I feel she has been forgotten and her talent was so amazing. That voice was smooth as honey. How nice to see you again. I really appreciate your support and friendship.

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    Thanks for an interesting look at the Bichon and the useful information. I like the pictures too! I've owned several dogs, but they've all been medium sized. I love my present dog dearly, as well as the other dog in my family, and I hope that they both live for a long, long time, but I think that if I get another dog in the future it will be a small dog such as a Bichon.

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

    MiraBella...You are so very cute! My "Clancey" would love you (he isn't crazy about other dogs). Bichons' are wonderful pets. One of my favorite breeds. And I love the "heart beat at my feet" quote. How true!

    Karen Carpenter is my all time favorite female vocalist. No one will ever sing with the warmth and smoothness of this singer. Thank you for adding it. A wonderful addition. Voted UP and across the board.

  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Pollyannalana, yes they are so human! Those soulful eyes look out at us so sweetly and with such love. It is so painful when we lose them. My 18 year old cockatiel just died and oh, how I miss her.

    Thanks for the read and comment.

  • Pollyannalana profile image

    Pollyannalana 7 years ago from US

    Dogs are so human, aren't they? I have a 16 yr old cat and she is pretty smart for a cat and I know I am bound to lose her soon but any dogs I have lost have hurt me so bad.


  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Why thank you jt. I love research anyway. I moonlight as a SuperHero called Super Nerd. lol

    Thanks for the lovely comment about my precious girl. She is the best friend I can ever have.

  • profile image

    jt 7 years ago

    oh, Bella is sooooo cute-I would to have one just like her! The information about that bread of dogs was very helpful. Thanks Hyphnbird for all the research you do before posting your hubs and the links for those that want to do more.

  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Many thanks thoughtforce. I love the look on MiraBella's face in that Christmas dress. She did not want the bow on her head at all.

    I honestly cannot recommend these little dogs too highly. She has brought incredible love and joy to us. We had a Rottweiler before (he died) and she made the perfect opposite. I may never have a large dog again.

    I am so glad you found this helpful.

  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    ahorseback, the world would be a lonely place indeed.

    Thanks for checking in.

  • thougtforce profile image

    Christina Lornemark 7 years ago from Sweden

    Lovely photos and a very lovely dog. This is a breed i have been thinking of many times. Up until now I have only have large breeds but now I am thinking of a smaller dog. And the bichon looks so very cute and I like the fact that they dont shed . So thanks for the information about how the breed is!

  • ahorseback profile image

    ahorseback 7 years ago

    What in the world would we do without our dogs? Be well.