What Are The Temperaments Of A Bichon Frise?

Some Bichon Frise owners think these adorable breeds are the most fun and lovable lapdogs on the planet. Others think they are clingy and stubborn little nightmares with nothing but trouble to offer.

So which one is it? Sweet little angels or absolute demons?

What are the temperaments of a Bichon Frise? The Bichon Frise dog breed is known for having a friendly and social personality. Their temperament can be described as a blend of feisty, affectionate, cheerful, playful, sensitive, gentle. They are also occasionally emotionally volatile, especially when they feel threatened, which explains the contrasting accounts of owner experiences.

Bichons are fun to have around whether they are being sassy or little cuddle buddies. You just have to take your time to understand and put in the effort to give them the best experience.

In the sections below, we will discuss more on Bichon Frise’s personality. Let us look at what makes them so lovable and how to deal with the problematic traits.

What Are The Traits Of A Bichon Frise?

Bichon Frises were bred as non-sporting dogs whose main job in life was to be good companions to their owners- and they have perfected the art of being a great lapdog. Here are some of their most defining personality traits.


Bichon Frises have a predominantly feisty temperament and will take some time to warm up to you. They particularly do not like to share attention whether it is with other pets or other people.

Highly Affectionate

Bichons are super affectionate which is why they like to lick so much and love to cuddle. This physical bonding with their favorite humans actually releases endorphins which makes them happy.

Not Independent

They are also incredibly needy and will definitely not enjoy being left alone. If you are not careful, they can get so spoilt that they straight up refuse to do anything for themselves when you are there.


Bichon dogs are the 75th smartest dogs out of 138 which puts them in the high-average range of intelligence. This comes in particularly handy when training the pooch as they pick up on commands quickly and easily make the connection between rewards and obedience.


Bichon Frises are not outstandingly active but they do enjoy their playtime. To them, something as simple as chasing a laser dot or playing with yarn is enough to keep them happy. However, giving them some time outdoors is the best way to appreciate how much fun they can be.

Little Old Softies

Finally, Bichons are known to be timid and sensitive. They do not like being yelled at or scared as this only works them up and triggers anxiety episodes.

What Breeds Make Up A Bichon Frise?

Contrary to popular declarations by some unscrupulous breeders, Bichon Frises are not an original pure breed of dog. They are sired as a result of breeding Poodles and Barbets. The poodle side of the lineage is responsible for the white fur as well as several personality traits including the feistiness.

The Barbets, on the other hand, contribute to the thick coat covering and almost rounded features of the dog. It also contributes to some personality traits present in the Bichon including intelligence and playfulness.

The combination of these two bloodlines produces a special fur style. In addition to being a double coat, Bichon fur has a distinct tight curl pattern. This is in contrast to the wavy and smoother look of the Barbet and Poodles. The hair also stands up away from the body giving the dog their signature puffball look which is a strong sign of the poodle bloodlineโ€™s contribution.

In addition to being thick and fluffy, all Bichon Frises are white which is another key aspect of their very unique lookThis is according to the American Kennel Clubs standards by which the breed is defined and subsequently identified. Any other color or coat style does not qualify to be referred to as a real Bichon Frise.

However, if you look up brown or black Bichons you will find a few options. These are technically speaking not real Bichon Frises. Instead, they are mostly mixed breeds including the Bichon and another breed with dominant fur coloring genes. The fur in this case is also often looser with more of a wavy than curly texture.

Are Bichon Frise Easy To Train?

Bichons are notoriously challenging to train. You, therefore, have to learn how to balance assertiveness, patience, and good training techniques. That way whether you are teaching them some fun trick or training Bichons to stop barking a lot you will have better chances of succeeding.

First off, you have to appreciate the fact that Bichon Frises can be really stubborn. Their sassy predisposition often leads them to do things not because they have been told but because they want to. Your best tool here is assertiveness. Once they know who is boss they cave.

Bichons do not respond well to harshness. In fact Bichons can be aggressive when they feel threatened. With this in mind, avoid things like yelling, hitting or other forms of punishment. These will lead to regression and just make training a lot harder down the line when you choose to continue. 

Fortunately for you, there are several innate traits that the dog has that could work in your favor. Firstly, they are fairly Intelligent and will quickly come to understand what is expected of them and comply with successful training.

There is also the fact that Bichons love to please. They love the praise and affection that comes with it so all you have to do is be clear about what you expect.

Finally, these dogs are actually easy to please too which means a few treats here and there during training will go a long way. If you are in the process or about to start your sessions, try the Merrick Lil Plates Tasty Treats For Small Breed Dogs as they will surely keep your doggy motivated to do the right thing.

Bichon Frise’s Sleeping Habits

Bichon Frises sleep a lot. A properly tuckered-out pooch can put in between 12 and 14 hours of sleep every single day. About 8 hours of this are spent on continuous sleep at night. The rest are little casual naps here and there during the day. These fun little siestas are of just as much value to the health and optimum cognitive functioning of the dog.

When Bichons are in their newborn and young puppy stages, they often sleep much longer. They can actually put in between 18 and 20 hours per day as puppies. The newborns do this effortlessly while the older puppies have to play and explore while awake to put in such numbers.

Unfortunately, this dog breed is also known to regularly suffer from sleep problems. Most of these are associated with different forms of anxiety whether it is related to traumatic events, loud noises, or the fear of getting separated from their loved ones again.

Not only does this become problematic for the dog, but also for you who has to put up with all the nighttime whining and barking as they demand attention.

SmartPetLove Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy might just be the magical solution you have been hunting for this whole time if your Bichon has trouble sleeping. It mimics a real heartbeat which has an undeniable calming effect on the dog.

You could also invest in sleep supplements with compounds like melatonin, hemp, chamomile, lavender, and many other ingredients with calming effects.

Tips On How to Live With A Bichon Frise

Bichons are fun dogs to have around the house if you want one that will love you just as much as you love them. However, living with them will mean making certain adjustments to accommodate their special behavioral needs. Here are 5 foolproof hacks that will help.

Learn The Art Of Patience

Having a Bichon Frise around will test your patience especially as you go through the housebreaking phase. They are feisty and stubborn and will go out of their way to piss you off. Just give them time and once they warm up to your life will get way better.

Itโ€™s Okay To Spoil Them A Little

Bichons really just want to be loved and it is not too much to ask. So feel free to indulge your furry bestie every once in a while. Give them a treat for being good. Let them cuddle up with you as you watch TV. This will help them feel more comfortable and safe allowing you to enjoy all the awesome perks of having this dog.

Learn How To Deal With Bichon Nerves

Bichon Frises are prone to anxiety and they can act out a lot as a result. Invest in different ways to calm them down. It could be anything from a chew toy to daily walks.

You could also try calming essential oils in which case the Smart Wi-Fi Wireless Ultrasonic Diffuser, from Sierra Modern Home, is a wonderful investment that can pair well with Alexa or Google Home.

Get Them Something To Chew On

Given their numerous dental problems, investing in chew toys is non-negotiable. The Yotache Small Dog Chew Toys are worth looking into if you want something fun for the dog but also built to last. The variety in the 6-piece pack also means you get to switch things up if your dog starts to get bored.

Invest In Outdoor Time

Bichons love to be outside. So if you have a nice and secured space to work with you should invest in making it as dog-friendly as possible. This includes investing in things like outdoor dog baths, fence chains, outdoor dog beds, and even the UPSKY Dog Water Bowl so your pooch stays hydrated as they play.

What Does Bichon Mean In French? The word bichon has its origins in the French language and is a term of endearment for small and cute things, especially dogs. In this context, it refers to a small dog or a lap dog which is quite fitting for the Bichon family which includes breeds like the Maltese and the Bichon Frise.

Why Are Bichon Frise So Expensive? Bichon Frise puppies can cost between $700 and $2,000 which will make them among the priciest breeds on the market. The main reason for this is the hype behind their adorable aesthetics. Everyone wants a bright and puffy little ball of love. They are also hypoallergenic which increases their demand and ultimately their value.

What Health Problems Do Bichon Frise Have? Bichon Frises are typically very healthy dogs. In fact, their main health problems are simple issues like allergies to things like dust, mites, pollen, chemicals, and some fabrics. However, they also suffer from skeletal issues like patellar luxation, congenital anomalies like liver shunts, and even cancers in which case hemangiomas are the most common.

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Pete Decker