Aldrich Animal Hospital

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

Basic Bichon Frise Information

  • Lifespan: 12 - 15 years
  • Height: 10 - 12 inches
  • Weight: 10 - 16 pounds

Medical Conditions Seen in Bichon Frises

Bichon Frise Traits

  • Joggin Partner
  • Lap Dog
  • Good with Children
  • Warm Weather
  • Cold Weather
  • Grooming Requirements
  • Shedding
  • Barking
  • Ease of Training

Bichon Frise History

  • The bichon is a descendent of the barbichon family of dogs, which in turn descends from the barbet, a large water dog.
  • Bichons were divided into four types: Maltaise, Bolognese, Havanese and Tenerife.
  • The Tenerife, developed on the Canary Island of Tenerife, was brought to Italy in the 14th century. They quickly became favored pets of the upper class.
  • After a series of French invasions of Italy in the 1500s, the dogs were brought back to France where they once again became favored pets of the aristocracy.
  • For some unknown reason, the breed fell out of favor with the upper class. It survived as a street dog, performing tricks with organ grinders to entertain passersby for money.
  • World War I nearly brought about the demise of the breed, but a few people tried to save it.
  • In 1933, a breed standard was drawn up and it became an official breed, the bichon frise.
  • Bichons came to America in the 1950s, and received AKC recognition in 1971.

Bichon Frise Behavior Concerns

  • Makes an affectionate and exuberant companion.
  • Playful, gentle and very good with children.
  • Very friendly to strangers, other dogs and other pets.
  • Does best with reward-based training involving food or games.
  • Eager to please, bright and responsive.
  • Some tend to bark a lot, which should be discouraged from an early age.
  • Some can be difficult to housetrain.

Bichon Frise Suggested Exercises

  • Makes a lively and alert housedog.
  • A walk around the block once or twice daily, plus a vigorous game, will meet its exercise needs, not counting bathroom breaks.
  • Many bichons have been trained to use indoor potty systems.
  • Dog parks can work out well as long as bichons are not expected to mingle with much larger dogs.
  • Games and tricks provide needed mental exercise.
  • Its thick coat provides some protection against cold weather, but its fairly small body size nonetheless makes it vulnerable to the cold.

Bichon Frise Grooming

  • Coat is curly, coarse and dense.
  • Brushing and combing every other day is necessary to prevent matting.
  • Most people have their dogs professionally clipped every month.
  • Shedding is below average.
  • No breed is actually non-allergenic, but bichons may cause fewer allergies compared to most other breeds.

Suggested Bichon Frise Nutritional Needs

  • Bichons tend to stay in good weight. The thick coat can sometimes obscure weight problems, so be sure to use your hands to feel.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.

Did you know?

  • Grapes and raisins are harmful to dogs.
  • Some dog parasites are transferable to humans.
  • Many common pet ailments may be detected early and prevented by visiting your veterinarian twice yearly - saving both time, money, and most importantly, ensuring the best quality of life for your dog.

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Ask the Vet

Have unanswered pet health questions? Dr.Donna Spector, with 10+ years of hands-on Internal Medicine experience, is here with your answers every Friday.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


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Emergency Care

Aldrich Animal Hospital is open Monday-Wednesday 8AM-8PM; Thursday-Friday 8AM-6PM and on Saturday 8AM-4PM (we are closed on Sunday). If your pet has a medical emergency during our hospital’s hours, please telephone us immediately at 631-669-3161. Our experienced team of veterinarians, technicians and assistants are here to help you and your pet.

Our address is:

      Aldrich Animal Hospital
      537 Sunrise Highway
      West Babylon, NY 11704

Please click here for directions to our location.

If your pet is experiencing a medical crisis when our hospital is closed, you may take your pet to either of following 24/7/365 veterinary emergency hospitals in our vicinity:

Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island
75 Sunrise Highway
West Islip, NY 11795
Open 24/7/365

Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center of Westbury
609-5 Cantiague Rock Road
Westbury NY 11590 
Open 24/7/365