For anyone considering adoption, a Bichon Frise is a delightful breed that has risen in popularity among dog enthusiasts everywhere. Well-loved for their sunny dispositions and ability to get along with other pets as well as children, many folks opt for Bichons due to their small stature, which makes them ideal for apartment dwelling. However, people seeking a canine companion who also happen to suffer from allergies may also want to consider a Bichon, as they have been known to trigger fewer allergies compared to other dogs. While there is no such thing as a truly ‘hypoallergenic’ dog, Bichon Frise pups offer many benefits for potential pet parents, since they don’t shed as heavily as other pooches. So, if you are wondering, “Do Bichon Frise shed?”, you are not alone. Read on to find out everything you need to know about this adorable, fun-loving breed.
The History Of The Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise breed can trace its lineage back quite far into history – some experts believe they are descendants of the Water Spaniel, including a presence recognized in the Mediterranean during the Middle Ages. In fact, certain historians believe they were brought to Europe by sailors who came from the Canary Islands. Recognized far and wide for their happy temperaments and social nature, it’s no wonder they became a favorite across Europe among nobility. The beloved white pooches were even the subject of
famous painters, including the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya.
However, by the 19th century, the popularity of the Bichon declined briefly, and were often utilized in traveling circuses. After World War I, the breed reclaimed its popularity once again, and was introduced to the United States in 1956 from France by the Picault family. The Bichon Frise was formally recognized as a non-sporting dog by the American Kennel Club in 1973, and has since remained a popular small-breed dog throughout the U.S.
Are Bichon Frises Hypoallergenic?
Although Bichon Frises may be considered ‘hypoallergenic’, most experts will agree that such a dog doesn’t exist – a person is either allergic to dogs or isn’t. However, science has indicated that people who suffer from allergies aren’t actually allergic to the hair or fur, but the proteins found in the dog’s urine, sweat and saliva. To go one step further, many studies have illustrated that some individuals are allergic to specific breeds of dogs, while other types of dogs will not trigger an allergy attack for that same person. So in a nutshell – no, according to scientific evidence, Bichon Frises aren’t hypoallergenic – but neither are any other breeds. However, Bichons ARE allergy-friendly for some folks, making them a promising option for dog lovers who also happen to suffer from chronic allergies.
Tips For Dog-Loving Allergy Sufferers: Allergy-Proofing The Home
While there are many individuals who suffer from chronic allergies – including dog allergies – there are an equal amount of people who won’t let a case of the sniffles come between them and owning a dog. For potential pet parents who are willing to risk dog-related allergies (and for households that may have a resident with bad allergies), there are certain precautions that can be taken to lessen the severity and frequency of allergy attacks:
- Regular Grooming: For households with a Bichon, it’s important to brush and clean him regularly. Since he’s an all-white dog, he’ll require bathing whenever he gets dirty in order to keep his coat looking (and smelling) clean, as well as remove trapped dander and allergens that become airborne – and trigger human allergies. Be sure to brush him at least twice a week to keep his curly coat free of knots and canine fur mats, and always brush before bath time to avoid tangles. Consult a trusted groomer to determine the best brush to keep his coat silky smooth. For individuals who aren’t comfortable with ear cleaning, haircuts, dog nail trimming and more in-depth grooming practices, be sure to find a reputable groomer to tend to his needs.
- Routine Housecleaning: Although it may seem fairly obvious, regular vacuuming, sweeping, mopping and even washing sheets and other upholstered surfaces can help reduce the amount of pet dander in the home. By establishing a daily/weekly routine, managing the allergy-inducing substances via proper cleaning can help reduce allergy attacks. Bijons don’t shed often, but they do shed – so frequent housekeeping may benefit allergy sufferers within the home.
- HEPA Machines: In the instance of severe allergies in the household, a HEPA air purifier may be beneficial when it comes to purifying the air, particularly for homes with multiple pets. The more frequently the air purifier is run within the home, the less occurrence of animal dander there will be in the atmosphere to trigger allergy attacks.
Four-Legged Friends: Is A Bichon Right For Your Family?
With so many great attributes to offer, a Bichon Frise can be a wonderful additional to the right family. From his cheery personality and his gentle nature to his tendency to be a low-shedding dog, there are so many reasons why a Bichon might be the perfect companion for a couple, a senior citizen, or somebody living in the city. But no matter your case, a Bichon requires adequate training and exercise, a well-balanced diet for optimal health, proper grooming, and of course, plenty of love and affection. Be sure to research breeds before deciding upon adoption, especially if there are allergy sufferers within the household. When it comes to pet parenting, remaining proactive and researching a breed’s background, history and expectations will ensure the health and happiness of both owner and dog for the duration of the pup’s lifetime.
1) “Bichon Frise.” Dogtime.com, (no publish date), https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/bichon-frise. Accessed October 19, 2019.
2) “Bichon Frise Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits.” Hill’s, (no publish date), https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/dog-breeds/bichon-frise. Accessed October 19, 2019.
3) Callari, Ron. “From Goya To Westminster, The Bichon Frise Has Come A Long Way Baby!” Pets Lady.com, February 16, 2018, http://petslady.com/article/goya-westminster-bichon-frise-has-come-long-way-baby. Accessed October 19, 2019.