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A Senior Bichon’s Advice to Younger Dogs – Bichon Frise Life Stages

Life Stages of Bichon Frise Dogs

Thinking about getting a Bichon Frise? Did you know that each Bichon Frise puppy is different and will mature and learn at slightly different rates? So, in this post, we will talk about the different life stages of these Bichon Frise puppies and discuss some interesting information about this adorable companion.

What are Bichon Frise Life Stages

  • Puppyhood
  • Adolescent
  • Adulthood
  • Senior stage/ Seniority

The Bichon Frise is a baby-doll face little dog with a snow-white coat and round beautiful black eyes. Bichon Frise is a French word meaning “curly lap dog” but the breed is also known as the Bichon Tenerife or Tenerife Dog. Bichon Frise Life Stages

If you are looking for a happy companion that is good with both people and other animals, consider the Bichon.  He loves to be the center of attention, which isn’t surprising given that he used to be adored by royalty and performed tricks to the roars of the circus crowds. This dog loves to play. He is always happy except when left alone for long periods of time.


If you have loveable Bichon you will be definitely interested in the history and origin of your dog. The Bichon is one of the few breeds that truly have existed for at least 2,000 years, although, of course, he was not always known by that name.

Little white fluffy dogs were basically found throughout the Mediterranean and it is also assumed their basic origin.

They prospered because of their cute adorable size and appealing personality throughout the world as popular trade items.  During the Renaissance, they could be found at the royal court of France, and they are often seen in portraits as the companions of fine ladies.

Bichons Frises first were brought to the United States in 1956. Bichons may be little eye-catching buddies but they’re hardy. Despite their tiny size, they’re not classified as a Toy breed by the American Kennel Club; instead, they’re members of the Non-Sporting Group.

Temperament and Personality

If you wish to own a Bichon, you should thoroughly research Bichon Frise temperament traits and behaviors to help you decide whether they are compatible with the various personalities in your household.

Your Bichon Frise temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Bichon has a playful, independent streak , but that doesn’t mean he likes to be alone.

If they are left alone for many hours, it causes the separation anxiety  and these sweet puppies may become destructive, chewing and tearing up anything in sight. Obviously the Bichon is not a breed of choice for people who are away from home for long periods of time (indeed, no dog is).

Bichons are brilliant and love to learn tricks, and they’re highly trainable. During training, you need to be firm but gentle. Harsh instructions and scolding will shatter a Bichon’s heart. Many Bichon owners train their dogs for compliance, agility, and rally competition. Both dogs and owners enjoy this activity, and it’s a good way to bond more closely with your Bichon .

Another very admirable Bichon Frise temperament is that they have incredible watchdog abilities and agility. These dogs are known to be very attentive and alert to their environments

Fear Aggression

This condition is the result of a more complex problem of Bichon Frise breed that is also known as the small dog syndrome. They are often threatened and overreact to make up for their tiny physique because the Bichon Frise knows that they are small dogs. They display their aggressive temperament by roaring, barking or by simply biting. All these are signs that are intended to cover for this feeling of inadequacy.

Bichon Frise: Life Development Stage

As your Bichon grows from a puppy to senior, you’ll need to adjust how you take care of him. Here’s what to expect as he moves through four stages of life.

As with other dogs, Bichons undergo four stages in their lifecycle. They are:

  • Puppyhood
  • Adolescent
  • Adulthood
  • Senior stage/ Seniority

Stage 1: Puppyhood

The puppyhood lasts for 6 – 18 months. Generally, Bichon Frise puppies stay with the mother and litter until at least eight weeks of age and the greatest amount of learning and socialization is done then. When your Bichon Frise puppy arrives at you he or she has already established some understanding and learn to freely interact with their breeders and humans in general.

Bichon Frise puppies slowly switch from their mother’s milk to eating other foods when they’re 3 or 4 weeks old. They should be fully switched over from milk to food by the time they’re 7 or 8 weeks old.

Between 8 and 12 weeks, the puppy is in the socialization stage, and can move to a “human pack”. The best time for the separation from mother and brothers and sisters is at 10 weeks of age.

Bichon Frise puppies are not naturally frightened or timid but they may initially run or hide from new things, people, events or variable sounds. However, they should quickly come about to explore. Once they find out they have nothing to fear, you will observe the fear response rapidly decrease.

They should have attention and support from the family but should also be allowed some independence to be a puppy. Often their white, fluffy and delicate appearance makes owners think they are not sturdy, hardy and curious puppies that need to have time to investigate the world and learn on their own.

The puppy may try to engage the people in the family in games just like they would with other puppies. It is important to play with the puppy and spend time teaching them that they cannot bite or growl at people and that they can play with people with toys.

Stage 2: Adolescent

The phase of an adolescent is usually rather short and will last from between one month and six weeks. Between six to 18 months after birth, puppies reach adolescence. Generally speaking, small breeds reach adolescence more quickly than large ones.

Bichon Frise usually reaches adolescent around the sixth month, and can manifest itself in many different ways: often your Bichon will behave badly and won’t want to learn anything new. Sometimes he may forget what he has learned so far, or at least pretend to. In this phase, you should be persistent and keep on with his education program.

It is important to know that this phase is associated with significant growth spurts and clumsy behavior as your dog grows accustomed to its rapidly changing body. This is the ideal time for them to receive obedience training to ensure they grow into healthy, strong and well-behaved adults.

If you want to know when your Bichon finished the adolescent stage, then observe your puppy closely. A male Bichon has finished puberty when he starts to lift his leg to urinate. A female Bichon will be out of puberty when she goes into heat for the first time; this may happen between the seventh and eighth months but may take up to one to 2 years.

Spaying and neutering, while they are puppies rather than as adults, can help prevent problems like breast cancer and testicular disease when they get older.

Stage 3: Adulthood

Your Bichon Frise is now officially an “adult” once he has finished growing. He looks and behaves like a grown dog. Adulthood in dogs begins between one to three years after birth.

Although slight changes in size and shape may occur in your dog after adulthood begins, this stage usually marks the end of their growth. Adult dogs require frequent exercise and stimulating activities to keep them engaged and in high spirits.

Emotional maturity, on the other hand, is when a Your Bichon acts like a dog instead of a puppy. You may not see it happening, but one day you’ll realize that your little cute puppy has become a big responsible dog.

Diet is one way to distinguish between the puppy and adult year. Puppy food has more calories than adult dog food because growing pups need more energy to fuel their day. As your puppy stops growing, you will eventually switch to dog food for adult dogs.

You should not have your Bichon Frise mated or bred when she is in the heat for the first time because her organs are not yet fully developed. After her first heat, her diet should be changed to that of an adult bitch.

Stage 4: Seniority

Here is good news for you, your Bichon Frise’s aging will be slow because smaller breed tends to age slowly. Different breeds of dogs are considered seniors at different ages. It may also depend on the individual dog. The process of aging will begin slowly and nearly imperceptibly.

Your Lively Bichon will become less active, his metabolism will slow down, and he might put on weight. At this time, it’s important to change his diet and give him smaller portions two to three times daily. This will relieve his digestive system and ensure an even intake of nutrients. Your dog might need a special diet, which you can get from your veterinarian.

In general, the first signs of seniority will appear between the eighth and tenth year. He may experience a deterioration of sight and hearing. His sense of smell is normally not affected too much by aging.

Your senior Bichon will still love to play and enjoy- even if his fitness level has declined somewhat. It is best not to scold him, if he has some little house training “accidents, he’ll be quite embarrassed.

More Detailed Breakdown of Dog Life Stages

Caring For a Bichon Frise


If you fell in love with the Bichon because of the way their pure white coat sets off those dark eyes, you’d better be prepared to spend a lot of time cleaning away tear stains, which cause a rust discoloration that most people find pretty unsightly. I think you will agree that no one wants a dirty unpleasant-looking Bichon.

Grooming is key to making your cotton ball dog pop!! You must regularly comb and brush the Bichon’s coat to keep it clean. You will also need to trim her coat once a month.

The Bichon does not really shed. This is because the hair she does loose ends up getting knotted up with her other hair. It is for this reason that you should regularly brush the Bichon. Brushing regularly prevents skin problems and a build-up of dirt and dead skin.


While the Bichon is a smaller dog but still requires daily exercise . You can let her run around the yard or take her for a walk. If the dog isn’t exercising, there will be slow but steady weight gain, leading to obesity in middle age.


On average, a Bichon should weigh about 15 lbs . Therefore, Bichon Frise only needs to eat just over 500 calories a day.

The number of feedings per day changes as your Bichon Frise puppy gets older:

  • 2 to 3 months old: 4 times a day
  • 3 to 6 months old: 3 times a day
  • 6 months old to 1-year-old: 2 times a day

After age 1, feed your Bichon once or twice a day.

The Puppies Below were having Breakfast – Darlene and I had weaned them. Then they ferociously wanted breakfast – have to keep an eye on them not to let them over-eat. Greg

Puppy Breakfast
Puppy Breakfast

If you want to know your loveable companion is obese or not, you can do the simple test. First, look down at him. You should be able to see a waist. Then place your hands on his back, thumbs along the spine, with the fingers spread downward. You should be able to feel but not see his ribs without having to press hard. If you can’t, your fluffy needs less food and more exercise.

Bichon Frise Health Issues

If you have decided that this is the puppy that you want, you need to learn something about their health concerns.

These concerns include:

If you feel anything unusual immediately contact the veterinarian for proper help . All these health conditions can be attended to by a qualified vet, so don’t be upset. Also, make sure you get you Bichon checked periodically for heartworms .

Bichon Frise Lifespan – How Long Do They Typically Live?

Your healthy Bichon Frise can live between 12 and 15 years. This is a normal lifespan for a smaller breed.

Vaccines and visits to the vet Dogs need several rounds of vaccinations or shots during their first year. Talk to your veterinarian about which ones your dog needs and when to get them. Take your dog to the vet every year for a checkup.

Article FAQ – Bichon Frise – 81 Frequently Asked Questions

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