Standard Bichon Frise
Origin and Purpose
The Bichon Frise originated in the Canary Islands and was formerly called the
Bichon Teneriffe after the largest of this group of islands. It has been
bred as a companion dog because of its friendly and affectionate nature.
The Bichon Frise is a small, sturdy, white powder puff of a dog. Its dark-eyed,
intelligent expression, and plumed tail carried jauntily over the back attest
to its merry temperament and create an overall air of elegance and dignity.
This is a breed that has no gross or
incapacitating exaggerations and therefore, there is no inherent reason for lack
of balance or unsound movement.
Any deviation from the ideal described
in the standard should be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Structural
faults common to all breeds are as undesirable in the Bichon Frise as in any
even though such faults may not be specifically mentioned in the standard.
Alert, gentle mannered, playful and affectionate. A cheerful attitude is the
hallmark of the breed and one should settle for nothing less.
Dogs and bitches 9.5 inches to 11.5 inches are to be given primary preference.
Only where the comparative superiority of a specimen outside this range clearly
justifies it, should greater latitude be taken. In no case, however, should this
latitude ever extend over 12 inches or under 9 inches. The minimum limits do not
apply to puppies.
Coat and Colour
The texture of the coat is of utmost importance. The undercoat is soft and
dense, the outer coat of a coarser and curlier texture. The combination of the
two gives a soft but substantial feel to the touch which is similar to plush or
velvet and when patted, springs back.
The coat is trimmed to reveal the
natural outline of the body. It is rounded off from any direction and never cut
so short as to create an overly trimmed or squared off appearance. The
furnishings of the head, beard, moustache, arch of neck, ears and tail are left
longer. The longer head hair is trimmed to create an overall rounded impression.
The topline is trimmed to appear level. The coat is long enough to maintain the
powder puff look which is characteristic of the breed, and when bathed, brushed
and trimmed, the coat stands off the body, creating an overall powder puff
appearance. A wiry coat is not desirable. A limp silky coat that lies down, or a
lack of undercoat are very serious faults.
The colour is white. There may be
shadings of buff, cream or apricot around the ears or on the body. Any colour in
excess of 10% of the entire coat of a mature specimen is a fault and should be
penalized, but colour of the accepted shadings should not be faulted in puppies.
The skull is slightly rounded, allowing for a round and forward looking eye. The
skull should be broad, not coarse, covered with a topknot of hair giving it a
rounded appearance. Muzzle: A properly balanced head is three parts muzzle to
five parts skull. This is measured from the nose to the stop and from the stop
of the occiput. The stop is slightly accentuated. A line drawn between the
outside corners of the eyes and to the nose will create a near equilateral
triangle. There is a slight degree of chiselling under the eyes, but not so much
as to result in a weak or snipey foreface. The lower jaw is strong. Nose: The
nose is prominent and always black. Mouth: Lips are black, fine, never drooping.
Bite is scissors. A bite which is undershot or overshot should be penalized. A
crooked or out of line tooth is permissible, however missing teeth are to be
severely faulted. Eyes: Eyes are round, black or dark brown and are set in the
skull to look directly forward. An overly large or bulging eye is a fault as is
an almond shaped, obliquely set eye. Halos, the black or very dark brown skin
surrounding the eyes, are necessary as they accentuate the eye and enhance
expression. The eye rims themselves must be black. Broken pigment, or total
absence of pigment on the eye rims produce a blank and staring expression, which
is a definite fault. Eyes of any colour other than black or dark brown is a very
serious fault and must be severely penalized. Ears: The ears are dropped and
covered with long, flowing hair. When extended towards the nose, the leathers
reach approximately halfway the length of the muzzle. They are set on slightly
higher than eye level and rather forward on the skull so that when the dog is
alert they frame the face.
The arched neck is long and carried proudly behind an erect head. It blends
smoothly into the shoulders. The length of neck from occiput to withers is
approximately one-third the distance from forechest to buttocks.
Shoulders: The shoulder blade, upper arm and forearm are approximately equal in
length. The shoulders are laid back to somewhat near a forty-five degree angle.
The upper arm extends well back so the elbow is placed directly below the
withers when viewed from the side. The elbows are held close to the body.
Legs are of medium bone; straight, with no bow or curve in the forearm or wrist.
The pasterns slope slightly from the vertical. The dewclaws may be removed.
The body from the forward most part of the chest to the point of rump is 25%
longer than the height at the withers. The body from the withers to lowest point
of the chest represents half the distance from withers to ground. The back from
the withers to the set of tail is slightly shorter than the dog is tall.
The topline is level except for a slight, muscular arch over the loin.
The chest is well developed and wide enough to allow free and unrestricted
movement of the front legs. The lowest point of the chest extends at least to
the elbow. The forechest is well pronounced and protrudes slightly forward of
the point of shoulder. The rib cage is moderately sprung and extends back to a
short and muscular loin.
The abdomen is well muscled, not flabby, with a moderate tuck-up.
The loin is short and muscular.
There is a slight, muscular arch over the loin. The croup is level.
Hipbone flat, not protruding, slightly muscular.
Upper Thigh/Lower Thigh
The upper and lower thighs are nearly equal in length, meeting at the stifle
The leg from hock joint to foot pad is perpendicular to the ground.
The stifle joint is well bent.
The paws are tight and round with black, thick pads. The dewclaws may be
removed. Nails are kept short.
The tail is well plumed, set on level with the topline and curved gracefully
over the back in line with the spine so that the hair of the tail rests on the
back. The tailbone is not to touch the back. Carried in this way and extended
forward towards the head it reaches at least halfway to the withers. A low tail
set, a tail carried perpendicular to the back or a tail which droops behind is
to be penalized. A corkscrew tail is a very serious fault.
Movement at a trot is free, precise and effortless. In profile, the forelegs and
hind legs extend equally with an easy reach and drive that maintains a steady
topline. When moving, the head and neck remain somewhat erect and as speed
increases there is a very slight convergence of legs toward the centre line.
Moving away, the hindquarters travel with moderate width between them and the
foot pads can be seen. Coming and going, movement is precise and true.
Cow-hocks; incorrect head proportion; poor pigmentation; protruding or almond
shaped eyes; undershot or overshot bite; missing teeth; incorrect body
proportions; incorrect tail set or carriage; overly trimmed coat on adults or
puppies which does not portray a powder puff appearance; aggressive or shy