By Yashwini Shetty*

Bichon Frise is a cheerful, small dog breed with a love of mischief and a lot of love to give. With its black eyes and fluffy white coat, a Bichon looks almost like a soft toy. They are super playful and intelligent, and even novice pet parents and apartment dwellers will get along great with these dogs. However, they do need plenty of playtime and activity, and they don’t care for being left alone at home for long hours of a day. If you can give your dog lots of attention and love, you’ll get it back tenfold from an adoring Bichon. The Bichon Frise is known as a ‘high maintenance’ dog breed. Their grooming might look complicated, but we’ve got lots of tips and tricks to help your dog look fab with less effort!

Bichon Frise is just one of those dog breeds you can’t help but love! In fact, a Bichon Frise named ‘Flynn’ recently surprised the world by achieving top honours at the West Minister Dog Show, beating 3000 other dogs.

Type of Fur

A Bichon Frise has a very soft coat with a velvet feel. This dog breed was nicknamed as ‘Powder-puff’. Their full adult coat is double layered; these two layers give the coat its soft velvety texture. A properly groomed and healthy Bichon coat will naturally spring back when you touch it. 

When and How Often to Groom

For adult dogs, give a brushing at home at least two to three times per week and preferably daily. In addition to at-home brushing, you should also take your Bichon for a professional grooming every two to three weeks. For owners who don’t have time at home – should schedule weekly professional grooming to keep the fur free of tangles and mats for a healthy skin.

How to Groom

Your Bichon Frise will need two types of regular coat care – regular maintenance brushing and full grooming every one week. Full grooming includes a bath, ear cleaning, teeth cleaning and gland squeezing, nail trimming, and coat trimming; it would take care of the whole dog. For full grooming, it is advisable to take your dog to a professional groomer.

Regular Maintenance Brushing At Home

To start with, use a detangling spray; it can help ease out any tangles without causing your dog any discomfort. Begin with a comb or slicker brush. Teach your dog to lie down on one side during brushing. This gives you the option of brushing hair upwards away from the skin. This is more comfortable and less likely to cause skin problems. It is also a more relaxing position for dogs. Use a comb or slicker brush that can reach down through both layers of fur to gently remove trapped shed hair. You may brush the body region first and then move on to finer areas where mat and tangles are more likely (legs, tail, face). If you want to give your dog a bath, this is a good time after you have done your initial brushing to remove tangles. Once you have washed and dried your dog then do another comb through to catch any tangles that may have formed during bathing and drying. Then you can use a pin brush to fluff the fur and add finishing touches. Brushing distributes natural oils, leaving a shiny, healthy coat.

Tools Required For Brushing

Haircut

A classic show clip should follow the lines of the dog’s body. Head should be trimmed in a rounded shape but left long so as to showcase this breed’s ‘powder-puff’ appeal. The moustache, beard tail, and ear areas can also be left longer. Hair inside the inner ear and between the paw pads can be clipped for health reason; it is a tricky job, so it is advisable to visit professional groomer and not attempt this at home, unless you are well trained for the same. The only time a Bichon Frise should ever be shaved is when its coat has become tangled or matted; otherwise the hair should always be left at a medium length even clip. 

Hope this timely guide to basic brushing and grooming your Bichon frise at home has been helpful!

*Author is an internationally certified pet stylist and has been grooming for over 2 years. She can style all breeds of dogs and cats! She has a pet salon and store named ‘Pet Grooming Tales’ at Goregaon east. She can be reached at her Instagram handle @pet.grooming.tales and on Facebook you can follow her page @petgroomingtales.

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