I have to admit, I have never been a “little dog” person. I prefer big beefy pups like my American bulldog, Bruce. However, my dad has a Bichon Frise named Sampson that I have become quite attached to.
Hi dog moms and dads! My name is Bri, and I have always been a dog lover. My dad always brought dogs home over the years, so I do not remember ever not having a dog.
However, my dad’s allergies started to get worse as he got older. Eventually, they were so bad that after our last dog passed away, he decided not to get another one.
We were heart broken, but my dad’s health had to come first. That is why I was entirely shocked to come home to a little white fluff ball one day that my dad was calling Sampson!
My dad could not bare to have a dog free home, so he did some research on breeds that are less likely to trigger a person’s allergies.
Luckily, there were several breeds that fit the bill, and the Bichon Frise was one of them.
The reason he was able to bring Sampson home is because of the difference in how he sheds.
To help others understand the difference and learn a little more about this spunky breed, I put together this shedding guide.
I will talk about the shedding traits of this breed as well as the best tools and tips to maintain their fur. First, let’s talk a little bit about the breed and where they came from!
History of the Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is a close cousin to the Bolognese, Havanese and Maltese breeds. These small pups got a lot of attention from European nobles in the 13th century, specifically in Spain, Italy and France.
They went through some rough patches during wars which sadly almost ended the bloodline but were actually major spotlight acts in circuses over the years which played a huge role in their survival.
Over the years, they once again became a symbol of class.
The American Kennel Club finally recognized the breed in 1964, and they are now lovable house pets that are also incredible performers in the dog show world.
What is the Bichon Frise Coat Like?
The Bichon Frise is basically a living, breathing cloud. They have thick, puffy, fluffy and curly white fur that is incredibly soft.
The Bichon Frise has an undercoat that is thick and warm and can become easily matted if not brushed regularly.
Many owners like to keep their fur a little on the long side to keep their coats looking nice and fluffy.
Sampson’s coat is super soft and fluffy, but we have to constantly brush him to keep it that way. This is also really healthy for him! I will explain why later in this article.
Does the Bichon Frise shed? How Much?
Newsflash: all dogs shed! However, the Bichon Frise sheds much less than other dogs.
This is why my dad was able to bring Sampson into our home. This breed does not shed like a normal dog.
Their undercoats do shed, but the fur gets trapped because of how thick the undercoat is. Their loose hair gets trapped which is what causes the matting.
This is why grooming is so important! But we will go further into that later.
When does the Bichon Frise shed the most?
All dogs shed year-round, at least moderately. There are a few factors that can change how much they shed. The most common factor is the shedding seasons.
Let’s take a look at all of them:
Time of Year
Dogs shed heavily twice a year. When the weather gets warmer, they shed their winter coat to stay cool in the hot summer weather.
Vice versa, they shed their summer coats, so their thick, warm winter coats have room to grow in. The same is true for the Bichon Frise!
Bichons shed pretty regularly year-round, but owners can expect to see an increase during these two shedding seasons.
Otherwise, you really will not see too much shedding throughout the year besides when you brush them.
Even then, when we brush Sampson not very much fur comes out on the brush.
The brushing really just helps to keep the fur from getting tangled and matted, so there is no need to worry if you do not see a lot of fur on the brush!
Stage of Life
Nothing is better than a fluffy little puppy! When it comes to shedding, puppies have the softest puppy fur that sheds much less than when they are adults.
Once puppies start to mature, they lose that puppy fur and grow in their adult coats. Adults will shed regularly throughout the year once they lose that baby fur.
Pests and Skin Conditions
Fleas, ticks, flies; all of these are pests to dogs. These bugs can cause excess itching, licking and irritation that can make them shed more than normal.
These pests can also cause skin conditions due to bacteria and diseases. Mange and lyme disease can spread like wildfire from these bugs which can definitely cause fur loss.
Diet & Exercise
The Bichon Frise is a very active and high energy dog. They need proper nutrition to keep them going!
Without the right nutrients, their skin and coat can definitely show signs of malnutrition. The same goes for exercise. Our Sampson can put down a TON of food, so we have to be careful with him!
If they are overweight, it can cause extreme stress on their joints and discomfort.
Their coat can also lack luster and cause itchy skin, which will cause them to lick and scratch. Thus causing more fur shedding than normal.
How to Combat Bichon Frise Shedding
You should never try to reduce the amount of fur dogs shed. This can be unhealthy for them. However, there are ways to manage it so it does not become a nuisance.
Luckily, the Bichon Frise does not shed like normal dogs making it much easier to manage. Grooming is the best way to handle this.
We take Sampson to a professional groomer every 6 to 8 weeks. They are able to get all his loose fur out and make him look like a prize-winning show pup.
Between grooming appointments, we brush his at least three times a week if not more. This helps keep his fur from getting tangled and matted.
Taking your Bichon Frise in for regular grooming appointments will also help keep their fur healthy, which will reduce the need to brush them as often.
If you decide not to take them to a groomer, they need to be brushed much more often, maybe even every day.
Equipment Help to Combat Bichon Frise Shedding
Like I said before, a professional groomer is the best bet as far as equipment goes. Grooming a Bichon Frise can be difficult, and if you are not careful you can end up hurting the dog.
A Bichon Frise’s fur is thick and curly, so you need a long-tooth brush to comb through all of it. I highly recommend the GoPets double-sided brush.
It has two sides, one with strong but soft bristles to comb through thick, tangled fur and one side with softer bristles for ultimate fluffing.
I also recommend having a great detangling shampoo to keep their fur conditioned and easy to brush! For Sampson, we use EZ Out shampoo.
It smells great, and it helps keep his fur soft and super easy to brush to keep him in check between grooming appointments.
A little bit of this stuff goes a long way, which is also great for saving some money.
Is the Bichon Frise Considered to be Hypoallergenic?
So this is kind of a gray area subject when it comes to the Bichon Frise. They are very commonly known as being hypoallergenic because they do not shed like other dogs do.
However, they do still shed. For that reason alone, they are not completely hypoallergenic. But no dog really is!
Along with the shedding of their fur, they also shed skin cells just like other dogs and people. This is called pet dander, and it can be a huge trigger for people with allergies.
While these dogs might not give people as many noticeable allergic reactions, it would be inaccurate to say that they are completely allergy free.
My dad did notice a significant decrease in his allergies with Sampson, though, which we were told by the vet is because he does shed so much less and differently than other dogs we have had.
Do Some Bichon Frise Shed More Than Others?
Short answer on this question is no, but there are always conditions and every dog is different! Most of the time, a Bichon Frise will shed the same amount as any other Bichon Frise.
However, that could be contingent on the climate they live in. Some people have Bichon Frises in colder areas, so their fur might be longer and thicker.
This means they will need brushed more often, and in return will shed more.
Vice versa, a Bichon Frise in a warmer climate will probably be groomed to have shorter hair more often.
They will shed less the more they are groomed, so they will most likely shed less than the Bichon Frise in the colder climate!
Otherwise, unless there are certain health conditions the dog is experiencing, they all shed pretty much the same amount of fur year-round. We will talk about some of those health conditions next.
Health Reasons for Increased Shedding in a Bichon Frise
Unfortunately, excess shedding is not necessarily a good sign in a seemingly healthy Bichon Frise.
It is important to pay attention to what is normal for your dog so that you are more likely to notice if they are shedding more than usual!
Excessive shedding can be a sign of multiple health concerns. Some of them could be internal, like cancer or digestive issues. It can also be a sign of allergies to food or something outside like pollen.
Other skin conditions like mange or fungal infections are easier to see. Rashes can show up along with obvious signs of distress in your dog!
The worse these conditions are, the more their fur will shed. These are serious problems for dogs, but they are treatable!
We try to give our dogs a thorough examination every time we brush or bath them just to check for anything that looks abnormal.
Final Thoughts: Do Bichon Frise Shed
If you or someone in your family has allergies to dogs, a Bichon Frise can definitely be an option that might not trigger them as badly as other dogs.
However, they are not completely hypoallergenic, so it is important to keep that in mind.
While their shedding is minimal and you typically will not see their fur on your clothing or furniture, they still shed. They just need extra help in controlling it.
It is very easy to keep a Bichon Frise’s shedding under control, especially with the help of a great groomer! They are very loving dogs with big personalities, and they love to play.
They are also very trainable, making them an extremely fun dog to have at home. If you are considering bringing a Bichon Frise home, you definitely need to be prepare to maintain their fur.
If their fur gets matted, it can cause major skin issues for them. However, regular maintenance will keep that from happening.
As long as you are ready to use that brush and call a groomer, you can’t go wrong with a Bichon Frise! Hopefully this helps you learn a little more about this breed and their shedding traits.
Happy Pup Parenting!