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Bichon Frise vs Poodle

Bichon Frise vs Poodle

Let’s talk about Bichon Frise vs Poodle. Perhaps you are wondering which one is best to include in your family. While they are both cute and fluffy, these two have different personalities. Whether you just saw this post by accident or found it while searching, we can ensure you that this is jam-packed with relevant information.

Many people get confused if a dog is a Bichon Frise or Poodle. That’s forgivable considering that they look similar. Yet, they have a lot of differences.

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It’s always a great idea to know the history of dogs because you can identify what they used to be and why they behave such in the current times.

Bichon Frise 

Bichon Frise’s history is unknown. Many people believe that it descended from Barbet, a French water dog. There’s also a speculation that the name itself came from the word barbican and is a diminutive form of Barbet. These breeds were crossbred with smaller white lapdogs, which resulted in Bichons. There are four Bichons known as Bolognese, Maltaise, Havanese, and Teneriffe. 

Teneriffe Bichon was later renamed or shortened to Bichon Frise. According to some, it is possible that back in the 1200s, Italian sailors saw these furry dogs in the Meddietrenean, which they then brought back to Italy. From there, it became popular among wealthy people.

Initially, they were bred to be a companion. You can even see paintings from the Renaissance period where the dogs were included in the portrait with their noble owners. However, when Napoleon’s reign ended, the status of Bichon Frises declined as well.

Fast forward 1900s, the breed became popular, and the French breeders took them to the US. Since they are considered to have a more relaxed personality, they are mixed with other breeds to make designer dogs.

Other names are Tenerife Dog, Bichon A Poil Frise, Bichon Tenerife, and Purebred Bichon. AKC recognized it in 1972 as a non-sporting breed.


When it comes to Poodles, their history is clearer.

This is the national dog of France, but it originated in Germany. The name came from the German word pudel, which means to splash in the water. In England, people refer to Poodles as rough water dogs, and in Britain, they are known as hunters. Also, they were used as truffle dogs where they sniff out wild truffles, which the French use for cooking.  

According to experts, Poodles could be the oldest water retrieval dogs. And over the years, breeders have found a way to downsize Poodles. You can find Standard, Miniature, and even Toy Poodles. 

Today, both Miniature and Toy Poodles have become popular companion dogs. 

You can call Poodles other names as well. This includes, French Poodle, Caniche, Barbone, Chien Canne, and Grosse Pudel. They are recognized by AKC in 1887 as non-sporting and toy breed.

Appearance, Bichon Frise vs Poodle

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Bichon Frises have a height between 9 – 12 inches and could weigh between 7 – 12 pounds. On the other hand, Poodles are between 10 – 22 inches and could weigh up to 70 pounds. Looking at these figures, you can already conclude that a Bichon Frise is smaller than a Poodle.

For their color, Bichon Frise is usually white, gray, cream, or apricot. But for Poodles, you can expect more colors. You can find silver, white, black, and even blue, to name a few.

Temperament, Bichon Frise vs Poodle  

If you want a pet that is loving and friendly, Bichon Frise could be perfect for you. However, Poodles have their own positive traits as well. They are intelligent and easygoing.

Now, you might want to note that Bichon Frises could be sensitive and more dependent on their owners. As for the Poodle, they are prone to have anxiety, most especially if they are alone. Suppose you have little children at home, we recommend getting a Standard Poodle instead as smaller dogs need to be handled gently.

When they are around with other dogs, both Bichon Frise and Poodle could get along just fine. If you can train them at an early stage, then their level of socialization with different breeds will improve. But you still have to check on them, especially if they are around bigger or more aggressive breeds.

For the energy level, they are almost the same. This makes them an ideal pet if you want to spend time playing. And you need to remember that both of these breeds are loyal to their owners.

Exercises, Bichon Frise vs Poodle 

Both Bichon Frise and Poodle love to play games and are highly energetic. As a rule of thumb, you should allow them to be physically active for at least one hour each day. You can try fetch games, walks, or even use brain-stimulating toys.

Keep in mind that Bichon Frises can get tired easily compared to Poodles. 

Grooming, Bichon Frise vs Poodle 

Both these amazing breeds are known for their thick and curly hair. But many aspiring pet owners choose Poodle as they do not shed a lot of fur. They need professional grooming every three to six weeks and must be bathed every two to three weeks.

For Bichon Frise, you must have them groomed every one to two weeks and give them a bath after a week or two. Don’t forget to use a gentle shampoo for both breeds.

Let’s now move on to your pet’s teeth. There are canine toothpaste available, and you must use those instead of toothpaste for humans. These are not safe for them.

Lastly, for their eyes, you need to check if there are stains. Don’t panic as there are gentle eye stain cleaners ideal for your pets.

Training and Intellect

Both breeds can be trained. However, Poodles are known to be more intellectual and could be trained faster. This is precisely the reason why many homeowners would get a Poodle instead of Bichon Frise. They are good watchdogs too, and could strongly protect their territory.

In addition, Poodles have this personality wherein they would want to please their owners. Plus, their built alone gives them the leverage to learn new skills. If you are thinking about competing, we suggest getting a Poodle as this is a more logical option.

For a Bichon Frise, it can be a bit more challenging to do house training, and getting a crate could be a good solution. They are average watchdogs and not best when protecting their territory. The case is different if you train them outdoors as they are easier to deal with.

Bichon Frise barks occasionally. On the other hand, Poodles are known to be a vocal breed. But regardless if they bark often or not, we all know that it can cause an issue if you live in an apartment. As a pet owner, you must train them the ‘Quiet’ command. Now, if you need to leave your pets for an hour, you should provide them with a safe toy. As always, check for small parts because they could swallow it.

Health and Lifespan, Bichon Frise vs Poodle   

Both breeds may experience eye health problems because of the hair covering their eyes. You must trim it regularly to avoid irritation or infection. In addition, they are prone to joint problems, such as the knee, hip, and elbow issues.

Here are the common diseases that a Bichon Frise could suffer from: 


This is a bleeding disorder due to a deficiency. If your dog is suffering from mild hemophilia, it might not show any signs, and treatment may be unnecessary. However, if the condition is severe, you can already see the signs at an early age. They may experience prolonged bleeding and loss of baby teeth.

Heart defects

Bichon Frises are prone to having different heart diseases, including Patent Ductus Arteriosis, a condition where too much blood is carried to the lungs. You might see your dog coughing, having a hard time breathing, and losing weight.

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease

This is a hereditary condition that affects the hip joint. It is commonly found in small breeds and could also happen after an injury to the hip or leg. For dogs, a hip replacement might be necessary.

Urinary tract stones

Regardless of the breed of your dog, they could get a urinary tract infection. However, breeds like Bichon Frise are known to suffer from urinary tract stones, which is similar. Some of the symptoms are bloody urine, fever, and urge to go outside regularly.

Ear infections

Because of the amount of hair that grows under its ear, they are susceptible to an ear infection. You have to watch out for signs such as redness, red spots, and a foul odor. Your vet might prescribe ear drops coupled with the right way of cleaning.

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As for Poodles, you have to watch out for the diseases listed below: 


In most cases, Poodles experience idiopathic epilepsy, which means the cause is unknown. But there are other factors, too, such as brain damage or a tumor. This could affect all Poodle breeds, whether Standard, Miniature, or Toy.

Progressive retinal atrophy

This is a group of degenerative diseases that affect the photoreceptor cells, and could cause blindness to your Poodle over time. It’s an inherited disease not isolated to Poodles. If your dog develops this disease, you shouldn’t use them for breeding.

Thyroid issues

Poodles are also prone to hypothyroidism, wherein the body doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone. The usual signs are dry skin, hair loss, weight gain, and aggression. This can be resolved by giving your dog replacement hormones in pills.

Addison’s disease

This disease is also referred to as ‘The Great Pretender’. It mimics different conditions like liver disease, kidney failure, and inflammatory bowel disease. The good news is, this is highly treatable.


Without proper treatment, hypoglycemia or low blood sugar disorder can be fatal for your Poodle. You must be on the lookout for early signs such as lack of coordination, muscle twitching, discoloration of gums and skin, and loss of appetite, to name a few. 

In terms of lifespan, a Bichon Frise has a life span of 12 – 15 years. For Poodle, it is 12 – 19 years. 

Dietary Needs, Bichon Frise vs Toy Poodle 

These breeds both have small stomachs, but that doesn’t mean that they require the same nutrition. It’s always good to ask professionals about the best diet fit for your pet. Otherwise, that could trigger a number of diseases.

When you take care of Bichon Frise, the diet should include brown rice, barley, or quinoa. In short, they need whole grains. For the kibble, look for those that have vegetable and fish oils. You can prepare 1 cup per day, which is divided into two meals.

For the Poodle, they might require 2 – 3 cups per day because of their energy level. Make sure that their food is jam-packed with grains, vegetables, proteins, carbohydrates, good fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Price of Bichon Frise and Poodle

Bichon Frise vs Poodle

Bichon Frise is more budget-friendly than Poodle. It should cost you around $1000. For a Poodle, you need to shell out around $1200. But for the older and high-end breed, it can even cost you $10,000.

Take note that there are different factors to identify the price of the dog. For example, a breeder with an excellent reputation can add a few hundred dollars.

Popularity, Bichon Frise vs Poodle 

In the US, Poodle is more popular, according to AKC. It took the 7th place out of 194 dogs. On the other hand, Bichon Frise took the 45th place.

Bichon Frise vs Poodle, Which is Better? 

Both of these breeds are hypoallergenic, making them ideal for families, even those who are sensitive. However, if you are a new pet owner, we recommend that you get a Poodle. Bichon Frise requires extra care, and novices might not be a good fit.

Hopefully, the information above was able to help you decide which dog is right for you and your family. When looking for the right pet, you must consider your lifestyle and the ability to properly take care of them. Remember, they deserve the best type of treatment.

Trent, Miniature Poodle Puppy

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