The Bichon Frise is a small dog that can potentially have big hair.
Its name translates as ‘curly lap dog’ and it’s a breed which has hair that grows constantly like a human.
Because of this, a bichon frise has a thick undercoat and curly topcoat, meaning it can be groomed to become a showroom stopper with its plush white curls.
For a more practical style, your pup can be shaved down or clipped to a shorter length. You have free reign to style out a range of looks on your bichon thanks to its voluminous curly coat.
A bichon frise is high maintenance and will need regular care and attention, be it a frequent trim or daily brushing to keep the mats at bay.
There are a range of styles you can opt for to suit your pup’s needs; the three common hairstyles for bichons are the lamb cut, show cut and panda cut.
The Lamb Cut
A lamb cut is a short and practical hairstyle for a bichon and would suit those who don’t have as much time on their hands for continuous grooming.
Also known as the puppy cut, the style is ideal for dogs that mat easily in areas such as the back of legs or ears.
The coat is shaved so that the dog has closely cropped fur all over its trunk and legs. The fur on the head and tail is left long for the traditional bichon look.
Although this cut is short, grooming is still essential. A regular brush will help to stop mats and tangles from forming in its coat that never sheds.
If it’s practicality you need and you don’t intend to show your dog, then this would be the ideal cut for your bichon – it will still look attractive but will also be manageable.
The Show Cut
Now this cut really is a showstopper. Alternatively named the bichon cut, this style gives your dog a puffed up look which is really quite spectacular.
A show cut is achieved only with scissors to give a more detailed finish worked by your own hands.
This style is meant to outline the shape of the dog’s body in a rounded way - the head is trimmed to a circular shape - the rest of the coat is uniform and a couple of inches long; it should be thick enough so that when the hair is pressed down it springs back into shape.
If you’re planning on showing your dog at an event, then the show cut requires that the undercoat of your bichon is thick and that the outer layer should be bouncy, coarse and curly.
This style does require a lot of time, patience and effort both from yourself and your bichon – get your pup used to grooming and trimming from a young age if you intend to use a show cut on it so it gets into a routine of standing still for a long period of time.
The panda cut is a little longer than the lamb cut which follows the shape of the body.
This style, which is also referred to as a teddy cut, keeps longer fur on the head, tail, behind the legs and between the front legs – a bichon is trimmed in this way to give it a fluffed up look which resembles a cute bear rather than a dog.
It’s easier to clip the longer areas with scissors and use electric clippers for the rest.
This is again a high maintenance coat to keep on top of; your bichon will need grooming daily to get rid of dirt, debris and dead hair from the longer areas.
Owners of the bichon breed should be mindful that a beautiful looking coat has to be maintained through and grooming, so will require alot of commitment – it’ll be worth it at the end when you stand back and see your pooch perfectly styled, no matter which cut you prefer.