Official Bichon Frise Breed Standard
Frise is a small, sturdy, white powder puff of a dog whose merry temperament
is evidenced by his plumed tail carried jauntily over the back and
his dark-eyed inquisitive expression. 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 other breed, even though such faults
may not be specifically mentioned in the standard.
Size, Proportion, Substance
--Dogs and bitches 9 1/2 to 11 1/2 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. Proportion--The
body from the forward-most point of the chest to the point of rump
is 1/4 longer than the height at the withers. The body from the withers
to lowest point of chest represents 1/2 the distance from withers
to ground. Substance --Compact and of medium bone throughout;
neither coarse nor fine.
dark-eyed, inquisitive, alert. 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 color other than black or dark
brown are a very serious fault and must be severely penalized. Ears
are drop and are covered with long flowing hair. When extended toward
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 serve to
frame the face. The skull is slightly rounded, allowing for
a round and forward looking eye. The stop is slightly accentuated.
Muzzle --A properly balanced head is three parts muzzle to
five parts skull, measured from the nose to the stop and from the
stop to the occiput. 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 chiseling under the eyes, but not so much as
to result in a weak or snipy foreface. The lower jaw is strong. The
nose is prominent and always black. Lips are black,
fine, never drooping. Bite is scissors. A bite which is undershot
or overshot should be severely penalized. A crooked or out of line
tooth is permissible, however, missing teeth are to be severely faulted.
Neck, Topline and Body
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 1/3 the distance from forechest to buttocks.
The topline is level except for a slight, muscular arch over
the loin. Body--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 rib cage is
moderately sprung and extends back to a short and muscular loin. The
forechest is well pronounced and protrudes slightly forward of the
point of shoulder. The underline has a moderate tuck-up. Tail
is well plumed, set on level with the topline and curved gracefully
over the back so that the hair of the tail rests on the back. When
the tail is extended toward the head it reaches at least halfway to
the withers. A low tail set, a tail carried perpendicularly to the
back, or a tail which droops behind is to be severely penalized. A
corkscrew tail is a very serious fault.
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. Legs are of medium bone,
straight, with no bow or curve in the forearm or wrist. The elbows
are held close to the body. The pasterns slope slightly from
the vertical. The dewclaws may be removed. The feet are tight
and round, resembling those of a cat and point directly forward, turning
neither in nor out. Pads are black. Nails are kept short.
are of medium bone, well angulated with muscular thighs and spaced
moderately wide. The upper and lower thigh are nearly equal in length
meeting at a well bent stifle joint. The leg from hock joint to foot
pad is perpendicular to the ground. Dewclaws may be removed. Paws
are tight and round with black pads.
of the coat is of utmost importance. The undercoat is soft and dense,
the outercoat 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. When bathed and brushed,
it stands off the body, creating an overall powder puff appearance.
A wiry coat is not desirable. A limp, silky coat, a coat that lies
down, or a lack of undercoat are very serious faults. Trimming
--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, 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.
is white, may have shadings of buff, cream or apricot around the ears
or on the body. Any color in excess of 10% of the entire coat of a
mature specimen is a fault and should be penalized, but color of the
accepted shadings should not be faulted in puppies.
at a trot is free, precise and effortless. In profile the forelegs
and hind legs extend equally with an easy reach and drive that maintain
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 center line. Moving away, the hindquarters travel with
moderate width between them and the foot pads can be seen. Coming
and going, his movement is precise and true.
mannered, sensitive, playful and affectionate. A cheerful attitude
is the hallmark of the breed and one should settle for nothing less.
Approved October 11, 1988