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What Are the Best Tips for Grooming a Bichon Frise?

Madeleine A.
Madeleine A.

The best tips for grooming a Bichon Frise include cleaning tear stains around the eyes and regularly brushing its coat. The Bichon Frise is a friendly, happy breed of dog that sheds very little. Many people are under the impression that the Bichon Frise does not shed at all, but this in not the case. They do lose hair, especially when not groomed on a regular basis. The coat of this breed is thick and curly and not unlike that of a poodle.

Although a total grooming session should take place every several weeks, Bichon Frises require abbreviated grooming sessions at least twice weekly. When grooming a Bichon Frise, the undercoat should be combed thoroughly to discourage the formation of mats. If not brushed with a slicker brush on a regular basis, painful matting and pulling of the delicate skin may result. When grooming a Bichon Frise, tear stains need to be cleaned around the eyes with a soft cloth moistened with warm water.

Electronic clippers may be used to trim a dog's fur.
Electronic clippers may be used to trim a dog's fur.

Carefully trimming the hair around the ears and eyes is also an essential component of grooming a Bichon Frise because it not only improves the dog's look, it is keeps irritating stray hairs out of the eyes and ears. Also, the Bichon Frise should be bathed monthly, and the hair should be hand-fluffed until dry. Using a home blow dryer might be too harsh for the dog's sensitive skin, so a professional dog grooming dryer can be used.

Pet nail clippers may be used to clip a dog's nails.
Pet nail clippers may be used to clip a dog's nails.

Since the coat of the Bichon Frise is white, experts sometimes recommend that when brushing or combing the coat, a small amount of corn flower be used to keep the coat looking clean and fresh. When grooming a Bichon Frise, the nails need to be trimmed with a dog nail clipper in small increments at a time. If the owner doesn't feel comfortable clipping the dog's nails, a professional groomer should do the job. Sometimes, it is difficult to differentiate where the nail meets the quick, and if accidentally nipped, the quick can bleed profusely.

The Bichon Frise has a very distinctive look, and the owner should consider having it done by a professional groomer, especially the first time the animal is groomed. The groomer can offer tips and advice on various methods of clipping the hair, and maintaining the look of the breed. Simple grooming measures such as wiping away tear stains, brushing and combing the coat, and detangling the fur with a steel comb can be done at home, however.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I groom my Bichon Frise?

Grooming a Bichon Frise should be a regular part of their care routine. It's recommended to brush your Bichon several times a week to prevent matting and to bathe them every three weeks. Professional grooming should be done every 4 to 6 weeks to maintain their distinctive fluffy coat in optimal condition.

What type of brush is best for a Bichon Frise's coat?

For a Bichon Frise, a slicker brush is ideal for removing tangles and mats, while a metal comb can help with finer grooming details. Regular use of these tools helps to keep their coat fluffy and healthy by distributing natural oils and removing loose fur.

Is it necessary to trim a Bichon Frise's coat, and how often?

Trimming is essential for a Bichon Frise to maintain their traditional look and overall coat health. It's generally recommended to have their coat trimmed every 4 to 6 weeks. This helps prevent overgrowth that can lead to matting and keeps your Bichon looking neat and tidy.

How can I prevent my Bichon Frise from getting mats in their fur?

Preventing mats in a Bichon Frise's fur requires regular brushing and combing, ideally several times a week. During grooming, pay special attention to areas prone to matting, such as behind the ears and under the legs. Keeping the coat trimmed and clean also reduces the likelihood of matting.

What are the best tips for bathing a Bichon Frise?

When bathing a Bichon Frise, use a dog-specific shampoo that's gentle on their skin. Ensure thorough wetting of the coat before applying shampoo, and rinse completely to avoid residue that can cause skin irritation. After bathing, towel-dry gently and use a blow dryer on a low heat setting to fluff the coat while brushing.

Can I groom my Bichon Frise at home, or should I use a professional groomer?

While basic grooming like brushing and bathing can be done at home, a professional groomer is recommended for more complex tasks like haircuts, ear cleaning, and nail trimming. Professional groomers are skilled in handling the specific needs of Bichon Frises, ensuring your pet's coat is properly cared for and styled.

Discussion Comments


@umbra21 - With a bichon frise puppy that shouldn't be a problem though. They don't grow the longer coat until they reach about a year old.

And remember, if you live in a place with low temperatures, you need to make sure your puppy, or even your adult dog will stay warm. If you cut off the entire top coat, it reduces their ability to stay warm to even lower than a short coated dog, because you remove all the guard hairs. Which can be a good thing in a hot climate, but very dangerous if you live in a place where it snows and the dog is often outside.

It's a very good idea to go to a professional groomer in your area, at least once, and see what they recommend. It might be different styles for different seasons. Please go with what will make your dog the most comfortable, rather than trying to be fashionable.


@Ana1234 - I would add to that that people should make sure their puppy doesn't have long hair, for the same reason you would generally cut a young child's hair fairly short. Puppies get up to all kinds of mischief and there is always the possibility they could become stuck somewhere. You don't want them to hurt themselves or get very dirty because their hair is too long. There's plenty of time to play with hair styles when they get older.


If you have a puppy that is going to need regular grooming, like a bichon frise, you should start sessions straight away, even if a puppy doesn't seem to need them as much as an adult dog might. They need to get used to sitting still and calmly while you groom them, and particularly while you cut their hair or nails, or you might end up with problems when they get older.

Even if your pup doesn't have long hair, run a brush over it gently in the same way you will eventually when the hair grows out.

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    • Electronic clippers may be used to trim a dog's fur.
      By: exopixel
      Electronic clippers may be used to trim a dog's fur.
    • Pet nail clippers may be used to clip a dog's nails.
      By: Diana Taliun
      Pet nail clippers may be used to clip a dog's nails.