Bichon Frise

Grooming Advice

This merry and inquisitive little powder puff of a dog has been around in in much the same form for hundreds of years traded by the early Spanish sailors around the Mediterranean and taken eventually by Italian sailors to the continent where it found favour amongst the Spanish Infantas and nobility.

Originally known as either the Bichon or Teneriffe, he was finally established in France with the Frise being added to his title in reference to his soft, curly coat.

Texture is of utmost importance for this little fellow. Requiring a soft and dense undercoat and a coarser outer coat with curly texture that combines to give a soft springy feel.

His whole outline should reflect a rounded appearance from every direction with longer hair on the ears, head, beard, moustache and tail.

For show presentation this exquisite little dog should be perfectly presented yet retain his natural outline with a slight tuck up. This is a trimmed breed and a good eye will assist the overall balance of shape and structure.

To enhance the shimmery whiteness in the coat use Plush Puppy Whitening Shampoo which is ostensibly a toning shampoo giving a brilliant pearly white overtone and neutralizing unwanted warm tones. Use diluted at 3:1 for maximum effect and up to 10:1 for mild tone. For extra lift if that is the main objective, use Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo at the same dilution. You can mix the two for both effects.

Conditioner is not desirable in this coat as it softens and flattens - the very antithesis of what you require in this case. However some moisturizing and hydration is needed even if you are regularly trimming the coat. The solution to this vexing problem is Plush Puppy Revivacoat which is a moisturizing disentangling mousse and applied to the hands and worked through the coat. Use also for wrapping the moustache and beard. Revivacoat is never greasy or too heavy and can be repeatedly applied - rather unique! Good also to use prior to any brushing - mix in a spray bottle, a golfball amount to 1 cup water. Truly the solution to this coat where elasticity and moisture is needed but softening and flattening is not wanted.

For optimum lift to the head and neck, use Plush Puppy Puffy Dog a good strong hold mousse that is totally water soluble and dries without stickiness. Work well through the coat and blow dry using a soft slicker brush lifting and moving the coat forward against the growth for maximum lift.

Once the coat is fully dry, work through with a metal Poodle comb combing section by section and lifting. Follow through with more scissoring to sculpture the final shape.

For any staining around the eyes, use Plush Puppy Cover Up Cream. I am against bleaching around the eye fearing always blue eye when handled by the inexperienced. Easier to cover it up on the day. Apply using a barely damp sponge lightly allowing to dry for a few seconds before reapplying and building in layers rather than heavy handed blobs. Finish with a light application of loose chalk to finish the drying process in damp weather. Can be brushed prior to ring time.

As this is a pristine little breed, for ringside emergencies use Plush Puppy Wonder Wash, a no rinse shampoo that really does foam when sprayed and worked into a lather before toweling off. For all over freshening at those 3 day events, use Plush Puppy Powder Puff for Regular Coats, a unique new cleansing powder that also deodorizes leaving a fresh lemon/ginger fragrance. Sprinkle well over the coat and work through with the hands and preferably blow dry to remove or brush well if drying facilities unavailable.

Although this coat is trimmed constantly, a good treatment should it be required, is Plush Puppy Coat Rescue, an intensive moisturizing product that adds structure back into damaged hair. Apply by diluting to a thin slurry and work well through the damaged areas of the coat. Leave on as long as possible for maximum benefit but good results can be achieved after 10 minutes. Rinse well and work Revivacoat through for easy comb through texture.

Adding to the playful tone of this little dog, a light sprinkle of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust applied judiciously by sifting through the fingers or tapped on to the edge of a brush and lightly flicked through the topline and pants, adds hints of glamour and light.

Your Bichon Frise is a cheerful and affectionate little guy. I can just picture him with the pirates and sailors of the Barbery Coast imitating their cheeky and irreverent sense of the merry life at sea - if Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparow was a dog, he’d be a Bichon!. His dark appealing eyes and his jaunty tail lend a devil may care sense to his cockiness and affectionate nature. He is a cheeky little fellow and trimmed well to accentuate the rounded aspects of his outline, the expert will reap the rewards for the efforts with this coat.

Moving well and true and handled to perfection, he is a hard competitor. Who can resist that appealing expression and the happy chappy of the show lineup?

- Cheryl Le Court