by Kay Mitchell

Keeping your Bichon Frise looking its very best requires regular bathing and grooming, as well as maintenance brushing and combing in between grooming appointments.

PUPPIES: Puppies are very easy to maintain as they still have a straight coat and no undercoat. Because of this, matting is rarely a problem. However, it is very important for you to get into the habit of brushing and combing the puppy’s coat on a daily basis while the puppy is young and can be trained to stand for the grooming. At about 8-9 months of age the undercoat will start to come in and that is when matting becomes a problem. If you are in the habit of brushing the coat and combing the coat regularly, then you will have few problems when the undercoat comes in. If, however, you have started brushing once a month, just before taking the puppy to the groomer, you will have a puppy with a matted coat that may have to have it cut very, very short, or shaved to get rid of the mats. Getting mats out of Bichon is not only hard on the groomer, it is painful for the dog. For ladies, think about the time before we had crème rinse for your hair, when your mother combed it out after a shampoo. That is what it feels like to the dog. It hurts!

Resist the urge to let your puppy play in the water. While it doesn’t create a severe problem with the coat when the puppy is young, as it gets older and the undercoat comes in it will cause matting. Remember, if the dog gets wet, it needs to be blow-dried, brushed and combed to prevent matting.

ADULTS: Adult Bichons should ideally be groomed every one to two weeks. Because they have a continuous growing hair, they can get split ends that causes the hair to split and break off, gradually leaving a coat that is thinner and thinner. If you are unable to have the dog groomed every two weeks, plan to have it groomed at the very least, every four weeks. If this will be a financial burden, this may not be the breed for you.

Unfortunately, many (most) groomers do not want to keep the Bichons they groom in a Bichon pattern. Unless you specify that you want a Bichon clip, you may get your dog back looking like a poor quality poodle, with long ears and very short hair everywhere else. Bichons are hand-scissored and this takes a lot more time to do than shaving it down with clippers. Because of this, you should expect to pay between $55.00 and $100.00 for grooming, depending on where you live.

WE ARE GROOMERS: Jim and I began grooming Bichons out of our breeding about twenty years ago because we wanted them to look like Bichons. Now that we are both retired we also groom other Bichons that are not out of our breeding. If you live in the Sacramento area and are looking for a groomer, please call us at (916) 965-4992 for an appointment.

BOARDING: We also began babysitting Bichons for their owners while they are on vacation, mainly because we wanted dogs out of our breeding to be in a loving home, not a kennel, when their parents are away. We charge less than most boarding kennels for this service. The dogs are not kenneled, they have the run of the house, just like our own dogs and sleep in our room with us. Before the owners come home, they are groomed so that they are fresh and pretty when their owners return. Again, if you live in the Sacramento area and wish to have your dog boarded while you are away, please call us.


    © 2002-2009 Sasikay Bichon Frise - illustrations © 1997-2002 Harry Lee - All rights reserved.