Navigate to chapter
► Chapter One: Bichon Frise Origin
► Chapter Two: Choosing a Bichon Frise
► Chapter Three: Owning a Bichon Frise
► Chapter Four: Nutrition for Bichon Frise
► Chapter Five: Raising and Training a Bichon Frise
► Chapter Six: Grooming Your Bichon Frise
► Chapter Seven: Vet Care Your Bichon Frise
► Chapter Eight: Showing Your Bichon Frise Dog
► Chapter Nine: Breeding Your Bichon Frise
► Chapter Ten: Other Care Needs
Chapter Two: Choosing a Bichon Frise
There are multiple ways to purchase a dog: from a breeder, a pet store, or a rescue service. There are pros and cons of each method, and they will be explained in the following section.
When it comes to purchasing a Bichon Frise, breeders are unarguably the best method. A breeder will allow you to interact with your Bichon Frise before you purchase it. This will allow you to understand the Bichon Frises temperament and behavior and allow you to inspect the Bichon Frise for any genetic defects. Breeders are usually a part of a registered service – such as The Kennel Club. By being a member of a registered organization, it gives the breeder accountability and legitimacy. Breeders will inform you of any issues with the Bichon Frise and how they have been socializing it. Breeders will also be able to tell you the exact birthdate of your new Bichon Frise. The only downside of breeders is that they are more expensive than pet stores – however, this should not be an issue when considering purchasing a Bichon Frise.
Pet stores are a common choice when purchasing a new Bichon Frise – but I HIGHLY do not recommend purchasing a Bichon Frise from a pet store! Most pet stores purchase their Bichon Frises from puppy mills. Puppy mills are notorious for breeding and raising their Bichon Frises in terrible conditions, leading to both behavioral and health problems. Employees at the pet store will most likely not be able to provide you with specific information about a Bichon Frise – they are unlikely to know its exact date of birth and health background. The pedigree of a Bichon Frise from a pet store is also questionable. Pet stores have a terrible return policy! It is not uncommon for a new owner not to have fully considered every aspect of owning a Bichon Frise and therefore return it. If you return a Bichon Frise to a breeder, you can be assured that the Bichon Frise will lead a happy life. However, if you return a Bichon Frise to a pet store, it will most likely be euthanized if it has grown older than a puppy because it is unlikely to sell.
If you are an experienced Bichon Frise owner, you may consider getting a Bichon Frise from a rescue shelter. Most Bichon Frises from rescue shelters are free, and the shelter just wishes you to donate. It is important to remember that rescue Bichon Frises may have health or behavioral issues due to their turbulent lives. Bichon Frises in rescue shelters are also hardly ever puppies and tend to be middle-aged or older. However, getting your Bichon Frise from a rescue shelter allows you to give a Bichon Frise a better life than they would have had in the past. Most Bichon Frises that end up in shelters have been cruelly treated or abandoned, and by adopting one you are giving the animal a chance to experience life in a loving home.
Once you have decided that the Bichon Frise is the right breed for you, you must take on the task of choosing a reputable breeder. Not only do you need to do some research, such as the recommended breeders above, to find a good breeder, but you also need to speak to the different breeders to determine which breeder is the best. The responsible Bichon Frise breeder will be careful about selecting healthy breeding stock and keeping detailed records of their breeding practices. If the breeder does not appear to be experienced with the Bichon Frise breed or breeding dogs in general, you should look elsewhere.
In addition to the above recommendations, try asking around at your local animal shelter or a veterinarian’s office for their recommendations. Because the Bichon Frise is rapidly becoming a popular breed, there may be a breeder in your area that you do not know about. If neither of these options turns up any breeders, try looking in the phone book or perform an additional online search. Once you have compiled a list of several breeders, you can then go through the list to determine which one is the best option.
Follow the steps below to choose a reputable Bichon Frise breeder:
- Visit the website for each breeder, if they have one, and look for important information like photos of the facilities, the breeder’s experience.
- Contact each breeder by phone and ask them questions about their experience with breeding and with Bichon Frises. If the breeder is hesitant to answer your questions or do not seem knowledgeable and experienced, move on to the next option.
- Evaluate the breeder’s interest in learning more about you. A reputable breeder will not just sell his puppies to anyone; they should be eager to ask you questions to see if you are a good fit for one of their puppies.
- Narrow your list down to two or three breeders that seem to be a good fit and visit the facilities before you commit to buy a puppy.
- Ask for a tour of the facilities and look to make sure that the dogs are kept in clean conditions and appear to be in good health.
- Make sure you see the breeding stock for the puppies available to make sure that they are in good health and purebred specimens of the Bichon Frise breed.
- Ask to see the available puppies and make sure that they are kept in clean conditions. If they are under 6 weeks of age, the puppies should be kept with the mother.
- Choose the breeder that you feel is most knowledgeable and experienced, as well as the one that has puppies available.
- Ask about the process for reserving a puppy. You will probably have to leave a deposit by way of a down payment. In addition, ask what comes with the puppy (vaccinations, worming, etc.).
- A reputable breeder will offer some kind of health guarantee on the puppy as well as information about the parents to certify its breeding.
After you have gone through the process of selecting a reputable Bichon Frise breeder, your next step is to choose a healthy puppy. While it may be tempting to buy the first Bichon Frise puppy that comes up to you with a wagging tail, you need to be a little more cautious about the process. Taking the time to ensure that the puppy is in good health could save you a lot of veterinary bills (not to mention heartache) in the future.
Follow the steps below to pick a healthy Bichon Frise puppy:
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