Bichon Frise vs. Poodle

Both Bichon Frise and Poodle are popular dog breeds, each with its unique characteristics. Bichon Frise dogs are small, sturdy, and have a fluffy white coat. They are known for their playful, affectionate nature and adaptability to various living conditions.

Poodles on the other hand come in three sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. They are intelligent, trainable and known for their distinctive hypoallergenic coat, making them suitable for people with allergies. Poodles are also versatile, excelling in activities like agility and obedience training.

In conclusion, the choice between a Bichon Frise and a Poodle would depend on individual preferences regarding size, coat type, activity level, and adaptability. Both are excellent companion dogs displaying high levels of intelligence and sociability.

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

Quick Summary: Both the Bichon Frise and Poodle look like cuddly teddy bears. However, you can tell them apart by their size as Bichon Frises are smaller than Poodles. Bichon Frises are also mostly white while Poodles have more colors. Both breeds are playful and need daily exercise to keep them healthy. As for their nutritional needs, both types of dogs require a specialty diet because they have sensitive stomachs. Although neither the Bichon Frise nor the Poodle is known for shedding, grooming is a top priority for both because of their long coats. All in all, both are smart, active, loving, and playful dogs – making them great family pets.

Compare the Bichon Frise and the Poodle to find your next fluffy companion. Although they look very similar, there are many differences between the two dog breeds. How similar or different are they?

You may mistake one breed for the other if you don’t carefully examine both. Both dogs are considered hypoallergenic (although no dog breed is truly hypoallergenic), which makes them excellent dogs for families. Also, you might be astonished by their frizzy hair.

However, these two breeds have a lot in common. These two breeds are actually often combined to create a unique hybrid called the Bichpoo. This article will focus on the key differences and similarities between the two breeds.

Bichon Frise vs. Poodle

Breed Background and History

This is likely the most overlooked consideration when buying a pet. The breed history of a dog can tell a lot about the dog’s personality and behavior traits. Dogs are bred with certain traits in mind.

If you choose a highly active breed such as the poodle but have less active family members, you might run into trouble. Let’s look at both breed traits and the history of each dog to help you decide which one is best for you.

Bichon Frise

The history of the Bichon Frise is a complicated one. It is not known where this dog came from. Many believe the dog descends from the Barbet, a medium-sized French water dog. It is also possible that the name “bichon,” which is a diminutive of Barbet, derives its name from the word “barbican.” The Barbet was crossed with small white lapdogs to produce these bichons: Bolognese (Havanese), Maltaise (Maltaise), and Teneriffe.

The Teneriffe Bichon was then abbreviated to Bichon Frise. Though the exact time is uncertain, many speculate that in the 1200-the 1300s, Italian sailors came across the furry animals in the Mediterannean and brought them back to Italy, where they became widely popular amongst the wealthy upper class and nobility.

Breeders specifically raised them to be companion dogs. They were even depicted in Renaissance paintings alongside their noble owners. But by the end of Napoleon’s reign in the 1800s, the Bichon Frises’ royal status dropped, yet its adoration for being a loyal companion did not.

In the 1900s, the Bichon Frises’ popularity grew. French breeders rediscovered them and later brought them over to America, where The American Kennel Club officially admitted them in 1973. Because of their laid-back personalities, the Bichon Frise is often mixed with other dog breeds to make designer dogs.


The history of Poodles is much simpler. While the animal is the national dog of France, it originated in Germany. In short, Poodle is a French national dog – but was bred in Germany.

They were called “rough water dogs” in England. The British used them often as hunting companions. Experts believe that Poodles are one of the oldest water retrieval dogs. Breeders began to reduce the size of the poodle as time passed. This breed is available in three varieties: toy, standard, and miniature.

Miniature and Toy Poodles are becoming more popular as companion dogs. Since its beginnings, the Poodle has served in various capacities, such as hunting, circus dogs, court, and companion dogs for the wealthy. Some have been used as truffle dogs, which is a scent-driven activity that allows them to find wild truffles. This is something the French use often in their cooking.

Poodles quickly grew in popularity and were officially recognized by The American Kennel Club in 1886.

Appearance and Size

Both dogs share striking similarities in appearance. They both look like tiny fluffy teddy bears, but with keen observation, you may notice some differences. In fact, both breeds share appearance traits with other small dogs and are often compared to them as a result.

The main difference between these two breeds is their size. Poodles can vary in size (standard or toy) but Bichon Frises remain small. They are about the same size as a miniature Poodle, measuring nine to twelve inches high and weighing twelve to 18 pounds.

Toy Poodles are typically about ten inches tall, and they weigh less than nine pounds. Standard-sized Poodles are the largest, weighing between 40-75 pounds and reaching an average height of fifteen inches or higher.

Bichon Frise is most commonly white and comes in cream, apricot, or gray — similar to Poodles coat colorings. Poodles have more colors, such as blue and apricot or black, white, gray and silver, as well as cafe-au lait, cream, and brown. The floppy ears and curly hairs of both breeds make them easily identifiable.

Grooming Tips

Grooming is a top priority for both breeds. Both breeds are most well-known for their curly, coarse, and wiry hair. Because of their lower shedding coats, Poodles are popular parents of many different hybrids.

Experts recommend that a Poodle be groomed by a professional every three to six weeks, while a Bichon Frise should be groomed every one to three weeks. Both breeds require regular grooming (preferably daily) to remove dirt, debris, and trapped hair.

Due to the high maintenance that comes with grooming, many Poodle owners choose to groom their pup by clipping or shaving their dogs’ hair with grooming clippers. This tip is not for style but agility. This tip can also help reduce grooming expenses.

Healthy grooming habits should be established for Bichon Frises at an early age. This includes routine brushing and bathing once every one to two weeks. Poodles should be bathed once every two to three days. Both breeds have sensitive skin so you will need to use gentle, hypoallergenic shampoos for them both.

Neither the Poodle nor Bichon Frise is known for shedding, which is always a plus. Both breeds grow hair continuously so it is important to trim them every three to six weeks.

Temperament and Behavior

Both dogs are known to be playful. They are both energetic and love being the center of attention, making them easy to train in many different ways. Bichon Frises are playful and active and poodles are happy-go-lucky.

There are no significant differences in temperament between the two breeds. However, it’s important to remember that different sizes can have an impact on the character.

If you have small children or a family, a Poodle may be the best choice. Bichon Frises are sensitive dogs and can sometimes get hurt by being handled poorly. Although they are great family dogs, they can be fragile and small. They might not be the right fit for families with young children or rough kids.

Training Your Dog

While both breeds can be trained, Poodles are much easier to train than Bichon Frises. Poodles can be more appealing to families who have less time for training.

Poodles have a reputation for being intelligent and willing to please their owners. They are athletic and can learn new tricks and skills thanks to their athletic build. They are friendly and enjoy being around humans or other animals. They are easy to train because of their curiosity and eagerness. However, they can easily get distracted, so make the training process enjoyable and interesting for your Poodle. Also, if you adopt a Poodle, make sure you pick the right-sized dog crate for it.

A Bichon Frise, on the other hand, is much more difficult to train — especially in housetraining. Although they are highly trained outside of the home, they can be stubborn and difficult to train when it comes time to housebreaking. We’d recommend you crate train them during housebreaking. 

Bichon Frises are intelligent and playful, but they can also be sensitive. Therefore, harsh corrections won’t work. They need more patience and persistence.

Training both dogs is vital, especially for Bichon Frises. For a balanced dog, patience, consistency, and positive support are essential.

Exercise and Fitness

Regardless of whether you choose a small Bichon Frise or a large standard Poodle, both dogs love to exercise. Typically, both dog breeds require at least 60 minutes of exercise each day.

These two breeds are active and need to be physically active. Bichon Frises tend to get tired quickly because they are smaller. Poodles, on the other hand, are more active and can take long walks in the park.

Poodles, much like their ancestors thrive in large outdoor spaces or homes with large living areas. Bichon Frises share a similar love for a nice excursion.

If you live in an apartment, make sure your dog has a place to run around and get some exercise. You don’t want your dog to take out all its energy on your furniture (and cause damage). Therefore, you must ensure that your dog gets the exercise they need every day to keep them happy and healthy.

Nutrition and Diet

Despite being similar in appearance and nature, both breeds have specific nutrition needs. Each breed is known to have sensitive stomachs. A specialty diet is best for both dogs.

A Bichon Frises should eat whole grains such as barley and quinoa. Look for foods with vegetable and fish oils to provide healthy fats and Omega-3 fatty acid levels when choosing the right kibble for your dog. These foods are easy for dogs to digest and can help them maintain their health. Bichon Frises also consume 1/2 to 1 cup of food per day, which is less than Poodles. They can be divided into two meals because they are smaller than Poodles.

Poodles require 2-3 cups of food per day and are more energetic. They can be divided into two meals. Dog food for Poodles should have a balanced amount of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and vegetables. To ensure a happy and healthy life for your Poodle, it is important to keep them active.

Health and Diseases

There are many health considerations to consider before you buy a pet. While both breeds are healthy in general, there are some differences between them.

As is the case with many dogs, both breeds are susceptible to certain genetic diseases. Eye problems are common in both breeds due to their overhanging hair. To prevent irritation or infection, owners should keep the hair away from their eyes. Both are susceptible to joint problems, particularly at the knee, elbow, and hip.

Poodles can develop other diseases as they age, such as epilepsy, progressive retinal loss, thyroid problems, Addison’s disease, hypoglycemia, and bloat. Bloating is the most common condition in Poodles, so make sure you buy high-quality dry food.

Additionally, Bichon Frises may succumb to other diseases, heart defects, Legg Calve-Perthes, Legg-Calve–Perthes disease, and bladder infections. A reputable breeder will screen your puppy for potential health problems before you buy it.

Breeder and Puppy Prices

The price differences between breeds can be substantial. While the average price for a Bichon Frise puppy starts at around $1,000, a Poodle puppy generally costs $1,200. For an older, high-end Poodle, prices can range anywhere from $1,400 to $10,000.

Many factors influence the price of a Poodle – these include its coat color, origin, and size. A standard Poodle averages around $1,000 to $1,200. Both toy and miniature Poodles are more expensive, averaging between $1,200 to $1,500.

Bichon Frises offer a wider price range. A puppy’s cost can start at $800 and end up at $2,500, with a median of $1,000. Price is affected by many factors, including breeder reputation and parent history. A breeder with a high reputation can tack on an extra few hundred dollars, and pups of high-end Bichon Frises can cost up to $1,500.


Both dog breeds have a lot to offer. We have just explained everything you need to know about buying a new pet. Both are smart, active, and playful, making them great family pets. We guarantee that you will be happy with your furry friend, regardless of which one of these furry dogs you choose.

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