Male vs. Female Bichon Frise: Which Floof Should You Get?

Male Bichon Frise and female Bichon Frise under a tree

The Bichon Frise is one breed you simply can’t resist with its powder-puff coat, angelic face, and playful personality. If you are considering getting this floof, you may have questions on whether a male or a female Bichon Frise is the right one for you.

There aren’t many noticeable differences between the male and female Bichon Frise looks-wise. Both have the same size, coat, and physical features. The main characteristic that sets the two genders apart is their temperament. Male Bichon Frises love fun and cuddles, while female Bichon Frises are more reserved and aloof.

That being said, do you now have a preference between the male and female Bichon Frise?

If none, you’re in the right place as I am going to give you a side-by-side comparison between the two genders. If you do have, still continue reading. Who knows, this article might change your mind!

Does the Gender Really Matter When Choosing Your Bichon Frise?

In choosing the gender of your Bichon Frise, or any breed for that matter, it all boils down to personal preference.

You may have heard of this line because it’s the usual advice given to those who share this dilemma. It’s also what I advise my fellow fur parents as this statement rings true.

There are a lot of things to consider when deciding on a gender.

First, the characteristics that each gender usually has. What you should remember, though, is that characteristics are purely generalizations. Not all male Bichon Frises are a fan of cuddles.

In the same sense, not all female Bichon Frises are detached. Your Bichon Frise’s lineage and litter may also affect its personality. Dogs have their own unique personalities like us humans, so no dog is a hundred percent the same.

Second, the conditions you have at hand. Is this gonna be your first dog or do you have other pooches at home? Do you have plans of breeding your dogs? Are your other pets male or female?

The answers to these questions will help you decide which gender is best for you. You can find my explanation of this in the latter part of this article so read on.

The bottom line is: there are differences between male and female Bichon Frises. If these will affect your decision-making is entirely up to you.

Physical Differences

Male and female Bichon Frise appearance differences

The Bichon Frise breed is popular because of its adorable look. Bichons have a plush hypoallergenic coat with a silky yet curly outer layer and a soft layer beneath. Their common colors are white, white and buff, gray, apricot, and cream.

These cute pooches stand under a foot tall between 9.5 to 11.5 inches and weigh 12 to 18 lbs as per the breed standards of the American Kennel Club (AKC).

One look at the male and female Bichon Frise will get you nowhere. When it comes to size and physical appearance, you will find no difference between the two genders. It is easy to mistake one for the other because both are equally fluffy and cute.

However, there is one physical characteristic that allows you to tell them apart: their reproductive organs. If you cannot see clearly because of their fur, gently roll over your dog to see which organ it has.

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Temperamental Differences

The most distinguishable difference between the male and female Bichon Frise perhaps would be the temperament. In general, the Bichon Frise breed is playful, curious, and peppy as described by AKC.

Many prefer to have Bichons as pets because of the breed’s great and comedic-like personality.

Between the two genders, there are differences in how they show their personality, as with other dog breeds. Bear in mind that these are generalizations.

Intrinsic factors like lineage and heredity and extrinsic factors like socialization and training contribute to your Bichon’s temperament.

Males

Many Bichon Frise parents agree that male Bichons are more playful and loving than their female counterparts. Fun is something male Bichons love and they enjoy games and being silly.

One funny thing that Bichon owners point out is that they get goofier and child-like or puppy-like as they age!

When it comes to affection, male Bichon Frises seek it out more than females do. Show them you prepared space for them beside you and they would be happy to curl up with you and cuddle.

Male Bichons are people-pleasers and would do anything to make their owners happy.

The Bichon Frise breed is naturally clingy and fits best for fur parents who don’t spend too much time away from home as they tend to get separation anxiety.

Male Bichons are observed to ask more attention from females and would stick with you wherever you go.

Females

Though playful and clingy, female Bichon Frises are more reserved according to most fur parents. They can be aloof especially with their mood swings. One minute they like to play with you, the next they want to be left alone.

There is a general misconception that male dogs dominate. This does not apply to the Bichon Frise breed.

Female Bichons have a stronger personality and can manipulate to get the outcome they like. If they want to stay on the couch and not play, they will do so.

Female Bichon Frises are endearing and would ask for affection from time to time. When they have had enough of the cuddling, though, they are not afraid to get up and move away. This is why they are seen as less friendly compared to the males.

Female Bichon Frise pups may not be as detached in their age, but their aloofness may start to show as they grow up.

Trainability Differences

Female Bichon Frise having leash training

Intelligence is something that the Bichon Frise breed is known for as they can easily be trained to do tricks and for competitions like obedience, agility, and rally.

Handling Bichons especially during training requires gentleness. Scolding them may lead to a broken-hearted Bichon and they will lose motivation to train.

To learn more about how the male and female Bichons behave during training, read the discussion below.

Males

Because they are friendlier and they love to please their humans, male Bichon Frises are easier to train than female Bichons.

Food is a good source of motivation in Bichons so always have treats ready when you train your pooches. If you are wondering what’s the best treats to use during training, check out our top treats of 2021.

Remember that rewarding dogs, in general, makes training easier and more fun. If dogs see that they are rewarded for the things they do, they will most likely do those things so they can claim their reward.

The same logic also applies to punishments. When you punish your dogs for bad deeds, they will avoid doing those bad deeds in fear of the punishment they will get.

Females

Aside from being aloof, female Bichons can get a little too stubborn during training. Because they have this trait of wanting to dominate, they take control of the situation.

This applies to training sessions especially when they are not in the mood to learn and listen to commands.

If this stops you from getting a female Bichon Frise, remember that this does not apply to all. With your intervention as a fur parent, you can make your female Bichon Frise easy to train with early socialization and puppy training.

How you treat your Bichon Frise pup also has a say on how often it will listen to you.

Remember not to always give in and spoil your pooch too much. Treating your Bichon Frise like a spoiled princess might make it hard for you to train them in the future.

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Health Differences

With a life expectancy of 14 to 15 years, the Bichon Frise is a generally healthy breed. This does not mean that they do not get sick, though.

Regardless of your Bichon is male or female, you should look out for health issues that Bichon Frise dogs are prone to such as:

  • Cushing’s Disease: Also known as hypercortisolism and hyperadrenocorticism, Cushing’s disease occurs in Bichons when their adrenal gland produces too much cortisol or stress hormone.
  • Patellar Luxations: An orthopedic issue, patellar luxation is quite common in small breeds like the Bichon Frise. The kneecap of dogs with patellar luxation gets dislocated or moves out of place.
  • Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia causes dogs to limp because their thigh bone does not perfectly fit their hip joint.

It’s important to be aware of these health risks when getting a Bichon Frise because it affects both females and males.

Males

There are not many studies that show that male Bichon Frises are more prone to a certain health problem than females. There are illnesses, though, that only occur to male Bichons primarily with regards to their reproductive organs.

Male Bichons may experience cryptorchidism where one or both of the dog’s testicles fail to descend into the scrotum. To treat this, your Bichon Frise must be neutered and his retained testicle must be removed.

When left untreated, this can cause testicular tumors or cancer which will be both emotionally and financially exhausting for you and your dog.

Neutering is highly recommended unless you have plans of breeding your Bichon Frise. You will be amazed at how beneficial neutering your Bichon is. First, it pulls down the risk of your Bichon Frise getting testicular cancer to zero.

Second, it prevents unwanted dog pregnancies especially when you have female dogs at home.

Third, it controls their testosterone levels. As a result, your Bichon Frise will be less territorial and will experience fewer mood swings. Bichons that are not neutered can get a bit aggressive. Neutered Bichons, on the other hand, are significantly nicer and make better pets.

Females

Like male Bichons, female Bichon Frises are also prone to health risks that their breeds face. On top of these medical issues, female Bichons are also at risk of reproductive system-related problems. One of which is mammary cancer.

If you notice your dog having lumps along its mammary chain, seek the help of a vet as this may be mammary cancer. These tumors may cause pain in your dogs and will lead to problems like loss of appetite, weight loss, and lack of energy, among others.

To prevent your female Bichon Frise from getting cancer, it is recommended to have it spayed before its first or second heat cycle. This may vary within breeds so better consult your veterinarian.

Spaying your Bichon will minimize its risk of uterine infections and mammary cancer.

If you don’t want to spay your Bichon, you should be prepared for it to come into heat.

During its heat period, your female Bichon Frise will experience bleeding and mood changes. Unspayed Bichons will also continue marking its territory.

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With Other Dogs and Pets

Female Bichon Frise playing with a dog at park

The Bichon Frise breed is generally sociable and would enjoy interacting with other dogs and pets. How you raise your Bichon, though, still matters.

In all dog breeds, early socialization helps dogs have a better relationship with other dogs and pets.

Putting your Bichon Frise in puppy kindergarten or introducing it to other dogs and pets as early as puppyhood will make it more open and friendly to others.

Males

Male Bichons may get territorial especially when unneutered. Encounter with other males may cause them to show marking behaviors to claim their territory. However, this is not always the case.

If your male Bichon Frise is used to having other males around, you will have no problem as males can coexist and may even turn out to be buddies in the long run.

When dealing with females, male Bichon Frises may get submissive especially when the female dog or pet takes control. Be sure to watch your male Bichon when a female is in heat. Trust me, you don’t want to deal with unplanned breeding.

Females

Female Bichon Frises tend to want to be dominant over others. This controlling attitude may affect how they interact with other females.

There is a chance of female dogs having disagreements as they fight over the dominant role. Worse may happen if both female dogs are unspayed.

With their male counterparts, female Bichon Frises typically have power over them. This is partly because male Bichons give in to females. Other outcomes may happen with male dogs from other breeds and pets, though.

With Children

The compact size of the Bichon Frise breed makes them perfect for apartment living because they require minimal space.

Families with children, even those living in the metropolitan with no backyards, will enjoy having a Bichon Frise around.

Just be cautious, though, and remind your kids not to annoy Bichons too much. Like all dogs, they also have their tolerance limit.

Males

Many owners attest to how friendlier male Bichons are compared to female Bichon Frises. Kids will enjoy playing with male Bichon Frises because they love their attention and would do silly things to please their little humans.

Male Bichons are also said to be clingier so children will enjoy playtime and even naptime with them. They are great cuddle buddies too!

They are tiny so they fit on kids’ laps as well. What’s more, noise and commotion often made by little ones don’t bother them much.

Females

Female Bichons are less friendly and more prone to sudden mood swings. However, this does not erase the fact that they are good with kids too.

Kids will also enjoy playing with female Bichon Frises because they also carry the Bichon Frise breed’s playful trait. They will also enjoy cuddling and being petted.

There may be instances, though, where your female Bichon will move away in the middle of playtime. This usually happens when they have had enough attention already. Again, this is on a case-to-case basis and may not happen to all female Bichons.

To show you how great Bichons are with kids, watch this adorable video of Bichons playing with children.

Bichon Frise Dog being Chased by Kids at the Park

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Are Male or Female Bichon Frises Better Guard Dogs?

The Bichon Frise breed can bark loudly especially when the dogs sense danger. This companion dog, however, is all bark and no bite. That being said, they are considered watchdogs, not guard dogs.

Is there a difference between watchdogs and guard dogs? Let me clarify.

Watchdogs are like alarms that tell you that something is wrong, often through barking. Guard dogs, on the other hand, may attack when there is a need. The usual guard dogs are medium to large-size breeds that have athletic builds.

Both male and female Bichon Frises are good watchdogs and can bark when there is the need to. If a guard dog is what you want, though, you should consider other breeds like Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Dobermans.

Are Male or Female Bichon Frises Better Family Companions?

The Bichon Frise breed, regardless of gender, is a good family companion. After all, it is not called a companion dog for nothing.

If you compare the two, male Bichon Frises are clingier and love attention more. Female Bichon Frises, on the other hand, will play and cuddle depending on their mood. In deciding which one to get as a family companion, it depends on your preference.

Either way, you will still get a friendly, funny, and furry friend with the Bichon Frise breed.

Which Gender Should You Choose?

The gender of your Bichon Frise is all about your preference. This will probably make you think: what is my preference? Let me guide you on this.

Now that I have listed a few comparisons between the two genders, the next step you have to take is to consider different scenarios. Hopefully, this will help you understand and determine what your preference is.

Attention and cuddles

Finding the right pet is all about matching your personality with your dog’s. You are reading this article probably because the playful and loving personality of the Bichon Frise interests you.

Chances are, when you get a Bichon Frise pup regardless if it is male or female, it will be the bubbly dog you want to have.

If you want a Bichon that will always be around you, following you around, and often asking for your attention, the male Bichon Frise is your bet. Testimonials from Bichon Frise owners say males are clingy.

On the other hand, if you want floof cuddles but are okay with occasional mood swings, the female Bichon is your pick. You can allot playtime and cuddle time for your female pooch.

Remember that the Bichon Frise breed isn’t for those who have very busy lifestyles. As a parent, you should be able to give it the attention it needs, or else it will end up broken-hearted.

Other pets at home

Having other pets at home is a consideration, especially if there is another dog in the picture. If you want a harmonious household, you should think about how your pets will coexist with each other.

The best choice usually is a dog of the opposite sex. If you have a female dog at home, better get a male Bichon Frise. If you have a male, get a female Bichon Frise.

The reason behind this is that dogs of the same gender have higher chances of having disagreements or fights over those of the opposite sex.

Male Bichons are also friendlier and more submissive to females who like to be the alpha female in control.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the gender of your Bichon Frise may be a predicament. We all want to find the best fur buddy for us, after all. However, you don’t need to overthink the decision-making process.

Take in all the comparisons listed and the possible scenarios, then come up with a decision based on that. Pick the gender which you think is best for you and your household.

These traits are what owners observed in their Bichons. It does not necessarily mean that your dog will turn out to be like this as a lot of factors are at play. One thing you can do is to know more about the dog you are eyeing on.

There are breeders and adoption centers that can share with you details about their available Bichons – if they are friendly to humans and other dogs, what their likes and dislikes are, and what their overall temperament is.

It doesn’t hurt to ask. Asking might even help you in making the right decision.

At the end of the day, it is purely your personal preference. Trust your gut and pick the Bichon Frise that steals your heart!

John Carter

My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I've got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.

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