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Male Vs Female Bichon Frise: Which One Should You Pick?

Male Vs Female Bichon Frise: Which One Should You Pick?

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The Bichon Frise is an irresistible breed with its powder-puff coat, playful personality, and angelic face. If you are thinking about getting one of these floofs, you may be questioning whether a female or male Bichon Frise is right for you.

If this is the case, you should know that there aren’t many noticeable differences between a female and male Bichon Frise when it comes to their looks. Both have the same coat, size, and physical features.

The main thing that separates the two genders of this dog breed is their temperament. Male Bichons love fun and cuddles, while female dogs are more reserved and aloof.

That said, there certainly are people who already have their opinion on the male vs female Bichon Frise debate. But, if you haven’t decided yet, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we are going to provide a side-by-side comparison between the two genders so that you can make a more informed decision. On the other hand, if you already have a favorite, we still encourage you to continue reading. Who knows, we might even change your mind!

Male vs female Bichon Frise: comparison table

Slightly tallerSlightly shorter
Slightly heavierLess heavy
More playfulLess playful
More lovingLess affectionate
ClingierLess clingy
GoofierMore serious
Attention seekers More independent
Follow you everywhere Like to be left alone
Very few mood swings Frequent mood swings
Easier to train Harder to train
Eager to please Can be stubborn at times
Neutering is less expensive Spaying is more expensive

Are male or female dogs better?

Bichon Frise dog with a white fluffy coat

When choosing the gender of your Bichon Frise, or any other dog for that matter, it pretty much boils down to personal preference.

You may have already heard this line because it is the most common advice given to those who share this dilemma. It is also what we would advise our fellow dog parents as this statement is true.

But, there are a lot of things to consider when looking at male vs female Bichon Frise.

First of all, the characteristics that each gender possesses. What you should keep in mind, though, is that these characteristics are purely generalizations. Not all male Bichons are a fan of cuddling.

The same goes for female pups as well. Not all female Bichons are aloof. Your Bichon’s litter and lineage can also affect its personality. Each individual dog has its own personality just like humans, so no dog is one hundred percent the same.

The second thing to consider is the conditions you have at home. Is this going to be the only dog in your household, or do you already have other pooches at home? Do you want to breed your dogs? Are your other pets female or male?

The answers to these questions will help you make a better decision on which gender is best for you. You can find the explanations in later sections of this article, so read on.

The important thing to remember is that there are some differences between male and female Bichon Frises. Whether or not these differences will affect your decision-making is entirely your call.

Female vs. male Bichon Frise: physical differences

bichon sitting in grass in the park

The Bichon Frise is a popular breed because of its adorable look. Bichons sport a plush hypoallergenic coat with a silky, curly layer on the outside and a soft layer beneath. The most common colors of this breed are:

• white

• white and buff

• gray

• apricot

• cream

These sweet doggies stand under a foot tall, between 9.5 and 11.5 inches. They weigh twelve to eighteen pounds as per the breed standard of the American Kennel Club (AKC).

At first glance, looking at the male vs. female Bichon Frise will not reveal much. When it comes to their size and physical appearance, you will have a hard time finding a difference between the two sexes.

It is quite easy to mistake one for the other since both are equally cute and fluffy. That said, there is one physical trait that allows you to tell them apart. You guessed it, their reproductive organs.

If you cannot see clearly because of their long, white fur, gently roll your Bichon over and see which organ it has.

Do Bichon Frise like to cuddle: temperamental differences

Bichon Frise female with beautiful expression

This is probably the most distinguishable difference between female and male Bichons. Generally speaking, Bichons are curious, playful, and peppy, as described by the AKC.

Most people prefer to have a Bichon Frise as a pet because of their great and comedic-like personality. And, between the two sexes, there are differences in how they show this personality. Just keep in mind that these are generalizations.

Intrinsic factors such as heredity and lineage and extrinsic factors such as training and socialization all contribute to the male vs. female Bichon Frise comparison.

Male Bichon Frise

Many pet owners agree that males are more loving and playful than their female counterparts. Fun is simply something the male Bichon Frise loves, and they enjoy all sorts of games and being silly.

One funny thing that Bichon Frise parents point out is that they get goofier, more silly, and child-like or puppy-like as they grow older!

When it comes to affection, males seek it out more than females do. Invite them to join you on the couch, and they will be happy to curl up with you and cuddle.

Male Bichon Frises are considered people-pleasers and will do anything to make their humans happy. This breed is naturally clingy and thrives best with fur parents who don’t spend too much time away from home as they tend to develop separation anxiety.

You can think of a male Bichon Frise as your second shadow because it will follow you wherever you go.


Even though they can be clingy and playful, female pups of this breed are much more reserved, according to most dog owners. They are known to be aloof, especially with their mood swings. One minute they like playing with you, and the very next, they want to be left alone.

There is a general misconception that male pooches are more dominant. But, this does not apply to this dog breed.

Female Bichon Frises have a stronger personality and tend to manipulate the outcome they like. If they want to stay on the couch rather than play, they will do so.

Female Bichons are endearing and will ask for affection from time to time. But, when they have had enough of cuddling, don’t be surprised if they just get up and move away. This is why some people deem them less friendly than their male counterparts.

Female dogs of this breed may not be as detached when they are young, but their aloofness can be seen as they grow up.

Are male or female Bichon Frise better: trainability differences

Two small puppy Bichon Frise on the street

When it comes to male vs. female Bichon Frise, intelligence and training are very similar. The Bichon Frise breed is known for their intelligence, and they can easily be trained to do all sorts of tricks. They are also quite the competitors in obedience, agility, and rally courses.

But, handling Bichons, especially during training, requires a gentle touch. Scolding them can lead to a broken-hearted pup, and they will lose all motivation to train.


As they are friendlier and eager to please their owners, male Bichon Frises are easier to train than females. Food is always a good source of motivation for Bichon Frises, so always have treats ready when you train one of them.

Remember that positive reinforcement and rewards, in general, make training a lot easier and more fun. If a pup sees that it is rewarded for the things it does, it will most likely do those things to claim its reward.

The same goes for punishment. When you punish a dog for bad deeds, it will avoid those deeds in fear of the punishment it will receive.


In addition to being aloof, female Bichon Frises can be a little stubborn during training. Because of their more dominant behavior, they want to take control of the situation.

This applies especially when they are not in the mood to learn tricks and listen to commands. Now, if this deters you from getting a female Bichon, keep in mind that this does not apply to all of them.

With your intervention as a responsible owner, you can make your female Bichon easy to train with puppy training and early socialization.

How you treat your dog also determines how often it will listen to you. Don’t always give in and spoil your furry friend too much. Treating one of these dogs like a spoiled princess might make it hard for you to train it in the future.

Health differences between male and female Bichon Frise

cute little Bichon Frise dog lying

With a lifespan of fourteen to fifteen years, Bichon Frise dogs are generally healthy. But, this doesn’t mean that they do not get sick.

Whether your Bishon is male or female, you should be on the lookout for health issues that these dogs are prone to. These health problems are the following:

• Cushing’s disease: Also known as hyperadrenocorticism and hypercortisolism, this disease occurs in Bichon Frises when their adrenal glands produce too much cortisol or stress hormone.

• Patellar luxation: This is an orthopedic issue that is quite common in small breeds such as the Bichon Frise, Maltese, Havanese, and Poodle. In this condition, the kneecap of dogs becomes dislocated or moves out of place.

• Hip dysplasia: This ailment causes dogs to limp because their thigh bone does not fit snugly into their hip joint.

• Skin allergies: Reactions to some proteins or other ingredients in dog food are the most common cause of skin allergies in this breed. These pups can be allergic to beef, chicken, or other meat proteins in their diet. The most common symptoms of these allergies include itchy, red “hot spots” on their skin. Your Bichon will probably scratch and bite at its skin to try and relieve the itchy sensation. Bichons can also be allergic to corn or cornmeal. Canines with allergic reactions to these foods often chew the fur on their legs or paws.

• Dental issues: Like most other small dog breeds, Bichon dogs are prone to dental issues. Many vets recommend a high-quality diet combined with dental treats to help keep their teeth clean. Vets also recommend brushing your companion dog’s teeth at least once a week to remove plaque and keep its mouth healthy.

• Cancer: Cancer is a significant health issue for this breed. According to the Kennel Club, cancer is the second leading cause of death for the Bichon Frise breed after old age. However, pups that develop cancer usually still live to be twelve years old before succumbing to this ailment.


There aren’t many studies that suggest that male Bichons are more prone to certain health conditions than females. There are illnesses, though, that only happen to male dogs, primarily targeting their reproductive organs.

Male Bichons can experience cryptorchidism where one or both of the canine’s testicles fail to descend into the scrotum. To prevent this, you can neuter the dog, and his retained testicle must be removed.

If left untreated, this can lead to testicular tumors or cancer, which will take both an emotional and financial toll on you and your dog.

Neutering a dog is highly recommended unless you plan on breeding your Bichon. You will be amazed at how beneficial this procedure can be.

First, it reduces the risk of your dog getting testicular cancer to zero.

Second, it prevents unwanted pregnancies, especially if you have female pups at home.

Third, it keeps their testosterone levels in control. As a result, your male Bichon will be much less territorial and experience fewer mood swings.

On the other hand, dogs that are not neutered can get a bit aggressive. Neutered Bichon Frises are much nicer and make better pets.


Like their male counterparts, female dogs of this breed are also prone to certain health issues. Aside from the common health problems this breed faces, female pups are at risk of reproductive system-related conditions. One of which is mammary cancer.

If you notice any lumps along your dog’s mammary chain, consult with your vet, as this may be the beginning of mammary cancer. These tumors cause pain and can lead to problems like weight loss, lack of energy, and loss of appetite, among others.

To prevent your female pup from getting cancer, you should spay it before its first or second heat cycle. Spaying may vary within dog breeds, so it’s better to consult your veterinarian.

Also, spaying will minimize the risk of mammary cancer and uterine infections. If you do not wish to spay your Bichon Frise, you should be prepared for its heat cycle.

During the heat period, your female Bichon will experience bleeding and mood changes. Unspayed dogs will also continue to mark their territory.

Relationship with other dogs and pets

Westie and Bichon Frise sniff each other

This breed is generally sociable and enjoys interacting with other pets and dogs. But, how you raise your dog still matters.

In all dog breeds, early socialization is key to help dogs have a better relationship with other pets and dogs. Taking your Bichon Frise puppy to puppy socialization and training classes or introducing it to other dogs, pets, humans, and situations as early as puppyhood will lead to having a well-socialized and well-behaved dog in adulthood.


As we mentioned earlier, male pups of this breed can become territorial, especially when unneutered. Encounters with other male pooches can cause them to show marking behaviors to claim their territory. But, this is not always the case.

If your male pup is used to having other male dogs around, you should have no problem as males can live together quite well and may even turn out to be best buddies in the long run.

When interacting with females, male Bichons may exhibit submissive behavior, especially if the female pet is more dominant. Make sure to keep an eye out on your male Bichon when a female is in heat. Believe us – you don’t want to deal with unplanned puppies.


Female Bichons tend to become dominant over others. This controlling behavior affects how they interact with other females.

There is a possibility of female canines having disagreements as they fight for dominance. This can get quite messy if both female pups are unspayed.

With male dogs, females usually have power over them. This is mostly because male Bichon Frises give in to females. However, you can expect other outcomes with male pups from other breeds and pets.

Female vs. male Bichon Frise: relationship with children

Little boy and bichon frise dog lying on floor at home

For some people, male vs female Bichon Frise is decided by this difference. The compact size of the Bichon Frise makes them suitable for apartment living because they don’t require much space.

Families with kids, even those living in homes with no backyard, will enjoy having one of these dogs around. Just be wary, though, and remind young children not to annoy these dogs too much.

Like all other breeds, these dogs also have a tolerance limit.


Many owners report that male Bichons are much friendlier than their female counterparts. Your kids will enjoy playing with these male lap dogs because they love the attention they get and will do goofy things to please their little humans.

Male Bichon Frises are also known to be clingier, so kids will enjoy naptime and playtime with them. As we stated earlier, males are excellent cuddle buddies too!

They are so tiny that they fit on kids’ laps as well. Moreover, commotion and noise often made by your little ones won’t bother them much.


Female pups of this breed are less friendly and tend to have sudden mood swings. However, this does not automatically mean that they are not good with children too.

Your kids will enjoy playing with a female Bichon, too, because these pups also carry the breed’s playful trait. Females will also enjoy being petted and cuddled.

But, there may be some instances where your female Bichon Frise will move away in the middle of playtime. This usually means that they have had enough attention for the time being. But, as with all things, this is on a case-to-case basis and does not happen with all female Bichons.

Male or female Bichon Frise for a guard dog?

Small bichon frise dog guadring a front garden

These small dogs can bark loudly, particularly when they sense danger. However, they are just that – all bark and no bite. With that in mind, these pups are considered watchdogs, not guard dogs.

You might be wondering, is there a difference between the two? How does it fit into our male vs. female Bichon Frise guide?

Watchdogs are more like alarms that signal when something is wrong. This is often through barking, but it can be communicated by their body language or some other way. Guard dogs, on the flip side, can attack if they think there is a need. Typically, guard dogs are medium or large-sized dog breeds with athletic bodies.

Both female and male Bichons are very good watchdogs and will bark when there is a need. But, if a guard dog is what you need, you should consider getting another breed such as German

Shepherds, Dobermans, or Rottweilers.

Is a female or a male dog better as a family companion?

Beautiful happy family is having fun with bichon dog outdoors in the park

No matter which gender you choose, this breed will be a good family companion. At the end of the day, they are not considered companion dogs for nothing.

With male vs. female Bichon Frise, males of this breed are clingier and have a greater need for attention. Females, on the other hand, will cuddle and play depending on their mood.

The decision of which one to get as a family pet boils down to your preference. Whichever you choose, you will still get a funny, friendly, and loyal friend with the Bichon Frise breed.

Is a male or female Bichon Frise better?

Bichon Frise dog outdoors

Photo from: @kingkong_the_bichon

As we stated above, the gender of your furry friend is all about your preference. Now, this probably leads to your next question: what is my preference? Let us give you a few guidelines.

Now that you’ve seen a few comparisons between the two sexes, the next thing to consider is different scenarios. Hopefully, this will help you determine what your preference is in the male vs. female Bichon Frise debate.

Cuddles and attention

Finding the best pet is all about matching your personality with your dog’s. If you are reading this article, the chances are that the playful and loving personality of the Bichons interests you.

So, it is likely that when you get a Bichon Frise puppy, regardless of its sex, it will be the fluffy dog you wish to have.

Now, if you want a dog that will always be at your side, following you around, and often asking for attention, the male Bichon is your best bet. Reports from Bichon owners state that males are rather clingy.

On the other hand, if you wish to have a fluff-ball that cuddles, but you are also okay with occasional mood swings, then the female pup of this breed is the best pet for you. You can allot cuddle time and playtime for your female doggo.

Just keep in mind that this breed is not for those with very busy lifestyles. As a pet parent, you should be able to spend time with your dog and give it the attention it needs. Otherwise, your little companion will end up heartbroken.

Other pets at home

Having other pets in your household is a consideration, especially if there is another canine in the picture. If you want a friendly atmosphere in your home, you should think about how your pets will get along with each other.

Usually, the best thing is to choose a dog of the opposite sex. If you have a male pup at home, try to get a female Bichon Frise. Likewise, if you have a female dog, try to get a male Bichon.

You want to do it this way because dogs of the same sex have a higher chance of disagreements or fights than dogs of the opposite sex. Also, male Bichon Frises are friendlier and more submissive to female Bichons who like to be the alpha female in control.

Male or female Bichon: the verdict

Bichon Frise dog lying on the grass with its tongue out

Choosing the sex of your canine companion may be a predicament. After all, we all just want to find the best furry friend for ourselves. But, when it comes to male vs. female Bichon Frise, you really don’t have to overthink your decision.

Just take in all the comparisons we listed in this guide and all the possible scenarios you can think of, and then come up with your decision based on that. Pick the gender you think best suits your and your family’s lifestyle.

Bear in mind, though, that these traits are what owners observe in their dogs. It doesn’t mean that your pup will turn out to be exactly like this, as a lot of different factors are at play. The best thing you can do is learn more about the puppy you have your eye on.

Responsible breeders and good adoption centers will happily share the details of their available pups with you. You can find out if your pup is friendly towards other dogs and humans, what it likes and dislikes, and what its overall temperament is from them.

It is always wise to ask. Getting answers from breeders, adoption centers, and rescue groups might even help you make the right decision. But, at the end of the day, it really boils down to your personal preference. Trust your heart and pick the Bichon that melts it at first sight!

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