If you can get your Bichon Frise used to being handled and groomed from an early age it will help tremendously as the dog gets older. Keeping the grooming sessions short, using treats, and playing with him afterwards, are essential parts of how to groom a dog, and will all help your puppy get used to the routine of being groomed.
The intensity of the grooming and the regularity of the trips to a pet grooming service will depend on the cut of the coat.
There are three different styles:
1. Shave Down – this is not normally recommended, unless the dog’s hair is so seriously matted that it is impossible to comb out without causing pain. The severity of the cut leaves the Bichon’s skin to the mercy of the sun requiring the dog to wear sunblock when the sun is bright;
2. Puppy Cut – this leaves the hair around one inch long and it will still require regular brushing, but it is much easier to look after. Trips to the dog groomer will be necessary every two months or so;
3. Show Clip. This is the traditional ‘powder puff’ look of the show Bichon Frise. The hair is left longer and trimmed only by scissors. This hairstyle is not recommended unless the dog is going to be shown professionally;
For anyone who does not feel they can commit to the dog grooming, or feel that they don’t know enough about how to groom a dog, the best option is the puppy cut. Although it still requires maintenance, it is significantly less work.
Bichon Frise cross with Poodles or Shih Tzu’s also come with grooming needs but the amount of maintenance will be decided by whether or not the dog has inherited the Bichon’s double coat. A Bichon Frise x terrier will introduce different traits into the dog, terriers are much more renowned for being yappy and stubborn, however the need for grooming may be considerably less.
Talk to a dog groomer if you are not sure about your dog’s coat, as if he has inherited a double coat it will be best to find out sooner rather than later.
Bichon Frise rescue centres may take in crosses, and even if you are looking for a pure Bichon it is always worth phoning them up, especially if you don’t want to go through the puppy stages of owning a dog. A Bichon rescue will be able to give help, advice and support, even if you didn’t acquire your dog from them.
If you want to do your pet grooming yourself, rather than use a dog daycare centre, then you will need to be prepared for it to take quite a lot of time.
How to groom a dog – you will need:
• Wide toothed comb
• Pin brush
• Fine toothed comb
• Slicker brush
Start grooming your dog using the wide toothed comb, and start by parting the fur and gently brushing from the root to tip. Do not use long brush strokes, as this will miss the undercoat, which leads to matting.
If you find a mat hold the hair flat against the skin and try to work it out with your fingers. Then starting at the tip work backwards being careful not to pull too hard.
Use the fine-toothed comb for the delicate face and ears, and to finish brushing the outer coat to achieve a fluffy look.
The pin brush can be used for additional brushing afterwards if needed.
Washing and bathing your Bichon should be done as often as needed, normally between two and four times a month without counting emergency bathing if the dog gets muddy/dirty.
Bathing is very important to keep the coat and skin healthy. Use a dog shampoo (essential as they have a different PH balance to human shampoo) and use lukewarm water and a doggy dryer or a human dryer on the lowest setting.
During their grooming routine you should check their nails, ears and eyes.
Clip any long or overgrowing nails, clean the ear gently with a cloth and wipe any tears from their eyes.
How to groom a dog with a double coat is not hard to learn, although it takes more work and time, but it isn’t impossible and provides a lovely bonding experience for you to share with your dog.
For more information about the Bichon Frise, check out the highly recommended Insiders Guide To A Happy, Healthy & Well Behaved Bichon Frise package today!