You may be surprised that Bichon Frise’s color is not limited to pure white. This lovable ball of fluff comes in different colors that you may choose from if you want a twist in its usual coat color.
Although you may see a Bichon Frise with a darker coat or more shadings than the standard, it is likely not purebred. Kennel clubs may not also recognize it.
This article will discuss everything you need about the four recognized Bichon Frise colors. This guide will also walk you through the possible colors you may mistake as purebred.
How Many Bichon Frise Colors Are There?
The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognizes four Bichon Frise colors with respective registration codes. With white as the dominant color, Bichon Frise coat colors are usually on the lightest side.
Below is the list of AKC-registered Bichon Frise colors:
- White & Apricot
- White & Buff
- White & Cream
As you can see, its color does not deviate that much away from white. It is no surprise because it is the natural color of a Bichon Frise. Due to this, it is relatively easy to recognize which is a purebred.
If your Bichon Frise color is black, brown, chocolate, tan, or darker, it is probably not purebred. Often, crossbreeding with a Poodle or Yorkshire Terrier will achieve these colors.
4 Bichon Frise Colors
It may be difficult to differentiate the four different Bichon Frise colors as they are very similar. As the AKC standards set the rules for distinguishing a purebred, you may mistake it for a mixed breed.
Thus, this section will provide details about the specific colors of Bichon Frise. Enjoy looking at these cute pictures while deciding which one is your favorite!
Image credit: sparkling_ssoda / Instagram
It is the most common coat color for Bichon Frise. Its cloud-like appearance indeed shows what a toy breed is.
Because it is sure to melt your heart with its cuteness, this is also the most sought-after color.
Given its size and coat texture, confusing a white Bichon Frise with a Poodle is easy. One of the easiest ways to distinguish them is to remember that a Bichon Frise always comes in an almost pure white coat.
Meanwhile, a Poodle can have different colors, such as brown. The coat of Bichon Frise is also slightly less curly than Poodles. A Bichon Frise also has a more compact and proportionate body.
Because it is a solid white coat, be prepared for frequent baths needed for a color that gets dirty quickly.
2. White & Apricot
Image credit: elvisabichon / Instagram
Although the dominant color is still white, you can find hints of apricot fur in this type of Bichon Frise. The shades of apricot are around its ears, chin, body, and chest.
You may confuse an apricot Bichon Frise with the cream variation. One way to tell them apart is that apricot is more similar to a yellow-orange shade, just like an actual apricot fruit. However, the shade is paler.
In dogs, this warm color is a result of recessive genes. Bichon Frise can also express this, although more diluted than solid apricot Poodles.
Thus, if the apricot color is more prominent than the white, there is a chance that your pet is not a pure Bichon Frise.
The contrast between the white and apricot colors makes a Bichon Frise more unique and charming.
3. White & Buff
Similar to the apricot, the color buff is only present in small traces throughout the coat of a Bichon Frise. You may commonly notice its ears, chest, or legs having hints of buff.
There is little difference between apricot and buff. The latter has a more relaxed tone than the former. Moreover, it blends in perfectly with the white coat, making it harder to recognize.
Because the shades are closer to each other, they may appear as shadows. The buff color is subtle but gives a slight dimension to the coat of your Bichon Frise.
Either way, have regular grooming sessions and bath routines for your white and buff Bichon Frise. Even the smallest hint of dirt is instantly noticeable against its light coat.
4. White & Cream
With cream colors around its mouth, ears, legs, or arms, this Bichon Frise is adorable. With hints of cream colors, this type is peculiar on its own.
As with the previous colors, the cream part should only appear in small amounts throughout a Bichon Frise’s body. Otherwise, your pet may not be a pure breed.
Differentiating the colors from each other can be challenging. Again, this is because white is the natural color of Bichon Frise, and pops of muted warm colors are just a result of gene expression.
Nevertheless, all Bichon Frises are pretty much white. Regardless of the slight variation in hues, remember that pure breeds should be almost all-white.
If you are curious about these four Bichon Frise colors, you may watch the video below:
Bichon Frise Nose, Eyes & Tongue Colors
Because coat colors barely have differences, the same goes for nose, eyes, and tongue colors. If yes, then you are correct!
Purebred Bichon Frise has distinct characteristics that stay the same in every individual. These include the colors of their body parts.
This section will tackle the standard colors of a Bichon Frise’s nose, eyes, and tongue.
According to AKC, The Bichon Frise Club of America (BFCA), and The Kennel Club (TKC), the standard color for the nose of a Bichon Frise is jet black. Its prominent nose goes perfectly with almond eyes.
While this is the perfect color, there are some instances where it may appear lighter than it should. For example, it may look more diluted in the winter because of decreased sun exposure.
Conversely, the summer season may revert to the lightened color due to increased pigmentation. Neutering or spaying may also affect the color intensity of its nose.
Because of the changes in hormone level, you may observe a lighter shade of black on your Bichon Frise’s nose. Despite this, it is usually harmless.
If you are worried about the unusual nose color, do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian.
With eyes that match the color of its nose, the standard color of this body part is also midnight black. The AKC, United Kennel Club (UKC), and Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) also allow a dark brown eye color for Bichon Frise.
In addition to this, the eye rim and the skin around its eyes should have a solid black color. Kennel clubs give penalties for any broken or lack of pigmentation.
The lack of pigmentation is mainly why Bichon Frise dogs are predominantly white. However, this does not mean that every part of their body will not have pigment.
For example, dogs generally have black or dark brown eyes and noses. Although kennel clubs are not specific about their tongue color, you can expect it to be pink.
You may be worried about your Bichon Frise if its tongue color is darker or lighter. In this case, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to ask about the causes of different tongue colors.
Bichon Frise Breed Standards and Disqualifications
The BFCA, UKC, and other kennel clubs have established standards to recognize a purebred Bichon Frise.
The accepted colors for AKC and BFCA are the ones listed above: white with shades of apricot, buff, and cream. You can find these added colors around the ears or parts of the body.
However, the pigmentation should be at most 10 percent of the Bichon Frise’s coat.
This ground for penalty does not apply to puppies, but for TKC, this exemption is until 18 months old. In addition to this, UKC considers albinism as a ground for disqualification.
For most kennel clubs, the skin beneath the coat should ideally be darkly pigmented. It can have black, blue, or beige markings.
Most reputable breeders of the Bichon Frise strictly adhere to these standards. If you plan to register your Bichon Frise to any dog show, consider checking with them to ensure your pet will not receive deductions.
Do Bichon Frise Colors Affect Behavior and Health?
The most straightforward answer to this question is no. However, there are some exceptions to this situation.
As a breeder of Bichon Frises for five years, I can attest that no matter what color or markings of the Bichon Frise, there are no clear differences in terms of the behavior of these dogs. They are mostly gentle, sensitive, active, cheerful, and affectionate dogs.
They also love to seek attention. In fact, one of them, a 3-year-old all-white female Bichon Frise named Zoe, always tries to put her head under my pals, wanting me to scratch and pat her head. Regardless of color, all of them have adorable personalities.
For example, a white coat caused by albinism implies other health issues. It, in turn, affects their behavior, making them more aggressive than usual.
For one, because it is a purely white-colored dog, a Bichon Frise is prone to skin cancer and hemangiosarcoma. As they have lesser protection against sunlight, they can also be light-sensitive.
A study by Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine found that the Bichon Frise is at high risk of developing congenital deafness.
Similar to skin cancer, it has been found that white pigmentation affects hearing. In particular, a lack of pigment in the inner ear causes deafness.
Because of their white pigmentation, Bichon Frise dogs also tend to develop congenital eye defects like cataracts, leading to complete vision loss.
In general, white dogs are susceptible to hereditary sensory defects like the ones mentioned above.
Regular vet visits are recommended to prevent any of these health conditions and behavioral problems.
Do Bichon Frise Change Colors as They Grow?
A Bichon Frise’s coat can have subtle changes as it grows older. A purebred Bichon Frise is predominantly white, but shades of apricot, buff, or cream may be present in some parts of their body.
As set by kennel clubs, the percentage of non-white coats should not exceed 10 percent of a Bichon Frise’s skin. However, at birth, those colors may occupy more than the standard.
As the pup grows older, some of these shades turn even lighter, contributing to the white coat. This is why the rule is loosely applied until the puppy reaches 18 months.
While it means that puppies have lesser-pigmented coats as they age, their colors will remain almost the same. A Bichon Frise will still be closer to an all-white appearance at its maturity.
If the coat of your Bichon Frise turns pink, brown, or light orange, you may want to consult if it has an underlying disease. Porphyrin, which causes this discoloration, may indicate problems with red blood cells.
Excessive licking may also result in a change in fur color. Some of the reasons behind this behavior are food allergies, yeast infection, hypothyroidism, wounds, and stress.
For any unusual discoloration, consulting your veterinarian is suggested.
What Color Will My Bichon Frise Be?
Although there are only four acceptable Bichon Frise colors, predicting the exact coat color of your dog will be challenging. The first thing you can do is study the parents’ colors.
Remember that white Bichon Frise dogs are the most common and naturally-occurring. Thus, it is safe to assume that it will probably be white.
If one of the parents is not an all-white Bichon Frise, you may get DNA testing. This method detects the recessive genes that cause the pigmentation in Bichon Frise.
The four Bichon Frise colors are similar, but predicting which one they will exhibit is exciting for dog parents. If you are passionate about this, trace its pedigree chart instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Colors Are Rare for Bichon Frise?
Because a pure white Bichon Frise is popular, any puppy with a mix of apricot, buff, or cream is already considered rare. However, a white and buff Bichon Frise is considered the rarest among these added colors.
A buff color is close to white fur, so distinguishing them is already complicated. Breeders of this variety are even rarer.
What Is the Most Common Bichon Frise Color?
From its name, “bichon” means “white dog,” while “frise” refers to “soft curls.”
It is because white is the naturally occurring coat color for this breed. Thus, this is also the perfect and most common color for a Bichon Frise.
What Kind of Coat Does a Bichon Frise Have?
As the name suggests, Bichon Frise has a soft curly coat. It has a double coat with a soft and dense undercoat, while the overcoat is coarser and curled.
These create a bouncy texture that is velvety to the touch. As a toy breed, its coat gives a powder puff appearance. By the standards of kennel clubs, a wiry coat and missing undercoat are undesirable and penalized.
Are All Bichon Frise Tongues Blue?
No. The natural color of a Bichon Frise’s tongue is pink. If this is the breed of your dog and its tongue is blue, consult a veterinarian immediately. It may mean that your dog has an underlying health issue.
The four Bichon Frise colors are all dominated by a white coat. Apricot, buff, and cream are colors resulting from recessive genes expressed mutedly.
Bichon Frise dogs with solid non-white colors or more than 10 percent of warm tones are more likely to be a mixed breed.
Whichever pop of color is your favorite, it is essential to be consistent with its grooming and hygiene maintenance. After all, the light coat is prone to dirt and mud that may ruin your pet’s look.
Purebred Bichon Frise has a distinct white coat, so go to the vet if your puppy deviates from its typical characteristics.
Which one is your favorite Bichon Frise color? Tell us in the comments!