Male vs. Female Bichon Frise: Which Is Better?

Male and female Bichon Frise freshly groomed

If your heart is set on owning a Bichon Frise but cannot decide whether to take home a male or a female, then this article is for you. Although similar in many things, both genders also differ in some aspects.

In terms of appearance, there is no difference between the appearances of male and female Bichon Frises. Temperament-wise, the male Bichon Frise is more playful and attached, while the female Bichon Frise is more independent and aloof.

This article will discuss in detail the differences and similarities between a male and female Bichon Frise in various aspects. If you want to know which gender is best for you, continue reading until the end!

Physical Differences

Male and female Bichon Frise during morning walk

Male Bichon Frises

There aren’t many obvious distinctions between male and female Bichon Frises from a physical perspective. They don’t differ in coat color, coat type, and even shedding potential.

Unlike other male dog breeds that are typically much bigger and more muscular than females, male Bichon Frises are just as small as their female counterparts.

In fact, both genders have an average height of 9.5 to 11.5 inches at the shoulder and an average weight of 12 to 18 pounds, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) standards.

Female Bichon Frises

The female Bichon Frises, like their male counterparts, have even-proportioned bodies with round heads and fluffy tails that are arched over their backs. They also have light-colored and long hair, deep dark eyes, and black noses.

Due to their similar appearances, it can be quite challenging to visually distinguish female Bichon Frises from males. However, one way to tell the two apart is by looking at their reproductive organs.

Temperamental Differences

Male Bichon Frises

When it comes to temperament, there is a significant difference between male and female Bichon Frises.

Male Bichon Frises enjoy cuddling and crave attention from their owners. They are more affectionate and clingy than their female counterparts, and they take pleasure in pleasing their owners.

Additionally, male Bichons tend to be more outgoing, playful, and goofy, which makes them a lot of fun to be around. Unlike females, male Bichons retain their puppy-like energy even as they get older.

Female Bichon Frises

Female Bichon Frises tend to be more independent and reserved. They are more dominant and like to be in charge of everything. These pups are less affectionate and friendly than male Bichons.

However, female Bichon Frises may also seek affection from their owners at times, but it won’t take long as they are prone to mood swings, especially when in heat.

During cuddling, owners may experience a female Bichon Frise’s moody personality. These pooches commonly run away when they’ve had enough of the cuddles and want to be left alone.

Female Bichon Frises also tend to be less energetic than males. Aside from this, female Bichons can be a bit arrogant when they are wronged, unlike the males, who often forgive when given enough belly rub.

Behavior and Training

Male Bichon firse during training

Male Bichon Frises

The Bichon Frise breed is generally an intelligent dog. It is easy to train and likes to show off the tricks it learns. However, both male and female Bichon Frises can be difficult to housebreak.

Male Bichon Frises also engage in territorial marking, which is common in unneutered male dogs, along with displays of aggression. This can be prevented by neutering your male Bichon at the appropriate time.

Since male Bichon Frises are friendlier, more energetic, and eager to please humans, they are easier to train than females. Besides, they are highly motivated by food, so enticing them with treats can simplify training.

Male Bichon Frises are known for their affectionate temperament, but this can also make them prone to separation anxiety, leading to excessive barking. Fortunately, crate training can help manage this behavior effectively.

When training them, it’s important to use positive reinforcement methods rather than punishments, as male Bichons respond well to encouragement and rewards.

Female Bichon Frises

Like their male counterparts, female Bichon Frises may also develop marking behavior if they are going through heat cycles. Each cycle can last about two to three weeks and may happen up to two times a year for the Bichon Frise.

Unwanted behaviors during this period, like aggression and increased occurrence of mood swings, can be eliminated by spaying your pup. It is recommended to spay your female Bichon before her first heat to reduce health risks.

Female Bichon Frises are as intelligent as males. However, training a female Bichon Frise is much more challenging than training a male due to her moody, aloof, and stubborn personality.

Nevertheless, you should keep in mind that not all pups are the same. Other factors can contribute to your dog’s behavior, such as the environment and how they are nurtured.

Check out this wonderful video of a dog training demonstration featuring Ollie, the Bichon Frise:

Ollie (Bichon Frise) Boot Camp Dog Training Demonstration

Health Differences

Male Bichon Frises

The Bichon Frise dog breed is generally healthy, with a 14 to 15 years lifespan. But this doesn’t mean they cannot acquire health problems throughout their lives.

Like other male dogs, male Bichons can also suffer from testicular tumors and cryptorchidism. In addition, they may also be prone to illnesses like Cushing’s disease and patellar luxation. 

These conditions can be prevented through neutering, which also comes with many health and behavioral benefits.

Another health problem that male Bichon Frises may suffer from is calcium oxalate bladder stones, which can be prevented through a proper diet.

Female Bichon Frises

Female Bichon Frises are also predisposed to some health problems as they age, especially reproductive-related ones common to female dogs.

Most of these conditions, though, can be prevented through spaying. If left intact, the female Bichon Frise has a higher chance of developing life-threatening illnesses like mammary cancer, uterine cancer, and pyometra.

Mammary and uterine tumors occur when there is an abnormal growth of cells in these organs and can sometimes be cancerous.

On the other hand, pyometra is an infection in the dog’s uterus caused by hormonal changes, filling the womb with pus.

Another health issue common to female Bichon Frises is struvite bladder stones. It is a type of urolith, like calcium oxalate, which can also be averted through a preventive diet.

Routine vet visits are encouraged to prevent your dog from encountering these health issues. Pet insurance is also recommended to save you from the higher cost of emergency medical expenses in the future.

With Other Dogs and Pets

Female Bichon Frise sitting beside an Australian Shepherd

Male Bichon Frises

In general, how your Bichon Frise behaves around other dogs and animals depends on how you raise and socialize them. Nonetheless, male Bichon Frises are sociable dogs. They like spending time and playing with other dogs.

Neutering also affects their interactions with other pets. Intact male Bichon Frises tend to be more territorial and aggressive toward other male dogs, while neutered ones can get along better with them.

However, in cases where a male Bichon Frise is already used to being around other male dogs, coexisting can happen.

Female Bichon Frises

Unlike other female dogs, female Bichon Frises are more dominant than their male counterparts. This dominance influences how they behave around other dogs and pets.

The female Bichon Frise will have no problem interacting with males since the latter often submits to females. With this, they won’t have a reason to fight with one another.

On the other hand, mixing them with other females may be a problem as they tend to compete and show dominance over one another. It will be worse if both female dogs are unspayed.

This is where we see the importance of early puppy socialization. Exposing your female Bichon Frise to different dogs as puppies will help in developing good behavior and social skills.

With Children

Male Bichon Frises

The Bichon Frise, with its adorable personality and small size, is great for families and apartment living. Families with children often consider which gender of this breed usually gets along well with kids.

Since male Bichon Frises are friendly pups, they enjoy spending time with everyone, including children. They often crave attention, and kids are mostly the ones who can give that.

The high energy levels of male Bichon Frises require constant interaction and regular games, which can easily be matched by the playfulness of children.

I have seen how male Bichons partner well with children through my colleague, who has been a breeder of Bichon Frises since the 1980s. He has a seven-year-old child with special needs, and he intentionally selects his male dogs to keep his son company and to help with his therapy.

Male Bichon Frises are playful, but at the same time, the bond they create with children allows them to be quite sensitive to their needs, making them very reliable companions of the little ones.

Female Bichon Frises

Likewise, female Bichon Frises are affectionate with their little human friends. They also love cuddling, playing, and being around kids.

In fact, they are ideal for families with children who are less than ten years old. This is because they are less energetic and have a gentler approach to playing.

However, since female Bichon Frises are prone to mood swings, they can sometimes be unpredictable and walk away in the middle of playtime.

It is also good to take into consideration that all dogs have the potential to be aggressive at times. This depends on how female Bichons are trained and handled. It is always good to monitor playtime for safety purposes.

Pros and Cons of Male and Female Bichon Frises

Male and female Bichon Frise having fun outdoors

Male Bichon Frises

Owning a male Bichon Frise comes with a few advantages and disadvantages.

Male Bichons are very much known for their affectionate and cuddly personalities. They tend to focus on their owners, so they are easy to train and make great companions at home.

Being playful and fun-loving, they are good with other pets and children. More so if socialized early. They are also intelligent and easy to train, driven by their need for attention and eagerness to please.

Male Bichons love to learn tricks and show off what they learned. Motivating them through food and treats all the more makes it easier to train them.

Moreover, male Bichon Frises need constant attention. They tend to be clingier, and it is hard to leave them alone. This makes them prone to separation anxiety, which drives them to bark excessively.

Aside from this, they can be difficult to housebreak because of their small bladders.

Here is a summary of the pros and cons of owning a male Bichon Frise:

Affectionate and fun-lovingRequires constant attention
Good with other pets and childrenProne to separation anxiety
Intelligent and easy to trainTend to be more aggressive
Food-motivatedDifficult to housebreak
Has a long lifespanSusceptible to illnesses common to male dogs

Female Bichon Frises

The female Bichon Frise is independent and reserved. It doesn’t need constant attention, so it bodes better when left alone compared to males.

Like male Bichons, females don’t disappoint with their intelligence. They also like to entertain their human friends by showing off their tricks.

Female Bichons are also less energetic than males, so they are ideal for families with younger children as they are gentler to play with.

However, female Bichons often have mood swings, which could make them leave in the middle of playing or lose concentration during training.

Another disadvantage of female Bichon Frises is their stubbornness. This behavior is driven by their dominant personality. Therefore, mixing them with other female dogs is not a good idea.

Moreover, they are susceptible to illnesses common to small and female dogs.

Here’s the summary of the pros and cons of owning a female Bichon Frise:

Doesn’t require constant attentionHas mood swings
IntelligentCan be stubborn
Ideal for families with younger kidsHas a dominant personality
GentlerMay not get along with other female dogs
Has a long life spanSusceptible to illnesses common to female dogs

Should You Get a Male or Female Bichon Frise?

Choosing between a male and a female Bichon Frise is all about considering how it fits your preferences, environment, and lifestyle.

If you want a clingy pet and crave the companionship of a dog, a male Bichon Frise is for you. However, a female Bichon Frise will be a perfect fit if you work long hours, are not at home often, and love your personal space.

It is best to get a male Bichon Frise if you already have a female dog at home, as male Bichons are submissive to females. But if you already have a male dog, either gender is okay to own.

Both male and female Bichon Frises don’t differ much from one another. They are lovely and worthy of your money, time, and effort. Just ensure that whatever your preference is, get one from a reputable breeder who can guarantee the health and disposition of your pup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Male and female Bichon Frise smiling while standing on a bench

Are Male or Female Bichon Frises Calmer?

The female Bichon Frise is calmer due to its independent, reserved, and less energetic disposition. Females also like to play but typically love their personal space.

On the other hand, the male Bichon Frise is more energetic because of their fun-loving and outgoing personality.

Are Male or Female Bichon Frises More Affectionate?

The male Bichon Frise has a reputation for being more affectionate than females. Males focus on their owners, crave attention, and love snuggle sessions.

Meanwhile, the female Bichon Frise is more aloof. Although females also like to play and cuddle with their owners, they have limitations.

Are Male or Female Bichon Frises Easier to Train?

Male Bichons are easier to train because of their eager-to-please personality. They are also highly motivated by food, so using treats for positive reinforcement also makes training easier.

The female Bichon Frise is also intelligent and highly trainable but can be moody. When they are not in the mood for training, they won’t cooperate.

Final Thoughts

Both male and female Bichon Frises are lovable dogs. They have similarities and differences, but generally, they are just one breed with the same adorable appearance and deserve love from their owners.

Now that the comparison between the two genders has been carefully laid down, the decision is yours to make. Your lifestyle, environment, and preferences would greatly influence your choice.

Keep in mind that a dog’s characteristics may vary. Every dog is unique, and their personalities may differ regardless of their gender, as described in this article.

Hopefully, this article helped you understand and determine your preference between a male and a female Bichon Frise. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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