Pronounced as bee-shaan free-zay, the Bichon Frise dog breed looks as fancy as its name sounds. This dog show superstar breed has a charming look and a gentle, playful personality.
They were believed to originate in the Canary Islands and were brought by sailors to Europe and eventually became popular in the US.
Today, these vivacious little pooches are well-loved as companion dogs for their cheerful, even temperament. They also don’t bark a lot and don’t need much space to romp, making them perfect for apartment living.
However, flaunting a snow-white fluffy powder-puff coat, Bichons require plenty of coat care. But can you groom a Bichon Frise at home? Certainly yes!
In this article, we’ll teach you how to groom a Bichon Frise at home to help you care for your pet in the best way possible.
14 Steps On How To Groom A Bichon Frise At Home
Grooming your adorable little furball helps keep them healthy, clean, and neat-looking. And with the right tools, you can give your Bichon Frise the classic Bichon haircut.
Here’s an amazing video that will help you get an idea of how to groom a Bichon Frise at home.
Now that you’ve got a better idea on how to groom a Bichon Frise at home, you can regularly trim your dog’s plush coat in the comfort of your home and maintain their puffball look – like a little cloud walking across the floor.
Furthermore, Bichons are known to easily develop matted hair, so it’s also crucial to know how to brush and comb their double-layer coat daily.
Follow these 14 steps on how to groom a Bichon Frise at home on your own and keep your pet looking their best.
Step 1: Find a Spacious Area for Grooming and Prepare All Necessary Equipment
The first step to grooming your Bichon Frise is making sure you have a spacious workspace. Put your pet atop an elevated surface, such as a wide table with a clean, flat surface.
Is your Bichon Frise well-behaved? Or does your playful little dog tend to wiggle out of your grasp when being groomed?
Professional groomers recommend using an adjustable grooming arm to help keep your pet comfortably in place and minimize unnecessary movements.
Here’s an adjustable grooming arm we recommend that can do the job. What makes this grooming equipment great is it also comes with an adjustable clamp and a haunch holder.
After preparing your grooming workspace, you should gather all necessary supplies to perform a smooth DIY grooming session.
We suggest the following products, tools, and equipment that are specifically used for grooming Bichons:
|For the Workspace||For Dematting and Detangling||For Bathing||For Trimming the Nails||For Cleaning the Ears and Teeth||For Cleansing the Face||For Doing a Bichon Haircut|
|A spacious table||Slicker brush||Whitening shampoo for dogs||Dog nail clippers||Ear cleaning solution for dogs||Dog wet wipes||Electric clippers|
|An adjustable grooming arm||Pin and bristle brush||Dog conditioner||Nail grinder||Dental spray for dogs||Clean washcloth||Thinning shears|
|A non-slip mat or clean, soft towel||Greyhound comb||Hairdryer||Cotton-tipped swabs||Curved scissors|
|Detangling spray||Clean bath towel||Cotton balls|
Step 2: Brush and Comb Your Bichon to Remove Matted and Tangled Hair
Once you’ve prepared all necessary tools, the second step on how to groom a Bichon Frise at home is to brush your little furball’s coat. This step is best done before bathing as water will thicken tangles and mats, making them harder to remove.
Bichons are known to have curly hair that mat easily. So it’s best to make brushing your pooch daily a habit. This helps maintain a smooth coat, prevents mat buildup, and gets rid of loose hairs. Furthermore, this routine will also help your dog get accustomed to being groomed.
Here are a few tools to use for matted and tangled hair:
A slicker brush is an ideal tool for de-tangling and de-matting your Bichon’s hair. Make sure to follow the direction of your dog’s hair to make clipping an easier task later.
Here’s a slicker brush you can use to de-tangle your Bichon’s curly hair:
Using this comb when you encounter a knot while brushing will get rid of any tangles. Andis steel greyhound comb, which you can get from Amazon, is a great choice. It can remove the tangles and knots in your Bichon’s hair while providing volume.
Watch out for tangles on your Bichon’s legs, and don’t forget to de-tangle your dog’s tail hair from the ends to the base. If you want to remove tangles faster, especially on parts away from the face, you can use a detangling spray like TropiClean.
Throughout the process, make your Bichon feel more comfortable and less anxious by talking to them in a gentle, cheerful tone.
And don’t forget to give them lots of treats after every step of the grooming routine to encourage good behavior.
Step 3: Bathe Your Bichon Carefully and Pat Them Dry
After thoroughly brushing and de-tangling your Bichon’s fur, it’s time to bathe them. Bathing removes excess dead skin cells and any remaining loose hairs. And your Bichon’s coat will look clean, pristine, and ready for some clipping.
When bathing a Bichon, you can soak them in a tub filled with warm water and use a whitening dog shampoo to maintain their white fur. Make sure to gently dampen your dog’s fur and lather carefully with the shampoo.
When using a whitening dog shampoo, always go for something that is meant for Bichons and contains no dangerous chemicals or synthetic dyes. If you’re looking for one, we suggest PetPost’s whitening shampoo:
However, if your dog has sensitive skin, it’s best to ask your pet’s veterinarian for a medicated shampoo.
Here are a few quick tips to remember during bath time:
- Use a non-slip mat – This will help prevent slipping when bathing your Bichon.
- Thoroughly wet the fur before applying shampoo – Make sure you dampen your dog all the way to the skin.
- Avoid the eyes and ears – Keep these sensitive areas dry and away from any liquid. Shampoo and conditioner can irritate your Bichon’s eyes and ears.
- Use a dog conditioner after completely rinsing out the shampoo – A conditioner will help keep your pet’s fur soft, healthy, and tangle free.
- Use a hand-held shower nozzle – Set it to a low-pressure setting and carefully wash your Bichon all over.
- Be gentle when drying your pooch – It’s best to pat your Bichon dry with a clean towel and let them shake out the water out of their fur. Avoid rubbing vigorously as this can irritate your dog’s skin.
- Use a hairdryer in a low-heat setting – Blow-dry your pooch’s hair using a hairdryer. However, don’t hold the dryer too close to avoid irritating the skin.
- Comb out any remaining mats – Once your Bichon is fully clean and dry, comb out any mats you’ve missed. And work out stubborn tangles and matts with a de-tangling spray.
- Use a slicker brush – Keep brushing the fur with a slicker brush to smooth it out.
Step 4: Create a Relaxing Environment for Your Pooch
The next step on how to groom a Bichon Frise at home is to create a relaxing environment for them.
Bichons are affectionate and playful companions, but they can be rowdy when grooming time comes. So it’s a good idea to help your furbaby get used to grooming activities from a young age.
Raise your Bichon in a way that makes them unafraid and calm during grooming sessions. Here are a few tips you can try:
- Brush your pup’s lovely fur daily while snuggling them
- Touch and play with their paws to make nail trimming more fun rather than stressful
- Hold and gently massage their head during playtime
When it’s time to groom your Bichon Frise at home, create a bit of white noise that they’re familiar with and love to hear. You can play their favorite dog movie or a soothing playlist in the background.
Your goal is to make your pooch feel as comfortable as possible throughout the grooming process.
Remember, be patient and avoid scolding your pet when things don’t go your way. And reward good behavior with lots of your Bichon’s favorite treats, especially when they sit still and stop fussing around.
Step 5: Trim the Nails
Clipping your Bichon’s nails every two weeks is important to make sure your pet feels comfortable while walking and moving around.
Keep in mind these tips when trimming your dog’s nails:
- Prepare a dog first aid kit with styptic powder – Styptic powder will help stop any bleeding. It is a clotting agent that you should apply immediately in the very unlikely event that you cut the “quick,” or the pink spot in the nail containing nerves and blood vessels.
- Start trimming the nails when your Bichon feels more relaxed – As mentioned earlier, it’s best to create a calming environment for your pooch. Play some relaxing background sound, play with your dog’s paws, or give them treats to help them relax.
- Find the ideal position for nail trimming – Your Bichon might like to be held or they might prefer to sit on the table.
- Use dog nail clippers – Make sure to cut only the white part of the nail using clippers. Stop clipping when you see a black dot, because this means you’re close to the quick.
For dog nail trimming, we recommend this product to easily do the job:
- Use a nail grinder – If you don’t like using clippers, this is an excellent alternative. This nail-cutting tool makes it easier and safer to trim a frisky Bichon’s nails.
Step 6: Clean Your Pet’s Ears
To prevent the buildup of dirt and bacteria, it’s important to regularly clean your Bichon’s ears.
We recommend that you use an ear cleaning solution like Vetoquinol Ear Cleansing Solution to clean and remove dirt in your dog’s ears.
Put a few drops of the pet ear cleaning solution onto a piece of cotton wool. And then rub it gently in your fur baby’s ears, and clean any excess liquid with a dry cotton wool ball.
Watch the video below to learn more about cleaning your furbaby’s ears:
Step 7: Brush Those Canine Teeth
Another essential part of grooming your Bichon Frise is maintaining oral health.
Keep those canine teeth and gums healthy by brushing your Bichon’s teeth every week using a dual-headed brush and a dog toothpaste. You can use the bigger brush for the front teeth and the smaller end for harder-to-reach areas.
If you’re looking for a good dual-headed brush, we recommend using Pets & Pupps’:
Another tool we recommend for brushing your dog’s teeth is a finger toothbrush, which has soft silicone bristles for gentle cleaning.
Step 8: Wipe Away Dirt and Stains From the Face
With such a lovely white fur, Bichons are more prone to staining on the face. They tend to develop red-brown patches beneath the eyes, which is why regular eye cleaning is essential.
Wipe the area around your pet’s eyes to get rid of tear stains. You can dampen a clean washcloth or use grooming wet wipes for pets. And then swipe over the cheeks and chin after gently wiping the eye area.
If you’re looking for grooming wet wipes for your Bichon, we recommend this product:
Alternatively, you can use an eye-cleaning solution for pets. The application typically involves using cotton wool.
After wiping, make sure to comb out your Bichon’s fur to prevent tangles. You can then use a blow-dryer on a low, cool setting to dry your dog’s fur.
When learning how to groom a Bichon Frise at home, remember that cleansing the face is an essential step. It helps get rid of dirt, discoloration, moisture buildup, and tear stains.
Step 9: Clip Underneath the Feet
Now that your pooch is clean all over, the next step is trimming the hair between the paw pads. Properly snipping the paw pads helps prevent the buildup of dirt and mats. But more importantly, it helps prevent unnecessary slipping that could lead to injury.
Use a #30 blade when trimming around your Bichon’s paw pads. We recommend using this product for trimming your pet’s fur because a cordless electric clipper is typically more convenient to use.
Brush hair between the paw pads to make clipping it easier. And then simply glide your electric clipper smoothly over your canine’s pads and spread the pads to snip any uneven hair.
Step 10: Clip Around Private Areas
The next step on how to groom a Bichon Frise at home is by clipping around your pooch’s private areas.
Switch to a #10 blade when clipping around your Bichon’s sensitive and private areas. And be extra careful when trimming these fuzzy parts near the belly and groin.
To make the process easier, you can help your dog stand properly by holding both front legs for support. Or you can hold one leg up to lightly trim the area around the groin.
Step 11: Start Trimming the Body
Use a size A, snap-on comb guard when it’s time to clip your Bichon’s body.
A clipping comb guard helps shield your dog’s skin from direct contact with the electric clippers. Don’t worry, different sizes of adjustable clipping combs are available to suit various pet hair lengths!
First, start clipping from behind your dog’s shoulders toward the base of the tail. It’s best to leave some neck hair as you make your way to the head later.
Next, trim from the shoulder downward, skimming off at the elbow. And then carefully clip the sides of your furry buddy, wrapping beneath the belly.
You can trim the head as the last step to make sure it looks well-balanced with the rest of the body.
Don’t forget to remove loose hairs by occasionally brushing your furbaby’s body while clipping the hair.
Step 12: Clip the Thighs and Legs, and Trim the Feet Round
After you’re done trimming the body, you can start clipping your Bichon’s upper outer thigh area.
First, trim from the bend of the knee toward the rear area while you go against the grain on the back of the legs.
Next, brush the thighs and legs downward, and see if the front legs look rounded and straight. And then holding a pair of scissors straight down, start cutting a straight line from your Bichon’s body toward the edge of the paws.
Clip the belly moving towards the chest. And after snipping the rear legs, you can then scissor the front legs into straight columns.
While keeping your Bichon standing still, begin cutting the bottom of the paws in a circular motion to round the feet. And keep on snipping uneven hairs until your furbaby looks neatly trimmed without any rough, irregular patches.
We recommend trimming lightly at first instead of cutting too much quickly. This way, you can adjust the length of the hair and achieve your desired look more accurately.
Step 13: Trim the Face and Head
Finally, it’s time to focus on the head as you continue to groom your Bichon Frise at home.
You may use a #10 blade or thinning shears to trim the head and face. If you don’t have any thinning shears, these thinning shears from Pet Magasin is our top recommendation:
When trimming, scissor the rear part of the head and the back of the ears.
Round the ears into the head by combing the ears and cheeks downward and snipping them after. And then snip the ears so that they blend well with the rest of the face. Make sure to trim the corners of the eyes to keep your Bichon’s vision clear.
Furthermore, the head should have a rounded top and a flat bottom. So, brush the top upward and the bottom downward, and snip into a smooth dome shape.
Step 14: Do Some Finishing Touches
And finally, do some finishing touches! When doing this, scissor the neck to your desired length. And do a bit more snipping on the entire body to make sure your Bichon looks seamless.
Comb and brush your Bichon’s hair to uncover rough spots you may have missed. With some finishing touches, your pooch will look neat, clean, and effortlessly gorgeous.
How Often Should I Groom My Bichon Frise at Home?
We’ve come up with a simple list of grooming activities to keep your adorable Bichon in tiptop condition at all times:
|Brush the Coat||Daily|
|Bathe Your Pooch||Once in 2 to 3 weeks|
|Trim the Nails||Every other week|
|Clean the Face||Daily|
|Clean the Ears||Once to twice a week|
|Clean the Teeth||Twice a week|
|Clip the Hair||Every 6 to 8 weeks|
Start grooming tasks like coat brushing and nail trimming when your Bichon is still a pup, so they grow up healthy and unafraid of grooming sessions.
The more your Bichon gets used to the process, the less anxious and rowdy they will be when grooming time comes.
Quick Tips On How To Groom A Bichon Frise At Home
To make the grooming process seamless for you and your pooch, here are a few quick tips that we’ve rounded up:
- Start clipping your pet’s coat at 6 to 8 months old – Puppies younger than 6 months will be harder to groom as they have a thinner coat. And young Bichons simply need daily brushing to maintain a tangle-free coat.
- Start brushing early on – Brush your puppy daily using a pin brush to establish a routine. And then switch to a soft slicker brush when they turn 4 months old.
- Incorporate grooming activities into your dog’s regular routine – As mentioned earlier, help your pet get used to being groomed by playing with their paws, brushing while cuddling them, and/or gently holding their head.
- Stay patient each time you groom your Bichon Frise at home – Keep in mind that grooming can take anywhere from one to two hours or more. Be patient! Soon, you’ll develop techniques that will help ease your grooming sessions.
- Be consistent – Your Bichon will gradually learn to sit still and be more obedient after several grooming sessions, so be consistent with the grooming routine.
- Don’t give up easily – First-time DIY grooming will most likely be far from perfect, but you’ll soon get better the more you groom your furbaby.
Learning how to groom a Bichone Frise at home will help keep your fur baby clean, happy and most importantly, healthy.
With the tips above, you can care for your Bichon’s hygiene and keep your charming little cloud healthy and neat-looking at all times. Just be sure to maintain consistency and use the right tools to groom your adorable Bichon properly.