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SHOW STANDARD FOR

THE BICHON FRISE

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If you plan to show your dog or become involved in serious breeding you need to become familiar with the differences that must be noted in the listed requirements between kennel clubs. This list is for the AKC. The standard requirements differ between the clubs, jurisdictions and then again for international show.

GENERAL APPEARANCE:

The Bichon Frise is a small, sturdy, white powder puff of a dog whose merry temperament is evidenced by his plumed tail carried jauntily over the back and his dark eyed inquisitive expression. Coming and going his movement is precise and true. In profile, he measures the same from withers to ground as from wither to set of tail. The body from forward most point of the sternum to the buttocks is slightly longer than height at the withers. He moves with steady top line, easy reach and drive.

HEAD

The head is covered with a topknot of hair that creates an overall rounded impression. The skull is slightly rounded allowing for round and forward looking eyes. A properly balanced head is three parts muzzle to five parts skull, measured from the nose to the accentuated stop and from stop to occuput “back part of head“, a line drawn between the outside corners of the eyes and to the nose will create a near equilateral triangle. There is a slight degree of chiselling under the eyes, but not so much as to result in a weak or snipey foreface. The lower jaw is strong.

NOSE

The nose is always black and prominent.

TEETH

Teeth meet in a scissors bite. An undershot or overshot jaw should be severely penalized. A crooked or out of line tooth is permissible, however, missing teeth are to be severely faulted.

EYES

Eyes are round, black or dark brown and set in the skull to look directly forward. An overly large or bulging eye is a fault as is an almond shaped obliquely set eye. Halos, the black of very dark brown skin surrounding the eyes, are necessary as they accentuate the eye and enhance expression. The eye rims themselves must be black. Broken pigment or a total absence of pigment on the eye rims produces a blank and staring expression which is a definite fault. Yellow, blue or grey eyes are a serious fault and should be penalized.

EARS

LIPS

Lips are black, fine, never drooping.

NECK AND BODY:

NECK

Ears are dropped and are covered with long flowing hair. When extended toward the nose, the leathers should reach approximately halfway the length of the muzzle. They are set on slightly higher than eye level and rather forward on the skull, so that when the dog is alerted they serve to frame the face.

The arched neck is long and carried proudly and gracefully behind an erect head. It blends smoothly into the shoulders. The length of neck from occiput to withers is approximately one third the distance from sternum to buttocks.

BODY

The top line is level except for a slight arch over the loin.

STERNUM

Sternum is well pronounced and protrudes slightly forward of the point of shoulder.

HEST

Chest is well developed and wide enough to allow free and unrestricted forward movement of the front legs.

RIBCAGE

Ribcage is moderately sprung and extends back to a short and muscular loin.

TAIL

Tail is well plumed, set on level with the top line and is curved gracefully over the back so that the hair of the tail rests on the back. A low tail set, a tail carried perpendicularly to the back or a tail which droops behind should be severely penalized. When the tail is extended toward the head it should reach at least half way to the withers. A corkscrew tail is a very serious fault.

FOREQUARTERS

SHOULDERS

The shoulder blade, upper arm and forearm should be approximately equal in length. The shoulders are laid well back so that the elbow is placed directly below the withers when viewed from the side. The upper arm extends well back so that the elbow is placed directly below the withers when viewed from the side.

LEGS

Legs should be medium boned, not too fine or too coarse, straight with no bow or curve in the forearm or wrist. The elbows are held close to the body.

PASTERNS

Pasterns slope slightly from the vertical.

FEET

Feet are tight and round resembling those of a cat and point directly forward, turning neither in nor out. Pads are black. Nails are kept short and dew claws may be removed.

HINDQUARTERS

Hindquarters are of medium bone, well angulated with muscular thighs and spaced moderately wide. The upper and lower thigh is nearly equal in length meeting at a well bent stifle joint. The leg from hock joint to foot pad is perpendicular to the ground. Paws are tight and round with black pads. Cow hocks are a very serious fault.

COAT

Texture of the coat is of utmost importance. The undercoat is soft and dense, the outer coat of a coarser and curlier texture. The combination of the two gives a soft but substantial feel to the touch which is similar to plush when patted springs back. When bathed and brushed it stands off from the body, creating an overall powder puff appearance. A wiry coat is not desirable. A silky coat is a fault. A coat that lies down and lack of undercoat are very serious faults. The coat is trimmed to reveal the natural outline of the body. It is rounded off from any direction and never cut so short as to create an overly trimmed or squared off appearance. The furnishings of the head, beard, moustache, ears and tail are left longer. The top line should be trimmed to appear level. The coat should be long enough to maintain the powder puff look which is characteristic of the breed. The color is white, may have shadings of buff, cream or apricot around the ears or on the body. Any color in excess of 10% of the entire coat of a mature specimen is a fault and should be penalized, but color of the accepted shadings should not be faulted in puppies.

GAIT

Movement at a trot is free, precise and effortless. In profile the forelegs and hind legs extend equally with an easy reach and drive that maintains a steady top line. When moving, the head and neck should remain somewhat erect and as speed increases there is a very slight convergence of legs toward the center line. Padding or toeing in is a fault. Moving away, the hindquarters travel with moderate width between them and the foot pads can be seen. Hocks that strike each other or are thrown out the sides are faults.

SIZE

Dogs 9 1/2 to 11 1/2 inches should be given primary preference. Only where the comparative superiority of a specimen outside these ranges clearly justifies it should greater latitude be taken. In no case, however, should this latitude ever extend over 12 inches or under 9 inches. The minimum limits do not apply to puppies.

TEMPERAMENT

The Bichon's nature is gentle mannered, very sensitive, playful and affectionate. A cheerful attitude is the hallmark of this breed and one should settle for nothing less.


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