Bichon Frises are some of the most desirable dog breeds, thanks to their nearly shed-free coat, playful personalities, and adaptable natures. However, if you want a Bichon Frise for yourself, how much can you expect to pay, and what goes into the cost?
How much does a Bichon Frise cost? A Bichon Frise typically costs at least $800 for a pet dog from a respectable breeder who health tests their dogs. If you want a dog from show lines or from ancestors that have succeeded in sports like agility or obedience, expect to pay at least 1,500 for a pet dog. If you want a dog that you can show and breed yourself, expect to pay at least 3,000.
If you are in the market for a dog and are wondering whether the Bichon Frise is the right breed for you, this is what you need to know about how much they typically cost and what goes into that price, as well as some advice about finding a dog more affordably.
How Much Do Bichon Frises Cost?
To buy a Bichon Frise from a quality breeder who performs health testing, you can expect to pay upwards of $800 for a pet. Expect to pay more if you want to be able to breed the dog yourself. For dogs that come from show winning lines, you should expect to pay at least $1,500 for a pet dog and upwards of $3,000 for a show dog.
It is certainly possible to find a Bichon Frise that costs less, but be very cautious about looking at reduced-cost Bichons. This is not an area where you want to take a risk.
Irresponsible breeders keep Bichon adults in horrible conditions and often sell puppies that have serious diseases like Parvo. Bichons are typically quite healthy, but irresponsible breeders are unlikely to screen breeding stock or take a dog out of the breeding pool because it is displaying health problems.
Therefore, you’re likely to end up paying more for a dog that cost less initially. Most Bichon owners adore their dogs and are happy to pay more upfront for a healthy pet.
Why Do Bichon Frise Cost So Much?
Even among purebred dogs, Bichon Frises are some of the most expensive. Why is this? There are a couple of reasons why Bichons may cost a bit more than other breeds that you’re considering.
Small Breed Dogs
Small breed dogs, like the Bichon, typically cost a bit more than large breed dogs because they have fewer puppies per litter. While a large dog may be able to produce as many as a dozen puppies in a litter, a small breed dog will likely only be able to produce four or five puppies.
For this reason, breeders need to charge more for each puppy to make ends meet. It isn’t cheap to breed a dog. Going to shows or competitions to prove the merit of your breeding stock, performing necessary healthcare and certifications on breeding dogs and puppies, and many more expenses go into housing and breeding dogs.
Therefore, breeders need to know that they can at least make enough to make their breeding program sustainable when they sell the puppies.
Difficult To Maintain Coat
Breeders of non-coated breeds can generally keep their dogs happy and healthy without a lot of daily coat maintenance. However, with a breed like the Bichon Frise which requires consistent coat maintenance throughout its life, taking appropriate care of the coat is a challenge.
Maintaining dogs in the full coat required for shows is even harder. Maintaining all of that coat is a challenge for the owner of a single Bichon, much less somebody who has to maintain four or five dogs to breed.
High Demand For All Puppies
Bichon Frises are a highly desirable breed, and most breeders never struggle to find homes for each and every puppy. Unlike some other breeds which may or may not display desirable characteristics, leading to differences in the desirability of each puppy, Bichon puppies tend to be very consistent across litters.
On average, every Bichon in the litter will have the lush white coat that buyers are looking for. There are not many notable differences between the genders in Bichon Frises as there are in some other breeds, so both male and female pups in the litter are likely to be similar in regards to their desirability.
Where To Find A High-quality Bichon Frise
If you want the healthiest possible dog, choose a breeder that registers all of their breeding dogs with the AKC. Choose a breeder who has also shown dogs or proven a dog’s fitness to the breed standard in trials like agility or obedience.
You may not care whether your dog is a show, obedience, or agility champion. However, choosing from a line of dogs with breeders who are committed to bettering the breed and proving that each of their breeding dogs is suitable for improving the breed prior to breeding gives you the best probability of bringing home a very healthy puppy who fits the breed standard in appearance, health, and behavior.
The breeder that you choose should screen you to make sure that you’re a good match for this breed. While the Bichon is a great breed for all kinds of lifestyles, a responsible breeder will ensure that their dogs are not going to be left alone for long periods of time, kept outside, or in any other way fail to have the best possible home.
How Can I Adopt A Bichon Frise More Affordably?
If you don’t have $1000s to spend on your Bichon Frise but are confident that you can provide good medical care and would love to rescue a dog in need, there are other ways for you to acquire a Bichon Frise. These highly desirable dogs rarely enter the rescue arena unless they have some sort of behavioral or medical problem.
People who want to rehome their happy, healthy Bichon because of life changes or for any other reason can typically do so privately through breed rescue and networking sites. That means that most of the dogs that enter the rescue system are dogs that come from puppy mills, hoarding cases, and other very difficult situations.
These dogs often have medical problems due to negligence. They usually have not lived inside a home and are not potty trained or socialized with people or other pets.
Sometimes dogs can be found that have no behavioral issues but are suffering from some kind of medical condition that makes them less desirable options for people who are buying dogs through a breed rescue network. By getting in touch with breed rescue networks, you can be aware when a new Bichon Frise comes into the system.
You can expect to pay between $200 and $500 for a rescue Bichon Frise, particularly if it is healthy and adoptable. Bichon Frises with health or behavior problems can often be found more affordably, but think twice about whether if you are prepared to work with a dog that has undergone trauma.
Such dogs can be loving companions and it can be extremely rewarding to work with a dog like this, but some never completely recover from the stress that they have undergone.
How To Save A Bichon Frise From A Puppy Mill
Many people who are seeking out a Bichon Frise puppy stumble upon less than reputable breeders. You may suspect that something is wrong because of their unwillingness to answer questions or let you see parents or facilities or you may go to meet the dog and realize that something is very wrong with the conditions of the puppies and breeding dogs.
It can be very tempting to buy a puppy or even rescue as many dogs as you can from the situation immediately, but unfortunately, this generally isn’t the best way to help the majority of the dogs.
It can be extremely hard to leave a puppy there, and if there’s already money on the table or you are afraid to back out for other reasons, you should follow your instincts in choosing whether to go forward with the purchase or not.
As soon as you are off of the property, whether you have taken a puppy or not, it is very important to follow these steps:
Isolate Yourself From Other Dogs
Puppy mill situations are frequently rife with parasites that could infect healthy dogs. If you’ve brought home a puppy, do not let it anywhere near your current pets.
Even sharing the air or walking on the same soil can result in extremely dangerous infections to your existing pets. If you cannot safely keep the dog at home with you, consult a Veterinary Clinic about boarding a potentially contagious puppy.
If you haven’t brought a dog home with you, be sure that you thoroughly wash and decontaminate yourself, your clothing, and anywhere your dog might go that may have become infected, such as your vehicle.
Do not take these sorts of contagions lightly. Even if your dog is fully vaccinated, there are things that they can catch from irresponsibly housed and unvaccinated dogs.
Call Rescue Agencies
Rescue agencies such as the Humane Society and the ASPCA are dedicated to ending animal cruelty, including puppy mills. Your local rescue organization is often a good first step when dealing with a puppy mill.
Contact the AKC
The AKC has strict guidelines according to which dogs should be housed. While they do allow conditions that many of us would consider unacceptable for our pets or breeding animals, they cut down on unsanitary conditions and disease.
Your Bichon Frise Will Be Worth Every Penny
The Bichon Frise is a deeply loving, loyal, funny little dog that fits into all kinds of lifestyles. It may cost more to find a well-bred Bichon Frise from a reputable breeder than choosing some other breeds, but most people find that the Bichon is a great investment into their lives and families.