Bichon Frise Grooming 101: A Complete Guide

Bichon Frise Grooming 101

When a Bichon Frise walks up to you, you might confuse them with a little cloud traveling across the floor!  The coat is snow-white and resembles a soft, feathery pillow.  Such a lovable breed requires special care and attention.  This article is all about Bichon Frise grooming. If you are up for the challenge, this article will provide you all the tools to keep your pet looking like a happy, healthy little cloud when they waddle up to you. 

Understanding the Breed

This breed has a double-layer coat with a course overcoat and a soft, feathery undercoat.  They are considered a fairly “high-maintenance” breed, but they are also very famous for winning at dog shows due to their outstanding appearance.

Quick Step-by-Step Overview for Bichon Frise Grooming

  1. Apply detangling spray
  2. Use a comb or slicker brush to gently remove any tangles
  3. Trim the nails
  4. Brush the hair and remove all mats
  5. Comb
  6. Health checK
  7. Rinse thoroughly
  8. Shampoo
  9. Conditioner
  10. Complete rinse
  11. Clean ears
  12. Brush teeth
  13. Towel dry
  14. Blow dry
  15. Brush
  16. Praise and optional fragrance and accessory


  • Nail clippers and/or grinder
  • Pin brush
  • Slicker brush
  • Something to stop bleeding such as quick stop, benzocaine, stypic powder, nail cauterizer, cornstarch, sugar or even baking soda.  Note: only use powdery food products to stop bleeding if you happen to cut the tongue.
  • Canine ear solution
  • Cotton swabs
  • Trimmers with various blade lengths and comb attachments
  • Scissors including thinners (AKA blenders or chunkers), straights and curved shears
  • Dog toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Bath suited for your dog
  • Grooming table
  • Leash attachment
  • Canine shampoo and conditioner
  • Towel appropriate for the size of the dog
  • Force dryer
  • Fragrance (optional)
  • Bandana or bow (optional)
Bichon Frise Grooming
Their hair is white as a cloud!


Apply a detangling spray and comb or brush with a slicker brush.  Remove any tangles or mats gently.  Do not yank on the skin because this will cause severe pain.  Hold the base of the coat securely with your hands, so you aren’t pulling hard.  

If a mat is too difficult to remove, remove them with thinners or blenders. 

A dog that is severely matted will need to be shaved with an electric clipper (that is why it’s important to maintain a steady brushing regimen!)

Some dogs are comfortable lying on their side during brushing.  This is ideal because it makes it easy to brush up so you get all the tangles out from both ends of each section.  It also lowers the chance of skin abrasion. 

Remember that this breed’s skin is highly sensitive, so be forgiving and gentle when brushing.  It might help to start with the body and then move onto the outer extremities.

Once finished with the slicker and comb, use a pin or bristle brush for a full second round of brushing.  

Trim the nails.  The quick is a blood vessel that resides within the nail.  It shouldn’t be cut.  If you do accidently puncture it, there will be a lot of blood.  You’ll want to have a powdery substance available to stop bleeding. If you are not confident then you can hire a professional to cut the nails.


Wash with a whitening shampoo and a conditioner.  It’s important to rinse all the shampoo out of the coat, because shampoo can cause skin irritation.  It’s fine to add a leave-in conditioner once the shampoo is all out. 

Brush the teeth and use a freshener if you choose. 

Clean out the ears with a canine ear solution and a cotton ball. 


Use a towel to dry, but so gently so you don’t create any tangles.  Then, blow dry with a force-dryer.  Use a pin brush to keep the coat smooth.


When trimming, you want to keep the volume of the coat.  It’s best to follow the natural lines of the dog.  You can use a clipper comb attachment to create a general look and then scissor in the rest.  

When scissoring, it’s important not to dig the scissor into the coat and then work out.  Rather, you want to start from the outside, and as you’re scissoring, work your way in.

You’ll want to leave a lot of the coat rounded, with good volume at an even, medium length.  However, close to the ears and between the pads of the paws, use an electric clipper to keep those areas short for health and hygiene purposes.

If your dog has a high level of anxiety, then consider mobile grooming.

This is an amazing video on Bichon Frise Grooming!

Bichon Frise Grooming Styles

The head should be a round puffball with the black eyes at the center.  The ears shouldn’t stick out, but rather, stay embedded within the rounded shape.

The top the head and down the neck should form a clean diagonal with the front ends of the back legs. 

Here is a great article about this subject.


Stain prevention is necessary with a Bichon.  One tip is to add a teaspoon of white vinegar to their drinking water.  If they do get some staining on their face, then use some baking soda paste.  Mix baking soda with a couple drops of water and let it remain on the stain for about an hour.  Then rinse carefully.  It will irritate the eyes if it enters them.

Another option is peroxide.  Don’t use this more often than once per week.  It should sit on the stain for about 4 hours. Do not use this for stains that are too close to the eye because it can cause serious irritation of it does get into them.

If staining becomes a serious, continuous issue, consult a vet for possible health related causes.

Finally, brushing daily is recommended for adults.  If this is not possible, then two to three times per week might suffice.  Remember that tangles can cause skin infections and serious health problems.  It’s best to take a proactive approach to grooming to prevent these costly consequences.

Above all, they should be professionally groomed every 1-3 weeks.  

In any case, daily teeth cleaning is recommended.