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How Smart Is a Bichon Frise? Breed Intelligence & Instincts Explained

Written by: Hanh Duong

Last Updated on April 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

bichon frise in autumn

How Smart Is a Bichon Frise? Breed Intelligence & Instincts Explained

The Bichon Frise is well known to be a self-assured, humorous, and enthusiastic pooch, but you might be wondering how intelligent they are. According to Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs ranking, Bichon Frises are rated as having a middle-of-the-road level of intellect. In particular, they came in at the 75th for “obedience & working intelligence.”

Although they are not the smartest breed, this little companion loves to learn new tricks and is highly trainable because of their eagerness to please.

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How Intelligent Is a Bichon Frise?

Many dog behavioral specialists claim that Bichon Frise’s intelligence is comparable to that of a human child between the ages of 2 and 2.5.

Here are some interesting facts on how intelligent Bichon Frises and other pups are:
  • A normal Bichon Frise is able to learn about 165 words and signals, while the “super pets,” which are the most intelligent breeds of dogs, can learn about 250 words.
  • They can count to 4 or 5.
  • Bichons are capable of deliberately outwitting other dogs and people during play in order to gain rewards.

Is Your Bichon Frise Smart?

bichon frise
Image By: Vladimir Nenezic, Shutterstock

There are a variety of indicators that let you know how intelligent your Bichon Frise is. Your dog is considered a smart companion if they can do many of the following:

  • They are a master of escape
  • They remember lessons even without practice
  • They comfort you when you’re down
  • They can solve puzzle games
  • They know how to get your attention
  • New skills are simple for them to learn

How to Make Your Bichon Frise Smarter

Do dogs naturally pick up new words and behaviors? Although it may not be easy, it’s definitely possible. When a Bichon Frise gets socialized, they become more receptive to their owner and are easier to train. The more you talk or hand signal to your dog and practice giving commands, the more likely they will learn new lessons.

For example, many people think assistance canines are simply smart, but anyone who trains them knows they were trained thoroughly and slowly. If not, they won’t ever be chosen as service animals.

  • Practice often. Though everyday practice will make your dog more open-minded to changes and eager to learn new commands, this is especially crucial when your Bichon Frise is still very young.
  • Socialize your canine. This is especially critical before the 16-week mark. Your dog will benefit if you take them on more walks and expose them to different circumstances. A young puppy learns rapidly, but even older canines require socialization.
  • Begin training your dog early. As soon as you get your puppy home, start training them. Early training will improve your dog’s trainability and increase this type of intelligence later on.
  • Introduce new tricks and commands regularly. Keep looking for new skills to teach them because all dogs can learn new tricks.
  • Praise your dog generously. When your Bichon Frise behaves well, providing positive feedback will encourage them to keep doing so.

Who Is the Bichon Frise Best For?

woman putting a bichon frise into a dog basket on a bike
Image By: BGStock72, Shutterstock

For new owners and households with kids and other animals that spend most of their time at home, Bichon Frises make great companions. However, you’ll need lots of time to train and play with this bright and energetic breed.

Despite having a lot of energy, Bichons only require moderate physical activity. They will be content with a short walk and romp in the yard every day. They will love to join events like obedience tests or agility courses to showcase their sharp brains.

Training is one of the best ways to develop a relationship with a Bichon Frise. The breed is very adept at picking up commands and tricks. You need to use positive reinforcement to encourage learning because Bichons do not respond well to harsh training methods. Training this furry companion requires both a firm and kind hand.

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The ability of pets to cooperate with humans is a good indicator of their intelligence. Dogs, however, are much more than that. They can understand what we say and even respond to us in their own ways.

Dogs also have emotional intelligence and recognize when owners want to cuddle or play. Bichon Frises are also intelligent enough to pick up plenty of commands and tricks. Furthermore, they are eager to please, which makes training far easier.

Featured Image Credit: Eudyptula, Shutterstock

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