UNITED STATES BICHON FRISE STANDARD
(UNOFFICIAL)

The following is not the Official United States Bichon Frise Standard word for word (hence "unofficial"). I have highlighted additional anatomical parts, added a word or two, moved a few sentences and shortened some sentences. While I am sure that not everyone will agree, at least for me, the few cosmetic changes that have been made has enabled parts of the standard to be a little more reader friendly (i.e., "quicker" reference).

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. This is a breed that has no gross or incapacitating exaggerations and therefore there is no inherent reason for lack of balance or unsound movement. Any deviation from the ideal described in the standard should be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Structural faults common to all breeds are as undesirable in the Bichon Frise as in any other breed, even though such faults may not be specifically mentioned in the standard.

SIZE, PROPORTION, SUBSTANCE
Size:
Dogs and bitches 9 1/2 to 11 1/2 inches are to be given primary preference. Only where the comparative superiority of a specimen outside this range 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. Proportion: The body from the forward-most point of the chest to the point of rump is 1/4 longer than the height at the withers. The body from the withers to lowest point of chest represents 1/2 the distance from withers to ground. Substance: Compact and of medium bone throughout; neither coarse nor fine.

HEAD
Expression:
Soft, dark-eyed, inquisitive, alert. Eyes: Round, black or dark brown and are set in the skull to look directly forward. Eyes of any color other than black or dark brown are a very serious fault and must be severely penalized. An overly large or bulging eye is a fault as is an almond shaped, obliquely set eye. Halos: The black or very dark brown skin surrounding the eyes, are necessary as they accentuate the eye and enhance expression. Eye Rims: Must be black. Broken pigment, or total absence of pigment on the eye rims produce a blank and staring expression, which is a definite fault. Ears: Drop and are covered with long flowing hair. When extended toward the nose, the leathers 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 alert they serve to frame the face. Skull: Slightly rounded, allowing for a round and forward looking eye. Stop: Slightly accentuated. Muzzle: A properly balanced head is three parts muzzle to five parts skull, measured from the nose to the stop and from the stop to the occiput. 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 chiseling under the eyes, but not so much as to result in a weak or snipy foreface. Lower Jaw: Strong. Nose: Prominent and always black. Lips: Black, fine, and never drooping. Bite: Scissors. A bite which is undershot or overshot should be severely penalized. A crooked or out of line tooth is permissible, however, missing teeth are to be severely faulted.

NECK, TOPLINE, BODY
Neck:
Arched, long, and carried proudly behind an erect head. It blends smoothly into the shoulders. The length of neck from occiput to withers is approximately 1/3 the distance from the forechest to buttocks. Topline: Level, except for a slight, muscular arch over the loin. Chest: Well developed and wide enough to allow free and unrestricted movement of the front legs. The lowest point of the chest extends at least to the elbow. Rib Cage: Moderately sprung and extends back to a short and muscular loin. Forechest: Well pronounced and protrudes slightly forward of the point of shoulder. Underline: Has a moderate tuck-up. Tail: Well plumed, set on level with the topline and curved gracefully over the back so that the hair of the tail rests on the back. When the tail is extended toward the head it reaches at least halfway to the withers. A low tail set, a tail carried perpendicularly to the back, or a tail which droops behind is to be severely penalized. A corkscrew tail is a very serious fault.

FOREQUARTERS
Shoulders:
Laid back to somewhat near a forty-five degree angle. Shoulder Blade, Upper Arm and Forearm: approximately equal in length. The upper arm extends well back. Elbows: Placed directly below the withers when viewed from the side and are held close to the body. Legs: Medium bone, straight, with no bow or curve in the forearm or wrist. Pasterns: Slope slightly from the vertical. Dewclaws: May be removed. Feet: Tight, round, and resemble those of a cat and point directly forward, turning neither in nor out. Pads: Black. Nails: Kept short.

HINDQUARTERS
Hindquarters:
Medium bone, well angulated with muscular thighs and spaced moderately wide. Upper and Lower Thigh: Nearly equal in length. Stifle Joints: Well bent. Legs: From hock joint to foot pad, they are perpendicular to the ground. Dewclaws: May be removed. Paws: Tight and round. Pads: Black.

COAT, TRIMMING
Coat:
The texture of the coat is of utmost importance. Undercoat: Soft and dense. Outercoat: Coarser and curlier texture. The combination of the two gives a soft but substantial feel to the touch which is similar to plush or velvet and when patted springs back. When bathed and brushed, it stands off the body, creating and overall powder puff appearance. A wiry coat is not desirable. A limp, silky coat, a coat that lies down, or a lack of undercoat are very serious faults. Shape, Length: 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 coat is long enough to maintain the powder puff look which is characteristic of the breed. Head, Beard, Moustache, Ears and Tail Furnishings: Are left longer. The longer head hair is trimmed to create an overall rounded impression. Topline: Trimmed to appear level.

COLOR
White, but 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 it is free, precise and effortless. Coming and going, movement is precise and true. Forelegs and Hind legs: In profile, they extend equally with an easy reach and drive that maintain a steady topline. Head and Neck: When moving, they remain somewhat erect. Legs: As speed increases, there is a very slight convergence toward the center line. Hindquarters: Moving away, they travel with moderate width between them. Foot Pads: Moving away, they can be seen.

TEMPERAMENT
Gentle mannered, sensitive, playful and affectionate. A cheerful attitude is the hallmark of the breed and one should settle for nothing less.

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