How to Brush and Comb a Bichon Frise: A Step-by-Step Guide for Proper Grooming 

If you have a Bichon Frise you will know that combing and brushing is an important part of
their grooming routine. So it’s important to know how to properly brush and comb their fur. This
includes knowing exactly which tools should be used and in which order for a more appropriate

Why Brushing and Combing Your Bichon Frise is Important

Regular brushing and combing of your doggy is imperative for maintaining their coat’s health
and appearance. If not groomed properly, it can lead to a host of problems, including: matting,
skin irritation, and even infection.

By regularly brushing and combing your doggo, you can prevent painful matting. Brushing also
helps to distribute your dog’s natural oils throughout their coat, keeping their skin and fur
healthy. Regular grooming also provides an opportunity to check for any skin irritations, bumps,
or lumps that may require veterinary attention. By catching these issues early, you can ensure
that your bichon receives prompt and appropriate care by a specialist if needed.

Another important aspect that may be overlooked, is that regular grooming also provides an
opportunity for bonding between your doggo and you. Take that time to cultivate a trusting and
special bond between the two of you. This will not only bring you closer to your pooch, but allow
them to complete the necessary grooming ritual in a safe and loving way. This will create
positive lasting effects, especially when they then transition to regular groomer or veterinary

The bichon has a dense double-coat. Brushing also helps to remove dirt, debris, and loose hair,
which can reduce shedding. This also helps to reduce the amount of loose hair and pet dander
within your home; thus reducing the increased risk of exposure for allergy sufferers.
It is recommended to brush your doggie at least every other day, if not more.

What You’ll Need

Before you start brushing and combing your bichon frise, make sure you have the following:

  • Brush Types
    • A pin brush and/or slicker brush
  • Comb Types
    • A greyhound comb
  • Other Tools
    • A dog grooming table or high surface
    • A detangling spray
    • A treat to reward for good behavior

Preparing to Brush and Comb Your Bichon Frise

It is important to start the grooming process as early as possible. For pupper up to 4 months of
age, you should brush several days a week with a metal pin brush in order to begin to establish
a grooming routine.

After 4 months of age, you can introduce a comb after brushing. Make sure to comb to the skin.
It should be able to comb smoothly through the coat. As your bichon puppy reaches adulthood,
an increase in brushing is necessary. During 8 months – 1 year, the coat is transitioning from
their puppy coat to their adult coat. It is moving from a single soft coat to a double-coat; a soft
undercoat and a coarse topcoat. Their second coarse topcoat will start to emerge, beginning at
the lower back. The coat will become hard to manage and will be prone to matting very easily.
You must be diligent and brush/comb frequently, possibly daily, during this process. If left to mat
and tangle, drastic measures such as shaving the dog to the skin may be required.
Always make sure to remain patient and gentle when completing. Place the
puppy on an elevated surface with a non-slip mat such as a dog grooming table in order to complete the grooming routine (brushing, combing, teeth, and nails). Get them comfortable lying
on their side and standing while on the higher surface. Just make sure you grab all the
necessary equipment required prior to placing your pup up high, and if you have forgotten
something then lower them back down to the floor so as you’re making sure not to leave them
on a high surface unattended.

Bringing them to a higher work surface will not only signal to your pup that ‘now it’s time for the
grooming routine,’ but will also save your back. It will allow you to have proper body mechanics,
which will become especially important as they become bigger and stronger. Also, please make
sure to incorporate praise and treats prior to and after completing the grooming routine. This will
not only help solidify the bonding experience, but will signal to your pupper that the grooming
process is a safe and loving space for them.

How to Brush Your Bichon Frise

  1.  You should start by removing all mats, dirt, debris, and loose hair from their coat. The bichon has a double-coat that is prone to matting, since the undercoat will shed and get trapped by the topcoat.  Attempt to use your fingers firstly, by gently pulling apart small sections at a time and working your way from outermost mat sections and moving closer to the skin. Pinch the tangle between your fingers so as not to pull on the hair. If you would like, you can use your greyhound comb, using the end tooth to try to work the tangle out delicately and in small sections at a time. Start working the tangle at the tip of the hair and work your way closer to the skin. And a detangling spray is always a good option in order to ease the tangles out more freely.
  2. The bichon frise has a double-coat; a dense undercoat and a coarse, curly topcoat. You will want to start with a pin brush. Start at the head, brushing up from the base of the hair towards the tip. This technique will keep their fur looking full and fluffy as opposed to brushing it down flat against the skin. Be gentle with the sensitive areas of the face, especially around the eyes making sure not to accidentally poke them. 
  3. Next, you will move to the back and sides. You will want to brush up and out, moving closer towards the spine. You should be brushing starting from the skin working out to the tips of the hair, and then work your way back down to the spine. 
  4. Then move onto the legs. Continuing the process of brushing up and out, starting at the base of the skin and moving to the ends. Pay special attention to the legs, as this area will be more prone to matting. 
  5. Now move to the ears, which usually have longer hair. (Note: you will reverse the process for the ears and tail). You will start at the base of the ear and move to the end. When brushing the undersides, brush the ends of the hair first. Then move up roughly 1 inch closer to the skin and brush to the ends. Continue this process until you have brushed the entire length of the undersides. Then move to the outsides of the ear, brushing in the same manner.  
  6. Now you will move to the tail, which also usually has longer hair.  (Note: you will reverse the process for the ears and tail). Start brushing at the ends and working your way to the skin.  Then move up roughly 1 inch closer to the skin and brush to the ends. Continue this process until you have brushed the entire length of the tail. 
  7. You will finish when you are able to easily brush through the entire section with ease. Check for any signs of skin irritation or parasites as you brush.

How to Comb Your Bichon Frise

  1. You will use a greyhound comb to comb through your bichon’s hair. A greyhound comb is designed to comb through medium or coarse hair, so it makes a great option. Make sure to comb all the way to the skin, and use a light touch to avoid hurting your dog. Comb in the direction of hair growth. Be thorough in order to catch any remaining tangles or mats.
  2. You will finish when you are able to easily brush through the entire section with ease. Check for any signs of skin irritation or parasites as you brush.
  3. Regular combing is important to prevent your Bichon Frise’s hair from matting and tangling.

Tips for Maintaining Your Bichon Frise’s Coat

To keep your doggo’s coat healthy, you should brush and comb it regularly. Some general tips are:

  • Brush their entire coat at least every other week.
  • Use a pin brush or *slicker brush to remove tangles and mats. (Slicker brushes should
  • only be used by professionals, because if used incorrectly, it will be very painful)
  • Use a comb to remove loose hair and debris.
  • Be gentle and avoid pulling or tugging on the coat.
  • Pay special attention to areas that are prone to tangles, such as behind the ears and
  • under the legs.
  • If you encounter a mat, use your fingers first. A detangling spray and/or dematting tool or
  • scissors to carefully remove it are also options.
  • After brushing, use a damp cloth to wipe your doggie’s coat and remove any remaining
  • debris.
  • Always give a treat and praise for good behavior.

By following these tips, you can maintain your Bichon Frise’s coat and keep it looking healthy

and shiny.

Also, as long as you are able to maintain regular brushing, shedding will be minimal.

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