Bichon Frise vs Poodle: What’s the Difference?

Written by August Croft
Updated: January 23, 2023
© Irina oxilixo Danilova/Shutterstock.com
Share this post on:
Continue Reading To See This Amazing Video

When it comes to comparing the Bichon Frise vs poodle, how are these dogs similar and how are they different? In what ways do these two beautiful and talented dogs compare to one another, and in what ways are they different? If you have always wanted to learn more about poodles and Bichon Frises, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we will compare and contrast all of the differences between the Bichon Frise and the poodle so that you can gain a full understanding of both breeds. We will go over their behavioral and ancestral differences to truly dive deep into the history of these dogs. Finally, we will compare their appearances so that you can learn how to tell these breeds apart upon first glance. Let’s get started!

Comparing Bichon Frise vs Poodle

Bichon Frise vs Poodle
There are three different sizes of poodle, while there is only one size of Bichon Frise.

©A-Z-Animals.com

24,176 People Couldn't Ace This Quiz

Think You Can?
Bichon FrisePoodle
Size9.5-11.5 inches tall; 11-18 pounds10-22 inches tall; 10-70 pounds
AppearanceFluffy white coat similar to a poodle in texture; floppy ears, though they are difficult to see through fur around the face. Sturdy and strong legs.Curly and fluffy fur in a variety of colors including white, black, gray, red, brown, and more. Floppy ears and narrow, long legs. Very elegant in appearance
AncestryAn old breed originally bred in France and Spain. Used as a rodent hunting dog onboard ships, as a royal lap dog, and as a circus performer in later yearsOriginated in Germany sometime during the 15th century; bred as a gun dog but prized by royalty. Also used as a performing dog for their ease of training and friendly personality
BehaviorIncredibly happy and excitable; prefers to get its exercise by following its owners around the house. Not a very good guard dog, given their friendly nature, and can be stubborn when trainingVery friendly and active, as well as intelligent. Ideal for active households that can keep their poodle stimulated, lest they get destructive out of anxiety. Miniature poodles make great dogs for households with kids, as they are friendly, cheerful, and fairly easy to train
Lifespan12-15 years13-16 years

Key Differences Between Bichon Frise vs Poodle

Bichon Frise vs Poodle
The poodle is found in a variety of colors, while the Bichon Frise is only found in white.

©Anna_Bondarenko/Shutterstock.com

There are many key differences between the Bichon Frise and the poodle. There are three different sizes of poodle, while there is only one size of Bichon Frise. Additionally, the poodle is found in a variety of colors, while the Bichon Frise is only found in white. Finally, the poodle lives slightly longer than the Bichon Frise, though this is only true of the toy and miniature breeds rather than the standard size poodle. 

Let’s go over all of these differences in more detail now. 

Bichon Frise vs Poodle: Size

Bichon Frise vs Poodle
Depending on the size of the poodle, they range anywhere from 10 to 22 inches tall, while the Bichon Frise measures 9.5 to 11.5 inches tall.

©Eudyptula/Shutterstock.com

Something important to note about the Bichon Frise and the poodle is the fact that the poodle comes in a variety of sizes, while the Bichon Frise only comes in one. However, when comparing the two breeds that are closest in size to one another, the Bichon Frise typically weighs more than the average miniature poodle, though the miniature poodle is taller in height compared to the Bichon Frise. Let’s take a look at these figures in more detail.

Depending on the size of the poodle, they range anywhere from 10 to 22 inches tall, while the Bichon Frise measures 9.5 to 11.5 inches tall. Additionally, the Bichon Frise weighs an average of 11 to 18 pounds, while the poodle can weigh anywhere from 10 to 70 pounds, depending on the breed size. Miniature poodles average 15 pounds as a general rule of thumb, making them smaller than the average Bichon Frise in weight alone. 

Bichon Frise vs Poodle: Appearance

Bichon Frise vs Poodle
The poodle has long and elegant legs compared to the compact and capable body of the Bichon Frise.

©iStock.com/tsik

It can be extremely difficult to tell a poodle apart from a Bichon Frise, given their similarly textured fur. However, the poodle is found in a variety of colors, while the Bichon Frise only comes in white. Both dogs have floppy ears and similar fluffy fur, though the poodle has long and elegant legs compared to the compact and capable body of the Bichon Frise. 

Bichon Frise vs Poodle: Ancestry and Breeding

Bichon Frise vs Poodle
The poodle was originally bred as a gun dog, while the Bichon Frise was originally bred to hunt rats on merchant vessels and ships. 

©Ieva Tvaronavicute/Shutterstock.com

There are many differences as well as similarities in the ancestry and breeding purposes of the poodle versus the Bichon Frise. For example, both of these dogs are prized for their performance ability, often used in circuses and other entertainment options. However, the poodle was originally bred as a gun dog, while the Bichon Frise was originally bred to hunt rats on merchant vessels and ships. 

The origins of these breeds different as well, with the poodle coming from Germany and the Bichon Frise originating in either France or Spain. The Bichon Frise is likely an older breed compared to the poodle, though it is unclear when either of these breeds originated. 

Bichon Frise vs Poodle: Behavior

Bichon Frise vs Poodle
The poodle is a more aloof dog compared to the extremely friendly Bichon Frise. 

©studio hoto/Shutterstock.com

The behaviors of the Bichon Frise and the poodle are extremely similar to one another. They are both highly intelligent dogs capable of learning a variety of tricks, given their performing backgrounds. Both do well in a variety of family situations, including those of you with young children. However, the poodle is a more aloof dog compared to the extremely friendly Bichon Frise. 

Bichon Frise vs Poodle: Lifespan

Bichon Frise vs Poodle
The poodle lives a slightly longer life than the Bichon Frise, though this is only true for the miniature poodle breed, as the standard poodle does not live as long as the miniature poodle.

©Francisco Gomez Perpinan/Shutterstock.com

The final difference between the Bichon Frise and a poodle is their life spans. The poodle lives a slightly longer life than the Bichon Frise, though this is only true for the miniature poodle breed, as the standard poodle does not live as long as the miniature poodle. Let’s take a look at their life spans in detail now.

Depending on the individual health of the dog, the poodle lives an average of 13 to 16 years, while the Bichon Frise lives 12 to 15 years. However, it always depends on the dog’s health as well as their care. Ensuring that your dog gets plenty of exercise and a well-balanced diet is key to the health of any pet!

Ready to discover the top 10 cutest dog breeds in the entire world?

How about the fastest dogs, the largest dogs and those that are -- quite frankly -- just the kindest dogs on the planet? Each day, AZ Animals sends out lists just like this to our thousands of email subscribers. And the best part? It's FREE. Join today by entering your email below.

What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?

X-Small
Small
Medium
Large
Xtra-Large

If you have kids or existing dogs select:

Kids
Other Dogs

Should they be Hypoallergenic?

Yes
No
How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
How intelligent does the dog need to be?
How much chewing will allow?

The Featured Image

A silver gray poodle in a leather collar
A beautiful small gray poodle with red leather collar. These silver animals are born with black fur and later turn gray.
© Irina oxilixo Danilova/Shutterstock.com

Share this post on:
About the Author

I am a non-binary freelance writer working full-time in Oregon. Graduating Southern Oregon University with a BFA in Theatre and a specialization in creative writing, I have an invested interest in a variety of topics, particularly Pacific Northwest history. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping along the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my home kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast iron skillet.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.