Golden Retriever Vs Bichon Frise – What Is The Best Breed For You

It won’t take more than a glance to realize that a Golden Retriever and a Bichon Frise are nothing alike. The Golden Retriever is an athletic, tough, working dog with a majestic, flowing, golden coat who used to accompany hunters in Scotland. The Bichon Frise looks like an adorable toy with a fluffy white coat and big, dark eyes. Remarkably, the Bichon Frise is actually also a purebred dog with European origins. It is important to consider their differences when making a decision on which would suit your lifestyle best.

Key Similarities

While these dogs obviously don’t have many similarities, they share a friendly disposition and get along well with strangers, children and other pets. Other than that, and both being wonderful, affectionate companions to their owners, there really isn’t much else these two breeds have in common.

Key Differences

Golden Retrievers and Bichon Frises differ in almost every aspect. Golden Retriever are large, energetic dogs while a Bichon Frise is a tiny dog that would be happy living in an apartment.
Apart from looking incredibly cute, the Bichon Frise’s coat also doesn’t shed much and is hypoallergenic while the Golden Retrievers do shed and tend to cause problems for people who are allergic.

Pros over each other

Golden Retrievers are more energetic and playful, they are highly intelligent and trainable and they tend to be less sensitive than the average Bichon Frise.

The Bichon Frise on the other hand is much more suitable for apartment living, doesn’t require much exercise and have a hypoallergenic coat that doesn’t shed much.

Each breed also has a unique and recognizable appearance that would be left to preference.

Who Should Consider Owning Each One?

Both the Bichon Frise and the Golden Retriever are extremely popular breeds. So which would be best suited for you?

Well, if you want an adorable little companion that is low maintenance and would be happy to share an apartment with you, the Bichon Frise will be an amazing option.

If you live a more active lifestyle, can provide enough space and exercise, don’t mind the shedding and prefer the beautiful golden sheen of the Golden Retriever, then you will find that it lives up to its reputation as being a wonderful family pet and companion.

All About the Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever came from Scotland and originated in the 1800s. The breed was designed for hunting ducks and waterfowl.

Golden Retrievers are excellent hunting dogs but are wonderful family dogs as well.

All About the Bichon Frise

Bichon Frises are an adorable breed suited only to a loving home environment where it can be a companion dog or family pet.


The Spaniel breeds came from Spain and were all sizes and shaped. The types of spaniels were land, water, springer, field spaniels, and Sussex.

All of these spaniels were bred for different hunting duties. The dog’s size was the main point of difference between all these dogs.

The Cocker Spaniel was used to retrieve and flush out small game such as woodcock, pheasant, and quail. In 1946, both the American Cocker Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel were recognized officially by the AKC as separate breeds.

Size and appearance:

Cocker Spaniels have incredibly expressive faces and stand out in a crowd. However, their tail keeps wagging, their eyes are dark, and big floppy ears.

Your Cocker Spaniel’s weight will be between 24-28 pounds, with the male being 15 inches at the withers and the female being 14 inches. The head is graceful and round with a broad square muzzle. The ears are feathered long, and the dog’s back slopes towards the tail. There is feathering on the ears and the legs, underside, and chest. Most of the time, the tail is docked.

There are a variety of colors with Cocker Spaniels. The colors can be solid black, tan, or red. Other coats are bi-colored and tri-colored. The coats can be black and white, black and tan, or black and white with tan flecks.

The AKC has the Cocker Spaniel divided into three varieties for show. The divisions are parti-color, black, or ASCOB, which stands for Any Solid Color Other Than Black.


The life expectancy of your Cocker Spaniel is between 14 to 16 years.

Guard dog or family pet?

The guarding instinct is very low in this breed.

You can train them to bark when someone is at the door, but that’s about it. These dogs are friendly, gentle dogs who make great family pets.

First Impressions & History

The very first thing you’ll notice about a Bichon Frise is that it looks as if it were created in a toy factory. They are incredibly cute and affectionate.

The exact history of their genealogy is a bit of a mystery, but, believe it or not, they’ve existed naturally from as early as the 14th century.

Size & Appearance

They only grow to be between 9 and 11 inches tall and 7 to 12 pounds in weight.

They have soft, fluffy, white coats which are usually groomed and styled in their recognizable, teddy-like fashion.

Grooming & Shedding

Bichon Frises do shed, but the hair they shed get stuck in the rest of their coats and need to be removed by brushing regularly to prevent mats and tangles.

That won’t be the only grooming they need. Bichon Frises have an intense grooming schedule that involves a lot of brushing, bathing and trimming.


12-15 Years

Quick Facts

  • They have an iconic and elegant look, but this look requires a lot of energy invested in grooming.
  • They are known to be quite difficult to house train.
  • Their living expenses are higher than other breeds’.
  • They are frail, young children should not be allowed to interact with them without supervision.

Golden Retrievers In More Detail

Temperament And Behavior:

Golden Retrievers are naturally well-behaved and friendly. Their temperament is playful, gentle, and outgoing. Plus, this breed is intelligent and devoted to its family.

A Golden Retriever gets along with other animals. However, these dogs do exuberant jumps on people when young. Plus, this breed does tend to mouthiness and likes to carry things around.

Training and obedience:

A Golden Retriever has a puppy frame of mind until he is over three years old. Early training is essential so you can instill good manners and calmness.

Even if he is eager to please, your dog will be distracted by the wonderful new sights and smells, so patience is a must.

Exercise Needs:

These dogs are from the sporting class, so they need exercise. If your dog can’t vent his energy and you find him interesting things to do, then he’ll find them. This breed has an extremely high energy level and a high exercise level.

An hour of exercise at least will help keep your dog’s exuberance under control. After that, your dog will love to retrieve stuff and bring back just about anything thrown to him.

Shedding, grooming, and maintenance:

Golden retrievers shed a lot and often. They require regular brushing to keep ahead of the hair shedding.

Because the breed is a hunting and waterfowl dog, the outer coat is dense and will repel water.

You will regularly need to brush and comb your dog to avoid his coat getting matted and tangled. Some dogs of this breed have a medium-length coat that isn’t as hard to groom. Other dogs have a heavier coat with lots of feathering.

Plus, Goldens need to be clipped and scissored occasionally, so a trip to the groomers may be necessary to keep your dog sanitary. Keeping nails trimmed is also a part of the grooming. These dogs shed moderately in the winter and summer but heavily in the spring and fall.

Because this breed has fold-over ears, they are prone to ear infections. The ears create an environment for bacteria and fungus to grow. It appears as black dirt-looking particles with a terrible odor. Simply gently wipe the outer ear with a cotton ball that’s been dampened with pH-balanced ear cleaner.

Health issues:

Golden Retrievers are prone to cancer, heart problems, skin allergies, eye defects. Plus, they gain weight easily, so overfeeding should not be done. In addition, they are susceptible to bloat, hypothyroidism, and hip dysplasia.

Quick Facts:

These dogs have a distinctive doggy odor and produce a lot of dander.

The breed is a good match for children, other dogs, cats, families, and seniors. They are excellent dogs for first-time pet owners, and these dogs love water.

The cost of a Golden Retriever is about $500.

Bichon Frise In More Detail

Temperament & Behaviour

They have a cheerful attitude. They enjoy getting attention and is playful and charming.

They can be independent and curious, but they won’t ever want to be separated from you. They are quite prone to separation anxiety and can this can cause them to be destructive.

Intelligence Levels & Affections Levels

They are both highly intelligent and extremely affectionate. A lapdog in a very literal sense, they want to be with you 24/7.

Training & Obedience

They are known to be quite difficult to housetrain and will benefit from being taken to puppy training classes. Because they are so intelligent, proper training often yields great success with them.

Exercise Needs

Though they are very energetic and playful, they are small enough to tire out by playing indoors or by going for a short walk. This makes them a favourite among apartment dwellers.

Guard Dog Or Family Pet

Because it is simply too small to pose any real threat to anything, it is more suited for a role as a family pet.

Gets On With Other Pets, Animals And Children?

They are very friendly towards other animals and children, because they are so small you should always supervise them to make sure they don’t get hurt by accident.

They also need to be the centre of attention and are prone to be jealous if they feel like they are being neglected.

Who Should Consider Buiyng

If you want a beautiful dog and are prepared to invest in the necessary grooming, there are few breeds with a more iconic look than Bichon Frises. They are also good options for people with limited space, but this is not a recommended breed for first-time dog owners.


The Bichon Frise is a wholly unique breed. As is often the case with any strange or exotic animal, they require quite a bit of maintenance, but if you are able to take care of them and give them the attention they need, you could find a beautiful, charming family pet in a Bichon Frise.