Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

8 Dogs Similar to Bichon Frises (With Pictures)

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

Happy purebred Bichon frise dog laying on the floor

If you enjoy the spry, personable little Bichon Frise, you might wonder if there are any other similar purebreds. After all, who doesn’t love their spunky personalities, lamb-like fur, and hypoallergenic qualities?

Surprisingly, quite a few breeds match them in either looks, size, or personality–or a combination of the three. We’ve rounded up eight magnificent canines so you can see how they are like the Bichon Frise–and how they are very different.

Look at these cuties and get to know them as you go!

Divider 2

The 8 Dogs Similar to Bichon Frises

1. Havanese

cream havanese dog in the forest
Image By: Dorottya Mathe, Shutterstock
Weight: 7 – 14 pounds
Height: 8 – 10 inches
Colors: All coat colors are acceptable

The cheerful, wonderful, bright-eyed Havanese hails from Cuba—and just so happens to be the National Dog of the country (and the only breed ever created there)! So, these tiny canines might be little, but they are legendary.

The Havanese is a gorgeous long-haired breed. Unlike the curly locks of the Bichon Frise, the Havanese have long, silky straight hair. Grooming is a must! A Havanese will need routine maintenance–brushing once a day to get rid of tangles to prevent mats.


These little dogs are incredible family companions. They get along with just about everyone and everything! They are particularly attached to their families and will want to accompany you on any route you choose to go, proudly by your side–a real buddy for the road.

These are extremely good dogs for first-time owners, seniors, and everyone in between. These dogs are very relaxed, requiring less exercise than some other breeds. So, it makes them perfect for apartment living and more sedentary lifestyles.

These are little “velcro dogs,” constantly attached to the hips of owners. While they tend to have extremely cheerful demeanors, some can occasionally experience separation anxiety.


If you buy a Havanese from a reputable breeder, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $1,500.

2. Bolognese

Image By: islavicek, Shutterstock
Weight: 4.5 – 9 pounds
Height: 10.5 – 12 inches
Colors: Pure white

The Bolognese and the Bichon Frise look so similar; it might be really hard to tell them apart! These beautiful, curly-haired cuties certainly charm onlookers with their adorable appearance–but it isn’t often you see one prancing around. These little guys are rare.

 One of the trademarks of the Bolognese breed is that they have pure white fur, just like a Bichon Frise! These sweet dogs get along with almost everyone and everything, making them charming additions to families (even though they’re a bit hard to find!).


The Bolognese has an incredible temperament. These tiny dogs are notorious for doing extremely well with people, pets, and everything in between. However, they are prone to small dog syndrome, so they might be a little sassy or larger-than-life, but it’s all in good fun and perfect entertainment.

While a bit stubborn, these dogs are very receptive to training. They aren’t too fragile, either, especially considering their size. They tend to be happy, alert, playful, and such—but the Bichon takes the limelight with their exuberance. These little ones just tend to be a milder version of our beloved Bichon.


If you buy a Bolognese from a reputable breeder, you will pay somewhere between $1,000 and $2,500. Because these dogs are rare, they are more expensive than most.

3. Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso
Image By: Chad Zuber, Shutterstock
Weight: 12 – 18 pounds
Height: 10 – 11 inches
Colors: Black, white, honey, sandy, dark grizzle, brown, golden

The brilliant Lhasa Apso is a very old breed from the Himalayas. These goofy dogs have come a long way since their beginning, but one thing remains the same—these dogs are ideal housemates. These pups are a favorite among little dog lovers for a very good reason.

The little Lhasa Apso is a long, silky-haired breed. Unlike the fleece-like feeling of their Bichon cousins, these dogs have straight fur that is generally easy to brush and manage. However, if you choose to have a longer coat style for your Lhasa Apso, they will require everyday brushing.


These dogs are independent and clownish. From dog parks to beaches, these dogs can be playful in any setting and adapt well to change. They might not be extremely open to meeting new people, but they tend to tolerate it well, especially if they think their owners approve.

No matter what “intruder” you’re potentially facing, you’re going to know about it. These dogs can be particularly yappy, alerting you of every little thing that changes around your home. They will bark if a mailman walks by, or a plastic bag blows in the wind. But we have to appreciate their bravery.


The gorgeous Lhasa Apso is not a cheap breed. These pups can cost anywhere between $1,500 and $2,500.

4. Coton de Tulear

Coton de Tulear running outside
Image By: Chica de Tulear, Pixabay
Weight: 8 – 15 pounds
Height: 9 – 11 inches
Colors: White, black

The ever-so-sweet Coton de Tulear is known as the Royal Dog of Madagascar. These little dogs are impressively good with everyone and everything and have very long lifespans. While they are rare in the United States, they are even rarer in their homeland, nearly extinct.

These little dogs don’t shed a lot, but they do shed a little more often than their Bichon cousins. Like many other little long-haired dogs, they require daily brushing and regular grooming.


This breed is cheerful, cheerful, cheerful! Ultimately, these dogs are just incredibly people-oriented and enjoy being close to their loved ones. Surprisingly, they are also fond of other people, too. These little dogs are extremely open and accepting of any house guest and a new face.

Unlike many small breeds, this particular dog doesn’t bark often. In fact, according to the AKC, they only bark to alert, ranking in the lowest barking level of all. These dogs are incredibly agreeable and happy. They are quite comfortable just hanging out on the couch with you, but they will thrive on their daily walks.


The Coton de Tulear is questionably the rarest dog on our list, so it makes sense that the price reflects that. It costs between $2,000 and $3,000 for one of these cuties.

5. Shih Tzu

female Shih Tzu standing on an ice
Image By: Tatiana Gasich, Shutterstock
Weight: 9 – 16 pounds
Height: 9 – 10.5 inches
Colors: Black, black and white, brindle, brindle and white, gold, gold and white, red and white, silver and white, blue, blue and white, liver, liver and white, silver, red, black gold and silver, black white and silver, white, silver gold and white, black gold and white

The Shih Tzu is a prevalent little breed that is similar to the Bichon Frise but very different in its own right. This charming little breed is known as a Lion Dog who is very charming and delightful to be around. It’s no wonder people invite these guys in as a family.

Shih Tzus are brachycephalic dogs, so they are slightly different from Bichon Frise dogs. Shih Tzus have a shorter muzzle and often have an underbite. This certainly makes them stand out amongst their peers. They have long, wavy coats that require daily brushing.


The Shih Tzu is an incredibly friendly little dog that loves to be around people of all ages—familiar and otherwise. These small dogs tend to adapt well to apartments, relaxed lifestyles, and all sorts of other living situations.


The Shih Tzu might be one of the most affordable dogs on our list due to their popularity. These dogs are prevalent, and they can range between $500 and $1,800. However, if you want a show dog, it can cost upwards of $5,000. It ultimately depends on the purpose of the puppy.

6. Maltese

white maltese in the grass
Image Credit: TaniaVdB, Pixabay
Weight: 5 – 7 pounds
Height: 7 – 9 inches
Colors: White, white and tan, white and lemon

The beautiful pure white Maltese is a favorite toy breed maxing out at approximately 7 pounds! This dog can stay puppy-size forever, and who doesn’t love that adorable face? They are small but capable, and have all white coats, preferably. However, they can have tan or lemon markings on the ears.


The Maltese has quite a colorful personality. They are a toy breed with little dog syndrome to prove it. Even though these little sweethearts can be tremendously lovable and adorable, they can also be a bit loud and bossy.

Because they might have larger-than-life personalities, they will keep you in stitches! This little breed has hilarious antics and will keep you entertained all the time.


The Maltese breed is pretty prevalent in the dog world. They cost anywhere between $600 and $2,000.

7. Miniature Poodle

miniature poodle
Image Credit: Welshea, Shutterstock
Weight: 10 – 15 pounds
Height: 10 – 15 inches
Colors: Apricot, black, white

The Miniature Poodle is one of the most popular dogs of all and for a good reason! These small dogs are used to make hybrid breeds, and they awe pet parents with their intelligence and hypoallergenic qualities.

Miniature Poodles are identical to their larger standard cousins in overall appearance. They have the same aristocratic fur growth, looking regal and sensational. They have sturdy structures and so many hairdo possibilities.


The Miniature Poodle is an intelligent, active little dog with a bubbly personality. These cuties love to wrestle around and snooze on the couch with their favorite companions. These cheerful little pups will need lots of stimulation to keep them busy.

They have a thirst for intelligence, and if that muscle isn’t exercised, it can lead to destructive tendencies and other behavioral issues like separation anxiety.


Miniature Poodles can vary quite a bit in terms of price. You can find this breed for as little as $1,000 and as high as $3,000, especially when you’re getting up to show quality dogs.

8. West Highland White Terrier

3West Highland White Terrier
Image Credit: bici, Pixabay
Weight: 15 – 20 pounds
Height: 10 – 11 inches
Colors: White

The brainy little West Highland White Terrier, commonly known as the Westie, is a very confident, lively little dog with a big personality. They are one of the sturdiest little dogs known to the AKC–and one of the most chipper, too.

Your little Westie has long, straight terrier hair. Despite their size, these dogs have extremely sturdy, capable frames, very true to the terrier breeds, too. They require routine brushing and grooming sessions every so often.


The fun-loving little Westie is a dog out for an adventure. These happy-go-lucky little canines really love getting around, happily accompanying owners anywhere they want to go. Even though these dogs do incredibly well with families, some of them might be a little bossy or overbearing with other dogs.

These dogs might be a little on the yippy side, so proper early training is necessary. They might never curb their need to bark completely, but you can get it under control a little. Otherwise, these dogs make exceptional pets and have enough energy to keep up with kids of all ages.


Westies cost a pretty penny, averaging between $1,200 to $5,200 for a puppy.

divider 10

Grooming Needs of These Breeds

white bichon frise dog sitting on the grass
Image Credit: Vladimir Nenezic, Shutterstock

No matter if you choose a Bichon Frise or similar breed, they will undoubtedly require grooming! Whether you brush your dog every day, allowing their hair to grow as it pleases, or take them to the groomer for cool new hairstyles, they need maintenance!

You can send your dog to a local groomer or learn to cut and style your dog’s hair in the comfort of your own home. Basic grooming tools are decently inexpensive.

However, you have to be comfortable performing grooming at home. With some more rambunctious dogs, you might even need a helper. It is completely up to you!

Divider 7


Small dogs like the Bichon Frise and several others on our list are fun, personable little companions with many personalities and unique characteristics. So, you certainly aren’t limited to just one small dog breed.

Now, you must decide your primary factors when looking for dogs—do you want a hypoallergenic breed? Brachycephalic? Silky-haired? Curly-haired? Do you want a dog who is courageous or cuddly? There’s a dog on this list for everyone! Which will you choose?

Featured Image Credit: Gaschwald, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database