I home groom my Bichon Frise Dispatch, Bichons are some of the most labor intensive dogs to groom but the results are well worth it. If you prefer you can use a trimmer and go for a more all over shorter cut for your Bichon Frise but my husband likes Dispatch to be fluffier. I compromise during the summer and since I've found this marvelous link on this forum bichon.ca I decided to try scissoring myself (it has illustrations, a lifesaver). I use a simple pin brush I got from petsmart, a little slicker brush I found on sale @ Wal Mart, a detangling comb and ouchless brush I think I got from petsmart also. And a pair of generic scissors, they turned out to work better than my good ones that were specifically to trim dogs. Bichons have LOTS of curves so a pair of curved scissors would be a good investment also but I did this without them. Dispatch is not good when I groom him but he's getting better. For absolute before pictures see the previous post, he hadn't been thouroughly trimmed for 2 or more months and was rather shaggy. I hate to break my tone of this post by saying something funny but I know why bichons are small dogs! If they were bigger they would be shaved and they aren't pretty shaved. Seriously though, grooming a bichon is a time consuming process but actually all this probably only took me a 2-3 hours and that included brushing, trimming, brushing again, trimming, bathing, brushing again and final trim and brushing once more. If I had kept up with the brushing and bathing better and not let his hair get so long I probably could have gotten it down to a little over an hour.
This is him after the first brushing and trim. You might not see any difference between him in the video and him now but trust me there is about an inch or so of hair off of his back and I've started to shape his legs.
It was getting late and I decided we needed a good nights sleep to continue. As you can see my grooming table is the all purpose patio table when the weather is warm.
This is him this morning after further leg shaping and face shaping, his eyes are squinted because he thinks the flash is going to go off, fooled him! His hair on his legs is probably over 1 inch long, that on his back toward his rear is 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. You aren't supposed to give a bichon a tuck on his belly like poodles have but Dispatch is so sensitive about being trimmed near his man parts I'm like doing it while holding him so he has a slight tuck.
Now the bath which you can see he is SO very happy about, I used mild flea shampoo and then whitening shampoo, I ususally use conditioner to make brushing easier but he hates getting rinsed so much I decided to use no more tangles on his legs, his head and back are easy to brush, his head becuase it's fairly straight and his back because it's so short and he doesn't mind having it brushed. I did use the pedipaws on his nails too.
This is him all clean and white, first I towel dried him and then after a bit we went outside for the brushing and final trim. He is probably/maybe part poodle so he is really curly, you have to brush a bichon while they are wet to get the fluffy straight look. If you really want to know more about bichons and what owning one involves the best source for information is once again the bichon.ca forum I think. You can see a few of my pitiful grooming tools on the table along with the sheets of drawings I have printed out for reference. The dog continuously faces me hoping beyond hope I will take him off the table so that's why he's not quite sideways. The biggest mistake I found myself making or overlooking is trimming under his round head hair on his neck to give his head shape. That and the ledge above the eyes make up the typical bichon "look" plus of course the plume of a tail and the cylindrical legs. And them walking around on their hind legs because they want to be picked up, or fed, or entertained?
This is the wild groomed bichon in the wind. I see a couple points on his rear that need smoothed and a couple more on his front leg and chin but that could have been the wind.
And here are the three amigos, Dispatch, Skeeter, and Mugsey who is really alive, just goes into chill mode quickly. And that is how you groom a bichon. Trust me my previous trims have NOT turned out so well.