Old English Terrier vs Bichon Frise - Breed Comparison

Bichon Frise is originated from Spain but Old English Terrier is originated from United Kingdom. Bichon Frise may grow 15 cm / 5 inches shorter than Old English Terrier. Both Bichon Frise and Old English Terrier are having almost same weight. Bichon Frise may live 5 years more than Old English Terrier. Both Bichon Frise and Old English Terrier has almost same litter size. Bichon Frise requires Low Maintenance. But Old English Terrier requires Moderate Maintenance

Basic Information

Companion dogs
Terrier dogs
United Kingdom
Height Male:
23 - 30 cm
9 - 12 inches
30 - 45 cm
11 - 18 inches
Height Female:
21 - 29 cm
8 - 12 inches
30 - 45 cm
11 - 18 inches
Weight Male:
5 - 10 kg
11 - 23 pounds
6 - 15 kg
13 - 34 pounds
Weight Female:
4 - 8 kg
8 - 18 pounds
6 - 15 kg
13 - 34 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 19 Years
10 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 6
5 - 8
Other Names:
Bichón Tenerife • Bichon à poil frisé Bichon
Black Terrier
Colors Available:
Solid white or black, tan and black
Medium length, silky texture with corkscrew curls
Smooth- and rough coated variety
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Friendly, Intelligent, Loving, Playful, Social, Stubborn, Sweet
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Low Maintenance
Moderate Maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


Contrary to the myths and many of the tales of the history of the Bichon Frise, the breed was originally developed in Spain. Later specific trait development occurred in France to give us the lap dog Bichon Frise that we know today. The original Spanish dog – the Bichon – was a water – sailing dog. It was descended from the poodle breeds crossed with either the water spaniels or the Barbet. These early dogs were friendly and happy and because of this, sailors carried them with them on their ships and even bartered them for supplies. Prior to the 14th century the Spanish probably brought them to the Canary Islands. Later in the 14th century they we discovered again by Italian sailors who returned them to Europe where they lived in the courts of the nobility. During the Renaissance and after the French fell in love with the breed while the Spanish continue to enjoy their presence.

In the late 19th century in France the breed fell out of popularity and became street dogs and circus and fair dogs. They also worked with organ grinders and assisted the blind. In the early 20th century, the Societe Centrale Canine, the National Kennel Club of France, adopted the breed’s official standard – while they were still known as both the Bichon and the Tenerife. The popularity of the breed at this time is heavily attributed to “The Adventures of TinTIn” , by Herge, which featured a small, white, fluffy fox terrier. Then the president of the Federation Cynoloqique Internationale presented a new name for the breed based on its characteristics. The name Bichon Frise kept the Bichon heritage and added “curly” the meaning of Frise. Under this name the breed was admitted to the Societe Centrale Canine stud book in October of 1934.

The Bichon Frise came to the United States for the first time in 19554 and was admitted to the American Kennel Club Stud Book in 1972. They entered the non-sporting group of the AKC in 1973. By 2001 the Bichon Frise, J.R., won the Westminster Dog Show. In 1976, the Bichon Frise came to Australia, imported by Harry and Margaret Begg who oversaw the growth of the breed there. Today there are 4 separate breeds believed to be descended from the original Bichon/Tenerife breeds – the Bichon Frise, the Bichon Bolognaise, the Maltese and the Havanese.

Known also as the Black Terrier, by the 18th century, the Old English Terrier was available as a rough-coated dog as well as a smooth-coated dog.

The dogs were established in England. The dog was developed to work and by the 19th century the Old English Terrier was to be found all over the world.

The dog was developed based on the work it was required to do, leading to variations in the coat texture, the body and size. The Old English Terrier is recognized today by the National Terriers Club LLC.


The modern Bichon Frise is a white, small dog with a round skull and muzzle. The nose should be black and the eyes round and dark. Depending on the size of the dog, the legs and head are proportionate to the body, while the tail should be curly and long. Both the tail and the ears must not be docked. Their coat is as hypoallergenic as a dog gets. It is white, dense and for most Bichon Frise, it is curly. They should have black lips as well.

The Old English Terrier is a working dog, a sporting terrier known for his athleticism. This is a vibrant dog, both physically and mentally, and the dog will require plenty of physical exercise as well as mental stimulation.

If you go to a reputable pet shop, you will find many stimulating toys for such a clever dog. He is also social and friendly and makes a wonderful pet.

Your Old English Terrier stands at between 30 – 45cm and weighs between 6 and 15kg. The face of the dog is wedge-shaped and the eyes are set wide apart. The ears are erect and the tail has been docked but is left long these days.

The coat of the dog can be either rough or smooth and it is available in solid black or white or a black and tan mix.


The Old English Terrier is a working and sporting terrier. He makes a wonderful companion pet. He is an intelligent, boisterous type of dog and early training and socialization are necessary to make him obedient and more amicable around people and pets.

They are loving with their human family, but because they require such vigorous exercise, they are better suited to life in the countryside as opposed to living in a cramped space in the city.

Health Problems

The coat of the Bichon Frise can easily become matted if not brushed or combed every day. Severe matting can lead to a hematoma in their ears. They are also very prone to ear infections so paying a lot of attention to their ears is imperative. They are will chew and scratch themselves if not groomed well and this can cause skin infections and conditions. They might have allergies to fleas, pollen, chemicals, and dust. The patella (knee cap) can be loose, diabetes, cataracts and heart disease also affect the Bichon Frise. In the United Kingdom the number one cause of death for the breed is old age -13 plus years, with 21% dying of cancer. In North America cancer is the number one killer as it is for most dogs. The Bichon might also be afflicted with hematologic disorders such as AIHA (Autoimmune hemolytic anemia) and ITP (Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia) which while less common than cancer will kill the dog much earlier in life than cancer. The other condition that the Bichon Frise is prone to are liver shunts. If found early they can be surgically corrected but most are not, and liver failure is eventually the cause of death.

There are some health problems with a dog that can be inherited, but some illnesses develop because of bad lifestyle and bad diet along with lack of exercise.

Your Old English Terrier can live to anything from 10 to 14 years of age, but there are always some common dog diseases that you may want to be aware of.

Dental disease, skin allergies, hip dysplasia, cancer, epilepsy, bloat and eye diseases are just some of the diseases that are highly unlikely, but which can be worrisome for your pet.

Caring The Pet


Being a small dog, the Bichon Frise is susceptible to obesity and that condition will be terminal in the end for this breed. So make sure you do not overfeed your Bichon Frise. The same is true with the use of treats. The Bichon loves treats and loves the association with treats of having pleased you. They should be fed small meals – about ¼ cup of good high quality dry food twice a day.

Health issues

As previously mentioned the Bichon Frise is susceptible to:

Hematomas and infections of the ear if not groomed well and consistently.

Cancer is number one killer.

Hematological Issues are deadlier than cancer.

Liver shunts are a very serious concern.

Exercise and games

Though the Bichon Frise is not an overly active dog, they do love to play. They are characterized by short bursts of activity followed by long periods of rest. They can be worn out just by running around the house. You must play with them everyday as well as take them on a walk each day. Bichons are fast and agile and do well in agility trials. They also like to compete in rally and obedience trials. Most of all they love to and need to play with their people every day.


Looking after your Old English Terrier is easy, whether you choose the short- or long haired breed, requiring you to brush him twice a week to remove those loose hairs. Check in and outside the ears for ticks and fleas and check around the eyes for infections.

Always run your hands over your dog to make sure there are no unusual lumps which could be indicative of cancer.

General care:

Make sure your pet has a nice dry, warm place to sleep, and if he is outdoors, make sure he has a spot to lie down in that is out of the sun and rain.


He is an active dog and will require a walk each day as well as ball- and rope games.


Every dog will benefit from a high quality diet, both commercially manufactured food and home-made food. Dogs want their meals to be simple, tasty, consistent and delicious.

Dry kibble needs to be of a high quality and you can add in simple home-made food to his kibble and which is simple – boiled chicken, brown rice or pasta and vegetables such as spinach, sweet potatoes and carrots. When you can afford it, some raw meat added into the kibble will be a welcome treat.

Such a simple diet will ensure you don’t battle with your dog’s digestion and it will keep him bright-eyed and healthy. Ensure a constant supply of fresh, cool water.


The Bichon Frise, according to the American Kennel Club is a cheerful and merry dog. They are gentle, playful, sensitive and affectionate. These dogs love people, are very social and like other dogs as well. They love to play with children and they are intelligent and affectionate. They were developed in their latter stages by the French to be “lap dogs” or companion animals. They are not territorial by nature but can become so if confined and encouraged. Start obedience training early and be consistent throughout their lives. They take to training easily if positive techniques are used. They do however, have a reputation for not taking well to housetraining. Be persistent

Your Old English Terrier is a working dog and while he is known to be independent and sometimes quite stubborn, he is intelligent and trainable.

He should be trained and socialized and then he becomes a great family pet, being amicable with children and other pets. He is a good natured pet but he has lots of energy and will rely on you to provide him with walks and games, whether you live in the city or the countryside.

Give him the right upbringing and you can be assured of the most splendid pet and companion.

Comparison with other breeds

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  40. Old English Terrier vs American Bully - Breed Comparison
  41. Old English Terrier vs Abruzzenhund - Breed Comparison
  42. Old English Terrier vs Affenpinscher - Breed Comparison
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  44. Old English Terrier vs Aidi - Breed Comparison
  45. Old English Terrier vs Airedale Terrier - Breed Comparison
  46. Old English Terrier vs Akbash Dog - Breed Comparison
  47. Old English Terrier vs Akita - Breed Comparison
  48. Old English Terrier vs Africanis - Breed Comparison
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