The Bichon Frise is a descendant of the Barbet or Water Spaniel, known in the region surrounding the Mediterranean during the Middle Ages. Seafarers took the little dogs with them on voyages and used them as articles of trade.Fourteenth century Italian sailors are said to have found the breed on the Canary Island of Teneriffe and took them home, where the Bichon or Teneriffe became the prized pet of both the Italian and French nobility.
The breed won further popularity in the English court during the reign of Henry II. The Bichon is found in paintings of the Spanish Masters, including several of Goya’s works. At the end of the 19th century, the status of the breed declined to that of the ordinary street dog. Popularity rose once again after World War I, when a group of French enthusiasts began to re-establish the breed’s bloodlines. The name “Bichon Frise” was adopted in 1933.
A French family brought the first Bichon Frise to the United States in 1956, and the breed has had a loyal following ever since. The breed was admitted to the French Kennel Club in 1934 and to the American Kennel Club in 1973.
Size:Height – 10-12 inches
Color:White, sometimes with cream, apricot or gray on the ears.
Eyes:Large, dark brown or black eyes.
Ears:Medium length, full-coated.
Body Structure:The build is very light, with the body slightly longer than tall. The Bichon has a prominent, round, black nose.
Hair Coat:The Bichon Frise has a double coat with a profuse, silky,loosely-curled outer coat 2 inches or longer and a short, soft undercoat.There is little shedding with regular grooming.
Possible Health Problems:The breed is generally healthy but may develop ear and skin ailments, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy and low blood sugar.
The Bichon Frise is a playful, affectionate dog. It is very gentle and obedient and is very good with children and other pets.
The Bichon Frise has a tendency to be slightly stubborn. The hair coat does require regular grooming.