The bichon frise is one of the four types of bichon dogs, along with the bichon havanese, the bichon bolognese, and the bichon maltese. They all share a common ancestor, the Barbet, which is a type of water dog that originated in North Africa.
The bichon frise was first known as the bichon teneriffe, named after the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, where they were brought by Spanish sailors in the 14th century. They became popular pets among the Spanish nobility and were often given as gifts to other royal families in Europe. The bichon frise reached its peak of popularity in France during the 16th century, when they were favored by King Francis I and King Henry III. They were also admired by artists and writers, such as Francisco de Goya and Jean-Baptiste Oudry, who depicted them in their paintings and poems. They were known as bichon a poil frise, meaning “curly-haired lap dog” in French.
- Physical Characteristics
The breed has a long, curly white coat that sheds minimally
The coat requires regular grooming and brushing to prevent mats and tangles
The breed has dark eyes and nose that contrast with the white coat
The breed has a slightly rounded skull and a not pointy muzzle
The breed has a long, curly tail that is carried over the back
The breed weighs approximately 6–11 kilograms (10–20 pounds) and stands 23–30 centimetres (9–12 inches) at the withers
- Temperament and Behavior
The breed is affectionate, friendly, playful and loves people
The breed is good with children and other pets if socialized well
The breed responds fairly well to training and is intelligent
The breed does not like being left alone and may suffer from separation anxiety
The breed does not bark a lot but may alert to strangers or unusual noises
The breed has bursts of high energy followed by restful spells