Did you know?
The Bichon Frise was highly regarded in Spain and was frequently used as an item of barter internationally throughout antiquity.
Touch a Bichon and you have touched a bit of heaven …
Hold a Bichon and you have held the world …
Love a Bichon and you will love life forever…
The Bichon Frise’s exact origins are unknown. He is known to have taken the aristocracy of Europe by storm upon his arrival there in the 1300s. It was the French who developed the dog into the companion he is today although he was originally Spanish. Coming from the Canary Islands, the Bichon Frise was first called the Bichon Tenerife after the island and was used as a sailing dog.
The Bichon Frise is a member of the bichon family of dogs which also includes the Maltese, the Bolognaise, and the Havanese. Upon his recognition by the kennel club of France as a purebred breed in the 1930s, the Bichon Tenerife’s name was changed to Bichon Frise meaning “curly-coated lap dog”.
Bred to be a companion and pet, the Bichon Frise fits well into both city and country life.
Photos displayed courtesy of Patricia Kastanek, Fairhaven Bichons, Ontario
The Bichon stands no more than 12 inches (30 cm) tall at the shoulder. He has large dark eyes and a black button nose. His double coat is thick and curly and solid white although he may have buff, apricot, or cream coloured shadings.
The Bichon does need regular grooming, more than other breeds, and must be completely dried after bathing to keep his coat tangle-free. However, his coat is considered to be non-shedding, non-allergenic, and odourless!
With a cheerful, friendly, and affectionate personality, the Bichon has been called an “animated powder puff”. He makes a wonderful family pet although he can become territorial if allowed to do so. Training will curb this tendency.
He is playful, eager to please, and loves being the center of attention. An intelligent and generally obedient breed, many Bichons have been happily employed in the circus performing tricks!
The Bichon gets along well with other household pets and is active enough to romp with the children! Thanks to his sunny disposition, he also makes a fine companion for the elderly or disabled as most of his exercise needs can be met by playing around the house or garden.
A good watchdog, the Bichon Frise will alert his people to any unfamiliar faces. He is smart and takes well to obedience training. However, he is also one of the breeds that is difficult to housebreak. Have patience and treats! He responds particularly well to food rewards. As with all dogs, he should start both training and socialization early.
As a very sociable animal, Bichons are happiest when with their human companions and so can be susceptible to separation anxiety. More than many other breeds, they don’t like being left alone for long periods of time. This can lead to destructive chewing, barking, and other negative behaviour.
The Bichon loves to get out and about and enjoys regular walks. As might be expected of a dog originally bred as a sailor’s companion, he enjoys splashing about in water and will even retrieve sticks or a ball from the water.
The Bichon Frise is relatively long lived, with an average lifespan of 12-13 years although many live longer.