These small canines have big personalities. Get to know the dog under all that white fluff.
The fluffy white dogs originated in the Mediterranean. Their ancestor is the barbet (water spaniel), which gave them the name barbichon. This moniker was later shortened to just bichon, which means lap dog in French. From there, the group was divided into four subsets: the bichon Bolognese, the bichon Havanese, the bichon Maltese, and the bichon Tenerife. Each name refers to the region where the type was bred.
The Bichon Frise is a small dog, roughly 5-10kg. It’s normally all white with a black nose and dark round eyes.
Italian sailors kept the companion dogs to be used for bartering. They eventually found their way into the hearts of Spaniards, and flourished on the Island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, where the bichon Tenerife originated. Italian sailors eventually rediscovered the dogs in the 1300s, and brought them back to mainland Europe. The tiny dogs were a big hit among Italian nobility, who would give the pups lion-style haircuts.
They love company, are very social and love to go everywhere with their owners.
For the owner who has allergies they make the perfect companion. They have a thick double layer coat which doesn’t shed, which means there is no unwanted dog hair around the house.
Eventually, the love affair with the bichon faded and the little dogs were turned loose in the streets. Thanks to their intelligence and sunny disposition, the canines were used in street performances and circus acts. Gypsies favored the dogs for their ability to do tricks and charm audiences.
Bichon Frise is French for curly lapdog. ‘Frise’ is French for curly and ‘Bichon’ is a type of lapdog.
They were often used as performance dogs in the 19th Century due to their fun personality and friendly nature.
Bichons are entirely white, with just a small amount of apricot, buff, or cream by the ears. Black eyes and a little black nose complete the look.
While there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog, some breeds come close. The bichon frise does not shed and produces less dander than other dogs. As a result, sufferers of allergies might have little to no symptoms in the dogs' company.Most Bichon Frise are not keen on the water, so you won’t see many of them running in the sea.