The Bichon Frise is a breed that has had a long journey for reaching the point where it is today. Long ago, there was a certain breed of dog named the Barbet or Water Spaniel. It is said that a lot of curly-coated breeds came from this dog, one of them being the Caniche or Poodle. Some others were the Bichon breeds such as the Bichon Maltais, the Bichon Bolonais, and the Bichon Tenerife. All these Bichons can be called exotic breeds because they originated in the Mediterranean Sea area.
The Bichon Tenerife is the ancestor of the Bichon Frise. It is said that the Tenerife was a companion to Spanish sailors. It kept them company and in return, they used it as a bargaining tool. Going on like this, this breed made it all the way to the Canary Islands.
In the 1300s, Italian sailors and explorers made their way to the Canary Islands and rediscovered this dog, taking a liking to its happy-go-lucky nature. In Italy, the breed quickly got the attention of the rich and famous. From then on, it lived a life of luxury. The French noticed this breed around the 1400s, when they invaded Italy. It was taken in by King Francis the First.
During the rule of King Henry III, its popularity began to grow because it became a favorite with the King. It even appeared in several paintings by famous artists. However, it started to fall from its position of the 'best lap dog' around the 18th century. Very soon after, the dog that was found in the Palace at one time was now living on the streets, doing cheap tricks in the circus, and barely getting by.
This breed survived World War I and got the attention of professional breeders. Breeding programs went up and this dog became popular again. In September 1971, it was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), and has since become known throughout the world as a loving and happy family pet.
This is a small dog breed. It's 9-12 inches (23-30 cm) at the shoulder and weighs around 10-20 pounds (5-10 kg). Its nose is black, and eyes are rounded and dark in color. The coat is dense and curly. Coat colors may be white, apricot, or gray. The coat requires regular brushing and trimming. It sheds a little bit throughout the year like the poodle.
This is a delightful dog that loves life and also its family. This is not a yappy breed, such a trait is highly undesirable and should be avoided if possible. It is great with children and is good at competitions. However, one problem is that this breed is hard to house train, something that dog lovers don't take into account when looking for a puppy.
This breed is prone to cancer, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, and liver shunts. Its life expectancy is 12 to 13 years.
The Bichon Frise is a delightful dog that makes a wonderful house pet. Its loving disposition and playful nature are very infectious.