The Bichon Frise used to be called the Bichon Teneriffe because it was discovered on the island of Teneriffe in the Canary Islands. This breed, and its cousins, the Bichon Maltaise, the Bichon Bolognese, and the Bichon Havanese, all descended from the Barbet or Water Spaniel. When sailors brought the little dogs back to the European continent from the Canary Islands, they gained great popularity as lap-dogs of the royalty.
However, after four centuries of luxurious living, royal tastes changed and Bichon Frise found itself out on the street where it soon worked its way into the hearts of the common people. The breed’s amiable and cheerful personality assured its future, and after WWI, several breeder’s joined forces and determined that the breed would be taken seriously. By the end of the 1930s the Bichon Frise was recognized by the French Kennel Club, but was not recognized in North America until the 1970s.
The breed fits well in a family where room and activity levels are small or moderate, but where pampering is abundant.
Height: The height of a Bichon Frise is 10 – 11″ (25.4 – 25.4cm) for dogs, 9.5 – 10.5″ (24.1 – 24.1cm) for bitches
Weight: The weight for a Bichon Frise is 7 – 12 lbs (3.1 – 5.4 kg)
Coat Type: The coat of a Bichon Frise is at least 2″ (5 cm) long and is soft and silky and somewhat curly. The usual color is all white but shades of cream or apricot are allowed. The Bichon Frise’s coat needs frequent grooming, including bathing and clipping, is recommended to keep the coat looking healthy and clean.
Temperament: The Bichon Frise is an endearing little dog whose charming ways and affectionate disposition have won him favor the world over. He is also easy to train and his antics are often entertaining.
Special Interest: While the Bichon Frise was discovered by sailors in the Canary Islands in the 14th Century, the ancestors of these dogs actually originated from the Spanish mainland centuries before.
AKC: Group 6 – Non-Sporting Dogs
ANKC: Group 1 – Toy
CKC: Group 6 – Non-Sporting Dogs
FCI: Group 9 Section 1 Bichons & related breeds
KC: Non-Sporting – Toys
UKC: Companion Breeds