Bichon frise general features, temperament, health

FCI #215, Origin: Spain

Height: 9-12 in, Weight: 12-18 lb

Grooming: HIGH, Shedding: LOW,

Coat: long, curly, soft   Color: white

Ease of training: MEDIUM,

Energy level: MEDIUM, Span of life: 13-15 years

Breed: Bichon Frise (like also a Poodle) is probably a descendant of Barbet (the Water Spaniel), at first the breed was called "Barbishon" (a small Poodle). The name "Bichon," comes from the French word, which means "a pampered lap dog", and "Frise" is translated as "curled" or "curly". These cute little dogs were always treated this way - they were carefully combed, ladies were making their coats curly, and generally spoiling this doggies in every possible way. There were first formed four types of Bichon: Bichon Maltese, Bichon Bologneise, Bichon Havanese and Bichon Tenerife.

History of this breed has it's roots in the deep Middle Ages. Several centuries ago, definitely Bichons were popular in Spain, but it is unknown how they got there. It is believed that they were brought to the island of Tenerife by the Spanish sailors, and from there Bichons traveled to the continent. In any case, Bichon existed long before they were "discovered" by the navigators in the early XIV century. Appreciated for their pleasant nature, in antiquity they were often taken by Romans to their long trips and journeys, because that people believed that these dogs are irreplaceable as a cheerful and merry companions.

It is easy to take these little dogs with snow-white hair for the curly lambs. In the XIV century they had a huge popularity in the Italian aristocracy and the French nobility. Bichons were pampered, bathed in porcelain bathtubs, sprayed with expensive perfumes. The dog has become a favorite toy of Italian and Spanish aristocracy. Then popularity of this breed will become apparent when we recall that during the invasion of the French in Italy in the XV century Bichon ??????was taken to France as an expensive trophy.

During the reign of King Francis I (1515-1547) the popularity of Bichons in a secular society has reached such a great proportions that the dog could be safely counted among the main court favorites. "Dog-Infante," "Little Prince" - that is how were called Bichons in France in the time of Francis I, the patron of the Renaissance. But the peak of its popularity, this breed of dogs has reached in the time of Henry III (1574 - 1589). He constantly wanted to see his favorite dogs beside him and ordered to produce a special basket to put the dogs in, that he was hanging around his neck and he always carried it with him almost everywhere.

This way the king moved through the royal chambers and that's how he was sitting in his office, doing government business. Always with the dogs beside his heart. Ladies quickly acquired the King's eccentricity and began to keep those small dogs as a "jewelry", dragging them on the hands or wrapping in a shawl. Those animals were treated as if they were of royal blood, surrounded with love, care and attention.

The popularity of Bichons can be seen by their frequent appearance in the paintings of the great Spanish masters, such as Francisco de Goya. At all times, the artists liked to paint their own dogs as well as the most popular dogs in the high society. The painting by Jean-Honore Fragonard depicts a white Bichon sitting on the couch next to his mistress, bent over a desk.

This painting is titled "Love Letter" and it was eventually printed on the stamps of African countries. In recent centuries the dog, which we today call the Bichon Frise, has repeatedly appeared in the paintings of famous European artists in various forms. In addition to pictures painted in oil, in the museums of Art there are presented a lot of porcelain figurines of the tiny curly white dog, created in recent decades.

During the reign of Emperor Napoleon III, Bichon Frise once again became a favorite lap dog in the royal court and among the courtiers, however, this popularity has been lost by the end of the nineteenth century. Today, this dog from a purely "elite pet" turned to the public, show, artistic and domestic dog, which allowed to slightly improve her blood - what was previously impossible because of her high society isolation.

If there was no group of enthusiasts of the early nineteenth century, who took upon themselves all the care about this breed, Bichon Frise would not survive up to our days  in the form in which we got used to see and recognize this dogs. Easygoing nature and love to their owners, inherent in Bichon Frise, helped to prepare this dogs for a new role in the modern society, after the loss of royal patronage. Now this dog is definitely a subject of public admiration.

Thanks to the ingenuity and great trainability in this dog people finally saw a great circus artist and a wonderful show dog. A few years after the First World War, Bichon Frise has changed again. There were some breeders, who decided to "remake" the breed in order to restore it's original appearance. In March 1933, the Central Kennel Club of France approved standard for the breed, formulated by the Chairman of "Toy Club of France", in collaboration with the Belgian breeders.

Thus, the Bichon Frise was given a special place in dog shows.

In October 1934, the Bichon Frise was written in the Register of the French section of the Kennel Club and recognized as a French-Belgian breed. To the U.S., this dog came in 1956 with a French family, emigrated there. Initially, this breed has met some resistance in the community of dog breeders, but over time, trimmed and curled by the skilfull hairdressers, Bichon became popular as an excellent show dog.

In 1974 Bichon Frise was first imported to England from the U.S., and in 1976 the breed came to Sweden, where it was imported from France and the United States. The American style of presentation of these dogs in the trimmed and curled form was adopted allover the world and even adopted as a standard for the breed in Sweden.

General Features: Bichon Frise from the first glance resembles a snow-white fluffy cloud. This is a dog of a small size with a beautiful snow-white and curly hair. Although the options in color are allowed by some Kennel Clubs - such as a shades of creme or apricot.

Bichon Frise looks like a fluffy soft toy, probably that's why most of the children are so found of this dogs. The tail of a Bichon Frise is lush and fluffy, brushed up. The muzzle in these dogs is very pretty, with small shining black eyes, black nose and a nice neat little hanging ears. The body of a Bichon Frise is strong trunk and shapy, but because of the fluffy coat and a dense undercoat one may have a feeling of looseness and volume. The movements of these dogs are very graceful, slightly springy. Standard Bichon Frise is a small dog - from 21 to 31 cm in withers.

Bichon has a playful and joyous nature. This dogs are a great companions for adults and a lovely playmates for children.

Temperament: Bichon Frise by nature is very friendly. This dogs are constantly in need of affection and care. The nature of these dogs is quite complicated, but they can easily find common language with their owners.

They are perfectly suited to life in the city, but still need regular walks, as the fresh air and movement they need for their good health. Funny, playful nature allows them to easily find common language with children.

Security qualities are almost completely absent in this breed. Bichon Frise has a good health, many of them lived long lives. These dogs are quite easy to train and they get along very well with children. Bichon can happily become a cheerful partner in children's games, but generally this dogs are particularly suitable for adults as a companion dog, as well as they make a wonderful family pets. Bring a focus on the fact that this breed does not shed or cause allergies. Bichon Frise is almost perfect for keeping in a city apartment.

It is easy to teach Bichon to make his toilet in the litter if you do not have enough time to walk your dog. In addition, he does not require much movement, but on the walks he shows remarkable joyfulness and loves to jump, run around without a leash at the park and even swim. Once you saw a Bichon Frise, you can not remain indifferent. Perhaps after some time you will not even want to part with him.

This breed requires a careful attention and a hand of experienced breeder.

However, if you are not planning to show your dog, it is possible to do the standard procedures - weekly brushing and bathing, but if not, you will have to work pretty much on the image your Bichon Frise before each exhibition.

The most important thing in caring for Bichon - is to keep his coat in good condition. And this requires regular bathing and brushing. But the result will please you a hundred times - so beautiful and stunning is a well groomed Bichon Frise!

Health problems: Generally the Bichon Frise is a quite healthy breed. Some dogs of this breed may be prone to cataracts and other eye issues. Also some Bichon Frise are prone to allergies.

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