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Breed

The Bichon Frise was developed in the Mediterranean area, when a Barbet (a large water spaniel breed) was crossed with small white lapdogs. The Barbet name was later developed to "Barbichon cam," which was later shortened to "Bichon." Similar breeds that were developed from the Barbet were the Poodle (also called the Caniche) and the Maltese. Even though they are now separate breeds, they have a common ancestry that gives them certain similar similarities. The group of dogs known as the Barbichon developed into four breed lines: Bichon Bolognese, Bichon Havanese, Bichon Maltese, and the Bichon Tenerife.

The Bichon Frise of today has its ancestry in the Bichon Tenerife breed line, which found its way to the Mediterranean area, onto the Canary Islands or rather, "the Island of Tenerife." Called the Dog of Love, sailors used to bring these little puppies into the area for the women they admired and sought favors with. Eventually, the Bichon's popularity developed under Henry III. Carrying his little white Bichon around in court, other court individuals did as the king did. The term "bichonner" became one with the beautiful, beribboned, and pampered little Bichon Frise from then on.

As human nature does with mankind's whims and whistles, by the end of the 1800s, the cute little court favored cuddly pet was out on the streets. The little white dogs learned how to earn their keep by doing tricks in the circuses or fairs. The characteristics of the pampered darling of the court demonstrated to the world that its charm, cunning ability, and physical sturdiness brought the little dog to where he is now.


Bichon Frise

Bolognese

Coton de Tulear
 
Maltese

Description

A charming white powerful that loves children, the Bichon Frise is a small dog with loosely curled double-coated hair that is 3-4 inches long, and is virtually less hypoallergenic than other breeds. With a moderate muzzle that is not sharp or pointed, its bite is one of scissor, and has beautiful quizzical eyes that are dark and intelligent with well-covered hanging ears. The breed has a long neck and a well-developed chest, with a cute little plumed tail curled over its back.

The Bichon has a powder-buff appearance that is not only striking but derives from its double coat. This special coat has a double purpose, which is a soft and dense coat on the top with a coarser coat, with a "poodle" curly look until it is groomed. The double coat causes the fur to stand up, springing back when it is patted or touched. With a build that is longer than tall, the breeds quickly starts out with an effortless trot that is beautiful to behold-which was how it began in the show rings and as performers in their early development days. With no gross or incapacitating exaggerations, there is no inherent reason for any lack of balance or even unsound movements. If this is seen, the puppy has something wrong with it, and should not be purchased.

 

Temperament

The temperament of the Bichon Frise is sweet, perky, bouncy, active, and very playful with sporadic bursts of energy that leads them into many unknown adventures--usually beyond the fenced in yard or when they get loose from the leash, even though they are considered to be gentle creatures. High on the playfulness range, along with friendliness toward strangers, watchdog ability, and grooming requirements-anyone who purchases the Bichon will be a powder-puff challenge, to say the least!

They are one of the very few smaller dogs that get along well with children of all ages in addition to adults, and are completely hypoallergenic for those with allergies. This is a favorite breed for those desiring a "happy-go-lucky" pet with an attitude toward the world, even to strangers, pets, other dogs, and the garbage man or mailman! A sensitive dog whose feelings get hurt easily, it is the breed who's favorite past time is to cuddle up in someone's lap, especially someone who appreciates the Bichon's sensitivity, responsiveness, and affectionate behaviors.

But you don't believe that the Bichon is a purely bedroom, imposing and decorative dog breed. Bichon willingly participate in agility, remain active and vigorous energy throughout life, Bichon ready to become a true partner to its owner in any sport and tourist activities.


 

Grooming

A good rule of thumb is that the little white coat of the Bichon Frise needs routine brushing and combing every other day, along with scissoring and trimming once every other day. The Bichon does not shed, but the loose hairs have a tendency to become entangled in the coat, which become matted. This is a very big reason this breed should not be an outdoor dog.

Grooming requirements are based on coat type and the size of the dog. This refers to the fact a small or tiny dog with a lot of hair, such as a long-haired Chihuahua, would rank lower than a large dog with a lot of hair. Dogs that are shown in the rank will require much more care and grooming than what is generally suggested. Either way, the care of the coat is an important consideration before purchasing a dog of any breed. If daily or weekly brushing is not a favorite past-time, then getting a long-haired dog that sheds is not a smart thing to do.

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