History of the Bichon Frise


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Bichon Frise Breed History About Bichons

While some believe that the Bichon Frise existed before the time of Christ, others claim that the dog descended from Maltese bloodlines, and even others think this breed was a result of crossing of a miniature spaniel with a miniature poodle and Cayenne dogs. However, many accounts suggest that the bichon frise breed came from the barbet or water spaniel, and perhaps the poodle. It was from this ancestry that some claim the name "barbichon" was derived, which was later shortened to "bichon." It is said that the bichons were separated into four divisions including the the bichon Bolognais, the bichon Havanais, the bichon Maltais, and the bichon Teneriffe - all of which are said to have originated in the Mediterranean region. History suggests that this breed was often used in bartering by sailors. These dogs were particularly popular in Spain, and it is believed that Spanish sailors were the ones to introduce the breed to Teneriffe, an island in the Canaries. It was in the 1300s that sailors from Italy were thought to have rediscovered the bichon, and the dogs soon became popular with Italian nobility. The breed was also successful in France during the Renaissance, but it became most popular under the rule of Henry III in the early to mid-1500s. Spain was also very fond of the powder-puff dog, and its likeness can be found in paintings by Goya, a famous Spanish artist. A renewed interest in the bichon came while Napoleon III was in power, but in the late 1800s. Although the breed’s colorful past includes use as a circus dog, today the Bichon is enjoyed primarily as a companion animal. It wasn't until 1933 that the official standard of the bichon was drawn up by the Societe Centrale Canine of France - and it was called by two names - "Teneriffe" and "bichon." The name bichon frise was proposed by the president of the International Canine Federation, "frise" relating to the soft, curly coat. The first domestic litter of these little dogs was born in the United States in 1956, and two different breeders obtained bichons in 1959 and 1960. These two breeders are credited with the breed's development in America. By 1970 there was sufficient interest in the Bichon Frise to warrant its admission into the Miscellaneous Class of the American Kennel Club, and subsequently the Bichon Frise was granted offical breed status in the non-sporting group in 1973 followed in Canada in 1975.

The Bichon is a naturally gentle, playful dog. They love activity and require regular exercise. Their hair grows continually and does not shed, so extensive grooming is a must to prevent mats. Bichons also tend to be a good breed for allergy sufferers because they have hair not fur..