The cuddly Bichon Frisé is believed to have originated in Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa. Its ancestors were brought to Europe over 400 years ago, and became especially popular members of the Spanish and French aristocracy. Support for the breed declined during the nineteenth century, however, and it became associated with organ-grinders, who relied on its attractive appearance to induce generous support from onlookers.
Coat Type/Colour: Curly, Pure White
Height: Up to 12 inch (30.5 cm)
Weight: 7 to 12 lb (3.2 – 5.4 kg)
Nature: Easy to train; a good companion
In the circus ring, its intelligence endeared it to another audience, but it was to be the First World War that began the welcome rise in popularity of these dogs. Soldiers returning home with the Bichons meant that attention became focused on the breed in Britain. A standard was first established in France in 1933, and the breed was exported to the United States by a Monsieur Picault and his wife in 1956.
The coat colour of the Bichon Frisé is pure white, with the hairs being naturally curly. Unfortunately, to retain the immaculate appearance of these little dogs, a considerable amount of time must be devoted to grooming. Its white coat can become muddy on even a short walk. In such cases, it is best to let the mud dry and then brush it out of the coat, rather than washing the legs frequently. It is usual for puppies to have a less elaborate coat than older dogs. The Bichon Frisé should prove a relatively easy breed to train and makes a good companion.