|Photo by gareth1953 New Profile|
As is the case with many breeds, the Bichon Frise saw a rise in popularity after a group of nobles became enamored with these dogs. In this case, it was the French nobility who used the dogs as companions, even going so far as to include the Bichon Frise in their social activities. It's believed that these dogs originated sometime in the 13th or 14th Century. They were quickly picked up by traders who saw the potential for profit from carrying these attractive little dogs to the rich in other countries.
Their natural intelligence combined with their small size has made them a favorite performing dog. They've traveled with any number of performing people, ranging from individuals who collected a few coins performing on street corners to the largest circuses. As a rule, the Bichon Frise will grow no larger than 10 to 12 pounds and some are much smaller.
|Blanca, the Bichon of the Operator of this Site - Photo: Werner Cappel|
Their small size has also made them a popular dog for people with very limited space. These little guys will play either indoors or out and you can often achieve sufficient exercise simply by playing games with them in the confines of your living room. They like to play with toys and will also get quite a lot of their exercise on their own. Some apartment dwellers have opted to box-train their Bichon Frise to eliminate the need for walking in inclement weather since these dogs can get the needed dose of activity inside.
As a rule, the Bichon Frise is solid white, though some variations occur and are generally acceptable. These dogs are never dark-colored but may range from a pure white to apricot or a very pale tan. Usually, they are solid colored with no color markings. Because of the close relationship to the Poodle, these dogs are often sought out by people who have allergies. Typically, the Poodle breeds - including the Bichon Frise - are non-shedding and may be tolerated by those with an allergy to most dog dander.
The intelligent eyes of the Bichon Frise seem almost to be questioning and the tail wagging is a sure sign of approval. Grooming is typically not an extensive task for the Bichon Frise. The coat consists of two separate layers. The under layers is much finer than the outer. For families, keeping the coat groomed to a fairly short length will ensure that the dog is easy to care for. One of the few routine tasks needed is cleaning the ears. Because these dogs have that "poodle-curl," the hair inside the ears tends to curl inward, causing potential problems. Plucking and cleaning should be performed routinely to keep the ear canal clean and clear of wax build up and infection.
Bichon Frise that are well-socialized love people and will quickly become happy members of almost any family. Their joyful nature makes them a sought-after pet, and their size and intelligence make them ideal for a show.