The Bichon Frise is of Mediterranean ancestry. These lively and affectionate dogs found their way from the Mediterranean area to the Canary Islands, specifically to the Island of Tenerife as early as the 1300’s. Believed to be the traveling companions of Spanish sailors, who may have even used them as items of barter. Known as one of the most gentle and sweet breeds, these affectionate lap dogs whom were once fit for royal entertainment love to be the center of attention.
Appearance and Grooming
The Bichon’s coat is non-shedding, however, that doesn’t make this breed hypoallergenic. The non-shedding coat means less dander in the environment and sometimes fewer allergic reactions. But Bichons still produce dander, and can still cause allergic reactions. They are a small, sturdy dog with a slightly rounded head. The muzzle is not pointed, and has a slightly pronounced stop. The round eyes are black or dark brown. The ears are dropped covered in long hair. Predominantly white, this breed also comes in colors of cream, gray or apricot. This dog should be regularly groomed every 4 to 6 to weeks to keep its coat soft and clean.
These self-assured and independent little balls of fur are full of love and affection. They are sociable by nature and thrive best in the company of people and other pets. Though not a barker or yappy by nature, if these dogs are not socialized early on they can exhibit signs of small dog syndrome which can lead to high levels of anxiety.
Family and Companionship
The Bichon can be a wonderful addition to the family, though this may not be the right breed for families with young children or rambunctious older ones. These pups can easily be injured if play is too rough or even snap at a child if they're frightened. Because they love to be in the presence of company this dog will do especially well in an environment where someone is always around.
They may be small, but these dogs are incredibly active. They need daily walks and play. Please do not substitute all play as ample exercise as their primal instincts still require them to walk. They will do well in a fenced in yard or larger play area where they can freely romp around.
Training and Socialization
The Bichon is an intelligent dog and is generally obedient and easy to train. Because of their ancestral history and entertaining for royalty, these playful pups love to learn tricks. While tricks are great, it is recommend obedience training should come first in order to build a bond while establishing rules and structure. Since these dogs in general, are considered lap dogs, they tend to be clingier than many other breeds. Early socialization will ensure a confident and healthy, happy puppy.