Bichon Frise Guide Home

A Delightful Powder-Puff of a Dog!

Children swoon, ladies reach out to caress them, and men smile.  This is what the Bichon Frise does to people – it sweeps them off their feet – effortlessly and innocently.

While certain breeds intimidate or terrify humans because of their aggressive or menacing nature, this dog (also called a Teneriffe), will seduce you and melt your heart.  Its gentle manner, affectionate ways and playful temperament make it a natural charmer.

And what a charmer!  According to the Dog Book of the American Kennel Club, even the famous artist, Goya, could not resist painting this wonderful and soft creature.

Bichon Frise means “soft, curly hair.”  It was spotted in the Mediterranean during the 14th century, and said to be descended from the Barbet or Water Spaniel.  It was called a “barbichon” but the name was eventually shortened to “Bichon.”

No one can tell whether this breed was introduced to the Spanish island of Teneriffe or was already there when it was discovered, but one thing is sure:  the Bichon Frise has no Spanish blood, but it quickly became a favorite of the Italian aristocracy in the 14th century.

A century later, it was seen promenading happily in and out of royal apartments in France.  When it ceased to be a court favorite, it entertained people in circuses and fairs.  Dr. Bruce Fogle, a veterinarian and writer of dog books, said that this breed was also once used by Norwegian farmers to round up sheep.