Bichon Frise

History/Evolution:

Originating in the Mediterranean area in the 13th century, the Bichon Frise is believed to be the descendant of large water spaniels and small, often white, dogs. Spanish sailors traded the cheerful breed and transported dogs from continent to continent, and Bichons found their way into French royal courts and Spanish paintings. In the late 1800s, the breed fell out of favor, but it survived by performing with street artists and in circuses and fairs. Bichons make excellent pets.


Size:

Small; 91/2 to 111/2 inches, 14 to 16 pounds.

Color:

White.

Temperament:

Playful, cheerful, friendly, and affectionate. Good with children, other dogs and pets, and strangers. Doesn’t like to be alone. Some bark a lot.

Best owner:

Aspiring pet groomer.

Needs:

Daily exercise, attention, patient housetraining, intense grooming (daily brushing to prevent mats, occasional trims).

Life expectancy:

12 to 15 years.