The Bichon Frise’ (pronounced Bee-SHON Free-ZAY) is a small dog, and very similar looking to a Poodle. Whilst they are recognised as a French dog, the Bichon actually originated from Spain’s Canary Islands. They weren’t introduced into Australia until 1976 and the first litter was registered in March of 1977.
Bichon's are ancestors of the Barbet (Water Spaniel), which they were named after, originally referred to as Barbichon, and later shortened to just Bichon, which is French for “Lap Dog”.
They spent many years as sailing dogs, keeping sailors company whilst at sea, however were used for bartering, where eventually they
Bichon’s are small dogs, that weigh no more than 10kg, and stand at around 23 – 30cms tall.
They are feisty (but not yappy) yet affectionate, playful but gentle, and cheerful yet sensitive.
They have a curly white coat, (Bichon is French for curly), and dark round eyes and a little black nose. Whilst they are small, they are sturdy little dogs. Their coats whilst curly do not shed, so are great for those who suffer from allergies.
Bichons are playful and love company; however, they do not need excessive exercise. They are friendly and get along well with other dogs and make for excellent guard dogs.
The Bichon is notoriously difficult to house train, so it may take some time and patience to teach them where to toilet, however they are very competent and with time can be taught most things – being a breed that thrives in the show ring for both breed and trick competitions.
Being a small dog with a big personality they are at risk of ‘little dog syndrome’ so thrive on having a calm, assertive pack leader. They love being part of the family however need their boundaries, otherwise can take over very quickly.
With the right time and training, the Bichon Frise’ will quickly become a stable minded, loving, trust-worthy family member.