Bichon Frize (French lapdog)


History

The Bichon Frize dog breed is small, snow-white lumps that look more like plush toys. If you add a pink ribbon to the look, it will be simply impossible to distinguish them. As often happens, scientists cannot say exactly how and where these dogs came from, however, there is a widespread opinion among dog breeders that the Bichon Frize descended from the barbichon, who was also called the barbet.

The barbet had a larger size, and it is still unclear how it lost more than half of its weight, decreased, and most importantly, with whom these dogs were crossed to get modern Bichons. The first written mention of the Bichon Frize dog breed dates back to the 14th century, when French maritime journals mentioned small white dogs living on the island of Tenerife and that many French sailors took them home with them.

On the other hand, there is another opinion, which claims that in the 14th century these dogs were brought to Europe not by the French, but by the Italians. As for how dogs appeared in Tenerife, opinions also differ – some claim that they were brought to the islands by traders from Italy who followed the Phoenician trade route, while others insist that the breed was bred and brought to the island by the Spaniards, and the Italians, accordingly, brought them to the continent.

The French, in turn, after the invasion of Italy in the 16th century, took some of the dogs home. In fact, whichever version turns out to be correct, now this breed is one of the most popular in Europe and America, is very recognizable and has many fans, including in the CIS countries.

Things were about the same in the Middle Ages – after the dogs came to Europe, they gained immense popularity among aristocrats and royal families.

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Sometimes, the love of royalty reached the point of absurdity. So, the English king Henry III adored his Bichon Frize dogs so much that he carried them everywhere with him in a special basket, and even sometimes hung this basket around his neck.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, interest among the nobility in this breed faded away, they began to be treated like an ordinary dog, and various theaters, circuses, wandering organ grinders, etc. began to use them in street performances. However, after the First World War, the situation improved, and in 1934, on 18 October, the first Bichon Frize was admitted to the French Kennel Club studbook.


Description

Bichon Frize are small dogs, at the first glance at which you immediately understand what an ornamental breed is. They have a fragile body, paws are slightly shorter than the average, which, nevertheless, are proportional to the body, the rounded muzzle of the eyes is black, the neck is thin, of medium length, the ears are not docked, they hang down on the sides of the head. The tail is pulled up and usually lies on the back. The coat is curly, white, evenly covers the whole body.


Personality

Bichon Frize are very active, have a large supply of energy, like walks and various entertainment. It is important for them to communicate with people, especially – with the owners and family members. Due to the fact that they have an incredibly cute appearance to themselves, the owners sometimes show excessive care, which, subsequently, negatively affects the character of the animal.

There is a great danger of making your pet spoiled and capricious, and this, believe me, does not bring anything good either for the dog or for you, as it spoils the character and complicates your life. For the Bichon Frize breed, attention is very important, they like to be in the center of events, to feel the love of others.

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Although these dogs have a certain degree of internal independence, they do not like to be alone, preferring the company of friendly pets or loved ones. Moreover, a dog can make a mess at home if he is alone all day. Especially when she’s spoiled.

They treat children well, they see them as a partner for games and entertainment, however, due to the fact that the Bichon Frize has a very fragile physique, children need to be told about the correct handling of the animal. Especially when it comes to puppies.

Bichon treats other pets and cats, in particular, well, by the way, if you are often not at home and the animal must be alone, it is better to have a friend for him – another dog or cat. Despite its small size, the Bichon Frize has a fairly developed intellect, remembers commands well and learns quickly. Needs early socialization like most dogs.


Training

This breed lends itself well to training – the main thing here is to use the right approach. They remember commands well, but the main thing to pay attention to is the development of obedience and behavior correction. If desired, the Bichon Frize breed can be trained in a variety of commands, and even some tricks at home.

Despite the developed intellect, sometimes it is difficult for them to concentrate on the process of learning and training for a long time, and therefore do not forget to take breaks for games, and generally present training in a playful way. It is imperative to reward your dog for doing the tasks correctly.

To reinforce the material, repeat it in your daily life, as well as complicate tasks by introducing distractions in the form of smells, sounds, and other people. Usually, decorative breeds are taught basic commands, but in the case of the Bichon Frize, you can go further.

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Care

The Bichon Frize breed of dogs needs proper care, which mostly consists of combing and grooming. Moreover, dogs are usually sheared in special hairdressing salons, although some owners are trained to do this on their own. Also, always keep your pet’s ears and eyes clean, and trim the nails about once a week. You need to bathe your dog 2-3 times a week.


Common diseases

The breed is prone to certain health problems, including:

  • stones and bladder infections;
  • allergy;
  • Bichons are also known for their flea sensitivity;
  • knee dislocation;
  • dislocation of the patella;
  • vaccine sensitivity – Symptoms usually include hives, facial swelling, soreness, and lethargy. In rare cases, a vaccine-susceptible dog can develop complications and even die;
  • dysplasia of the hip joint;
  • As you age, your dog may develop arthritis (associated with hip dysplasia);
  • juvenile cataract.

Interesting Facts
1. The name of the Bichon Frize breed in French means “curly bloom”.
2. The Bichon Frize is depicted in a number of works by the famous Spanish artist Francisco de Goya.
3. There were 4 types of Bichon breed, namely Bichon Maltese, Bichon Bolognese, Bichon Havanay and Bichon Tenerife.
4. They were brought to Europe by sailors who exchanged Bichons for other food products.
5. They were popular little dogs that were often seen performing in circuses. They are quick and smart, so learning new tricks was easy.

Did you know?
In 2001, JR Bichon (full name: Champion Special Times Just Right) was named Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show at Madison Square Garden in New York. This was the first such victory for the breed.

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