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Description of Bichon Frise

The Breed History

The history of the breed is centered in the Mediterranean. The Barbet Water Spaniel was the chief progenitor of the breed, and the name Bichon evolved from Barbichon, the intermediate ancestor. Four regional varieties (Bichon Havanais, Bolognais, Teneriffe and Maltais) developed. They were favored companions to French and Italian nobility. Frise is a French term to describe their frizzy, soft hair. They were brought to United States in the mid 1950s, and the first registry in the AKC studbook dates to 1972.

Breeding for Function

This dog was bred for companionship, though their origins from water spaniels give them talents that would be useful for hunting. They were popular in Belgium, but also became a favored trick-performing dog in the late 1800s.

Physical Characteristics

Height at Withers: 9.5-11.5 " (24-29 cm).

Weight: 7-12 lb (3-6 kg).

Coat: Their distinctive white coat is double, with a dense soft inner coat and curly fine outer coat. It is springy and stands up when groomed to give an appearance described as "powder puff". Some dogs have a hint of cream, buff, gray or apricot to the hairs. They have high grooming needs including regular trimming, and are low shedder and low allergen dogs.

Longevity: 14-16 years. Oldest recorded was 21 yrs.

Points of Conformation: This dog is sturdily built and the profuse haircoat is a distinct feature of the breed. The skull is somewhat rounded, a distinct stop is present, and the nose is large and pigmented black. The round eyes are dark brown and palpebral margins and skin around (halo) is black. Ears are pendulous with fine leathers, and the neck is long with a high head carriage. Limbs are straight, and the feet compact. The topline is fairly level, and thorax is deep with moderately sprung ribs; the abdomen has a moderate tuck. Slightly longer than high, they should appear to move effortlessly. Plumed tails are carried over the back, reaching about half way up to withers but the tail bones should not be resting on the back, and a corkscrew tail is considered a serious fault.

Thanks for description - Animal life club

Photo Gallery of Bichon Frise