Other Names : Bichon Tenerife, Tenerife Dog, Bichon a Poil Frise
Country of Origin : Belgium/France
Dog Group : Toy
Centuries ago the Bichon Frise was popular in France and Spain. The Bichon has been depicted in portraits of the royal families of both countries. Bichon type dogs were developed on different islands in the Mediterranean and Tenerife is were the Bichon Frise is thought to have originated. The Bichon of Malta (known as the Maltese today) is a close relative. 14th century sailors are thought to have taken them over to Europe from Tenerife. In the 18th century the royal whims turned to other dogs and the Bichons became the dogs for commoners but their winsome ways and agility soon brought them fame as circus dogs and organ-grinders' dogs. After World War 1, the servicemen took a liking to these little dogs and, once again, the French breeders took notice of them. In 1934, a standard was drawn up and the breed was renamed by the president of the International Canine Federation, Madame Nizet de Leemans. Its proper plural is Bichons Frises.
Well-balanced dogs with smart appearances, Bichons are small, solid dogs. Their jet black eyes and noses contrast against their snow-white coats and their tails are like plumes which are curved and carried over their backs. Their silken coats which consist of spirally formed hair give them the appearance of powder puffs. Their bouncy stride gives them a happy, carefree presence.
Feeding & Ownership
Bichons are very inexpensive dogs to feed and normally eat very little. The main expenditure is their grooming requirements.
These are lively, happy little dogs who adore family life and, as such, make ideal children's pets. They love to accompany the family on all outings but can be left alone occasionally. They socialise well and are fine in the company of other dogs and pets in the household.
Owning a Bichon means spending a lot of time on grooming. The coat should be combed thoroughly every day to prevent matting and subsequent skin problems. Trimming is required occasionally to prevent it becoming too long. Check the hairs round the eyes regularly to ensure they are not causing irritation and clip excess hair between the pads of the feet. As this breed does not shed hair, it is important to remove dead hairs with a brush. To keep the show-ring appearance of a 'powderpuff', it is recommended to use a professional groomer every 5 or 6 weeks.