Energy Level:Somewhat Active; Short bursts of energy are balanced with cuddly, loveable periods
Originally: The Mediterranean
Meet the Bichon Frise
Its name (pronounced BEE-shon Free-ZAY) is French for “fluffy white dog,” which is a very accurate way to describe these 10- to 20-pound four-legged cotton balls. Bred to be hypoallergenic, their white, curly coats rarely shed. This breed is easily trained and carries a charismatic, cheerful, and curious disposition. And their history of being pampered by French royalty makes them tolerant of being adorned in bows and bling, should you feel the urge.
What's Their Story?
From sailors to royals to entertainers, Bichons have quite the diverse résumé. The breed’s merry disposition was first put to work on the high seas, working with Spanish sailors. They went from rags to riches as a companion to Italian nobility in the 1300s and a favorite to French royalty in the 1500s. Several hundred years later they were further popularized as a dog of the people, tagging along with organ grinders and circus acts (utilizing their ability to quickly learn tricks). They made their way to the United States in the 1950s and became a breed to be reckoned with in 2001, when a Bichon named JR took Best in Show at Westminster.
Amiable and affectionate, these dogs make for wonderful family pets. They are easily trained and love to perform and please their people. Bichons are bundles of energy so they’ll need daily play sessions and walks—owners might even delight in watching their dog suddenly experience a burst of energy, known as the “Bichon Blitz,” during which they’ll comically sprint around their space. That period is usually followed by some serious cuddle time to satisfy their loveable side.