Small dogs are often just smiled at tiredly. But whoever does that does them an injustice. Because so-called lapdogs like the Bichon Frisé, which is often called Bichon Frize in Germany for the sake of simplicity, are intelligent and docile. If you are looking for the ideal family dog, you can find it in the curly little dog.
History of the Bichon Frize
The history of the Bichon Frisé goes back to ancient times. Depictions on vases and sculptures bear witness to the fact that small dogs with a poodle-like appearance were already known in ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.
They also appeared again and again in historical writings. Aristotle already reported about dogs with noticeably small stature. The Roman scientist Pliny even advises taking the little dogs to bed with you if you have a stomach ailment. They were used as living hot-water bottles, so to speak, with the positive side effect that the lively fellows were not only good for the body but also for the soul. Small dogs, which accompanied people without taking on hunting or watchdog duties, were already common throughout the Mediterranean region.
The direct ancestors of the Bichon Frisé probably come from Tenerife. Italian sailors brought them to port cities in the 14th century and the little dogs quickly became ladies’ favorites. They were called Bichon Frisé. “Bichon” translates to lap dog. Bichons were already widespread and enjoyed great popularity in the aristocratic world.
They found their way into the French court in particular. “Frisé” means something like curly. It flourished in the 15th and 16th centuries, but then fell into oblivion. It was only after the First World War that people in France and Belgium remembered the curly lap dog and started breeding it. The breed standards were established in 1933, and in 1934 the Bichon Frisé was registered as a breed with the umbrella organization of French dog breeders. The first litter in Germany was in 1956. The breed was recognized in 1959 by the FCI, the international umbrella organization.
Essence and Character
Bichon Frisés are happy dogs who like everyone and everyone. They also like to make friends with other animals. They love children and like to play with them. The intelligent dog easily learns tricks. He is very balanced and not easily disturbed.
He is often referred to as an “alarm system” because he is alert without being a barker. In addition to his active side, he also likes to cuddle. But don’t underestimate the little one. For one, he has power and wants to be active often. He is usually playful into old age. On the other hand, he tends to be stubborn and not easy to train. He is also very sensitive and there is one thing he does not want: to be alone. When he’s away from his people, he suffers, even if it’s just for a few hours.
Getting a Bichon Frize
A Bichon Frize isn’t very demanding and it’s easy to give the impression that he’s just running along with family life. Nevertheless, you should consider a few things if you want a little curly one to be your companion.
What do I need to pay attention to when purchasing?
Small dogs like the Bichon Frize are prone to hereditary diseases. It is therefore particularly important that you look around for a reputable breeder. The best way to find one is through a breed club. Don’t just rely on pictures on the internet.
An honest breeder who puts the dog’s well-being first will give you the opportunity to visit him and get to know the puppy and especially the mother. If necessary, you can also meet the father if he was not a stud dog from another breed. You should accept the offer and get an idea of where and how your future roommate was allowed to spend the first few weeks of his life. Because little is as formative for a dog as the first few weeks of his life. A reputable breeder will only breed from healthy, hereditary disease-tested dogs and will raise the puppies in a loving environment.
Puppy Development and Education
Bichon Frisés are considered easy to train and ideal beginner dogs. Nevertheless, you should inform yourself a little about dog training in advance. Because the puppies of the Bichon Frize are trainable, but they don’t want to be just followers of orders and some little ones can be stubborn if they don’t understand an order. In addition, Bichon Frisés are very sensitive and they suffer when their human is impatient and gets loud.
A lot of patience is required with Bichon Frisés. Visiting a puppy kindergarten and a dog school is therefore a good way, especially for dog beginners. But the dogs also benefit a lot, because they get to know other dogs, and their social behavior is encouraged.