The Bichon Frise is descended from the Barbet or Water Spaniel, much like his cousin the Caniche and was originally known as a Barbichon, which was later shortened to Bichon. In addition, there are four different categories of the Bichon, which include the Bichon Bolognais, the Bichon Maltais and the Bichon Tenerife as well as the Bichon Havanais, and all of these categories came out of the Mediterranean region. The breed was always bred to be companion dogs and nothing more.
From the time it first began to be reared, the Bichon Frise has always been used as a companion dog and is not one that retrieves fowl from the water as its ancestor the Water Spaniel did, and instead, this toy sized breed is thus ideally suited for being a companion dog and not a hunting dog.
The Bichon Frise, from the time of the Renaissance was called the Bichon Tenerife, which obviously alludes to its origins from the Canary Islands. But its early masters, the Spanish sailors of the early fourteenth century, affectionately named it the Bichon Tenerife.
However, given the Bichon Frise’s ability to learn tricks and perform them well, he did not suffer too much on account of his fall from grace and so he survived until the time when the First World War came to an end.
However, in the 1930s he was bred once more by determined French breeders and that is when it was officially recognized as being the Bichon Frise by the Federation Cynologique International, and later in the fifties he was brought over to the United States where he was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1971 and ever since then, the Bichon Frise has enjoyed some amount of popularity and is the preferred pet of the working class.
The current development of the Bichon Frise starts towards the end of the nineteenth century when this tiny toy breed began to be associated with circuses that traveled about from one place to another, and though it had lost some of its royal stature and became the catch-penny dog of street beggars, it continued to thrive despite royals such as Queen Victoria preferring the Pekinese and Queen Elizabeth II being partial to Cardigan Welsh Corgis.
Even though the fortunes of the Bichon Frise have undergone a fair share of ups and downs, the breed survived because of its immensely likeable nature and also because of his ability to perform tricks, and after he came to the U.S. he has won over the heart of the working class who find him to be an excellent companion as also a show dog.
Thus, the one-time favorite of notable personalities such as Francis I and Henry III has now become darling of the average owner and thus continues to survive even in the modern age.
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