What Are Bichon Frises?

The Bichon Frise is a small breed of domesticated dog with a fluffy white coat, a black nose and dark-colored eyes. The texture of its curly fur is similar to that of a poodle.

The Bichon Frise originates from Europe. It is descended from water spaniels, which were bred in the Mediterranean area as sporting dogs. Although its ancestors were hunters, the Bichon Frise was bred as a companion animal. It was a favorite of royalty between the 16th and 19th centuries. Circus performers also trained Bichon Frises for performance, due to the dogs' attractive appearance and high intelligence. Although the Bichon Frise is an old breed, the American Kennel Club did not officially recognize it until 1972.