7 Things About the Bichon You Probably Didn’t Know

Bichon Frise dog breed

Oh, the Bichon Frise—our favorite little puff ball of mischievous energy. We love Bichons at the Elite Bulldog kennel. Their unique combination of intelligence, curiosity and playfulness make them such a joy to have in the home. If you’re not familiar with the Bichon, you may think of them as being prissy dogs meant for aristocrats. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! Even if you’re an avid fan of the Bichon, here are a few facts about them you probably didn’t know, but totally should.

1. The term “bichon frise” is French for “fluffy white dog”.

Direct and to the point, even the name for the Bichon Frise is cute.

2. They’re hypoallergenic.

In fact, they’ve been bred to not shed at all! If animal dander gives you trouble, you'll love the all-white puff of the Bichon Frise's signature coat--it won't bother you in the slightest.

3. The Bichon originated in the Mediterranean.

They were also divided into four categories: the Bichon Tenerife, the Bichon Havanais, the Bichon Bolognaise, and the Bichon Maltais. You know these categories today as Maltese, Havanese, Bolognese, and, yes, Frisé.

4. The Bichon’s cheerfulness made them excellent traveling companions.

This allowed them to accompany Spanish sailors from continent to continent. It’s believed that it was these same Spanish sailors who introduced them to the Canary Island of Teneriffe, where they were discovered by Italian nobility.

5. The Bichon is a natural entertainer.

Dependable and easily trained, they were known for their ability to do tricks, as well as sitting still for royal portraits. This is why they’ve been as beloved by the royalty of France, Italy, and Spain, as they were by circuses and organ grinders in the streets. 

6. The Russians have their own version of the Bichon called the Bolonka.

They’re either bred with Poodles or Yorkshire Terriers and can be either pure white or multicolored.

7. They were the prized possessions of the French aristocracy.

French royalty loved Bichons.  They'd keep them in the royal court with them, and pamper them to high heavens. In fact, this practice of dolling up their dogs inspired the creation of a new word, in honor of their beloved fluff balls: bichonner, a French verb that means “to pamper.” Henry III of France loved his Bichon so much that he demanded that it be carried around in a basket wherever he went. What a life, right?

8. They make adorable cross breeds.

Have you ever seen Poochons, the unbelievably adorable mix of a Bichon and a Poodle?  Not only are they fluffy and good-natured, but they're incredibly intelligent! You get the best of both breeds when you cross a Bichon!