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Small but sturdy, the Bichon Frise is one of the world’s “personality dogs.” Pronounced as bee-shon free-zay, these irresistible canine comedians with a love of mischief are distinguishable for their black eyes and fluffy white coat.
See the fact file below for more information on the Bichon Frise or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Bichon Frise worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Just like other breeds, the origin of the Bichon Frise is still debatable. Some believe that these dogs are the descendants of the Barbet, a medium-sized, woolly water canine, and that the term Bichon came from “barbichon,” which is the shortened version of the word barbet.
- The Bichon Frise, Bolognese, Coton de Tulear, Havanese, and Maltese make up the Barbichon family of dogs, all of which came from the Mediterranean and have identical looks and disposition.
- Early documentation of the Bichon Frise date from the 14th century, when French sailors imported these breeds from Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands. Some assumed that these dogs were taken there by their traders who took the Phoenician trade route, and that the Bichon Frise initially developed in Italy.
- Some other historians suggest that Spanish seamen imported the Bichon Frise to Tenerife and, in the 14th century, Italian sailors carried them back to the continent. Based on this version of the Bichon Frise’s history, when the French troops seized Italy in the 1500s, they brought a number of these dogs back to France as war booty.
- Despite the different stories of how the Bichon Frise arrived in Europe, these dogs instantly became a great favorite with nobility. They were famous in royal courts during the rule of France’s King Francis I and England’s King Henry III in the 16th century; the latter was so fond of his Bichons that he brought them wherever he traveled in a special basket that he hung from his neck. These breeds turned out to be the favorites of Spanish royalty and even of a number of painters, such as Goya, who included a Bichon in some of his works.
- Interest in these dogs stayed strong during the reign of Napoleon III, but then Bichons declined in royalty popularity until the latter part of the 1800s. During those years, they were viewed as a common dog, sometimes owned by organ grinders or circus performers; there are also instances when these dogs were trained to aide blind people. Their intelligence and appeal saved their line from becoming extinct during this period.
- The Bichons gained the French breeders’ interest after World War I. On March 5, 1933, the Société Centrale Canine of France adopted the official breed standard, where these dogs had two names: Tenerife and Bichon. They were also acknowledged by an international kennel club, Fédération Cynologique Internationale, that same year. Madame Nizet de Leemans, the FCI president, changed the name of the breed into Bichon à poil frisé, meaning “Bichon with the curly coat,” and the moniker was shortened to Bichon Frise.
- On October 18, 1934, the first Bichon Frise was added to the studbook of the French Kennel Club.
- These dogs were imported to the United States in 1956, where they became eligible to join the AKC’s Miscellaneous Class in September 1971 and were registered in the studbook of the AKC in October 1972.
- In April 1973, the Bichons were already allowed to join the Non-Sporting Group at AKC dog shows. Two years later, the AKC acknowledged the Bichon Frise Club of America.
- Both sexes stand about 9 to 11 inches tall and weigh 7 to 12 pounds.
- Bichons have soft and inquisitive expressions. Their dark round eyes are set in the skull to look directly forward. Overly large or bulging eyes and almond shaped, obliquely set eyes are considered as faults according to the AKC breed standard.
- Their curved neck is long, sitting behind an erect head which blends naturally into the shoulders. Their chest is well-formed and broad enough to allow free and unrestricted movement of the front legs. The lowest portion of the chest reaches at least the elbow. Their ribcage is slightly sprung and extends back to a short and compact loin.
- Bichons have shoulders that are laid back to a forty-five degree angle. Their upper arm prolongs well back, letting the elbow position directly below the withers when seen from the side.
- Their legs are of medium built; straight, without any bow or curve in the forearm or wrist. Bichons have compact and round feet that point straight forward, almost similar to those of a cat.
- Bichons have soft and dense undercoats and coarse outercoats. The texture of their coats provide a delicate but significant feel to the touch which resembles plush or velvet and when tapped springs back. When bathed and brushed, their coat stands off their small bodies, giving a powder puff look.
- Being cheerful is the Bichon Frise’s exceptional trait. This breed loves being loved, likes being the center of attention, and is such a charmer to his family, neighbors, groomer, or veterinarian.
- His mischievous, independent streak does not imply he likes to be alone. As a matter of fact, this breed loathes being left unattended and usually experiences separation anxiety if abandoned for a number of hours. During these times, Bichons may turn destructive, chewing and wrecking anything they see. Obviously, these dogs are not suitable for people who are always away from home for such long periods.
- Bichons are very intelligent; they need to learn proper canine manners at an early age; thus, it is advisable for owners to sign up for obedience training. Aside from being fast learners, these breeds are also pro at tricks and some canine sports.
- Just like with any other dog, owners should let their Bichons practice early socialization – exposure to diverse people, sights, sounds, and experiences.
- The AKC recognizes the Bichon Frise as “merry” and “curious,” and the breed standard for these canines is that they should be “gentle mannered, sensitive, playful, and affectionate.”
- Patellar luxation. Also referred to as “slipped stifles,” this condition is common to small dogs, caused when the patella is not properly lined up. This problem results in lameness in the leg or an abnormal walk, usually a skip or a hop.
- Bladder problems. Bladder stones and bladder infections usually plague Bichons. This condition usually leads to the formation of bladder stones, including too much protein, magnesium, and phosphorus in the diet or long durations between urination. Bladder infections can be determined through bacterial or viral infections.
- Bichons are prone to food allergies (symptoms include dry, itchy skin, too much scratching or licking, bald patches, and a number of hotspots), contact allergies (caused by a reaction to flea powders, dog shampoos, and other chemical substances), and inhalant allergies (brought about by airborne allergens like pollen, dust, and mildew). Curing allergies depends on the cause and may include diet restrictions, medications, and changes in environment.
- Vaccination sensitivity. Some Bichons are distressed by this sensitivity. They usually experience symptoms such as hives, facial swelling, soreness, and lethargy. There are also cases where a vaccine-sensitive canine will acquire complications or even die.
- Hip Dysplasia. An abnormality in the hip socket, causing crippling lameness and painful joint inflammation, such as arthritis.
- Juvenile Cataracts. An eye condition which causes difficulty in seeing, usually affecting dogs at an early age. This happens when the Bichon’s eyes have a cloudy appearance on the lens.
- Just like any other small breed, Bichons are prone to urolithiasis, stones found in the urinary tract. Therefore, diet is a vital part of taking care of Bichons; therapeutic diets and increased water intake may control this condition.
- Since these dogs have two layers of white coats, brushing and combing is a necessity. If left unattended, their coats can form mats and tangles, leading to a number of skin diseases.
- Tearstains are not uncommon for these breeds, which can later on lead to certain eye problems or food allergies. It is best for owners to have their Bichons checked by their vets if tearstaining turns into a problem.
Bichon Frise Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Bichon Frise across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Bichon Frise worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Bichon Frise which is one of the world’s “personality dogs.” Pronounced as bee-shon free-zay, these irresistible canine comedians with a love of mischief are distinguishable for their black eyes and fluffy white coat.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Bichon Frise Facts
- BEE-shon FREE-zay
- Breed Standards
- Fluffy Facts
- Growing Up Bichon
- Bichon Frise FAQs
- White vs White
- Where the White Dogs at?
- Taking Care of a Bichon Frise
- Pros and Cons of a Bichon
- Adopting a Bichon Frise
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Link will appear as Bichon Frise Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 3, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.