The Bichon Frisé, also known as the Bichon à poil fries, the Bichon Tenerife and the Canary Islands Lap-dog, descended from the Barbet or Water Spaniel in the Mediterranean region. This breed is most well-known for its white powder-puff appearance and affectionate, merry temperament. Throughout history, the Bichon Frisé has been beloved by Italian, French and Spanish royalty and painters alike, and today they remain an extremely popular house dog. The breed was accepted for entry into the Miscellaneous class of the American Kennel Club in 1971. Bichons were admitted to registration in the AKC Stud Book in 1972 and to regular show classification in the Non-Sporting Group in 1973.
The preferred Bichon Frisé stands 9 ½ to 11 ½ inches tall at the withers and weighs between 7 and 12 pounds. Males or females under 9 inches or over 12 inches are disqualified from the AKC breed standard. While Bichons do not shed excessively, their fluffy double coat requires daily brushing and frequent trimming. It is acceptable for them to have shadings of buff, cream or apricot around the ears or in very small areas elsewhere on the body. A cheerful attitude is the hallmark of this breed.