The Early Years

The History of the Bichon Frise

The Early Years


History is the path that takes you from the past into the future. In BFCA, that path has included both people and dogs. We are going to be posting photos with pedigrees of some of the Bichons that were first shown in the United States along the path to recognition by the American Kennel Club. There are also people who made recognition possible and some of their stories and memories will also appear here from time to time. The intent is to cover historically important information from the first days in the early 1960s and for a couple of decades after. We begin with a brief overview of the Bichon Frise in Europe and during its early years in this country.

Because this is a work in progress, you will want to check often to see who or what has been added. You should be able to find ancestors of today’s Bichons if you go back in your dog’s pedigree to the earliest generations. It will be fun to see if YOUR dog resembles those great great grandparents. You can also detect how the breed began as a collection of different shapes and sizes to become a very uniform breed.

For example, one pedigree that influenced Bichons around the world will be accompanied by photos of these early dogs that produced many champions and which have had generations of champions to follow. These dogs and others from the early days were bred to a standard that continues to be the word picture breeders follow today, with only slight changes. It is the standard that gives us an image of the perfect Bichon that we endeavor to breed. Other photos will show that the earliest Bichons in the US were still far from that standard of perfection. There has never been a perfect dog in any breed but striving to achieve that perfection is or should be the aim of everyone who breeds any purebred dog. To do less shows disrespect for the breed and for the efforts of those who have worked so hard to produce healthy, happy dogs with sound bodies and happy temperaments.

Enjoy this photographic and written history of Bichons. Check often to see what is new that is old. Begin by reading about the early years when the Bichon Frise was just a little pet dog that came to this country from Europe to become one of the favorite breeds around the world. Did you know that they were first shown in full coat, as they were shown in Europe? Yes, that powder puff look began here. That is only one of the interesting tidbits from the early years.

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