The Curly-haired Bichon is a breed of dog originating from the Mediterranean. They are known for their fluffy, curly coat that is usually white in color. They are lively, affectionate and intelligent, making them popular pets for both families and individuals.
The Curly-haired Bichon is a small breed of dog, usually weighing between 6 and 11 kilos, and measuring between 23 and 28 centimeters at shoulder height. They have an average life expectancy of 12-15 years. According to the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, they belong to group 9, companion dogs.
Breed history in brief
Although in popular culture they are related to France, the Bichon de Pelo Curly is a dog of Spanish origin. It comes from the crossbreeding between water dogs and other smaller breeds in Tenerife, where it was taken by Spanish sailors during the 1200s and 1300s. However, it was in France where the custom of having him as a lap and companion dog developed, gaining his fame at the end of the 16th century. It can be seen represented in paintings of the time.
In addition to being a companion dog, it was also used in circuses and street shows because of its endurance and ease of training. Because of this tradition, the individuals that have reached the present day are hardy and resilient dogs.
The Curly-haired Bichon has a distinctive appearance, with a round face, dark eyes, black nose and small, triangular ears that hang close to the head. Its body is robust and compact, with a level back, short legs and a long, curly tail, curled over the back.
Its coat is curly and dense, with little shedding. The standard color is considered to be white, although a small amount of beige, cream or apricot color may be seen around the ears, muzzle, legs or body, but these colors do not normally exceed 10% of the body. It is a hypoallergenic breed and most of the hair it loses is trapped in the undercoat, so it is recommended to brush it two or three times a week.
They are sociable, affectionate and intelligent dogs, and also develop a cheerful and curious behavior. Due to their background, they are quite tireless and enjoy attention. Despite this, if they come to consider a territory as their own, they can become very territorial dogs and have no problem barking. These dogs intersperse long periods of calm with sudden bursts of activity and movement.
Common health problems
Like all dog breeds, the Curly Haired Bichon is susceptible to certain health problems. Some of the most common health problems in the breed include cataracts, diabetes, hip dysplasia, Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease and patellar luxation.
In addition to the above conditions, the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) recommends an annual eye and cardiac screening exam (optional).
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