A Bichon Frise is a small breed of dog. The Bichon Frise is a member of the Non-sporting Group of dog breeds in the United States, and a member of the Toy Dog Group in the United Kingdom.

The Bichon Frise is Mediterranean in origin, however, is often depicted as a French dog. Although the Bichon breed type are originally Spanish, used as sailing dogs, the French developed them into a gentle lap-dog variety.

The dogs found early success in Spain and it is generally believed that Spanish seamen introduced the early breed to the Tenerife in the Canary Islands.

In the 14th century, Italian sailors rediscovered the dogs on their voyages and are credited with returning them to continental Europe, where they became great favorites of Italian nobility. As was the style with dogs in the courts, their coats were cut "lion style", like a modern-day Portuguese Water Dog.

The American Kennel Club refers to the Bichon Frise as "merry" and "curious", and the breed standard calls for a dog that is "gentle mannered, sensitive, playful and affectionate."

The dogs are generally very sociable and do well with an owner who takes them along on outings and are affectionate and intelligent. If affiliated with a particular territory and encouraged by owners, they can become very territorial. Developed as a companion-dog breed, the Bichon Frise tends to get along well with both children and other animals.

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