Bichon is the name for a type of related dog breeds in the non-sporting category. They vary in appearance, but all have tails curled over their back, hair that doesn't readily shed, has a short snout, drop ears, and large, dark eyes. They were all bred to be amiable companion dogs and have a friendly, alert temperament. Their life expectancy is 15 years or more. The Bichon Frise, a type of bichon, is sometimes simply called a Bichon. The word bichon comes from Middle French bichon ('small long-haired dog'), a diminutive of Old French biche ('bitch, female dog'), from Old English bicce ('bitch, female dog'), related to Old Norse bikkja ('female dog') and German Betze ('female dog'). Some speculate that result of the apheresis, or loss of syllable, of the word barbichon ("small poodle"), a derivative of barbiche ("shaggy dog"); however, this theory seems chronologically unlikely (if not impossible) despite the apparent similarity of the two words. The French word bichon is attested from 1588, but barbichon does not appear until 1694.Bichons descended from the ancient ancestors of the poodle and the barbet. From this, the barbichon, a small curly-coated Maltese; and the Bichon Bolognese, or simply Bolognese. There is argument about whether the Tenerife is the original stock for all bichons, or whether the Maltese (which seems to be an old type found on the islands before even the barbet was known) is the progenitor of the bichons, through its breeding with barbets.
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