The last few years have seen many of us welcome a new four-legged friend into our homes, as the Kennel Club saw dog ownership soar to record levels.
But with 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your perfect pup.
There’s even academic guidance to seek out, with Psychologist Stanley Coren’s book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ ranking breeds by instincts, obedience, and the ability to adapt.
One dog that often appears at the top of people’s canine wishlists is the Bichon Frise – they are one of the UK’s most popular small dogs and have a range of positive attributes that make them a great family pet.
Here are 10 fun and interesting facts about the breed.
1. You can't leave that lion here
In the 14th century Bichons were hugely popular with the Italian nobility. They had the dogs carefully clipped to made them look like tiny lions. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
2. What's in a name
The Bichon Frise gets its name from the French 'bichon à poil frisé', which literally means 'curly haired dog'. It's certainly a pretty accurate description for these cute pups. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. Comic book hero
In Belgian author Herge's hugely successful comic book series The Adventures of Tintin, Snowy the dog is a Bichon Frise. He was originally called Milou in the French books. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. Well travelled
The ancestors of the modern Bichon Frise were often carried on ships by sailors and used as barter in far-flung destinations. Their sunny disposition meant they were both popular shipmates and easy to trade. Photo: Canva/Getty Images