Showsight Presents The Bichon Frise

What unfortunately have never been addressed in either of the standards are two very import issues if one is to ful- ly understand the breed. The Bichon’s body length is only slightly longer than the breed is tall. That being the case, the breed’s back (from well laid back shoulder to set on of tail) must then be shorter than the dog is tall. This is an indisputable fact. In addition the Bichon has a well- arched long neck. Th is gives the breed a look that can be said very much akin to that of an elegant little show pony. Th e accompanying illustration (see Figure 2) well illustrates both the essence of what is wanted in the Bichon (the pony in the background) and what is not only highly undesirable but also reverts back to the drag of the breed—a dumpy long and low look that is completely void of elegance.

The greatest disservice the judge can do is to consider the short-legged or long-bodied Bichon for any award of consequence. Any good breeder will tell you the hardest thing to hold fast in a Bichon breeding program is the breed’s correct shape. That is what I look for f irst in judging the breed. The picture of the young bitch (see Figure 3) beautifully illustrates what the ideal silhouette of the breed of the breed is. Note the elegant line that begins at the top of head and curves beautifully down to the actual highest point of the withers. (If that line extends on down to the middle of the back it’s a dead give- away for an attempt to optically shorten the overlong back.) The elegant line on the well-made Bichon then continues on in a straight line to the set on of tail and then to the

(Fig. 2) Defining Breed Character: The drawing of these two ponies helps depict the desired breed character of the Bichon Frise. The elegant show pony in the background whose stance and long elegant neck represent the correct Bichon. This contrasts with the dwarf- like little fellow in the foreground.

“In addition the Bichon has a well- arched long neck. THIS GIVES THE BREED A LOOK THAT CAN BE SAID VERY MUCH AKIN TO THAT OF AN ELEGANT LITTLE SHOW PONY.”

(Fig. 3) The Bichon Frise Silhouette: The picture of the young Bichon bitch, Ch. Tomaura’s Great Expectations, beautifully illustrates the ideal breed silhouette—an elegant sweep of lines and curves that follow the natural outline of the correctly made body. (Photo by Bill Meyer)

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