The Bichon Frise on the other hand is an old breed that was incredibly popular in 16th century Spanish courts. Originating on the island of Tenerife, they were firstly known as the ‘Barbichon’, meaning ‘little barbet’, the barbet being a local water spaniel, indicating that the Bichon Frise may have been a cross between these and small Spanish lapdogs.
The Bichon Frise (then called the Bichon Tenerife) remained popular in the Spanish courts right through to the 19th century, and even captivated the hearts of the French nobility as well. For some reason however they fell out of favour and they went from being dogs of nobility to largely being circus performers. Thankfully their appealing looks and their trainability meant that they excelled, finding a performing niche for themselves until French and Belgian breeders took an interest in them and worked to re-establish the breed, renaming them Bichon à Poil Frisé which means ‘the bichon with the curly coat’.
The Cavachon can have any combination of the two breeds in their appearance, behaviour and temperament.