The Bichon originated in the Mediterranean area. They appeared in Italy and then Spain where painters often included them in their works. They were also popular in France and Belgium where they became nobility favorites during the Renaissance era. The breed was introduced into the United States in the 1950’s, received AKC recognition in 1973 and has since become highly successful in the show ring. The Bichon excels in Obedience and Agility and has established himself as an outstanding therapy dog. With his outgoing personality and social attitude, the Bichon has historically been known as a fine companion dog.