The Bichonaranian is a mixed breed, so they don’t have history as their own breed. With that being said, both of their parent breeds have their own rich histories.
The Pomeranian is the smallest member of the Spitz group of dogs, which includes the Samoyed, Alaskan Malamute, and Norwegian Elkhound. While today Poms weigh 5-7 pounds, they were originally closer to 30 pounds! Through many years of selective breeding, the Pomeranian has transformed into the tiny, fluffy dog we’re familiar with today. A Pomeranian named Dick was the first Pom entered into the American Kennel Club (AKC) stud book, in 1888. In 1892, the first Pom was entered in a dog show in New York. The AKC recognized the breed in 1900, and Pomeranians quickly grew in popularity in the United States. In 1909, the American Pomeranian Club was accepted as a member club of the AKC, and the club was designated as the Parent Club for the breed. Today, Pomeranians rank 14th among the 155 breeds and varieties registered by the AKC.
Despite being an old and popular breed, the Bichon Frise’s origin story is unclear. A common belief is that the Bichon first descended from the Barbet, a medium-sized, woolly-haired water dog. The word Bichon is believed to be derived from barbichon, which is the diminutive of the word barbet. The Barbichon family of dogs includes the Bichon Frise, the Bolognese, the Coton de Tulear, the Havanese, and the Maltese. All originated in the Mediterranean and have similar appearances and dispositions. The earliest records of the Bichon Frise breed are from the 14th century. French sailors brought the dogs home from Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands. It’s believed that Bichon Frise dogs were taken there by traders who used the Phoenician trade route, and that the Bichon Frise originally developed in Italy. Bichon Frises were brought to the United States in 1956. The breed became eligible to enter the AKC’s Miscellaneous Class in September 1971; they were admitted to registration in the American Kennel Club Studbook in October 1972. In April 1973, the breed became eligible to show in the Non-Sporting Group at AKC dog shows. In 1975, the AKC recognized the Bichon Frise Club of America.