Fluffy, fun-loving and affectionate, the Bichon Frise belongs to a family of breeds that includes the Havanese, Maltese and Bolognese. Originally from the Mediterranean, the Bichon was used as barter by sailors, thereby spreading the breed throughout the world. Bichon Frise means ‘curly lapdog’ in old French, and this exotic little dog appears in several of Goya’s paintings. Having had a position at court for several centuries, by the 19th century it had fallen out of fashion and was reduced to performing in circuses. Now hugely back in favour, Barbra Streisand and Coleen Rooney are enthusiasts.