The English Toy Spaniel’s presence was first noted in England though it is thought that the breed originated in Asia, where most experts believe that they were given as gifts to royalty from Japan. Before 1903, each of the four color combinations of English Toy Spaniels were listed as separate breeds (King Charles, Prince Charles, Blenheim and Ruby) for showing, though mixed for breeding. In 1904 the American Kennel Club ruled that all four colors should be combined into one breed, called the English Toy Spaniel. Their short muzzle and small size are thought to have resulted from being bred with pugs in the early 1900’s. While the dogs were initially bred for hunting, they were not particularly successful at it due to their size. While they have hunting instincts, they prefer lounging as a lap dog. There are several beliefs about the history of the Bichon Frise. Some claim the breed has existed since before the time of Christ, while others believe that the breed comes from Maltese bloodlines. Many accounts point to the Bichon Frise originating from the Barbet or Water Spaniel and possibly the Poodle. This is where some believe the name “barbichon” is from and that it was later shortened to “bichon”. The Bichons were said to be separated into four categories: the bichon Bolognais, the bichon Havanais, the bichon Maltais and the bichon Teneriffe, all said to have come from the Mediterranean region. History points to the breed often being bartered with by sailors. The dogs were very popular in Spain and it is thought that Spanish sailors introduced the breed to Teneriffe, which is an island in the Canaries. In the 1300’s the dogs were rediscovered by Italian sailors and became popular among Italian nobility. During the Renaissance, the breed was popular in France, gaining even more popularity under Henry III. The Bichon Frise became less popular in the late 1800’s, a time where it was found to participate in fairs and circuses. The president of the International Canine Federation recommended that the breed be named the Bichon Frise in 1933. The first domestic litter of the Bichon Frise was born in the United States in 1956.