Is a Bichon Frise right for me.

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Pocket Wolf
Barked: Tue Feb 1, '11 11:35am PST 
My friend had a bichon that knew the names of all of her toys and would go get them by name. She knew how to ring a bell to be let outside, and all of her obedience tricks in addition to CGC. I would hesitate to call a dog stupid, just because it won't do what you tell it.

They are a breed that needs a job to do in order to be happy. They will make up their own jobs if you don't give them one, even if that job is "annoy the human" Usually a good job for a bichon is doing things to please people. These dogs absolutlely live for making people happy, which is why they're excellent as therapy dogs, Service dogs, and circus dogs. If I remember right, they were originally bred to work on ships, taking care of rats and entertaining sailors on long voyages.

A diva bichon is one that is suffering psychologically.

Member Since
Barked: Wed Mar 16, '11 3:49am PST 
Excellent posts, as usual. What about the warnings about the difficulties with "potty training" Bichons? Also, as we are planning on doing a fair amount of RVing, barkers can be a problem among RVers, is it common for Bichons to go beyond a "hello" or "warning bark?" We are interested in training, have done a fair amount of it, even made some progress with some very difficult "rescue dogs," but we're not Cesar and are not willing to dedicate our lives to a dog that is too problematic. But we don't give up easily.

Molly - wants to be with- the people
Barked: Sat Apr 16, '11 12:16am PST 
We have a Coton de Tulear which is a small, fluffy, generally white dog that is related to the Bichon. The Cotons are not as yappy as most small dogs. They are hypo-allergetic, considered not shedding, get along with cats and other dogs in the family, and are low exercising pooches. They do require grooming and visits for hair cuts unless you do it yourself, but this breed is one of the most people cuddling breeds you'll find. Our Molly wants to be with the people and preferably in their lap or curled by your side or feet. Full of life and fun they are known for dancing on their hind feet.

Do your reseach and take a dog breed quiz to see possible suggested breeds that match your needs. Just remember dogs do take more work than cats. Hope you find you future pooch.

Miss- Scarlett

Pick me- up...please!
Barked: Sat Apr 16, '11 9:40am PST 
I agree with Mattie-May big grin

I have heard from a few Bichon folks that they can be a little more difficult to housetrain. But that may be due to WHERE they got their Bichon. Puppy mill dogs including Pet Shops (no matter what the breed) are more likely going to have issues.

Barked: Sat Apr 16, '11 11:11am PST 
Poss. a little related to where you get them, but they are just hard to housebreak on the whole. Stiff wind outside, grass too wet, too cold, too hot, etc. can have them looking at you like "yeah right!".

At one point Toby understood that we wouldn't allow him back inside without seeing him pee, so he started fake peeing! I mean lifting his leg on a bush, staring at us, and then trying to come back in with a happy dog grin even though nothing came out of him! big laugh For a while we couldn't understand how he was peeing outside 20 times a day, and then had enough left in him to have purposeful-accidents!

He's seven now and thankfully, finally caught on a year and half ago. We had given up hope, and just went with belly bands. I think Bichon owners must keep belly band makers in business!! laugh out loud

The devil made- me do it!
Barked: Sun Apr 17, '11 6:26pm PST 
Bichons tend to be harder to housebreak for the uneducated owner. First, I believe they don't develop good control until age 5 months. They are pretty much like the little 4 year old child who waits to the last second before saying, "I need to go potty!" Second, since they are generally always looking for attention it can be hard to learn their signal for needing to go out. Training with bells is an excellent way to avoid missing the dog's signal. So, if you get a bichon puppy (or a bichon who was not fully trained in a previous home) then you will need several weeks of intensive potty training. Be prepared to have it pretty much consume your life for those weeks (nothing worthwhile is ever easy). I trained both of mine to potty on command using treats and applying the word "potty" to the act when they did it. I also maintain an indoor potty patch for when I'm not home or too busy to respond. My first bichon took 3 months to fully train. I had trained many other puppies, but never a bichon and I was not well prepared. I was better prepared with the second one and she was fully trained in 4 weeks. One thing to note: Bichons tend to be very sensitive. If you yell at or scold them, you lose relationship points with them and they become more resistant to training. Repeated yelling or negative training techniques cause them to quickly shut down due to anxiety. Often this is not recognized and the dog is blamed and thought to be stupid or untrainable. Yes, at that point it is untrainable. You have to use the positive and patient approach for success with this breed. So, do your homework. Set up your house and plan your routines with potty training in mind.
H, my angel- in heaven.

Barked: Mon Apr 18, '11 11:14pm PST 
I'm not sure how long it took Hydee to be potty trained. She was 6 months old and already working on it with her previous owner. Being pretty young myself, it wasn't really on my "things to remember" list.

My family had never owned a dog before though, and I don't recall it being particularly frustrating or taking forever.

She's great at letting me know when she needs to go. And I can also ask her if she needs to go "out" and she either will run to the door, or just look at me from where she is laying.
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