How to train a bichon frise dog

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The basics of training your Bichon Frise from when you bring your puppy home to a well-mannered adult dog.

Bichon Frises first arrived in the United States in 1956.  Originally a Mediterranean pet, Bichon Frise were a court favorite in Italy and France.  From lap dog to circus dog; show dog to good-natured pet, Bichon’s are a breed of dog that love humans, are playful and very intelligent. 

Crate Training

raining a Bichon Frise is not difficult if the owner is committed to consistency.  Prior to being picked by a Bichon Frise as their new owner, being prepared is key to the success of the training.  These puppies are best house-trained in a suitably-sized dog crate; one that is big enough for an adult Bichon to stand and turn around freely.  Include a small blanket, old rug or towel for comfort.  Until your puppy is past the chewing stage there is no need for anything more expensive.
    
Introduce your puppy to the crate as soon as he/she arrives home.  The crate should be used only as a pleasant space—for sleeping, eating and playing.  Avoid using the crate as a punishment.  Be prepared for whining, crying and howling at first.  Remain stern with the command of “No Bark!” and positive feedback when the crying stops.  Soon, your new puppy will view the crate as his/her own “bedroom” and will return to it for comfort and sleep.
    
The crate not only provides your puppy with security, it also serves as an excellent deterrent from accidents or loss of control while you are away from the home.  Your puppy may resist when he/she realizes you are leaving, but if left with a blanket and safe chew toy, he/she will feel more secure than if left to roam the house.

Housebreaking Your Bichon

Bichon’s, although intelligent and obedient, need consistency and frequent trips outside when housebreaking.  Small dogs, as a whole, require a trip outside more often due to their size.  The first step is to carefully monitor and observe his/her behavior.  The moment your puppy begins showing signs of needing to eliminate, remove him/her from the house and place outside in an area of the yard that will be used specifically for this purpose.  Using a stern, but encouraging tone, repeat a command such as “Go Potty!” over and over while your puppy does the job.  Praise and affection should follow immediately combined with repeats of your command (“Good boy! Go Potty! Good boy!”).  Your puppy will begin to connect your command with the elimination process and your positive attention.
    
When an elimination accident occurs, deal with it as soon as possible.  Show your puppy the deposit, speak firmly saying, “No!” then remove the puppy and deposit outdoors to his/her appropriate spot.  Repeat your chosen command (“Go Potty!”) followed by affection and encouragement.  The use of the crate will limit the occurrences of accidents.  Unless your puppy is sick or left alone too long, your puppy should not use his/her crate for elimination. With your careful and caring monitoring and the use of the crate, your puppy can be house-trained in no time!

Teaching Good Manners

Bichons are a good-natured, friendly breed who adore humans and their companionship.  Although not a breed prone to yapping or hyperactivity behaviors, teaching your puppy from the start good manners is easy and important.
    
hen a guest or visitor arrives, it is important to curb the barking and jumping immediately.  When your puppy begins barking sternly command “No Bark!”  A “stop” hand signal also helps when combined with a command.  Immediately follow the cessation of barking with positive feedback.  
    
This procedure can also be applied to teaching your dog to stay down when there is a visitor.  At first, however, it may be necessary to gently nudge your puppy down while commanding “No Jump!” Again, follow this with positive praise and feedback.
    
Small dogs tend to have the “bully” dog syndrome.  That is, when out for their daily walk and he/she spies another dog, no matter the size, your Bichon may growl and bark.  It is important as the owner to do three things.  First, always have your dog on a leash in order to remain in control.  Second, convey confidence and calmness to your dog.  The “bully” syndrome usually is a sign that your dog is insecure.  If he/she senses your calmness, then he/she will act the same.  Third, speak firmly and quietly to your dog reminding him/her to stay quiet and calm.  Allow your Bichon to meet the other dog, always with you in control of the situation.
    
Bichon’s make excellent house pets for families with children, as long as the children are taught to care for the puppy gently and lovingly.  When a small dog is played with roughly it tends to make the puppy tough.  This roughness can confuse aggression as affection.  Consistent, firm, caring and positive love are important in training your Bichon Frise.  When done correctly, your puppy will grow to be a well-mannered, polite dog; one to make you proud!