Stop puppy biting when your dog is young, to prevent aggressive behavior, dog bite injuries, and even lawsuits when your Bichon Frise dog is an adult. While puppy biting and chewing is cute when your Bichon Frise is little, adult dog biting can get both you and your dog into serious trouble. Your Bichon Frise is a very playful, social pup, by nature.
And puppies explore their new world with their mouths. Like all dogs at young ages,
In addition to redirecting your puppy, make sure your Bichon Frise gets some exercise every day. Getting rid of excess energy will cut down on compulsive behaviors like nipping, biting, and chewing.
A half-hour of walking every night and every morning is a good starting point. This burns off excess energy, which can lead to nipping and other unwanted behaviors.
Normal Bichon Puppy Behavior
As you continue your efforts to stop puppy biting, please remember that biting and nipping are perfectly normal pack behavior for a Bichon Frise puppy. At this age, it’s not aggression, but rather a learning process.
Since you are now the head of your Bichon’s pack, you must lead the way toward healthy interactions, and build a respectful, loving relationship between yourself and your dog. You are teaching your dog proper behavior. Puppy training is easy when you know how to do it
Correcting Bad Behaviors of Bichon Frise
Teach your Bichon Frise not to Bite
Biting can be a problem with Bichons. They are a friendly breed, so the biting is usually a non-aggressive form of play. However, the dog might not realize biting can be painful to humans. It’s important that you train this behavior out of your dog, especially if you have young children.
- Teach your kids to use the “Be a Tree” approach. This means standing still, with limbs held at your side, and avoiding eye contact with the dog. Bichons bite for a variety of reasons, whether it’s to assert authority or an attempt to play. If the behavior is not getting a response, they will grow bored and stop.
- If you have young children, especially toddlers, supervise their interaction with your Bichon. In particular, do not let your child interrupt a Bichon while it is eating, playing with its toys, or drinking water. If the dog becomes territorial, it might bite. If his resources are frequently threatened it might learn to habitually engage in biting. Until your child is old enough to respect a dog’s boundaries, supervise any interactions.
- Positive and negative reinforcement are a great means of training a Bichon not to bite.
- When a Bichon is out of its crate, supervise it at all times. If you notice biting, correct the behavior immediately with a stern “No.” If your Bichon bites during play, ignore it for 10-15 seconds to show that biting ends playtime.
- Redirecting a Bichon’s biting tendencies is also an effective means of curbing biting. When Bichon nibbles on hands or fingers, immediately place a toy or a bone in its mouth instead. This teaches it biting is okay, as long as it’s done to its toys and snacks and not its people.
- Biting should never be encouraged, even in play. A Bichon is not a dog you should wrestle or otherwise rough house with as this leads to timid and even aggressive behaviors.
Practice Good Leash Manners
Bichons can be excellent walking companions, but like all dogs, they do need basic leash training.
- Make sure your Bichon is familiar and comfortable in his collar, especially if it’s a puppy. A lightweight leather collar is ideal for a Bichon. It might take your dog a bit to get used to wearing the collar, so take it off when your dog is unsupervised until it’s used to it.
- Introduce your Bichon to the leash slowly. Allow your dog to sniff it and get familiar with it before attaching it to the collar. Once your dog is familiar, you can begin walking it.
- Start small. Just walk the Bichon around the house. Praise it if it walks by your side on a loose leash. If it pulls, do not pull the leash back. Not only can this strain a Bichon’s neck, but it also reinforces the behavior by giving the dog attention for acting out. You need to show your Bichon that pulling on the leash will result in getting nowhere. Simply stop walking and call your Bichon back to you.
- Once your Bichon is well behaved inside, you can start taking it for short walks around the neighborhood. A 15 to 20 minute walk a few times a day is ideal and will give your Bichon enough time to adapt to walking on a leash.
Be Aware of Small Dog Syndrome
Small dog syndrome can be a problem with smaller breeds like Bichon Frises. Owners do not discipline their dogs for behaviors like barking and biting and attempt to protect small dogs from the world. What results is improper socialization that leads to a number of behavioral problems.
- Make sure your Bichon feels happy, safe, and confident when near larger dogs. People often pick up small dogs in the presence of bigger dogs or yell loudly when they’re approached by big dogs. Both behaviors teach Bichons big dogs should be feared, which can lead to biting, yipping, and other territorial behaviors.
- If your Bichon seems nervous around big dogs, talk to it calmly and give it treats and praise if is calm. However, do not praise your dog if it is not calm, and do not continue to praise it once a big dog has passed. This will lead to your dog becoming spoiled and expecting extra attention in response to day-to-day circumstances.
- Remember, small dogs should be disciplined for the same behaviors as large dogs. People often let nipping, barking, and aggression go unchecked in small dogs because they believe they’re less likely to cause physical harm. However, a small dog could easily lash out at a young child and their bites can be hard enough to require stitches. Do not let your Bichon’s size determine how you treat it and never give it a pass for aggressive behaviors.
Teaching Basic Commands
Sit and lie down layout the groundwork for nearly every command a dog can perform. To shake paws, a dog must be sitting. To rollover, a dog must lie down. When you begin teaching your Bichon Frise, start with “sit” and “lie down” as these are foundational commands.
- Begin with sit. To teach sit, stand up, say sit, and then use a treat and draw an arc over the puppy’s head so that as its head goes up its bottom goes down. The instant your Bichon sits, praise it with treats and other rewards.
- Use hand motions once your dog understands to sit when you say sit. Put your hand forward and gesture for your dog to sit down. As your dog begins to master the command, you can phase out hand gestures. Try to repeat the command 10 or 15 times a day until your Bichon learns to sit without hand gestures of constant reinforcement in the form of treats or praise. Ideally, you should be able to get your Bichon to sit when it’s being disruptive with guests or before you take him for a walk.
- You can smoothly transition from sit to lie down by commanding your Bichon to sit. Then, while saying “lie down,” use a treat to lure it into a lying position. Get your dog to sit then hold the treat at floor level but slowly move it away from him so that your dog stretches and lies down to get it. Praise your dog with treats and attention as soon as it’s lying down. Much like you taught to sit, practice until you can gradually phase out rewards and hand gestures.
Take your Bichon Frise out every 2 to 3 hours. If you have a puppy, take it out even more frequently (every 20 – 30 minutes). You need to get your Bichon on a bathroom schedule and teach it outside is the proper place to do its business. When you’re first housebreaking your Bichon, let it out every 2 to 3 hours.
- Ideally, you should let your Bichon out 10 to 15 minutes after it eats. This is when it’s most likely to need to use the bathroom. Praise it when it goes outside and otherwise encourage the behavior. This can be done by allowing the Bichon to walk around, as movement stimulates bowel movements. You can also take it to a spot in the yard you’ve seen other dogs use as a bathroom. It will recognize the scent and is more likely to go there. Then, when it toilets make a big fuss, praise it, and offer a treat.
- Keep a diary for the first couple of weeks. Take notes of when and where your Bichon went outside and any accidents that occur. Write downtimes. You want to get a sense of your Bichon’s bathroom schedule. Planning walks and outings when you know it’s more likely to go can help teach it to associate the outdoors with using the bathroom.
- Until your Bichon is accident-free in the house, you will have to continue creating it while you’re gone, sleeping, or busy.
Bichon Frise Resource Links
|Bichon Frise Club of America||United States||Link|
|Bichon Frise AKC||United States||Link|
|Bichon Frise United Kennel Club||UK||Link|