One of the most important tasks that you would need to do in caring for your Bichon Frise is giving it obedience training. Obedience training is similar to teaching your own children discipline. If you don’t want your kids to grow up unruly or disrespectful of authorities and other people, the same would also be true for your Bichon.
Since it is in the nature of Bichon Frises to be independent-minded and a bit strong-willed, it is essential that you begin training your pet as soon as possible. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you’ll start the training the minute you get home with your pet. Give your Bichon a few days to grow accustomed to your home and your family.
As a pet owner, you have three options. First, you may bring your pet to obedience class. Second, if you can afford it, you can get a personal trainer for your Bichon. Third, if you have the confidence and the experience for it, you can train your puppy yourself. No matter what your choice is, you still need to know the basics of training by reading about it through books or articles on the Internet. As you embark on training your Bichon, never forget that your pet will most likely try to assert itself as the boss of your home. It is very important for you to impress upon it that you are the “alpha dog” of the house and that it would be completely dependent upon you for food, water, and shelter. Being affectionate and at the same time assertive is the key to training your Bichon Frise.
The Right Attitude to Obedience Training
As was mentioned earlier, the right attitude when giving your Bichon Frise obedience training is to combine love and affection with the right amount of firmness and assertiveness. Being firm and assertive, however, does not mean that you should be aggressive toward your pet. Being a very sensitive little dog, Bichons do not react well to shouting, scolding and insults. You have to be consistent, and when you say “No!” it should really mean “NO!” Never resort to physical force when training your pet. Some pet owners would push their Bichons’ rump to the floor for it to learn how to “sit”, not knowing that they are inflicting pain upon their dog. Because your pet will begin to associate such training acts with pain, it will cause feelings of fear, defensiveness and aggression to arise, so that your once cheerful Bichon becomes a biter.
Inflicting emotional pain is the one thing that you should never do to your Bichon and could only make training difficult. You should also remember that your pet does not have the attention span of a human and can get easily distracted by anything that catches its eye. Try to avoid being frustrated if your pet cannot do the tasks you want it to do immediately. The best way to train your pet is through positive reinforcement, give it kind, reassuring words if it is unable to perform the task, and give it a treat or a toy if it successfully does the task. Also, don’t allot an entire day for obedience training. Balance it with a little playtime. Never overwork your pet as you might put too much stress on their growing bodies.
While you are doing obedience training, you may also want to begin Bichon Frise potty training as well.