Is a Bichon Frise right for me.

Susanna CookSusanna Cook Posts: 768Member
edited 19 April, 2011 in Small Dogs
Okay well we have three cats and we go outside when we want to but we are still willing to come out anytime if needed with the dog. I think they are cute as ever and I'm willing to groom every day if needed but I don't know for sure if they fit our lifestyle. We are also beginner dog owners and Chloe is actually a relative's dog. Here is the Bichon Frise profile page: http://www.dogster.com/dog-breeds/Bichon_Frise

Comments

  • Lynne D'HondtLynne D'Hondt Posts: 25,982Member
    edited 8 January, 2011
    What are you really looking for in a dog besides cuteness? How much exercise, size,grooming and so on?
  • Susanna CookSusanna Cook Posts: 768Member
    edited 8 January, 2011
    I'm mainly looking for companionship, not actually just cuteness, I only mentioned that. I am also willing to give daily walks unless it is too cold, then I may have to back out. I am also willing to groom however much is needed.
  •  Posts: 2,382Member
    edited 8 January, 2011
    I can't tell you much about Bichons, as the only Bichon Winnie inherited was the coat. Because of that, I can tell you one thing--be prepared to GROOM!!! Every single day, a thorough brushing, and check-over for ticks. Course, you can always clip the dog, but then you must pay for the groomer, unless you know how to do it yourself. As far as personality goes, the two I've had the opportunity to meet are very outgoing, love to play, and are all around clowns (in a good way!). They're fun little buggers ;)
  • delana hdelana h small townPosts: 41Member
    edited 14 January, 2011
    Since you are new to dog ownership and to the breed, I strongly suggest finding a bichon rescue and fostering for them. This will give you an idea of what the breed is like and what caring for a dog is all about, while giving you space if you decide the breed or a dog is not right for you.
  • Lacey KingstonLacey Kingston Posts: 7,527Member
    edited 14 January, 2011
    I think a Bichon could work for you with the criteria you gave. My aunt and uncle have always had them and I have several as clients. They don't require a lot of grooming as in brushing, but like a poodle do require being shaved or clipped every month or so. Their coat grows continually, so the clipping is a must, even if kept in a show cut. However, as they age their white coat tends to thin and they are susceptible to sunburn, warts, and other lesions. So you have to be vigilant and they are not a dog to be left outside. Their exercise requirements are low in my opinion. A quick walk twice a day or a longer walk once a day and they're happy as a clam. Maybe ball inside the house too. They generally get along with most people and other pets as well. They are definitely cuddlers. I don't think they're one person dogs like other companion breeds though. In general I think they're easy keepers.
  • Stephanie PykeStephanie Pyke OmahaPosts: 1,372Member
    edited 17 January, 2011
    be perpared for antics. they're very mischevious, attention seeking dogs. They're not as much of a lap dog as people might think. they're very active, fun loving, play oriented, manipulative and super smart
  • Sami FyeSami Fye Iowa CityPosts: 159Member
    edited 27 January, 2011
    I wouldn't recommend a bichon for someone looking for a affectionate, loyal dog, easy to train dog. Most bichons turn into spoiled, diva jerks after a year regardless of whether they are neutered or not. I've cared for several bichons and a lot of dogs I've taken care of with aggressiveness, excessive barking, aloofness and just plain selfish behavior were bichons. I am caring for a bichon right now who is currently screeching at me because I'm ignoring him and typing this. You have to be able to be very patient, very strict and know how to deal with bad behaviors that will arise from this diva breed. You cannot be upset with a dog that is so dense it takes 5yrs to teach it one trick (like sit). I've trained and dealt with difficult dogs for 10yrs and fostered some of the most difficult dogs and bichons while easiest to care for were by far the least affection and friendly. Check out animal planets dog guide makes and search for a good breed for you. http://animal.discovery.com/breedselector/dogselectorindex.do#apl_nav
  • Mary RickerMary Ricker AttleboroPosts: 652Member
    edited 28 January, 2011
    Boogie, I respectfully disagree with your opinion. Any intelligent, babied (badly trained) dog will act the way you\'ve described. The problem is that bichons communicate their wants extremely well (almost talk) and people respond and give in. The dog learns to get its way. Well-bred, well trained bichons are highly intelligent, easily trained, wonderful family dogs. Yes, the grooming can be expensive but you can learn to do it yourself and keep your bichon in a shorter cut. Training is key with the bichon and amateur training can fail with this breed (they will outsmart a not so prepared trainer). But if you attend positive method training classes and can stand firm when that little clown face smiles at you and that amazing array of sounds comes out of that little mouth, a bichon can be an amazing pet. My girls are wonderful therapy dogs, agility competitors, and rally obedience trained. They are not perfect, but do have manners and behave better than most children. As with any breed, do your homework and plan for an energetic whirlwind who will astound you with his affection, intelligence, and gentle nature.
  • Lynn BonnerLynn Bonner ChicagoPosts: 165Member
    edited 29 January, 2011
    I love my baby. She's always been very easy going and never required too much exercise, although she does enjoy the freedom to just run around wild when the mood strikes. If you brush the dog every couple of days you shouldn't have much of a problem with matting. I take mine to the groomer every 3 months and get her shaved. Mine has always been content to just snuggle right up beside you, especially if you're scratching or petting her. She loves being a lap dog. Hydee has never been a very vocal dog. She used to have a backyard and would bark only in the backyard, or if someone knocked on the door. We moved 3 months ago and I haven't heard a peep from her since. I almost miss her bark!
  • Kiara ThornKiara Thorn ToowoombaPosts: 196Member
    edited 29 January, 2011
    Bichons are wonderful dogs. My mum got one when I was 10 and even at that age I managed to train her quite easily. We kept her coat very short as she spent ALOT of time in the garden and she was always up for a bit of agility or a run, or a walk... or anything that required movement :)). However, inside she was a loyal, loving and cuddly dog that loved to lounge around with me or mum. They are easy to spoil and they can get possessive over food, but we never had a problem with her.
  • Kiara ThornKiara Thorn ToowoombaPosts: 196Member
    edited 29 January, 2011
    And I don't agree that bichons are dense or stupid in the slightest. Not sure what kind of dogs you were training Boogie but I taught my bichon sit, stay, down, over, heel and roll within a couple of weeks and I was only 10 at the time. I found that they are very intelligent dogs who love learning.
  • Evelyn CummingsEvelyn Cummings Posts: 11,879Member
    edited 29 January, 2011
    As a groomer, I LOVE to see bichons come in! While the initial coat appearance can be daunting most bichons are easily dematted during the bath, one of the few coated breeds that I can do that with. NONE of our bichon clients are barkers or yappy or biters... they are generally very intelligent, easy to work with dogs. I'm not sure what Boogie is talking about, either... the bichons I work with quickly learn the routines here for grooming or boarding and are extremely eager to please and great dogs to have around.
  • Lynn BonnerLynn Bonner ChicagoPosts: 165Member
    edited 29 January, 2011
    I agree Shep! I taught Hydee how to "shake" one night in about 5 minutes. She's smart and knows a lot, but can be a stubborn old lady sometimes too :D
  • Susanna CookSusanna Cook Posts: 768Member
    edited 30 January, 2011
    Great advice, everyone. =;
  • themisfitbenji1themisfitbenji1 Posts: 6,990Member ✭✭✭
    edited 30 January, 2011
    Boogie, I, also, have to respectfully disagree. I've never owned a Bichon, but what you described sounds a lot like Sakura. And I admit, in her early life, she was spoiled and babied. Something we regret now, and have been working (and making progress) to fix. She barks when she wants attention, we used to cave when she was a puppy. Now, we ignore her. And it's mostly stopped. My brother gives in, though. He's a big softie sometimes...
  • Brookl CurtisBrookl Curtis Las VegasPosts: 459Member
    edited 30 January, 2011
    Bichons are great dogs. Dont really bark, love to play, walk, and sit on laps. However, there are 2 downsides. One is the grooming. Its a must! Unless you plan on keeping it shaved short year around. And second, Bichons are known to develop skin conditions. A lot of scratching which will require steroids in a lot of cases and a special prescribed shampoo.
  • edited 30 January, 2011
    I agree with the others. My Bichon knows lots of tricks, all taught in the first 2 years of his life. My Bichon is cuddly, he loves to lay in your lap and be petted. They are a demanding little breed. They loveee attention and will show their displeasure when you are not paying attention. They are very happy little dogs. They like to run, all bichons practice what we call the 'doggy race track' they make big figure 8's through our house. We have fostered lots of Bichons and Casper is our second Bichon that we have kept. We got Casper from a shelter. They love mud and they enjoy at least a 30 minute walk a day. They are good guard dogs, they DO bark often. They are not good with kids because they feel kids steal all of the attention. They are little clown dogs, they used to be circus dogs back in the day. Hence the trademark 'wave'. They don't like being left alone. This breed needs their anal glands expressed every so often, or you will find your Bichon dragging his butt on the floor. As puppies they are mischievous. They love to chew! They get along with the whole family and aren't usually a 1 person dog. They can become possessive over their humans and toys if they are not socialized properly from an early age. They definitely have the potential to become a 'diva dog' if they are not taught boundaries.
  • Ron CurranRon Curran Posts: 520Member
    edited 31 January, 2011
    Even though we have Morkies we are around two Bichons. My boss has two and both are VERY smart. They love to play, they really like to play with Andy and DeeJay. Like most dogs that have hair, not fur, they take a lot of grooming. If you have a place for them to run and/or take them for walks they should be ok. Both of my bosses dogs are very loving and are fun to play with. It's all in the training. In our case, all we heard was how hard Morkies were to train. Not true, they like most terriers are very smart and loving dogs, as is the Bichon.
  • edited 1 February, 2011
    Just wanted to add: please bathe your Bichon FIRST before brushing him. Don't brush then bathe. Firstly, you will not get all of the tangles out, secondly it can hurt the dog if the brush alone cannot de-tangle your pup. Most well bred Bichons from reputable breeders won't have many skin problems. Casper was rescued from a puppymill so he has horrible hot spots. A raw diet corrected most of this, Bichons who do have skin problems usually have food allergies as well.
  • Stephanie PykeStephanie Pyke OmahaPosts: 1,372Member
    edited 1 February, 2011
    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.
  • Mike JacobsenMike Jacobsen Posts: 53Member
    edited 16 March, 2011
    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.
  • Linda EhrhartLinda Ehrhart Posts: 6Member
    edited 16 April, 2011
    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.
  • Marian TwitchellMarian Twitchell Pocatello, IdahoPosts: 6,396Member ✭✭✭
    edited 16 April, 2011
    I agree with Mattie-May :D 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.
  • Megan PodziusMegan Podzius Baltimore/Washington DCPosts: 266Member
    edited 16 April, 2011
    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! :))! 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!! :))
  • Mary RickerMary Ricker AttleboroPosts: 652Member
    edited 17 April, 2011
    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.
  • Lynn BonnerLynn Bonner ChicagoPosts: 165Member
    edited 19 April, 2011
    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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