Bichon Frize are very easy to train dogs because they always want to please their owner. However, they can also be stubborn and difficult to train, especially in teaching them to defecate. You will have to show consistency, dedication and put in place positive reinforcement to properly train this animal.
Part 1 of 3: potty training your pet
Step 1. Start training it right away
You need to potty train him the moment you bring him home by putting him down where you want him to toilet and praising him when he does. This is the first step in training it.
Step 2. Train him with his cage
Bichon Frises learn very quickly, but they are also known to be difficult to clean.
- Many owners do not want to use the animal's cage to train it because they are afraid to let it locked up. However, dogs are animals that live in dens and they don't have a problem being locked away from time to time. You will be forced from time to time to put him in a cage, for example when you have to take the car for a long trip or when he remains under observation at the vet. You should get him used to the cage whether you are training him to defecate properly or not.
- Try to make the cage a reward rather than a punishment. Try to make him comfortable with blankets and toys and give him a small reward before putting him in the cage. However, be careful not to put anything in the cage that it could easily swallow. This is especially important if you have a puppy who is not yet used to their crate.
- If you are trying to train a puppy, it may defecate in the crate if you leave it there overnight. Most puppies after three months should be able to sleep peacefully in their crate without going out of their way. If your bichon still has cleaning problems after three months, discuss it with the vet to rule out a possible underlying cause.
- You are going to have to leave him in his cage whenever you cannot watch him. When you go to bed or when you are too busy with your household chores, you should leave him in his crate. Play with him for ten minutes or a quarter of an hour before putting him in the crate to make him feel relaxed and more tired.
- However, it is important that you do not make him believe that the cage is a "prison" or a "punishment", use it as little as possible. If necessary, when you are at home, keep your dog on a leash to supervise him and take him out as soon as you see that he wants to go to his needs.
Step 3. Take it out every two or three hours
If you have a puppy, even take it out more often (every 20 to 30 minutes). You need to get him into the habit of going to toilet at regular times and teach him to go outside when he wants to. When you start potty training, you should let him out every two or three hours.
- Ideally, you would take him out ten to fifteen minutes after his meals. That's when he's probably going to want to go defecate. Reward him when he goes out and give him the best encouragement to do so. You can do this by giving him permission to walk around, as his movements will stimulate his urge to go defecate. You can also take him to a corner of a park where you have seen other dogs defecate. He will recognize the scent and he will be attracted to defecate there too. When he finally defecates, praise him by telling him he's a good dog and give him a reward.
- Keep a journal for the first two weeks. Note the hours your bichon went to relieve himself and take note of any accidents. Write down all the hours they occur. You need to understand when your dog wants to go to the bathroom. If you organize walks and outings when he feels the urge to defecate, you can make him understand that he needs to defecate outside.
- Until there are no more accidents at home, you should continue to train him to stay in the crate when you leave, when you sleep and when you are busy.
Step 4. Use newspaper for a stubborn animal
Bichons, and small dogs in general, often have a hard time potty training. If you continue to see him potty indoors, even though you have some training measures in place, you should consider trying to potty train him with newspaper.
- This means that he is allowed to defecate only if he does so on newspaper, sheets sold in pet stores designed for this purpose, or any other absorbent material that you can leave on the floor at home.
- You need to use positive reinforcement to train it. Praise him when he goes to the right place to defecate and correct him if he doesn't. You must scold him in a muffled, bossy voice. Never get carried away or yell at him. It will only scare and confuse him.
- If you have a male, it is not advisable to use this method for training him. Males tend to have more trouble distinguishing between places where they can and cannot defecate, and they will have a harder time figuring out what to do on the sheets of paper.
Part 2 of 3: Correct Bad Behavior
Step 1. Teach him not to bite
Bichons are dogs that bite often. They are a friendly breed and these bites are often just a non-aggressive form of play. However, your pet might not realize that their bites are painful. It is important that you train him to avoid this behavior, especially if you have young children.
- Teach your children to "make the tree". This means they should stay still with their limbs at their sides and avoid looking the dog in the eye. Bichons can bite for many reasons, such as to assert their authority or to try to play. If they don't get a response through this kind of behavior, they will get bored and stop.
- If you have young children, especially babies, you should watch their interactions with the bichon. You should never let your child go and disturb the dog while he is eating, playing or drinking. If the dog becomes territorial, it might start to bite. If he feels his resources are in danger, he might learn to bite to defend them. Until your child is old enough to understand how to treat the dog, you need to watch their every interaction.
- Positive and negative reinforcement is generally a good way to train a bichon not to bite. When he comes out of his cage, you must keep an eye on him at all times. If you notice him biting, you can correct this behavior immediately by saying "no" to him.
- You may also be able to keep him from biting by redirecting his urge to bite to something else. When it starts to nibble on your fingers or hands, you can put a toy or a bone in its mouth. This will teach him that he has the right to bite, but only his toys or his food, not people.
- You should never encourage him to bite, even while playing. The Bichon is not a breed of dog that you can fight or have fun with in this way, as this will make them more shy and aggressive.
Step 2. Train him on the leash
Bichons can be great animals for walking around, but like all other dogs, you're going to need to train them properly.
- Make sure your pet is comfortable with their collar, especially if it's a puppy. A light leather collar is ideal for a bichon. It may take a while to get used to it, which is why you can take it off when you are not watching it to get it used to.
- Gently get him used to the leash. Let him sniff it and get used to it before putting it around his neck. Once it gets used to it, you can start taking it out.
- Start small. Walk the dog around the house. Praise him when he walks near you without pulling on the leash. If he does start to pull, do not pull on the leash. It might hurt his neck, which will reinforce his behavior by giving him the attention he is looking for. You're going to have to make him understand that he's not going to get anything if he pulls on the leash. Stop walking and call for him to come to you.
- Once it is doing well in the house, you can start taking it out for short walks around your neighborhood. It would be best to start with a 15 to 20 minute walk several times a day until he is comfortable with the leash.
Step 3. Watch out for little dog syndrome
Small dog syndrome can be a problem in small breeds like the Bichon Frize. Their owners do not scold them for exhibiting certain behaviors, such as barking or biting, to protect them from the dangers of the world. This leads to poor socialization which induces many behavioral problems.
- Make sure your pet is happy, safe and secure around larger dogs. People tend to hug small dogs around larger dogs or to cry when large dogs approach. Both of these behaviors cause a feeling of fear in the bichon, which can lead to biting, squealing or other territorial behaviors.
- If your pet seems nervous around other dogs, you should talk to him calmly and give him treats or praise him until he calms down. Don't praise him after the big dog is gone. He will become spoiled and he will expect more attention after the events of everyday life.
- Remember that small dogs should be given the same discipline as large dogs. People tend to let small dogs nibble, bark, or exhibit other aggressive behavior, as they are unlikely to cause injury. However, small dogs can also easily prey on a young child, and their bite can be strong enough to require stitches. Don't let the size of the bichon determine how you treat it, and never let it exhibit aggressive behavior.
Part 3 of 3: teach him basic commands
Step 1. Start with "sitting" and "lying"
These are the basic orders to build on top of the more complex orders to give the dog. In order for him to give a paw, he must first know how to sit. To teach him to roll on the ground, he must first know how to lie down. When you begin to train him, teach him to "sit" and "lie down" as these are basic commands.
- Start with "sit". To teach him to sit, stand up, tell him to sit, and use a treat to draw an arc above his head until he rests his back- train on the ground to follow the delicacy with the gaze. As soon as he does, praise him by giving him the treat or something.
- Use hand movements after the dog understands to sit when you say "sit" to him. Put your hand forward and gesture for him to sit down. As he understands the command you are giving him, you can withdraw the hand gestures. Try repeating the order ten or fifteen times until he learns to sit without a hand gesture and using positive reinforcement in the form of praise or treats. Ideally, you should be able to get him to sit down when he disturbs your guests, or before taking him out for a walk.
- You can make a smooth transition from "sitting" to "lying" by first ordering her to sit. Then tell him to “lie down” and use a treat to make him lie down. Have him sit down and hold the treat on the ground, then slowly pull it away from him so that he stretches out and lies down to catch it. Praise him by giving him treats and attention as soon as he is lying down. As you have taught him to sit, you should gradually teach him to lie down through rewards and hand gestures.
Step 2. Teach him to come
You must teach him as soon as possible to come to you. You may be able to avoid accidents and give him more freedom under certain conditions if you teach him to come back to you.
- Your goal in teaching him to come is to have him come back to you as soon as he hears your command, under all circumstances. It can be difficult, but with persistence and patience you can do it.
- You should always congratulate him when he comes back to you after hearing the command. Never punish him, even if you call him back, because he was doing something he was not allowed to do. You don't want him to associate the order to come back to you with a negative consequence.
- You can teach him to come back using positive reinforcement whenever he obeys. Give him treats, congratulations, or his favorite toy. This command should be associated with something positive, something the dog wants to achieve. Practice saying "come on" several times and stop after he answers correctly fifteen to twenty times. Usually, you can make him understand this order by repeating it three to four times a day.
- Never leave him in public without his leash until he always comes back to you when you call him.
Step 3. Move on to other basic orders
Bichons are a breed that can include many orders. Once your pet has mastered basic commands like "sit", "lie" and "come", you can move on to other basic commands.
- Sometimes it's easier to observe his behaviors and reinforce them with an order. Watch him to see him do what you want him to do and praise him. For example, if you want to teach him to "talk," say "talk" to him when he barks, and reward him. However, be sure not to do this when his barking is disturbing, such as when he barks in the presence of dogs or other people.
- You need to reinforce any behavior in the moment, because dogs live in the present. If you want him to claim when you ask him to, when you see him sitting down, say "claim" and reward him right away with food or congratulations.
- The best way to teach him certain behaviors is to just watch him do it, but you can also encourage him to do certain things the same way you encouraged him to sit and lie down. For example, if you want him to give you the paw, you can take him by the paw and say "give the (pa) paw". Reward him the moment he puts his paw in your hand. Eventually, he should realize that he has to give you his paw whenever you say "give the paw".
- Once he understands how to associate a sentence with a physical response, train him for the desired behavior for 15 to 20 minutes a day. This helps solidify the connection he makes between the order and the response you expect.
- Many owners believe they should behave like pack leaders.Even though your bichon should understand that you are the boss, you should never discipline him by using certain behaviors, such as rolling him on his side, pinching him by the neck, or other corporal punishment. Dogs do not respond to this kind of behavior and it could create a feeling of fear. One of the best ways to establish your authority is to make him understand that you are the one who decides his schedule. Have him sit up before putting his leash on for his walk. Have him lie down before pouring his meal into his bowl.
Step 4. Find more elaborate exercises
Bichons can follow extensive training and they can understand complex orders. If you are interested in dog training, there are many ways to teach the dog more complicated commands.
- Consider signing up for dog training classes once your pet knows the basics like 'sit', 'lie down' and 'come on'. A professional trainer can help you teach him more elaborate tricks and in addition, this training will be a great opportunity to socialize your animal. He will learn to behave appropriately in the presence of other dogs of different breeds.
- The skills of bichons are not limited to tricks to wow your guests. Many owners train their bichons for agility courses. Find classes in your area. You can also enter competitions, sometimes with monetary rewards, which is also a great opportunity to cultivate a healthy and happy relationship with your pet.
- Bichons are also excellent animals for sick people. If you want to get your pet certified to work in a hospital or therapy, look for specialist programs near you. Bichons have a naturally friendly personality and they love people. You will enjoy a rewarding experience by making your pet interact with sick people or people with physical or mental disabilities.
- Treats are a great way to reward good behavior, but only give them one at a time. You want your dog to behave well without constantly reminding him that he is going to receive a little treat if he does.
- If you must scold him, take a deep, harsh voice. However, you should never yell at your bichon. It is useless and you will scare him unnecessarily.