Author Topic: Bichon Information  (Read 7549 times)

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Offline Fuzzmom

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Bichon Information
« on: May 26, 2011, 08:55:57 PM »
Hi, considering getting a Bichon (see intro.), and want to know everything about the breed: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Oh wait, that's not possible, no such thing as an ugly Bichon. Seriously, though I've read several profiles and summaries, I'd love to hear from owners about that they're like to live with i.e. are they hard to train, best way to socialize, as she'll be going everywhere, are they territorial, ie. if you stop me on the street, is she going to bark and act like a terror, or will she sit and wait to greet? Have had territorial dogs in the past, got very used to a calm boy and don't want another territorial pain. Kids? Pets? Are they fairly sturdy, not looking for anything "breakable" or "teacup" yeah they're cute but always been against them after losing a poodle to a liver shunt fifteen years ago. No, I didn't buy her because she was a teacup, she picked me, and was just way too small. Profiles are great, but nothing better then "expert" testimony from the people who know them best; their parents! So please chime in and offer anything you might think I should know. Thanks so much and hope to hear from you soon. Thanks.

Offline Presley

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Re: Bichon Information
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2011, 09:27:44 PM »
Wow, lost of questions!  They will be different amongst themselves, just like human children.

Overall, they seem to be very happy and loving animals.  My Bichons are not as bright as my Poodles, but they are sweeter and happier in general.  Toilet training is hard.  I think they have such little bladders that when they need to go - THEY NEED TO GO!

I have lots of pets.  My Bichons are by far the most loving and cuddly.  If you are looking for major love, you will find it with a Bichon.

Offline MattiesMom (MaryEllen)

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Re: Bichon Information
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2011, 09:33:43 PM »

Hi and Welcome!  I'm MaryEllen and I have 2 little bichon girls.  We live in Massachusetts!
Bichons are one of kind (breed)!  I've had poodles, shih tzus, spaniels, and mixed breed.  None compare to bichons in
personality!  Here is my description of the breed:
1. Velcro dog...you won't find one who demands your attention more, so be prepared.
2. Must be trained, not babied!  They are too smart and will rule your house in very negative ways!
3. Very easy to train if you learn how to do it right (I recommend classes in the beginning).  
4. React very badly to being yelled at (shut down, anxiety), so you must be positive and distract bad behavior.
5. Major grooming required!
6. Some health issues are prominent...bladder stones, eye issues, staining and allergies.
7. Can be hard to house train (potty training).  You can read lots about that here to get prepared.
8. Make great agility, obedience, and therapy dogs!
9. Love buckets!
10. Once you have one, you will forget that other breeds exist!

Offline Fuzzmom

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Re: Bichon Information
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2011, 09:50:17 PM »
Gotcha on the babied thing, made That mistake with a Yorkie, he ran my life! I've always been a die hard Yorke person, but I don't want the territoriality that come with the males ir the narkiness that comes with some females, fine sometimes, temperamental others. Bichons seem more stable overall, from what I've read and seen. My great grandpa had one, and I always used to play with her over the summer when I went to camp, which was close to his house. What I remeber was a quiet, furry thing that followed him everywhere and wanted to play frisbee all the time. I think I heard her bark twice in my life. The first time I met her, I thought she was a poodoe, lol. I love lots of fur, grooming is calming, with a new baby that's a good thing, lol. I'm not always the most patient, so maybe the Bichon baby will teach Me something, and that works for me. Is there anything diet..specifically raw, that you can do to prevent the bladderstones, I imagine they hurt. Oh, and I have a question from another post; they're so small, how on earth do they countersurf?

Offline Freedom (Sandie)

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Re: Bichon Information
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2011, 10:14:25 PM »
Oh, and I have a question from another post; they're so small, how on earth do they countersurf? 

They are part Kangaroo!   :hysterical:
Bichons Frise': Tasha, Willy, Riley, Belle, Frankie
Cats: Crystal, Ebony, Bobby, Tommy, Tuppence, Mandy, Emma

Offline Andrea

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Re: Bichon Information
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2011, 11:09:32 PM »
Now I would bet that you read about Noah aka Toady countersurfing and Sandie is correct- they have kangaroo legs.   :laughing:

Offline Fuzzmom

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Re: Bichon Information
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2011, 11:45:03 PM »
Springy! Guess I'll have to move the cat food. I did read that, I think I laughed for half an ahour. Velcro dog is what I want, actually My boy is velcro, he seriously can't b left for more then ten minutes normally, though with his condition he will sometimes not notice if I leave for a quick second, and that's not him. Should I even wory about alone training if she'll be stuck to me constantly? Um, another question, not trying to sound nosy or anything, how much does a puppy cost? Looking for as young as is safe, but I don't have a lot of money all at once. That way I can get an idea of what type of budget I need. I mean getting one, will do as much of the grooming as I can myself. I'd liket o pursue conformation as a hobby, but not sure how that'll affect the cost? Def. want a female, no "watering" issues, if you know what I mean. Can they safely be raw fed? Unsure if I want to continue to do a combo or go full raw..ideas? Do they have enough focus for clicker training? Though the one I've seen was pretty laid back, I've heard from other people they are hyper, maybe not like a Jrt, but still hyper? High energy is fine, I have a fenced yard and my big girl likes someone to keep up with her, she's a year and a half or so old. My boy is anyplace from 6/14, no one knows, and you can't tell by his actions, but he doesn't rough play like he used to, so I know she'll want someone to play with. Don't wory, she has 2 friends, a gsd, and a maltipoo, both of which she is super careful with. Maltipoo was going to be my other choice, but I'd rather not gamble on temperament. Are they over barky? Neighbors are a pain...they'll complain, even though their beagle goes for half the day non stop. Can you use a nail grinder..all the fur? I think I like the fuzzy not so trimmed up look, what supplies would I need? Oh, and I read someplace that if you want to keep the right coat texture you don't use clippers? Want to know before I go buy the expensive pair I was considering. Will need a grooming table though, pref. one that spins and changes height, I can't stand for long, so need something more accomodating. Appropriate folding wire crate size? Need a used puppy supply store for all tihs stuff, lol. Sorry this is so long, asking all these things before I get sidetracked, plus I don't know how soon I'm doing this; could be soon, could be more toward the end of the year. Thanks for all the help.

Offline chichsmum

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Re: Bichon Information
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2011, 12:21:45 AM »
My dog is a devil dog. Had two biddable bichons before her. I have had to be so strict on her training in all aspects. I fed dry puppy food for 7mths and then at about 11mths changed to raw feeding. There are several raw feeders on this forum. I buy the prepared medallions here in NZ. I feed bones too but I am careful with the type and feed half frozen.

I cannot say in all honesty all fluffs are angels!

Carolyn

Offline Fuzzmom

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Re: Bichon Information
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2011, 12:25:03 AM »
They're probably like all kids, some are full of mischief and some aren't. Hope I get one with wings, just kidding. Going out to dinner, will prob. log back on later.

Offline nzbyrd

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Re: Bichon Information
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2011, 05:52:59 AM »
Barking - My Bichons are barkers, although I know not all Bichons are. We actually had complaints from the neighbours. I keep them inside when I'm not home, and supervise them when they are outside so things dont get out of hand. BeeGee is quite territorial, he will bark at anyone (or anything) that goes past the house.
Clicker training - I have done clicker training with my Bichons and responds extremely well. My two are very food motivated, so the click, to let them know a treat is coming, went down very well.

A lot of the things you have asked, regarding personality, are traits that I think may/or may not be in any breed, eg some dogs bark, some dont.

What I tell people, when they ask me about Bichons, are that I dont recommend anyone gets a Bichon, unless they love Bichons. They are a lot of hard work, and they may be difficult to train/toilet train/groom. I know of so many people who bought a Bichon because they are cute, only to rehome the poor thing a year later because its all too much. You are doing the right thing asking so many questions, you will know exactly what you are getting into. Of course, its not nearly all negative. Bichons have the most awesome personality. They are sweet, loving, snuggly etc etc

With regards to training, what I have found is that Bichons are easy to train if they can see whats in it for them.
Ie my Poodle will do things because she wants to please me. The Bichons are more interested in pleasing themselves :laughing:

I clip my Bichons, I have some Andis clippers, and they do a good job. But I have multiple dogs so its in my best interests to keep their coats fairly short. I do scissor them too, when I have the energy. What I usually do is take them to a groomer a couple of times a year, and them maintain the coats myself in between.

I do competitive obedience and agility with one of my Bichons. We are just beginners, but (most of the time) he loves it. However if he's not in the mood, he just switches off and competition is over for the day (or else he dashed off the course at high speed looking for food).

Good luck with your search.
Claire

Offline MattiesMom (MaryEllen)

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Re: Bichon Information
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2011, 09:28:46 AM »
If your money is limited, rather than spend a lot ($1000.00 or more) on a puppy, perhaps you would consider rescue.  All of Sandie's five ("They are part Kangaroo") are rescues.  There are some lovely, young dogs in rescue right now.  The largest bichon rescue is Small Paws Rescue.  Be sure to click on and watch the YouTube Welcome video.  It is too cute to miss! Check it out here:
http://www.smallpawsrescue.org/

Offline Fuzzmom

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Re: Bichon Information
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2011, 12:44:26 PM »
Because of the s.d. component, really do need a puppy. Yes, my boy was a little older, but he's exceptional, he's the first older dog I've tried that actually worked. Really that super close puppy bond is what I need so she'll be in tune with me, and so I also know there are no issues i don't want and can train her to be child safe without worrying about some of the baggage. Yes, I love rescue, but with the specific requirements, a puppy will work best. If it was purely pet, then I would do the rescue thing, but the temperament is of utmost importance.

Offline Lin

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Re: Bichon Information
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2011, 01:53:12 PM »
 :loveword: all the questions! My two are like night and day, sort of like my human kids, one is yappy and wild, the other a mamas boy. One is hyper and always on the go the other more placid and calm. The number one thing with a Bichon is the grooming and coat care, it takes hours per week and from my experience you can't tell from puppy hood just what type of coat the adult may grow into. Lia had the softest easy to comb baby coat that is slowly thickening up, slowly becoming full, all but her head area and she is almost two years old now. Luigi on the other hand had a thick wiry coat within the first year. I found the transition hard to maintain, but I did with almost monthly visits to the groomer, now like Claire I am maintaining at home but also keeping them shorter.
I too read up on Bichon characteristics and care prior to purchasing my 1st Bichon, when I read heavy grooming needs I thought oh well I had a BC for 14 years, that had to be brushed regularly and threw her coat constantly etc. Still I wasn’t prepared for the amount of care a Bichons coat needs.
As for the service dog aspect, it really depends on your needs. Some Bichons are small, some heavy. I had the intentions of Luigi being of service to me, but he had other ideas. He goes potty on command, will ride beside and on my scooter or wheelchair, can pick up some objects, but he is too distracted around people to give me 100% of his attention when we are out. If people talk to him and show interest in him he is all over them. It is also hard to get people to understand that this cute little fluff is a working animal. I feel this is one of the reasons that Bichons make great therapy dogs they love people and attention. Also service dogs should be trained in a different environment than where they will eventually work to be 100% effective. Bringing home a cute ball of fluff and raising them in our home is not conducive to service training because as owners we tend to spoil the h*ll out of them and let them get away with murder, which hinders the service aspect down the road. How can we help it, puppies are adorable!
As for intelligence, personally I don’t think they are the sharpest tools in the shed, but they are an alert fun loving breed.
One last consideration is the medical needs of a Bichon. Sadly you will read on this forum how many of the fluffs suffer from various ailments found more commonly in this breed. Luigi has ongoing allergies, he has since day one, Lia on the other hand is a healthy as a horse, but she is tiny and her temperament would not at all be favourable to being a service animal as she is far too self-serving. LOL
I hope you find this information helpful.

Thank you Alison!

Offline Fuzzmom

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Re: Bichon Information
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2011, 02:17:59 PM »
Hmm, food for thought. Thanks. I'm used to the grooming needs of a Yorkie, pretty high, as for the size, small is preferred, but iis not a requirement, 20 lbs would be ok, as my little guy is about 30 lbs. Smaller would just be easier. I need someone in tune with me, who can sense oncoming pass out spells, not diagnosed yet. That involves being right close to me, able to get on my lap or alert me at anytime. And since I never know when I'm going to have one, being here constantly is required. So temperamentally, I need to "ask" like I do with the cat..who rides in a car, can walk on a lead, will stay on shoulder when asked, will respond to name when called, more along those lines? As versus "telling them" to do something? You're right, it's really hard Not to spoil puppies, or any fuzzkins of any age, really. Your 2 soundd adorable. Try having a pro. trained Lab that loved people, she'd drag me to people, unasked. She retired at 12, due to eyesight.

Offline Alison

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Re: Bichon Information
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2011, 03:47:35 PM »
Hmm, food for thought. Thanks. I'm used to the grooming needs of a Yorkie, pretty high

I had a Yorkie when I was younger,and I find Bichon grooming needs very much higher,far more time comsuming.Well worth it though.Alison