Author Topic: Housetraining & seperation anxiety -are they major issues?  (Read 6502 times)

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Offline debbie75

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Housetraining & seperation anxiety -are they major issues?
« on: November 11, 2013, 06:16:42 AM »
hi,
im new here & on a fact finding mission!

I know of a lady who has a litter of bichon x poodle pups due any day, both the parent dogs have good reputations re temperament.
my reason for wanting a x bred is I have a 9 yr old son with mild autism, so want something primarily to be my dog- but also to help him because he is lonely, doesn't enjoy going anywhere etc,etc.

ive spent months doing my research into different breeds & keep coming back to Bichon, poodle or shih Tzu.

what is putting me off though, is the mixed reviews of bichon's suffering anxiety & not housetraining.
one rescue site said they can not be left alone-at all, or you will return to a poo & wee poultice on your floor!
im a stay at home mum in the uk, the most one would get left alone would be a few hours whilst shopping.
I do intend to crate train.

I used to have a border terrier a few years ago, great dog, fantastic temperament- but she had major separation issues, poo,wee all over the floor- even before I had left the house. even going out the front door then returning would have the same result. I heartbreakingly re-homed her to a retired couple who take her everywhere with them.
 I dont want to have the same issues again as it was terribly heartbreaking to all of us.

so are bichons realy that bad, and crossing one with a poodle will that make much difference?

 many thanks in advance x

Offline bKay, Bullett & Coco

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Re: Housetraining & seperation anxiety -are they major issues?
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2013, 07:38:15 AM »
 :fluffwelcome:  Welcome Debbie.  I've not had any trouble with Bullett regarding either issue.   He was adopted from a local shelter when he was somewhere between the ages of 3-5 yrs old and he uses the time I'm gone to work or shopping to catch up on napping.  I come home for lunch so he is generally alone 4 hrs at a time.  I've been away 7 hrs a few times and he does fine then too however he will be VERY vocal when I get home like he's fussing at me for being gone so long! :laughing:   

Since you are home the majority of the time, you shouldn't have trouble housebreaking a pup.  You'd probably want to make sure he/she were ready for a nap before leaving the house that way they too would welcome the break.  Happy to hear you are researching before getting a pup - so many don't.  Kay

Offline liz

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Re: Housetraining & seperation anxiety -are they major issues?
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2013, 09:01:38 AM »
Debbie all new puppies can suffer from anxiety separation and toilet issues.  The old saying of what you put into a dog you get out of it and the same goes for training.
Your new puppy should be trained to the pee mat, once you get home you take it from there.  Just keep moving the mat to the back door and take puppy out to toilet.  Plenty praise and lots of treats.  The same goes for leaving him on his own.  Build it up gradually.  A few minutes every day. 
Remember - you have not got a new puppy but a new baby.  Te first few days away from mum and siblings can be stressful.  Some puppies adapt straight away other take a little bit longer,

Offline Freedom (Sandie)

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Re: Housetraining & seperation anxiety -are they major issues?
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2013, 10:19:46 AM »
Puppy should remain with mom and littermates as long as possible, at least to age 9 weeks and preferably to age 12 weeks.  This is when they learn things like bite inhibition; otherwise you will need to teach this yourself.  Of course, any puppy is going to nibble, like babies putting everything in their mouth, it is one way they learn about the world.  They learn many social skills during the time from age 9 to 12 weeks.

Bichons are known for being slow to catch on to potty training; they are very busy dogs, and it just does not make it on to their 'to do' list.  But you do get there eventually.  I took in Tasha at age 4 years 11 months, a puppy mill rescue.  It took us 18 months to get to her being trained, if we can do it anyone can.  As a mill rescue she had SO many things to adapt to, plus she was used to being in her own mess.  Their natural instinct is NOT to be in their mess, so we had that working against us as well. 

Riley is a poochon - a miniature poodle x bichon.  She arrived here at age 6 years and was already house trained, so that was easy.  She is such a love, and a gentle soul.  Her coat is MUCH easier to manage than the bichon coat.

Both bichons and poodles want to please, and they are usually easy to train for commands (other than potty training).
Bichons Frise': Tasha, Willy, Riley, Belle, Frankie
Cats: Crystal, Ebony, Bobby, Tommy, Tuppence, Mandy, Emma

Offline darwinsmom (Chris)

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Re: Housetraining & seperation anxiety -are they major issues?
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2013, 12:39:23 PM »
I have an unusual viewpoint on this. I have a bichon who does have some anxiety issues, and I have a child with Down Syndrome. I can tell you that Darwin is absolutely fabulous with Ariana and I actually give him credit for making a big improvement in her communication skills. She was 5 when we got him as a puppy and would not speak very much, wouldn't sign, wouldn't really even point at what she wanted. Yes, we did have her evaluated for autism, too, but she didn't meet criteria for it (she's really, really, emotionally responsive and sensitive). But, when we Darwin, something just woke up in her. She adores him, talks to him, "doggy, doggy, doggy" came with a few months. 4 years later she talks to HIM in sentences "Darwin in crate", "Oh hi, Darwin!", "Darwin go outside", "Oh, cute doggie", even "D.O.G. spells doggie".

Now as to your question, he is absolutely wonderful with HER. She will rarely (a few times a year) be a bit rough with him (she also has motor planning disorder and sometimes she will thrust her arm out when she means to pet, etc). He will not react to her. It's like he reads her heart and knows that she means him no harm. It helps that it isn't usually repeated- I'm not sure he'd be so good if she hit him over and over- that doesn't happen. She has eloped a few times from the house and he almost always goes with her, which is great because he will bark when call him, to let us know where they are.

I think the reason they are so good together is because we raised Darwin from a puppy, so he is socialized to her. He is super great with my kids, but I do have to worry a bit with other kids that come to visit because he gets hyper. It's not aggressive, but he does get anxious. This has improved with time and our working on it since before he was a year old, but as I look back, he was like this even when we brought him home. He is our first dog, so if I had known what to look for a bit better, I probably wouldn't have chosen him from the litter. Live and learn. But, enough of that innate bichon social personality is there in him that he's great with the family and his anxiety is manageable, even though I wish it weren't there at all.

Have you considered a trained therapy dog? I knew another family with a son with DS that got one and were happy. They do all the training and temperament testing. If you do get a dog, I would definitely get a puppy, and really monitor it with your children until you that everyone gets along well (this was about until Darwin was a year old for us). They have to have a 'safe' place to retreat to that they know the children won't get them from (Darwin would- still does- go under a desk in the family room to be 'off limits'. I use crates too, because Ariana can't work the latches. She'll sit outside it and chat with him, but he will be perfectly relaxed and 'safe'.

I guess I could write a book, but I'll stop there! Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Offline Alison

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Re: Housetraining & seperation anxiety -are they major issues?
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2013, 03:00:35 PM »
Abby was housetrained withgin a few days,her brother ,lives with my Mother in Law,took nearly a year.

Abby is left up to 6 hours a few days a week,but she is 7 and we slowly built up over a few months when we first had her.

You've had great advice already.

They do need a lot of grooming,and a visit to the grooming palour every 4-6 weeks at about £30 a time unless you do it yourself like lots of us do.

Bichons are wonderful dogs,but very full on and want to be involved in all that you do.They aren't one you can just put aside.They are so affectionate and loving though.

Its brilliant you are doing your home work to choose the right breed.

I went to visit some adult Bichons before I decided on Abby,that would be great if you were able to.Where do you live? I'm in South Wales.

Alison

Offline Daisy's Mom

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Re: Housetraining & seperation anxiety -are they major issues?
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2013, 03:49:35 PM »
Love Everyone's  topic on the subject and I got Daisy Mae she was10 weeks old and when she reached 6 months old she was all trained , and we went shopping and always had a pillow or blanket on top of couch so she could see us leave and return so s h e never had stress . I tell you it works. Had a piece of treat to give her on the couch when we left she would find her baby sheep toy and when we pulled in we always see her and baby sheep toy in the window. I think it comforted her.

Offline bKay, Bullett & Coco

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Re: Housetraining & seperation anxiety -are they major issues?
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2013, 08:44:47 PM »
Chris,  I loved hearing how Darwin is helping Ariana.  It's amazing how well he does with her and it does appear they have connected.  Go Darwin!!!!   These are amazing little cute fluffs!  k

Offline Jacqui

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Re: Housetraining & seperation anxiety -are they major issues?
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2013, 11:24:12 AM »
We have three bichons all brought home as puppies and one has seperation problems but, not as bad some people have with their little ones. We are in uk too and also did loads of research before we got our first puppy Stanley. As has already been said you get out what you put in. They are such loving dogs and want to be involved in everything you do so you really need to be prepared for that. I leave mine no longer than 4 hours but, they are all in crates. They are calm when in there as they have been in from day one when they came home and its their safe place. One other thing I would say is if you crate train and the puppy has done something naughty dont tell it off when in the cage I believe it is a real safe place for them and have never told them off while in there.

Offline darwinsmom (Chris)

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Re: Housetraining & seperation anxiety -are they major issues?
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2013, 02:07:12 PM »
Chris,  I loved hearing how Darwin is helping Ariana.  It's amazing how well he does with her and it does appear they have connected.  Go Darwin!!!!   These are amazing little cute fluffs!  k
Thanks Kay!

Offline MattiesMom (MaryEllen)

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Re: Housetraining & seperation anxiety -are they major issues?
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2013, 03:28:01 PM »
I have to say that any dog can have these issues.  It is not a bichon problem.  It is most often a human problem.  The way you react and don't react to a puppy's behavior can set you up for success or failure.  My Mattie was a returned to breeder puppy.  I got her at 5 months old.  The previous owner said she was "stupid, untrainable, and messed all over the house".  I had her fully trained in one month (with the help of a canine behaviorist from a nearby training center).  She is an awesome dog, has competed in agility and participated in rally obedience.  When I got Sassy, 2 years later, I was fully prepared and she too was fully housebroken by age 5 months.  My point is that training, knowing how to train, and attention to the details is all important with ANY breed dog.  Now, my vet did tell me that bichons appear to have very small bladders for their size.  That will mean more frequent visits outdoors, or like me you could train your pup to a potty place inside.  This is great when weather is poor.  My doggie bathroom is in my basement and both of my girls will use it on their own, if needed.  I have had several different breeds of dogs over the years and my faves are the bichon with the mini-poodle second.  Bichons are very lovable, do crave a lot of attention (velcro dogs), and good family members.  They also require a lot of grooming so you have to be prepared to put in the time and/or money for that.  I also had 2 shihtzus.  They are much harder to train (not nearly as smart).  Question:  Have you observed your child interacting with dogs?  It would be a good idea to see how it goes first.  I wish you luck in making the right decision for your family.

Offline pam

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Re: Housetraining & seperation anxiety -are they major issues?
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2013, 05:35:04 PM »
My twopenneth for what it is worth.  I have 4 of the little dears - 1 bought as a pup and 3 rescues ( 2 hand ins and 1 a stray).  Separation anxiety is real - mine coped quite happily while I was at work and my husband at home.  Now I am retired it is different and they (the boys anyway) worry if I am out at all without them.  Poor man - he has a lot to cope with.  Toilet training - my boys still need to be watched (and Pepe is 13!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) but my girls are really a joy.
Bichons are different to other dogs - the breed rescue does not recommend rehoming if left alone for 4 hours and personally I would agree with that.  But the odd shopping trip - fair does.  It makes for difficult holidays - ours come with us. 
Do look at the pros and cons on the breed rescue website - at http://www.bichonfriserescue.co.uk/   I think it is fair.
Good luck
Pam