Obedience training is one of the best things you can do for your Bichon Frise or puppy and yourself. Obedience training doesn’t solve all behavior problems, but it is the foundation for solving just about any problem. Training opens up a line of communication between you and your Bichon Frise. Effective communication is necessary to instruct your Bichon Frise about what you want her to do. You can teach her anything from ’stay’ (don’t bolt out the door) to ’sit’ (don’t jump up on the visitors) to ’off’ (don’t chew the furniture).
Bichon Frises are social animals and without proper training, they will behave like animals. They will soil your house, destroy your belongings, bark excessively, dig holes in your yard, fight other Bichon Frises and even bite you. Nearly all behavior problems are perfectly normal Bichon Frise activities that occur at the wrong time or place or are directed at the wrong thing. For example, the Bichon Frise will eliminate on the carpet instead of outside; the Bichon Frise will bark all night long instead of just when a stranger is prowling around outside; or the Bichon Frise will chew furniture instead of his own toys. The key to preventing or treating behavior problems is learning to teach the Bichon Frise to redirect his natural behavior to outlets that are acceptable in the domestic setting.
Obedience training is also an easy way to establish the social hierarchy. When your Bichon Frise obeys a simple request of ’come here, sit,’ she is showing compliance and respect for you. It is NOT necessary to establish yourself as top Bichon Frise or leader of the pack by using extreme measures such as the so-called alpha roll-over. You CAN teach your Bichon Frise her subordinate role by teaching her to show submission to you in a paw raise (shake hands), roll over or hand lick (give a kiss). Most Bichon Frises love performing these tricks (obedience commands) for you which also pleasantly acknowledge that you are in charge.
Obedience training should be fun and rewarding for you and your Bichon Frise. It can enrich your relationship and make living together more enjoyable. A well-trained Bichon Frise is more confident and can more safely be allowed a greater amount of freedom than an untrained one. A trained Bichon Frise will come when called.
Some people debate whether or not it is possible to train puppies, and others ask whether it is possible to teach an old Bichon Frise new tricks. The answer to both questions is an unequivocal YES. Whatever the age of your Bichon Frise, the right time to begin training is right now! The most important time in your Bichon Frise’s life is right now. Your Bichon Frise’s behavior is constantly changing. A Bichon Frise that is well-behaved today will not necessarily remain that way forever. New problems can always develop. Existing problems can always get worse.
Enroll in a local Bichon Frise obedience training class to learn the basics. Then most teaching and training can and should be done in your home. It is best to begin training in an area that is familiar to your Bichon Frise and with the least amount of distractions as possible. When you feel both you and your Bichon Frise are skilled at several obedience commands, then take these commands to different areas. Introducing distractions may seem like starting all over again, but it’s worth the effort. In reality, who cares if your Bichon Frise will sit stay when no one is around? What
you need is a Bichon Frise who will sit-stay when company is at the door.
Who cares if your Bichon Frise heels beautifully in your own back yard? But you need to start there if you eventually want a Bichon Frise who will heel beautifully when walking down Union Street. If you want your Bichon Frise to be obedient in your car, guess where you have to practice? If you suddenly want your Bichon Frise to down-stay while you are trying to move over 3 lanes to make an exit, you had better find time to practice those obedience commands in the car long before you need them. Don’t drive and practice at the same time. Practice while the car is parked or while someone else is driving.
Keep the obedience training sessions short and sweet. It is dull and boring to schedule tedious and lengthy training sessions. Instead, integrate training into your daily routine. Make obedience training interesting and meaningful to your Bichon Frise. If Puppy insists on following you from room to room while you are getting ready for the day, then insist he have something to do too. "Roll over" for your wake-up greeting. "Heel" from the bedroom to the bathroom.
"Down-stay" while you’re brushing your teeth. "Heel" from the bathroom to the kitchen. "Sit-stay" while grinding the coffee beans. "Go find the ball" while you get dressed. Now "go get the leash" so you can go for a walk. "Sit" when the door is opened, "sit" again when the door is closed. And so on. Be sure that obedience training infiltrates your Bichon Frise’s favorite activities and that your Bichon Frise’s favorite activities infiltrates training. Your Bichon Frise’s favorite activities should become training, so that training becomes the Bichon Frise’s favorite activity.
Rewards While Training
The single most important aspect of training is rewarding your Bichon Frise for good behavior. The more times the Bichon Frise is rewarded, the quicker he will learn. Therefore, it’s essential that you set up situations repeatedly in order for your Bichon Frise to get plenty of practice at doing the right thing. It’s equally as important that you always praise your Bichon Frise for good behavior instead of taking it for granted. It’s easy to forget to praise good behavior because it goes unnoticed. But the very nature of misbehavior gets our attention. We don’t notice when our Bichon Frise is lying quietly, but excessive barking gets our attention. How many of us take notice and praise our Bichon Frises when they chew their own toys? But we all go berserk when we notice our favorite pair of shoes chewed up! Praise and reward are the most important part of maintaining good behavior and preventing problems from arising.
Reprimands While Training
Some Bichon Frises feel they are constantly bombarded with, ’NO, Stop that, get off, Bad Bichon Frise!’ They tend to get used to it and so the reprimands become meaningless and are ignored. If most of our interaction with the Bichon Frise is praise for good behavior, then reprimands will take on much more meaning. Whenever you find the need to reprimand your Bichon Frise, immediately show him what you want him to do, then reward him for getting it right. If you catch him chewing the furniture, tell him, ’Off!’ Then immediately direct him to his own toys, enthusiastically entice him to chew on them and praise him for doing so.
If done correctly, your voice alone is sufficient for reprimand. A correct reprimand is short, sharp and immediate. Don’t continue to nag the Bichon Frise and never reprimand him unless you catch him in the act. Never hit, kick, slap or spank your Bichon Frise. This type of inappropriate punishment always creates more problems and usually makes existing problems worse. Not only will you have a barking, chewing Bichon Frise, but one that is leery, hand-shy, fearful or aggressive.
Why Obedience training is essential for every pet Bichon Frise!
Obedience training establishes you as the Alpha.
Putting a leash on your Bichon Frise and teaching just one command communicates this leadership to your pet. Our pet Bichon Frises are more than willing to work and live in harmony with us, as long as they know their position in the pack. If the owner doesn’t establish the leadership role, the pet Bichon Frise could develop unwanted behavior (jumping, chewing, biting, soiling the den,
Janet Combs has been raising, and training Bichon Frise for over 20 years. During that time she has helped 100's of owners prevent or cure their dog's bad behavior. Learn how Janet can help you with your dog. Click Here: Bichon Frise Training
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