Bichon Frize problems: temperament
Of its many wonderful qualities, the bichon’s charming temperament may be one of the biggest draws to potential owners. The ideal bichon is gentle, playful, sensitive and affectionate. Homeowners must settle for nothing less than these qualities. Although most bichons are capable of this type of temperament, some things can lead to a less desirable attitude in your dog. The two biggest Bichon Frize problems associated with temperament are fear aggression and separation anxiety. In this article we will look at the symptoms of these problems and how to avoid them.
Fear of aggression
Fear aggression is part of a larger complex called “little dog syndrome.” Bichons know they are small dogs, so when threatened they will overreact to compensate for their small stature. They can show aggression by barking and growling, or more generally biting. All of these are reactions to perceived threats or general feelings of inadequacy.
Nobody wants an aggressive dog, no matter how small. For this reason, it’s important that bichon owners raise and train their dogs with the love and attention they need (and they need a lot!). Bichons like to know that you are the “leader of the pack.” The leaders are firm and strong, and this is not a normal characteristic of the breed. If you don’t establish yourself as their leader, they themselves will feel the need to fill that void. Unfortunately, since it is not in their nature, they will become overly aggressive.
The best way to avoid fear aggression is with constant training on all fronts. This means that housebreaking, socialization and cage training must be carried out with assertiveness. Remember that assertiveness does not mean cruelty or meanness. It simply means setting rules for expected behavior and demanding that your bichon abide by them. Severe scolding (but not yelling) for bad behavior and generous praise for good behavior can go a long way not only in training, but also in developing a wonderful temperament.
One thing that a potential Bichon owner should seriously consider is the time that they will be able to spend with their dog. Bichons are social animals and need a lot of attention, so people who travel for work or are away from home for long periods of time on a daily basis should consider looking for another breed. Bichons that are left alone repeatedly for long periods are at high risk of developing separation anxiety, and this can again result in excessive biting and barking, but it can also lead to depression.
To avoid separation anxiety, owners should expect to spend most of their time at home with their puppies. They are not good dogs for very active people, unless they can take their dog with them when they are outside, but they are perfect for those who enjoy spending time at home. This makes them perfect pets for families who have someone in the house most of the time. This will go a long way toward preventing separation anxiety.
The bottom line
Bichons need a lot of attention and to know that you are the leader of their pack. These two seemingly simple things can make the difference between a well-behaved dog and the severe temperament issues of the Bichon Frize. Owners should expect to be consistent in their training and spend a lot of time with their dogs. If this can be done, it will result in a happy, gentle and loving puppy that everyone will adore.