BICHONS: WHAT TO CONSIDER
BEFORE GETTING ONE
Bichons are wonderful, funny, loving, happy, playful, smart dogs, BUT they are NOT for everyone!! Bichons have some special needs and quirks that people need to be aware of before deciding if this is the breed for them.
The most obvious consideration is their coat care.
Bichons require A LOT of grooming to look like a Bichon and to be healthy. They must be thoroughly brushed (daily is best, but weekly is mandatory) to prevent matting of the coat. They should have their hair cut every 4-6 weeks, and depending on the area in which you live, this can be costly. If you are considering this breed, be prepared to figure in the cost of getting the dog professionally groomed on a routine basis.
Bichons were bred as companion animals. As such, they want to be with their people…..all the time! Many Bichons do not do well when left alone for long periods of time on a daily basis. They can suffer from separation anxiety, which can lead to depression, destructive behavior, personality changes, fear, excessive barking, and housebreaking problems. Bichons are an “in your face” breed. They want to be with you, and when you are in the house they will follow you everywhere, they want to be on your lap or snuggled next to you when you are sitting down, they DEMAND attention!
And speaking of housebreaking….
This can be a big issue with the breed and one of the main reasons that Bichons are placed in rescue or given up to shelters. Depending on the start that the dog gets from the breeder and it’s personality, depends on how difficult it will be to housetrain the dog, and Bichons are notorious for being difficult to housebreak! Some dogs “get it” quickly and some dogs take a long time before they are housebroken. If you are considering this breed, you MUST be prepared to have accidents in the house, and you MUST be prepared for housebreaking to take time!
Bichons like to think that they DESERVE to be waited on . . . . .
. . . . and if not properly trained, they WILL run the house. In order for a Bichon to be a good family member it is important for the owner to obtain some basic obedience training for the dog. Obviously this will require some time and nominal expense, but it will be worth the effort, especially for the new dog owner.
Bichons are inquisitive, nosey dogs.
Be prepared to loose some personal articles if you leave them in reach of the dog! This attitude also applies to the outside world. If you do not have a secure, fenced in yard, you MUST have the dog on a leash at all times when it is outside! If you let the dog off leash, or do not hold onto the leash, the dog will take off to investigate new things, run just for the fun of it, or chase cars, squirrels, etc.
Bottom line …..
If you have the time, patience and resources to cope with all of the above, you will not find a better dog to be your best friend than a Bichon!