Bichon frises are a very friendly breed who adore interaction with people. Though very energetic, the bichon is usually a very placid breed that mixes well with other animals. Proper socialisation is required to ensure that the bichon puppy does not become aggressive or anxious. The bichon frise is a small dog with a lot of personality and because of this, training requires repetition and firmness, but not aggressiveness, to overcome its independent nature. Training a bichon can be difficult, especially when it comes to toilet training. Female bichon frises are more difficult to toilet train than males.
Have your bichon frise sleep in the dog crate and whenever it wakes up, let it outside immediately to relieve itself. Praise the dog when it urinates outside and play with it to reinforce the positive behaviour. After dinner or before bedtime, let the puppy out into the yard to relieve itself and again praise it and play with it when you bring it inside. As the puppy grows, you can use the crate less and less. Do not feel guilty for using the crate--it will not upset or harm the dog when used as part of its training.
Give your dog lots of care and attention as soon as you bring it home. Dogs need to be socialised early to reduce the risk of any aggressive or anxious behaviour. Dogs enjoy life in the pack, and bichon frises are especially social animals. Play with your bichon frise puppy often to minimise its sadness at leaving its mother. Even as the puppy ages and becomes used to its new home, it needs regular care and attention. Bichon frises are prone to separation anxiety and will bark incessantly if left alone for large periods of time. Make sure you have plenty of time to spend with a bichon frise before purchasing one.
Walk your bichon frise puppy twice a day to create a bond and to reduce its natural high energy. Get the puppy used to the leash before you walk it. Attach a short leash to the dog's collar and let it drag it around behind it for a few minutes for a few days before first walking it. Supervision is essential when you do this--your dog may asphyxiate if the leash gets caught on something. If the dog tries to get away from the leash, squeak a toy to distract it. The puppy should become more comfortable with the leash. When walking the bichon frise, keep it on your left side to teach it to heel. If it does not frighten the dog, jerk on its leash to indicate where you would like it to go. If the dog is afraid, coax it into place instead and give it a treat when it does as you wish.