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The Bichon Frise’s Attention Needs: What You Must Know

The Bichon Frise's Attention Needs_ What You Must Know


The Bichon Frise, commonly known as the Bichon, is a very popular pooch loved for his gentle spirit, cheerful disposition, and affectionate and sensitive yet playful nature. He is a great family dog in that he loves all people he encounters. However, he can be a needy pup in a few ways. The Bichon Frises can struggle with separation anxiety as well as fear aggression, tends to bark a lot, be difficult to housebreak, needs to be bathed often, and can have staining on his coat from excessive tearing.

If you have a Bichon, you undoubtedly love him but have found that he can be a lot of work. Taking the time to keep him feeling secure and clean can go a long way in decreasing his neediness and increasing your happiness.

Bichon Separation anxiety

Why are Bichon Frise so Needy?

At just 12-18 pounds, the Bichon is a small sturdy white puff of a breed, often resembling a teddy bear.

His coat tends to be hypoallergenic, so he is a great choice for those who suffer from pet allergies, and while he loves to play, he does not require a lot of exercises to be happy.

Personality-wise, he does not like to be left alone and can become anxious and destructive when you do leave him. The Bichon is a very sociable dog.

He loves to be with others, to snuggle and to play, and does not do well when you leave him for long periods of time. He also commands a lot of attention and is known to paw at you if you are not giving him what he feels he needs. He is highly intelligent which translates to easily bored. He also does not train easily, especially without a lot of rewards and praise. Because he is small, the breed can often develop fear aggression towards other animals that are larger than he.

The Bichon Frise's Attention Needs: What You Must Know 1

When encountering a larger breed, he may snarl and snip at the other animal to appear as someone you do not want to mess with. Your Bichon undoubtedly loves to watch out a window but tends to bark at everything and anything that passes his sightline or makes a noise within his earshot.  His desire to protect comes partly from his undying devotion to you and as compensation for his petite size. The Bichon can live up to 15 years, which also means they mature a little bit more slowly than other breeds.

This lack of maturity, combined with a bit of an independent and stubborn streak, can make it difficult to housebreak the pup in a timely manner. His breed is notorious for being difficult to house train, so it may take longer cleaning up his accidents than with other breeds. He also has a beautiful white coat that needs to be maintained daily with brushing and baths as well as weekly grooming.

Without the brushing, his coat will become matted and tangled and more easily stained. His soft coat, since it is white and he is a dog, can become dirty quickly. Being dirty is unsightly, unsanitary, and can lead to skin rashes and infections. The Bichon also tends to have eyes that tear often, which can lead to staining if not properly cleaned and cared for in a timely manner.

Separation Anxiety from a Dog Trainer

Encouraging the Behaviour

Choosing the Bichon for your home is a great idea if you plan to be home a lot and can spend a good amount of time playing and snuggling with him. Try to take him with you as often as possible, and when you do have to leave him, make sure to supply him with a lot of stimulating toys and perhaps a dog walker to visit him and break up the day.

Should he paw at you to command your attention, do not respond by giving him the attention or telling him to go away as both will encourage the behavior. Rather get up and walk away. Work on teaching him to occupy his time with toys while he waits for you to spend time with him. Do not leave him waiting too long, and do not take more than five or ten minutes per session of training as that can overwhelm him. Socializing him with other dogs of all sizes, right from the start, can also decrease the chances of his developing fear aggression. While socializing him, encourage and reward him when he has positive interactions with other pets.

A dog trainer can also help you if your Bichon has become more demanding of your time, suffers from separation anxiety, or exhibits fear aggression. To limit his barking, praise him when he is quiet and ignore him when he barks so he associates being quiet as a good thing. You can also limit his reasons for barking by keeping his visual and auditory world quiet with closed shades and background white noise, especially when he must be left alone. Using a crate as a haven is also helpful in limiting his need to protect the home with a bark. Prior to getting your Bichon, do your research on the proper care of his coat and face.

Separation Anxiety

There are many products on the market that can help you with the right brush and shampoo to keep his coat and skin clean and moisturized. Brush him right from the start every other two to three days to limit matting, tangles, and the accumulation of dirt. Bathe him on a bi-weekly to monthly basis but monitor his skin to ensure he is not developing any sensitivity to the baths or bath products.

Also, have him groomed by a professional groomer every 4-6 weeks, and keep his coat short and clipped.

Having him look like a show dog takes more time and money, so while the short and clipped coat will not have him show ready, he will still be adorable and a bit less maintenance.

Grooming a Bichon

 Housebreaking is essential when owning a pet, and Bichons are known for having accidents.

Potty Traing indoors

Many trainers recommend crate training your Bichon as well as installing a doggy door so that he has limited chances of having accidents in the home. While training, be prepared to take him out more than once during the night.

Potty Training Buddy

Having a dog walker to take him out during the day if you are not home is almost a must as well. Be patient and reward him with treats and praise as often as possible. Understand it may take him a little longer than other breeds to master housebreaking and holding his bladder. 

All dogs’ eyes tear, but the Bichon tends to be on the higher end of tearing. Some tearing is caused by allergies and can be handled with medication. You can limit the staining by wiping his eyes often and keeping him clean in general.

Other Solutions and Considerations

The Bichon Frise breed does have some possible health issues that often run in the breed. They tend to inherit a faulty immune system, which can lead to allergies to pollen, fleas, grass, and certain shampoos. These allergies can lead to skin and ear conditions.

The Bichon also tends to suffer from cataracts, epilepsy, and dislocation of their kneecaps as well as hip dysplasia, urinary tract infections, and bladder stones.

There are never any guarantees when adopting a pet but using a reputable breeder that tests both the male and female for genetic predispositions can limit your chances of adopting an ailing pet.

Adopting an adult dog from a rescue or shelter is also a way to know better what you may be getting in your dog.

All the Bishon’s possible ailments can be managed by a veterinarian as well as by proper care and diet.

The Bichon Frise's Attention Needs: What You Must Know 2


The Bichon Frise is an adorable small non-sporting breed that resembles a teddy bear, is very sociable and friendly, and does not require much exercise. He can suffer from separation anxiety, demand a lot of attention when you are home, become bored easily, bark, have frequent accidents and require a lot of grooming.

He is higher on the needy scale, but with proper training and coat maintenance, he can be a lovely addition to your home. Using a reputable breeder and enlisting the help of a friendly and knowledgeable groomer as well as a trainer can go a long way in finding a good fit in your home.

Top 10 Bichon Designer Breeds / Parents /Size / Video

Designer MixParentsSizeVideo
MaltichonBichon / MalteseHeight / 8-11 inches
Weight / 8 - 13 lbs
Bichpoo Bichon / PoodleHeight / 9 - 14 inches
Weight / 6 - 9 lbs
Shichon Bichon / Shih TzuHeight / 9 - 12 inches
Weight / 10 - 15lbs
Yorkie BichonBichon / YorkieHeight / 9 - 12 inches
Weight / 6 - 8 lbs
Bichon Yorkie
Chi Chon Bichon / ChihuahuaHeight / 8 - 10 Inches
Weight / 6 - 10 Lbs
Chi Chon
KashonBichon / Cairn TerrierHeight / 9 - 15 Inches
Weight / 10 -18 Lbs
Goldichon Bichon / Golden RetrieverHeight/15 - 20 inches
Weight /20-40 Lbs
ChonzerBichon / Miniature SchnauzerHeight /10-16 inches
Weight / 25-35 lbs
Glechon Bichon / Beagle Height /15-16 inches
Weight / 15-35 lbs
Corgi Bichon / CorgiHeight /11-13 inches
Weight / 31-37 lbs
List of the Designer Breeds from the Bichon Frise
Name - Link for Research
Parents - Breeds of Dogs
Size Height / Weight
Video - Video of the Bichon Designer Breed

Chart of Bichon Birthing Accessories

Breeder BoxDo Not used Wired Dog cage
HeaterWe use space heater for whole Room
scaleTo Weigh Puppies make sure they are Gaining Weight
Clean towelsChande during Birthing to clean up
Protected SpaceKeep Mother away from other Dogs to avoid Distress
Draft ProtectionDrafts can chill and kill a Puppy
Squash protectionMothers can accidently squash a puppy
clean bedding to replace after birth - will be wet
SeclusionNeeds her Privacy - she can get Hyper
Rubber GlovesKeep things Clean and from Blood
Scisorrs & ThreadFor Cutting Cord
List of Needed Items to Have Prepared For Puppy Birth

Puppy Birthing Complications

If UnsureTake to Vet If Time allows
Keep Mother IsolatedIf Other dogs around she could get defensive and accidently Hurt Puppies
Puppy Accidentally CrushedMake sure Not Giving Birth in Dog cage - puppies can work themselves through mesh and get Damaged
Not BreathingGently Give it Mouth to mouth
Not breathingMassage Puppy trying to gently force fluid from his lungs
Puppy StuckGently Pull
Puppy BreechHelp Guide legs out
Puppy ColdRaise Enviorment to 85 degrees
Puppy ColdChange Wet Bedding
Puppy ColdWarm Puppy up put on Your body till body heat warms him
Puppy ColdNo drafts - No metal Floor Pan on Cage
Puppy not going on NippleHelp Guide him to nipple till he gets hand of it
Puppy not feedingTry Small baby Bottle
let him suck - do not force him - can drown him with milk going in lungs
Puppy not feedingUse puppy Milk Supplement
Puppy Not feeding check for Cleft Palate
Puppy Not FeedingTake to Vet - he can show you Catheter Feeding
Puppy Not GrowingMake sure Mother has plenty Food Water
Puppy Not GrowingYou can check on scale
Labor stops or is prolonged over 24 hours Take to vet - C section can save litter and Mother if needed
Mother does not Remove MembraneYou will Need to Manually remove it
Mother does not chew through Umbilical CordYou will need to cut it 1/2 " away from puppies body tier with thread
Here is a List of Puppy Birth Complications you might Encounter
And Recommended Steps

Expense Table for Owning Bichons Frise

Average Cost of AKC PuppyPuppy ShotsFoodGrooming 4 / per yearCage / Accessories / Bowls / Brushes / Leash / CollarAKC - Registration
Within 6 Months of Purchase
Micro ChipYearly Meds
Heart Worm
Dog LicenseTotal InvestmentPuppies Possible / Year
$ 450 - No Breeding Rights$ 120$ 10 / Wk
High Quality Food
$ 45 ea / $180 YrCage - $50
Rest - 50
$ 35$ 45 - One Time Cost
By Vet
Heart Worm Meds - $60 / Yr
Worming - $ 30 / YR
$ 35 / Yr$ 1575 / Dog1-6 Puppies
Average 3
$ 750 - $ 950
Puppy with AKC Papers and No Restrictions
Total Investment
This Table just shows you the Expenses in Keeping a Bichon That we have found in Owning a Bichon

Breeds Descended from Water Dogs

Name of BreedCountry of Origin
American Water SpanielUnited States
Cantabrian Water DogSpain
English Water SpanielEngland
Irish water SpanielIreland
Lagotto RomagnoioItaly
Portuguese Water DogPortugal
Pudelpointer Germany
Spanish water DogSpain
Tweed water SpanielEngland
This a list of Breeds that have Descended from Medival times Water Dogs- used by Hunters

Bichon Frise Resource Links

Bichon Frise Club of AmericaUnited StatesLink
Bichon Frise AKCUnited StatesLink
Bichon Frise United Kennel ClubUKLink
Resources for Bichon Frise Owners and Breeders