I have a 10-month-old male bichon frise that is very nervous when we go out on walks. We are also having problems with him chewing. Can you please help?
From the Editors of The Dog Daily
Bichons tend to be very sensitive dogs, but their sensitivity does come with a price. As Richard Beauchamp -- author of The Bichon Frise Handbook -- points out, if you “yell a little too loud” at an unfamiliar bichon, you’ll soon regret that you did because “the breed does not tolerate abuse.”
Beauchamp adds that these dogs are also creatures of comfort. If you teach him the “No!” command, but then relent every so often, your dog will not properly learn. The chewing problem you mentioned would then continue and the dog would become spoiled, not reacting well to situations that it perceives as stressful. Going out for walks, as you suggest, can be one such stress instigator for an improperly socialized dog.
The Bichon Frise Club of America Inc. recommends that you enroll your dog in a “kindergarten” training program, or basic obedience training. All dogs need socialization and training, and these skills can really help your pet avoid problems like fear, aggression and separation anxiety. The club recommends trainers who emphasize positive reinforcement in their programs.