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Are Bichon Frises Easy To Train? A New Dog Owner’s Guide


It’s natural to wonder “Are Bichon Frises easy to train?”, especially if you are considering owning a dog for the first time.

First-time dog owners can struggle with a dog that takes longer to train and sometimes end up just giving up. They can become overwhelmed with the training requirements of their dog and sometimes these dogs will need to be rehomed.

This is why it’s particularly important to question the trainability of a Bichon Frise.

Not to worry though. Bichon Frises are considered to be pretty easy to train due to their intelligence. With that said, Bichons can be considered more difficult to house train. House training requires a bit more patience to accomplish but it’s certainly not impossible.

In this article, we’ll look at how intelligent Bichon Frises are. We’ll also discuss how difficult they are to house train, if you should consider crate training as well as offering you tons of tips and advice for Bichon Frise training.

Are Bichon Frises Smart?

A common question people can have about the Bichon Frise is just how smart they are.

While the intelligence of each individual dog can differ, there have been plenty of studies carried out into the relative intelligence of different dog breeds.

This all makes for some pretty interesting reading I’ll be honest.

With that in mind let’s take a dive into the Bichon Frise intelligence ranking to learn more.

Bichon Frise Intelligence Ranking

In doing the research to put together this article, I came across a Professor called Stanley Coren.

He is a Professor Emeritus at the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia.

Professor Coren has released many publications about dog psychology and cognition, but his most well-known publication is called “The Intelligence of Dogs“.

This book documents the results of the rigorous and comprehensive tests that were carried out to determine the obedience intelligence of 138 dog breeds.

Getting back to the core point of all of this information, the Bichon Frise ranks 78 out of the 138 dog breeds.

This might seem like the middle of the road in terms of intelligence but it’s actually pretty amazing when you consider that they can learn a new command an about 25 – 40 seconds and obey that command over 50% of the time.

If you want to learn more about the findings of this book, you can read about it on the associated Wikipedia page: which you can read here.

If this is something you’d like to learn more about, here is an Amazon link to the book itself.

Common Bichon Frise Training Problems

We mentioned above that although the Bichon Frise is considered to be an easy to train dog, there are some areas where training is more difficult.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some common Bichon Frise training problems.

  • Barking when the door rings – this type of alert barking is pretty common in the Bichon Frise. We’ll cover some simple tips for training your Bichon not to bark down below.
  • Chewing – chewing and biting is a common thing for puppies to do. It’s when adult dogs continue to chew and bite that we should be more vigilant with training to prevent other people from getting an unwanted nip. We’ll cover some training tips on this in the sections below.
  • Not coming when called – this is always a concern for dog owners. You want to be able to recall your dog in any situation. This requires patience and consistent training but it is of utmost importance that you teach your dog to come when they are called.
  • Pulling on the lead – this is another common thing that dog owners have to manage. It can be especially challenging with larger dogs which is why it’s important to start this training from a young age.
  • Separation Anxiety – those familiar with the Bichon Frise will know that separation anxiety is something these dogs can develop if left alone for long periods. Consistent training and ensuring your dog is not left alone all day will help to mitigate the worst of this behavior.
Are Bichon Frises Easy To Train

Are Bichon Frises Difficult To House Train?

We’ve mentioned it at the beginning of this article, but the Bichon Frise can be considered slightly challenging to house train.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some common housebreaking problems and how you can resolve them.

Common Bichon Frise Housebreaking Problems

Ripping Up Newspaper Or Puppy Pads

This is a pretty common issue experienced when trying to housebreak a puppy. They like nothing better than tearing newspaper to shreds, much to your dismay.

The best way I have found to work around this is to use puppy pads that have sticky tabs on them. You can stick these to the floor and your puppy will be less likely to rip them up.

Another option is to invest in a puppy training starter kit, which looks like a kitty litter box that has some fake grass on top. This way your puppy will be attracted to the grass and will be more inclined to do their business without tearing it to pieces.

Eating Their Poop

As gross as this is to think about, I recently witnessed this strange behavior for myself.

In order to combat this behavior, the simplest thing to do is to immediately pick up the poop and put it in the bin.

To actually deter your puppy from doing this, it can sometimes be recommended to give them some small pieces of pineapple. This will have the effect of producing a very unpleasant product that will deter your puppy.

Training Related Problems

The hardest thing about housebreaking your dog is to remain consistent and patient.

Owners who become lax with their training and let things slide shouldn’t be surprised when their dogs continue to do their business in the house.

It’s also important to avoid scolding your dog in the event that they do have an accident in the house. This negative reinforcement won’t do anyone any good and you are better off rewarding the positive behavior of your dog.

Be consistent and patient with your training as it will take some time for your puppy to learn where to go to do their business.

Health-Related Problems

If you find that your dog is very frequently going to the bathroom inside or if they are straining during urination, this might be an indication of something health-related.

Older dogs can sometimes experience this also and can’t hold it long enough to make it outside.

With that in mind, if you notice this with your dog, it’s a good idea to bring your dog to the vet to determine the cause.

Are Bichon Frises Easy To Train

Training Your Bichon Frise

Training your Bichon Frise is something you should be consistently doing from a young age. Your dog should always be learning and practicing what they know to keep their mind sharp.

With that in mind let’s take a closer look at some training tips that might help you out.

How To House Train Your Bichon Frise

House training or potty training your Bichon Frise is a process that requires consistency and patience without a doubt.

This is something that you should start from the moment you bring your puppy home.

The first thing you should do upon bringing them home is to take them out into the garden. After a long car journey, they will likely need to go to the toilet so this is a simple way to start off on the right track.

Once they go to the bathroom, immediately reward them with lots of praise and attention.

Early on in your puppy’s life, be sure to take them outside straight after each meal and ideally every other hour. This will get them used to the garden as their place to go to the toilet.

Following on from this then, be sure to feed your dog regularly to ensure they relieve themselves regularly. Pretty simple enough. We feed our dog twice a day and have a regular routine where she can go outside to do her business.

Be sure to treat them immediately after they go to the bathroom outside.

It’s important to observe your dog’s behavior and notice their cues when they’re about to go to the bathroom. They might start pacing in small circles or something similar. This is your cue to take them outside immediately.

The final thing to note here is don’t punish your dog if they have an accident in the house. These things happen for various reasons and scolding them will not help them learn. Instead, reward the good behavior and stay positive and your dog will get the hang of things eventually.

How To Train A Bichon Frise To Stop Biting

A common question that people with new puppies have is why does my puppy bite me?

Puppy biting is a normal phase puppies will go through so it is expected.

Puppies are teething and need something to chew on to relieve their discomfort. They also likely want to play and have your attention so biting is the quickest way to achieve this in their mind.

It’s a good idea to train your puppy from a young age that biting you or other people isn’t acceptable behavior.

With that in mind, a simple way to do this is by distracting your dog with a chew toy that they actually can bite and chew all they want. This shows them that they can chew their toys but not your hands.

As well as this, be sure to use treats to reinforce positive behavior and your dog will quickly understand the correct thing to do.

To learn much more about puppy biting, I highly recommend you read this article I wrote: Why Does My Puppy Bite Me? How To Stop It In 3 Easy Steps

How To Train A Bichon Frise Not To Bark

Dogs like the Bichon Frise can be prone to watchdog like tendencies i.e. barking when the doorbell rings or when they see a stranger. This is also referred to as alert barking.

This can cause sore ears and may even disturb the neighbors so it’s important to prevent excessive barking with consistent training.

Regular play and exercise will provide mental stimulation and prevent boredom which can be a cause of barking.

Start with small steps and reward your dog for good behavior. Then, gradually increase the difficulty and remember to be consistent in your training efforts.

Always avoid punishing or scolding your dog and instead focus on good behavior as this will yield better results.

For lots more information on this topic, I would highly recommend reading this article: How Often Does A Bichon Frise Bark? With Simple Training Tips

Consider Bringing Your Bichon Frise To Obedience Training Classes

In our last section, we’re going to look at obedience training classes: what they are and why you should consider them. I hope you find this helpful!

What Is Obedience Training

Obedience training refers to the act of training your dog to obey various commands such as sit, stay, lie down for example.

This is a crucial part of owning a well behaved and happy dog and is something that should be started from a young age.

Obedience training classes offer a way to actually teach dog owners how to properly train their dogs which is invaluable.

Lots of places offer a variety of obedience training classes that you can enroll in, from beginners to more advanced.

Research what’s on offer in your area and consider signing up for a beginner’s class as soon as you can.

The Benefits Of Obedience Training Classes

Now that we’ve looked at what obedience training is, here are the benefits of obedience training classes:

  1. Helps you to get the basics down
  2. Keeps you and your dog motivated
  3. Shows you the best ways to train your dogs
  4. Develops a strong bond between you and your dog
  5. Get’s your dog used to interaction between other dogs and other people

Bonus: Online Training Course

If you’re not a fan of in person training courses, an even better solution is to sign up for an online training course.

The best one around that I’ve come across is Brain Training For Dogs. The sheer amount of training tips and advice offered is second to none in online dog training courses.

Here is the link below (affiliate link) for you to learn more and sign up:

Brain Training For Dogs


Now that we’ve reached the end of the article, let’s summarize things to close off.

  • First, we answered the question: are Bichon Frises smart?
  • Next, we talked about the difficulty of house training a Bichon
  • After that, we discussed crate training and if you should consider it
  • Next, we covered some great tips for training your Bichon Frise
  • Finally, we talked about obedience training and when you should consider this

We were able to cover quite a lot of useful information in this article. If you found this information helpful and informative, please consider sharing it on social media. It helps other people like you to find it.

Also, if you have any questions about any of the detail in this article, please leave a comment below.

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