Some new pet owners may find themselves in the shock of their lives when their cute and cuddly Bichon Frize suddenly bites their hand or some other part of their body. While it may be alarming at first, you may want to consider a Bichon Frize biting behavior as a sign of potential temperament issues in your pet.
Why would a lovable, lovable dog like a Bichon Frize bite? One good reason is that your Bichon is teething. Some puppies get so irritated by teeth poking out of their gums that they tend to bite AND gnaw on anything, including your hand. However, keep in mind that the main difference between the Bichon Frize bite and teething is that your dog won’t just bite; they will also gnaw. When this happens, just say “No!” firmly and give them a teething bone or strong toy.
However, if the bite is accompanied by signs of aggression, including growling or barking, and the Bichon adopts a defensive posture with the ears flat on the sides of the head, the teeth exposed and the legs spread in preparation to flee or attack , your dog may have temperament issues.
Bichons suffering from separation anxiety may bite their owners just to get their attention. In the cases of dogs that have joined their owners in a new home, they can become so anxious and agitated by the sudden change in environment that they would bite at any sign of aggression.
Biting is a behavior that you should anticipate in rescued Bichons. Some of these pets come from deplorable conditions, such as puppy mills, where they had to compete with other dogs for food and other staples. Others have had cruel owners, who would yell at them or even beat them. Depending on the case, bichons consider the act of biting as a means of self-defense in addition to protecting their territories.
Aggressive bichons will require more patience and understanding on your part. If your bichon growls at you, reassure him with soft, kind words. Never pat him on the head, as this will make it easier for him to bite you. Instead, rub their backs gently. If your dog does bite or even bites you, again give him a firm “No!” Never attack them in anger. If the dog is attached to your hand, rub his back reassuringly and carefully pry open the jaws to release your hand. Once your hand is free, you should repeat the word “No!” and shake your head to let them know that this is not behavior that you tolerate.
If all attempts to calm the biting bichons fail, it may be necessary to take your dog to a kennel handler. He or she has the experience to apply behavior modification techniques to curb Bichon Frize biting behaviors. You can find trainers by doing a web search or by checking with animal welfare groups in your local area.