“ Animal Species: Dogs „
We've had Archie now for just seven weeks, but I thought it was time for a review of our time so far. It seems really odd reviewing a living thing, and it's really hard to speak of him the same way I do a deep fat fryer! As he grows I'll maybe add to the review and share his magic moments!
By the way you can see Archie in my profile picture!
Never a natural dog lover, I came under pressure from her indoors to get a family pet. Not so keen, I put her off by saying I would take a nosey online and see what I liked. Bichon Frise's are easily the cutest things ever to walk, and it didn't take long before my heart was set on a Bichon. Nothing else would do.
We searched the local papers and found a breeder around three hours drive away, and agreed to go and pick one for £400. This included the usual services like Kennel Club registration and starter vaccinations and worming etc.
On arrival, one immediately came to nosey to see who was at the door, and we both said "we'll have that one" at the same time. The deal was done and off we went on out three hour journey home. The little fella slept the whole way, waking only periodically. He was a very good traveller.
Archie had a bad first night with us and clearly missed his own family. No one in our house slept that night due to his crying. On the second night, I couldn't sleep because he never made a peep, and I kept thinking he had died he was so quiet. He settled in very quickly.
We both took a week off to begin training him, and it was all going well. He caught on very quick, and was going to the door to do his business after only a week. However it became harder when we went back to work, and there were a few periods when he was left alone, or I was sleeping due to nightshifts. Archie is still trying to adjust to this, and although he is very rarely left alone, it is hard for him not knowing if someone will come and let him out the door!
As a pet, I would have no other. He loves seeing visitors come, and will lick and kiss anyone that comes to the door. A Bichon will never make a guard dog I guess. He is growing really fast, and although we are really strict on him he begs for food between meal times and it's hard to say no to such a cute little man.
He's just after completing his injection course and has been out walking this last week. It's like a whole new world for him to explore and he doesn't yet want to walk very far. I've been told that once he is fully grown, in about eight months, a mile and a half a night will be his norm, and this will certainly help with my fitness drive.
His temperament is great and he want to play all day. He'll not get angry too much, other than when he can't get the sock off my foot. Chews everything of course, and it is really hard to train him not to nip and bite, but I'm told he will grow out of this.
I'm sorry if this is one of the most one sided reviews you've ever read on here, but Archie really is a gem! For someone looking a toy dog id certainly recommend a Bichon! I'll follow up and update as Archie grows, but I certainly don't expect to be adding any bad points.
Having had Bichon Frise's most of my life I found i had to write a review on them. My current dog, Gracie is a little chubby bichon of 4 years of age. She has an abundance of character although extremely cheeky and naughty on the odd occasion!
She seems to live for food, alays wanting whatever I am eating, be it junk, or healthy options, and pines and moans for food which can be annoying but I wouldn't want her any other way. They are great fun, always wanting affection and and a brilliant 'lap dog.' Im told they are pretty easy to train, my experience proves otherwise, as they are quit enaughty, but extremely friendly and will never bite. They think of themselves as guard dogs, when confronted, become tame shy things. A very loving and caring dog which is normally always happy unless smacked for doing something wrong, and you feel as though they can always understand what you are saying!
We had scoured the papers, free-ads and the internet for a puppy a few months previous to buying Scooby Doo. We found an ad on the internet from a younger couple in Reading, we were apprehensive to say the least, we hadn't had to buy a dog for almost 16 years!! We emailed them that day and before the day was up, we had arranged a viewing for two weeks later. The lady had him already downstairs and my heart melted, this was Scooby Doo, our Scooby Doo, the deal was done, he had won our hearts. We proceeded to drive home when he was very tentative in the car and nervous, he curled up on my lap all the way home. As soon as he had turned one month old, he began to get naughtier and naughtier, but in a nice way. My auntie owns a Bichon Frise Bitch called Jesse, she is so good. There is a definate difference in behaviour and obedience between the girls and the boys. And now, well Scooby Doo is a different dog to the small little bundle of fluff when we got him, now he's more of a polar bear cub.
My first and only dog which has been a member of the family now for over three years is Daisy, a Bichon Frise. I bought her from a breeder, was able to see both the parents, aunt and sister and brothers. She is a fifth generation pedigree, which at the time I was told it was important but as I never wanted to breed or show her it did not really matter to me. All I wanted to know was that she came from a good experienced breeder who cared about the animals she had in her home and that the parents of my puppy were healthy.
I had wanted a dog for a long time and looked into dogs suitable for eczema and asthma sufferers and those less likely to cause problems for people allergic to dogs. It was the first time I had saw this strange looking white ball of fluff and straight away decided a Bichon was what I wanted. I do prefer smaller dogs ahead of other breeds and believed that as a novice to the world of dogs a smaller breed would be easier to manage than a large one as well as the fact the dog would be around children, I felt safer choosing a small breed.
I had the choice of two puppies, the first was running around like a mad thing - came over to say hello for a minute then ran off again quite uninterested in me, the other sat and watched me from a distance for ages then came over and did not leave - this is now Daisy! I paid around £500 for her which at the time was average to the other puppies for sale on the Kennel Club register. There were some for around £750 but they were aimed at people who wanted to show or breed from them ahead of wanting one for a family pet.
Once I had Daisy at home (or puppy as she was called for the first week until we could all decide on a name) she settled in quickly, I registered with a vets the following day and took her for her checks and first injection and enrolled on the puppy classes which were aimed at socialising the dogs. Getting her to walk on a lead was fun as she literally screamed any time I put one on her just walking around the garden for the first week. I persevered and by the end of the week she was fairly happy going on a lead.
The day after buying her I went to the pet shop to stock up on food, bed, grooming brushes which are a must for this breed and other things desperately needed - toys!!
At first she was fairly nervous of people and her first experience of a dog was for it to snap at her so she quickly became funny with dogs too. I took her to dog training classes and although she was and can still be in a world of her own at times and never ever do what you ask of her, we somehow managed to pass the puppy Good Citizen Dog Scheme straight away but at this time never got past Bronze.
I let the training slip and we just kind of got into a routine where she will do most things most of the time but it was the getting her over her nervousness of people and other dogs that I found the hardest to work on.
It was only quite recently that I discovered part of her problems with other dogs were my fault, whenever I saw a large dog approaching I would be nervous that it would attack her or jump on her - since that realisation I have tried to be really positive when dogs are coming towards us and most of the time now the only reaction she has is to ignore it or want to play with it and try and get it to chase her or for her to chase after it!
She now does agility training with the children, one has done classes with her and we are joining a club in October to continue classes in agility and she also enjoys using the equipment I have in the garden. She loves to lick people and if you ignore her she has been known to jump up and sit behind you on the sofa and lick your head or sit at your feet and lick your feet! As a puppy she loved nothing more than sitting on the floor with the children and pulling on their hair bands, this moved to socks when she was older until the day she bit my toe by accident and I let out a screech and it sent her running and she hasn't done it since. She also loves soft toys and teddies and has stolen many from the children over the time I have had her and loves the toy Bichon Frises you can get from toys r us!
I try to brush her every day, I first go over her with a rotating comb or a comb with two levels of finger and then a medium sized slicker brush. It is so important with these dogs to brush every day just for 10 minutes. When I have gone on holiday and left her with parents or sister I have come back and had to have her coat shaven down as within 3 days of not getting brushed her coat gets really knotted and I struggle to brush them out. My groomer says the Bichon coat is a very difficult coat but Daisy's is really soft on top and really curly underneath which makes it very difficult to get knots out of. I have her body shorter than people showing their Bichon's would but for a pet coat ease is more important to me than looking perfect!
She also has what is referred to as a Bichon Blitz pretty much every day. Anything can set her off from just walking in the park off lead to playing with a toy in the house. A blitz is when she will just start growling and run around at full speed all over the place for ages - run towards me then bark and run off again - she does this for anything from a few minutes to 10 minutes then collapses at my feet exhausted! Since doing the agility she loves doing this indoor as she is now able to jump from one sofa to the other and over chairs and coffee table whilst doing her little blitz!
I can not imagine life without my crazy little Daisy and she really is part of the family!
A little about the breed....
Are through to have been around since 600-300 BC in the Mediterranean, can be found in French literature and was known as the Bichon Tenerife. They were circus entertainers and street urchins for a while as well as being owned by royalty! They became recognised by the American Kennel Club in the 1970's.
As for owning a Bichon, they are full of energy and do need a lot of work to keep them looking like a Bichon, this does involve £30 visits to a groomer every 6-8 weeks or learning to do it yourself (I have managed to do a few trims myself but the longest I have gone without taking her to the groomers is 6 months) They love human contact and are not suitable for living outdoors or away from people for long periods of time. They will let you know when the doorbell rings but are not a constantly barking dog.
The breed standard size is 9.5 to 11.5 inches. They need a good steady level of exercise to stay healthy and they can have bursts of energy then need a rest but a steady brisk daily walk they will enjoy. They do not like direct sunlight and don't cope very well in the heat but have no problems in the colder weather. They can be easy to train as they love to please their owners. Age expectancy is 12 - 15 years.
If you have the time each day to set aside for grooming and are willing to pay for regular groomers visits and want to offer a home to a happy, lively and energetic dog that will want to follow you from room to room then perhaps a Bichon is for you! There is a Bichon Frise rescue centre which deal exclusively with Bichons and Bichon mixes. If looking for a puppy look at the Kennel Club puppy register and have a look at the parent(s)
A small breed dog weighing around 3 to 5 pounds and similar to the Maltese.