This Guide is tailored for Bichon Frise, but most of the information is very applicable to all dogs, large or small. This is a work in progress and will be updated regularly. If you have further information you feel would be pertinent to add, please feel free to contact us. This Guide is not to be distributed or copied without the express written agreement from Culmore Canines. You may read it online or click the file link at the bottom of the page to download. Thanks and enjoy.

Culmore Canines Bichon Frise Care Guide

Essential Qualities in the new owner: Plenty of Love, Praise, Time and Patience
If you have recently successfully raised a happy, healthy, obedient puppy, you can follow your own instincts and do it again. If, however, it's been awhile since you had a puppy or this is your first, READ ON.
Separation Anxiety: Be patient with your puppy, he just left his whole world behind, his family, home and littermates. Introduce him slowly to his new surroundings giving him time to adjust. Don't stress him with immediate visitors, as he may be overwhelmed. Let him take his time and get to know you and his new home. Make him comfortable for his first night with a soft blanket, a safe toy to chew & teethe, and a safe stuffed animal. If he's been loved, fed, eliminated, and is safe and warm but still cries, tough it out, he'll stop after a night or two unless you constantly run to him, then he'll do this forever. The puppy's appetite may not be normal for the first several feedings; he will naturally be a little concerned during the adjustment period. Most puppies will become familiar with their new home and schedule within several days although occasionally a puppy will take longer. Classical music played softly and watching The Animal Planet on cable TV also seems to soothe this period of adjustment and beyond.
Puppy Feeding Schedule: The dog food products we rely on are Science Diet and Wellness, and Zuke's line of treats. Offer moistened food 3 times daily, according to your schedule. We feed at approximately. 6:30-7am, 12-12:30, and 5pm. We recommend that you always follow manufacturers recommendations as to amount and frequency, however, most puppies eat about 1/4- 1/2-cup of moistened food at a feeding. Start out offering 1/4 cup of food with either wellness or science Diet Canned Puppy food or 1/8 cup of water (let the canned food or warm water absorb into the food for 10 minutes prior to feeding) - increase as necessary. At 11 p.m. you can offer just a few dry morsels to hold the pup overnight if desired. Your puppy is growing very quickly and should always be offered all the food he wants at every feeding. Pick up the food not consumed in 20 minutes. If your puppy is easily distracted during feeding times, you may want to keep him in an enclosed area or crate. Water may be offered at set times initially and later free choice depending on house training success. At 5-6 months, follow the Junior Puppy Feeding Schedule. Add fresh water frequently.
Junior Puppy Feeding Schedule: Dry Puppy Food twice daily according to your schedule. We choose to feed at 7am and 5 p.m. Most puppies appropriately regulate their own feed, and will eat what they need at a feeding. Offer 1/2-1 cup and increase or decrease as necessary.  If your puppy was just adopted and has lost his appetite due to separation anxiety, temporarily moisten the food with a little water to enhance the smell. Feeding dry kibble, however, is the preferred choice to prevent tooth decay. Medium to large type milk bones daily are helpful.

Adult Feeding Schedule: Dogs one year and older may continue to eat 2x daily or you may change to 1x daily or feeding free choice. At this time a changeover from puppy to adult food is recommended. We feed our adults all the food they want in the morning, within reason, being mindful of their ideal weight and an edible thick bone at your dinner time after an outdoor exercise period. Table scraps are not good nutrition for your pet, very detrimental to their diet and highly discouraged for their lifetime. Scraps and overfeeding treats can lead to house training difficulties. Water may now be offered free choice as an adult. also see our recommended fresh foods on the home page of our website.
Baths:  Bathe your puppy with a quality pH balanced tearless shampoo, rinsing thoroughly with a sprayer if available. Use a conditioner for fine coats. Always read the instructions on each product. Blow dry, comb and slicker on a grooming table, or other raised surface, not the floor or your lap where the dog plays and is dominant. This is a good time to clean the ears, clip the nails and check your dog's skin and coat. Your puppy must tolerate regular grooming for proper health. It is not too early to start this routine. If your time or ability is limited, take your puppy to a professional groomer regularly. As a rule of thumb, brush-brush-brush daily. Definitely brush before any washing. To avoid tangles and matting, work tangles or any matting out with fingers and de-matting combs and sprays. Use nail clippers and or dremel files regularly.
Behavior:  Lovingly discipline and correct your pup’s behavior. Littermates accept hard play and nipping, but this is now not acceptable and must be modified to nibbling and teething on their own toys. A harsh no, removal from the situation, or distraction to a positive behavior works well. Taste deterrents, such as Bitter Apple, are helpful to teach a puppy what is and what is not acceptable to chew. Use leather chew sticks as a deterrent by regularly replacing whatever they are chewing on with one of these cigarette size sticks. Also see the No Fuss No Muss article below .
House training: The puppy should show weekly progress during the training period. The duration of training depends on the trainer and trainee. The typical range of time is three days to three months. We outdoor train and use a crate in the home for the times the puppy is unsupervised. Our training period usually does not exceed three weeks. We use a properly sized crate, consistency in scheduling, patience and lots of verbal praise. Most puppies need to potty immediately when they wake up in the morning or from any nap, after all meals after playing in house and during any long period in between. If you cannot be with your puppy for extended times during this training phase you will have to paper train in conjunction with outdoor training. Keep the puppy in an area where he can find the papers. Crates can be used very effectively for house training. Dogs love their own safe and secure haven and owners like the fact that they cry, circle, sniff, act anxious, and jump at the corners to get out, alerting them to the fact that they have to go. The behavior is so easy to hear and see. Praise and positive reinforcement are very important. Remember to use the same vocabulary over and over. When you want the pup to potty, keep it simple, such as "Hurry Up" or any phrase you find comfortable. If the puppy is caught just starting to go, take them swiftly outdoors and praise them as they continue. If the accident has already transpired, forget the reprimand, as it will do no good after the fact. If you do not use a crate, you need to keep the puppy nearby so you can be alert and watchful of his behavior. Do not confuse the puppy with the combination of playtime and potty time outside. They won't know which behavior is expected of them.  Pay attention to their particular habits so you know when they need to go, including how much time it takes them to eliminate and how many times they need to urinate or defecate at particular times of the day. Each dog develops a routine but it's up to you to figure it out so you both can coexist in a happy, healthy environment. See No Fuss No Muss article next.

No Muss, No Fussthis following article is the most important information about crate training you will read.
Old ideas can be hard to eradicate, even when better ones come along. That's certainly true when it comes to house-training, with many people still following horrid old methods such as shoving a puppy's nose in the mess and swatting him with a rolled-up newspaper.
If you have a new puppy and that's the method you're using, please put down that rolled-up newspaper and learn about crate-training. Every year more people turn to this method, with good reason: It's easier on pup and people alike.
"I find the crate to be very effective when used in house-training for a couple of reasons," says Liz Palika, the author of more than 45 pet-care books who has spent 28 years teaching dog obedience in the San Diego area. Her most recent book is "The KISS Guide to Raising a Puppy" (Dorling Kindersley, $20).
"First, when the dog is confined, he can't sneak off to another room or behind the sofa to relieve himself. Second, when in the crate, he learns and develops bowel and bladder control, because few dogs are willing to soil their bed."
Crate-training limits a puppy's options to three: He's either empty and playing in the house, or he's in the crate and "holding it" because he doesn't want to sit in his own waste, or he's at the place you've chosen for him to relieve himself.
Puppies need to relieve themselves after they wake up, after they eat or drink, or after a period of play. Set up a schedule to accommodate his needs -- young puppies, especially small breeds or mixes, can't go very long without eating, drinking, sleeping or relieving themselves -- as you work to mold behavior. A good rule of thumb: Puppies can hold it as long as their age in months. A 2-month-old pup can "hold it" in a crate for about two hours, for example.
"When the puppy walks into the crate, I praise him," says Palika. "But -- and this is the big thing -- I do not make a huge fuss over his walking in. I praise him and he gets his toy or treat, but otherwise I'm calm and matter-of-fact about it.
"I've found if people are too over the top, the dog may feel that the crate is dangerous or scary, or that it's all a trick."
Let the puppy sleep next to your bed in the crate -- sleeping near you speeds the bonding process -- and lead him to the chosen outside spot as soon as he's awake in the morning. When he goes, praise him thoroughly. Then take him inside for breakfast. Feed him and offer him water, and then take him out for another chance to go. If he goes, more praise and back inside for play. If you're not sure he's completely empty, put him in the crate.
Ignore the whines and whimpers. If left alone, the puppy will soon be fast asleep and will stay that way until it's time for the next round of out, eat/drink, out, play, crate.
Remember, the goal is for your puppy to roam free in your house, not to stay in a crate for life. "A crate is not a storage container for a dog," says Palika.
Eventually, your pet will be spending more of his time loose in the house under your supervision, and he will start asking to visit his outdoor spot. Don't forget to confirm his early attempts at proper behavior by rewarding him with praise and treats.
If you spot an in-house accident, don't punish your pet. Rubbing his nose in the mess is pointless and mean. If you catch your dog in the act, a stern "no" will suffice, followed by an immediate trip to the yard, and praise when he finishes up where he's supposed to. Clean up the inside mess thoroughly, and treat the area with an enzymatic solution to neutralize the smell.
With proper crate-training, the number of such incidents will be relatively few, and you'll end up with a dog who is not only reliable in the house, but also confident in his own ability to stay alone when you are gone.
The lessons pay off for life, too: A dog who is used to being comfortably confined will be less stressed by being caged at the veterinarian hospital if sick and also will have more options for housing in time of emergency.
Vet Care: Make sure you see your vet within sixty hours of adoption for a well puppy check up, & to set up your vaccination schedule and maintenance program such as heartworm preventative. Always take a fresh stool sample for your vet to check for parasites since puppies sniff everything, and can easily pick up worm larvae by simply sniffing the ground and then licking their nose. The vets care for many sick & worm ridden animals, so protect your puppy from other animals in the waiting room, sit him on your lap. Set him on your own towel in the examination room and on the scale. Get your pet microchipped at the second vaccinations by your vet or local shelter. Regular C.E.R.F. eye exams are also worth their weight in gold and O.F.A. hip exams at 2 years of age is also recommended.

Buy Quality Products: They save you time and money.

A crate is highly recommended. See No Fuss No Muss article above. A crate (sized for an adult, usually a 24” length, 18” width and 20” high, but temporarily safely blocked off to the puppy’s size).

The following items are also necessities.
1)  Bowls or Double Diner , Stainless Steel is best                                   
2) At least 12 Safe Toys (Alternate toys for variety like squeakers, tug, balls, budda bone, etc.)
3) Shampoo, tearless and Ph balanced like E-Z Groom Crystal White Shampoo if the coat is dingy or EarthBath Oatmeal and Aloe  and Bio Groom Creme Rinse. Using an Infants tub to insert into your regular tub makes washing easier.
4) At minimum one straight 7” metal Comb with 1 ½” tines and 2 Gentle Slicker Brushes, 2x4” and 4x6”. Pin brushes for the body in a medium oval shape are are very useful. A De-tangling comb and Baby Powder and Winners Circle De-Tangling spray come in handy as well.
5) No Rinse Shampoo (Brand name: Bio-Groom)
6) Ear Cleaner, and also a product like Crystal Eye and or Eyeclens from Foster and Smith.
7) Harness and Collar & 6' Leash- walk in a safe, secure, and chemical free outdoor area. Use the collar for all tags and an around the back harness for your walks. A show lead should be used for Conformation practice.
8) Bitter Apple taste deterrent
9) Toothbrush or Finger brush, and pet toothpaste made in the USA
The following products are Optional but highly recommended Products:

1) The AKC Book of Dogs, any and all Bichon Frise Breed Books
2) Behavior Books:
The Joy of Breeding Your Own Show Dog by Ann Seranne- not just about show dogs
Clicker Training Books and Kits by Karen Pryor
3) Moisture Magnet, (accident cleaning aid)
4) Super CD or similar deodorizer
5) Flea Products
6) Nail Clippers, nail file and/or an electric dremel tool.
7) Cuddler, Fleece blanket, or Snuggle Bear blanket, hooded infant towels, beach towels.
8) Grooming tables, see

This article a work in progress and is the property of Culmore Canine's, and cannot be reproduced without our written permission.

Bichon Frise Care Guide - Open Document
Bichon Frise Care Guide - Microsoft Word