I have just moved into an apartment with my girlfriend, and “inherited” a Bichon as part of the move. It is around 4 (man) years old, and had “some” training when it was younger. It undoubtedly has a great personality, and it certainly is housetrained, but I am struggling with some of what I will call annoying habits. 1) It barks whenever it hears the neighbours, irrespective of what time of the day or night, then runs to the door and continues to bark for what seems like several minutes. I am a light sleeper and we are in a 1 bedroom apartment, so any sleep is more often than not interrupted sleep. 2) While on the leash, our dog will bark, whenever other animals are close: dog, horse, also bicycles, and frantically pull on the leash. If the distractions are while off, he just takes off, and chases said distraction until............he stops, which could mean 100m of chasing. No amount of calling will get him back, and this has led to several close calls with cars. I have read that a Bichon should always be walked on a leash? Is this true? 3) When playing with it, there is some point at which it goes from just playing to being aggressive and biting. Is that indicative that we are being too aggressive in our playing? 4) It has NOT been desexed and my girlfriend feels that his personality may be affected if we do. Given it’s age and traits, are there benefits to getting him desexed now?
Yes he can be trained, and desexed. If his personality changes, it is for the better. He will more then likly listen to you if he has no hormones. It also saves him from getting testicluar cancer.
As far as the barking, the best thing I found was a spray bottle with water. You can also use white vingar and water. when he starts up and wont stop, spray him and say no bark. If that doesn't work, there are some really nice no bark collars that work well. The problem is if he came from a house, not an apt. all the noises are like people comming to his home. He doesnt understand that the neighbors are so close.
If he chases things, and doesn't come back, NEVER allow him off leash. It is really just that easy. You can purchase 100ft training leashed if you want to play ball or somthing. He can be trusted don't trust him
As far as the play biting, it may be just that. Neutering may help this, also when he does it, tell him No bite. If it isn't something he was taught before, he doens't know he is doing wrong.
I would also consider an obediance class. Just to get some training rolling with him. It is great for bonding, and a trainer can help you as they see what is going on. good luck