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Talk to me about Bichon Frises and Shih Tzu's(15 Posts)
These are the two breeds that upon doing my research seems most suitable for us and we feel we could be for them.
We would like..
- a small dog as we have small house and yard and my eldest doesn't like big dogs in his face. I also have fibro and need a dog I can physically handle on walks and at the vet.
- I can offer at least hours walk a day with mental stimulation at home too.
- I'm home all day and will take dog with me to most places.
Tell me about your experiences with these breeds please and also we will be getting a rescue not a puppy (aware that each dog is different and that the rescue will assess but dog may be different in different environments)
And I know both needs have high grooming needs. I can brush each day and take to groomer every 6-8 weeks
I’m not a huge fan of bichons. My dad has one and she’s a yappy, nervous little thing that has a nasty streak. We meet a few out on walks and have never seen one have a normal, friendly exchange with my very polite and friendly little dog - we’re either barked at from a distance or they come over, get over-excited then bolt.
I do meet some nice Shih Tzus out and about, but don’t have any personal experience with the breed.
My gran had a Shih Tzu. They have big prominent eyes which are easily injured by boisterous children or even just grass in the garden. At least once a year Gran would have to take hers to the vet for a scratched eyeball and fork out about £100. Most are friendly and cuddly but snappy if they’re pestered by kids. They’re guard dogs so they like to look out of the window and yap at passers by. They don’t need much walking, my Gran’s dog wouldn’t even go out if it was raining!
They’re also stubborn and not the easiest to train. They know perfectly well what you want them to do but have no intention of doing it unless they want to! You can say Paw a thousand times but you won’t be given a paw until the Shih Tzu sees the treat 😂
I am aware of the eye situation with shih tzus. My kids are not overly boisterous and are very good with dogs in terms of respecting a dogs space so I don't think that would be a major issue but we want to make sure we get the right family dog for us.
I have a cavachon, so half bichon. She's the most laid back, non yappy dog going. Friendly and loving.
Bichons are notorious for being hard to house train and she was about six months before she was trained. Apart from that and the grooming she's amazing.
Oh and had shi-tzus growing up, 3 different ones.
Only one had an eye problem once when they got a long grass seed down behind their eyeball. But they all had significant heart murmurs and required medication from about the age of 5-6 onwards. They all lived till about 10 maybe 11 or 12 but we're really quite slow for the last 3-4 years of their lives. So even At the age of 7 unable to walk very far, panting like mad, tongue would go blue. They weren't overweight. The first two were brothers but different litters so possibly a genetic element there. So used a different breeder the next time and still the same problem. I suspect in the 90s people didn't do health checks the way they should do now?
We've had Shih Tzu for years.
Bloody brilliant little dogs. Definitely all with their own characters!
Ditto KateyKube's comment about training. Basically it's not their thing. They do need to learn to get out of the way and to get off armchairs etc., otherwise they can get snappy.
They have excellent hearing and will bark at sounds.
Exercise-wise some of them have loved walks, others not so much. All have been excellent lap dogs and love a cuddle.
Check for the dog's breathing. Breeding has caused shorter and shorter snouts which can cause problems.
Grooming is never ending. They don't shed. The coats just keep growing. Find a good and reputable groomer. You'll need to do daily brushing and checking between the pads on paws and the armpits for mats.
Bichons all the way!!
We rehomed our little girl when she was 1.5 years old. Not from a rescue centre but just an ad from someone who didn’t want her anymore. She was already housetrained and we’ve never had any problems there.
DH has allergies and her coat doesn’t shed so that’s great and grooming is actually quite minimal (unless you want them to look like show dogs!). She goes in every 6 weeks or so to get groomed. She doesn’t like being brushed so we don’t really bother!
She doesn’t need a huge amount of walks, is very socialable and loves everyone. We have a baby daughter who she is very good with. Bichons are great people dogs and would love running errands with you. Plus they are obviously adorable. She is pretty quiet but will bark at the door- we don’t see that as a bad thing though. They are easy first dogs if you don’t have much experience.
If you have anymore questions let me know! You could join Bichon Frise UK on Facebook (lots of Bichon advice) and there are some rehoming groups on there too.
I have a bichon too. She's very friendly and sociable. Loves people and all dogs. Is a bit yappy but still a pup..just housetrained at 9 months. Has separation anxiety but there is always someone home or she goes to relatives. Is very hyper and quite stubborn which can make training a challenge!
Grooming is every 6 weeks with a daily brush. It's not too bad if kept short. They're fab dogs I have met loads and never known an un friendly one
I have a bichon x shihtzu and he’s fabulous! Yes the haircuts are a pain, but your expectations of every 6-8 weeks is bang on. He’s the most affectionate wee thing ever, and as a family getting him was the best thing we’ve ever done.
Shih Tzu owner here
He's my loyal friend. Daft as a brush. Stubborn as shit (won't train). My shadow - follows me everywhere, literally. Great on walks as won't run off and plays nicely with all dogs (although especially with his brothers from another mother). He's 8 now and in good health - will still walk for miles- he did Snowden not so long ago! And comes for runs - max about 5Km these days but he used to do 10km no problem.
Negs -sleeps on bed. Literally barks indefintely if put downstairs.Always has, think always will. See above re training.
I have a poodle bichon cross, who is very easy to train, very affectionate, very friendly to other dogs, and very energetic. But quite people orientated, no mooching around like a labrador!
Have you considered an older Jack Russell if you are after a rescue, there seem to be often loads on most sites (we had cats so not a good mix for us) and they are very sweet companions, if quite surprisingly energetic for small dogs. They love being devoted companions, the miniatures I know sit on your shoulder and lap, and I haven't noticed those my relatives have being especially barky if there are people around, (although not happy being left.) I often feel Jack Russells are more "twinkly" than Shi- zhus. Certainly the much loved older ones I've met seem rather grumpy compared to similar miniature Jack Russells.
your shihtzu sounds lovely moon perhaps all the ones I know have rather elderly owners which cramps their style, despite the devotion between them.