Bichon Training Techniques
The play bow, when the forequarters are down and the hindquarters are elevated, is an invitation to play. Puppies play fight, which helps them learn the acceptable limits of biting. This is necessary for later in their lives. Nevertheless, an owner may be falsely reassured by the playful nature of his dog’s aggression. Playful aggression toward another dog or human may be an indication of serious aggression in the future. Owners should never play fight or play tug-of-war with any dog that is inclined to be dominant.
Signs of submission are as follows:
- Avoids eye contact.
- Active submission—the dog crouches down, ears back and the tail is lowered.
- Passive submission—the dog rolls on his side with his hindlegs in the air and frequently urinates.
Signs of dominance are:
- Makes eye contact.
- Stands with ears up, tail up and the hair raised on his neck.
- Shows dominance over another dog by standing at right angles over it.
Dominant dogs tend to behave in characteristic ways such as:
- The dog may be unwilling to move from his place (i.e., reluctant to give up the sofa if the owner wants to sit there).
- He may not part with toys or objects in his mouth and may show possessiveness with his food bowl.
- He may not respond quickly to commands.
- He may be disagreeable for grooming and dislikes to be petted.