The Bichon Frise is a friendly dog that can be a bit timid when it comes to new things and new experiences. Puppies and adult dogs can find an amazing number of ways to get into trouble, and firm discipline is the only way to make sure that it doesn't happen again. Because they can be sensitive, it generally doesn't take much to let a Bichon Frise know that he's done something bad. Correctly disciplining the dog will help ensure a healthy relationship between you both.
Administer the disciplinary action immediately when you see the dog do something wrong or when he is in the process of misbehaving. This will ensure that the dog associates the behavior with the punishment, and knows exactly what he did wrong. If the discipline is delivered after the action, he will not know what he did wrong and only come to associate the discipline with you. For example, scolding the dog for something he chewed while you were at work will not have the same effect as catching him in the act.
Use a stern, deep voice that clearly conveys the idea that you're upset with the dog. Do not yell or scream, but simply scold. Especially with a young Bichon Frise, avoid making sudden or drastic movements along with the scolding. This can easily frighten the sensitive dog, and you want him to know that he has done wrong, not that he has to be afraid of you. Discipline that is any harsher than this can emotionally damage the delicate dog, and hitting a Bichon Frise can do serious physical damage.
Give the Bichon Frise the opportunity to do the right thing. Disciplining the dog for something that could not be helped can damage the sensitive nature of the dog and ruin his loving personality. Although they can be notoriously difficult dogs when it comes to housebreaking, they should not be disciplined for having an accident in the house if you didn't let them outside to relieve themselves in time. Before disciplining, be sure it was something that could have been helped.
Stay consistent. When you scold the Bichon Frise for a bad behavior once and it happens again, scold again. Similarly, if you praise the dog or let them get away with something once, they will continue to think it is appropriate behavior. A Bichon Frise is a creature of habit, and will learn quickly what is expected when behaviors are reinforced.
Establishing a reward system is just as important as disciplining. With a firm reward system in place that consists of praise, petting and a treat, your Bichon Frise will even better learn the difference between good behavior and bad. They are eager to please, and giving him the positive reinforcement he strives for will make a stern scolding carry an even stronger message.