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The bichon frise looks just like a toy, so many people assume that they are great for families with kids. This may not be necessarily untrue, although there are so many other factors that you should consider.
Below, we’ll discuss whether you should consider getting a bichon frise if you have kids, and a few other aspects you need to know before making this life-changing decision.
Should You Be Considering a Bichon Frise If You Have Kids?
A bichon frise may seem a great option if you have kids. They are sociable, friendly, and their temperament is mild. The pup is hypoallergenic, so it will not shed much, which makes it a great advantage, especially for people who suffer from allergies or just prefer a breed that won’t leave much hair around the house.
The bichon frise is small and has a sensitive body. On the one hand, this makes them easy to manage and care for. On the other hand, they may be easily injured during playtime if not handled with care.
Overall, bichons frises are excellent family pets due to their gentle, loving nature. The breed is very friendly with kids and is not a very loud barker, so you don’t need to worry about startling your baby.
Are Bichons Frises Good with Babies?
Bichons frises are good with babies, but smaller kids should always be supervised when around pets. If the baby grabs the pup, it may hurt it or the pet may snap or bite in defense. It’s best to always supervise the baby and make sure they don’t pull its coat, squeeze it, or hurt it in any way.
Are Bichons Frises Good with Toddlers?
In a similar fashion, bishons frises are great with toddlers, but adult supervision is a must. While the dog is not aggressive, accidents may happen. Also, bichons may have bursts of energy and become overexcited, which could easily startle a toddler.
Will a Bichon Frise Be Jealous of Your Kids?
A bichon frise is extremely loving and wants all of your attention. Bichon owners may not be surprised when the pup becomes jealous of others. However, jealous behavior is unhealthy and may even be dangerous. When jealous, dogs may bite or growl, but the chance for this behavior is quite low with a bichon, given the fact that it is not an aggressive dog.
Despite this, the pup may try to get your attention in a myriad of other ways, such as sitting or jumping on you – or licking you. Bichons have very sensitive little hearts, and they may easily get upset if you raise your voice at them. In some cases, they may get upset and leave the room.
The jealous behavior is very likely to occur when you already have a bichon frise and you bring a new baby home. This disrupts the pack order it is used to, which makes your dog insecure and confused about the little one. This may lead to negative behaviors. To prevent it, it’s best to accustom your dog to the baby’s toys and clothes before the baby is born, but don’t let the pup play with them.
Also, it’s best to organize a corner, or a private space for your dog, where they can retreat safely when crying and noises are too much to bear. Misbehaving around the kids may be just the dog’s way of protecting its territory, so organizing a safe, private place will curb this tendency.
Finally, the bichon frise’s toys should be different from the kid’s toys in terms of look and materials. This will help ensure that the dog won’t be jealous of the kid playing with toys.
If you already have kids and plan to get a bichon, it is unlikely that the pet will be jealous of the kids. Instead, it is extremely likely that it will quickly find its own place in the pack and become best friends with the little ones in no time.
Can a Bichon Frise Hurt Your Kids?
Bichons frises and kids can bond very easily. This is not an aggressive breed, so you don’t need to worry about the dog hurting your kids. Bichons are curious and playful, and their small bodies make them highly unlikely to inflict any injuries even by accident.
That said, a bichon frise, just like any other pet, may still become defensive if threatened. As a parent, you need to teach your kids to treat the dog with respect, and that it is not a toy, even if it looks like one. It’s important to teach the kids not to threaten, hurt, or play roughly with the dog.
If the children treat the dog with care and love, there should not be any situation in which the dog may hurt your little ones. Even if an accident may happen – say, the kid mistakenly hurts the dog – the pet won’t become aggressive. However, if your child repeatedly hits or hurts your dog, there is a high chance of retaliation in some way.
Overall, bichons frises will not hurt your children as long as they are treated with respect. Because kids may not know their strength or the limits, it’s always best to supervise your little one when playing with a dog.
3 Tips for Having a Bichon Frise Get Along with Your Kids
Overall, if your kids do not threaten or mistreat the bichon frise, there should be no situation in which the dog won’t get along with them. In fact, due to the small size of the child and the small size of the dog, they will find a best friend and perfect playmate in each other very easily.
Here are some tips to help your bichon get along with your kids in no time.
1. Socialize Early
As with any dog, the bichon frise should be introduced to kids as early as possible. If you don’t have kids yet, you may consider paying a visit to some friends with kids, going to a park with kids, or some other situation in which the bichon frise can get used to the behavior and noise associated with kids.
The earlier you introduce your pup to kids, the easier it will be for them to adapt. A mature dog who hasn’t been around kids at all will have a more difficult time adapting to the antics of children later on.
However, there are many more factors at play. A senior bichon frise can be extremely excited about the arrival of a baby in its pack. It’s impossible to predict accurately how the dog will behave in such a situation.
2. Learn the Signs
The first few days may be quite tricky. If you have just adopted the pup, you may need to be extra careful and watch for signs of distress or discomfort.
In general, it is highly unlikely that a puppy won’t get along with kids straight away, but you should still supervise them all the time to make sure everything is okay. Some signs that should get your attention are growling and baring teeth.
3. Train the Kids
Dogs are not the only ones that need training and manners. You should also spend time with your kids teaching them how to behave around dogs in general. It’s important not to get too close to dogs, scare them when sleeping or just waking up, or try to compete for their toys. A scared or threatened dog may misbehave in an attempt to defend itself.
Also, setting a good example for your kids is very important. Treating the dog with respect and as an important member of the family will teach your kids to do the same.
3 Other Kid-Friendly Breeds to Consider
If you are unsure if a bichon frise is right for your family, here are some other family-friendly breeds known for their mild temperament and loving, protective nature.
1. Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular breeds among families. They are smart, kind, loyal, and not aggressive. Also, these dogs are very patient, which is a prerequisite when dealing with kids. Unlike a bichon frise, this pup will need a lot more activity. It loves to retrieve items, run, and you will need a larger house (and ideally a yard) to make sure the pup has sufficient space.
I wrote in detail about how Golden Retriever and the bichon frise compare here.
The poodle is smart, gentle, and has an elegant attitude. This pup is great with kids because it is caring and does not get annoyed very easily. Just like bichons, these are low-shedders and may adapt to a small living space, too. You can choose miniature or standard sizes, whichever suits your needs and preferences.
I wrote in detail about how poodle and the bichon frise compare here.
3. Irish Setter
With its distinctive red coat, the Irish setter is energetic, playful, and a valuable family member. It loves playing with children and is a great breed for energetic children. Smart and easy to train, the Irish setter may need a larger home with a yard, and regular brushing to avoid tangles.
All in all, bichons frises are good with kids. They are friendly, loving, and smart. They are great playmates for children of all ages, but they should be trained at an early age, and exposed to different environments. Overall, this breed has a mild temperament and is highly unlikely to snap at your child as long as they are treated with the care and respect they deserve.