Collars, Harnesses and Leashes
Our bichons rarely wear a collar (except in the show ring). Our favorite product is a collar/leash combination (martingale style) you can get online at the BFCA website at www.bichon.org/shop/bichon-boutique/ You can also find them at All Hounds Apparel, the original manufacturer. Puppies will use their 1/2 inch version and adult bichons would use their 3/4 inch version. We keep a few of these in the car and they are easy to just slip on and off. For routine walks we prefer a harness and short leash. We also keep a harness and seat belt clip in the car for times when a crate is not available for them to ride in.
When selecting a leash, a 4 foot version gives more control. A 2 foot leash is also handy for even more control and keeping the dog by your side. NEVER USE A RETRACTABLE LEASH. If you have more than one dog, we like the 2-way couplers. It keeps the dogs side by side and they don’t get tangled up. If you get a puppy from us, he/she will come with a quick release safety collar and bell (so you can keep track of him if he’s wandering the house). DO NOT attach a leash to this type of collar as a slight tug will release it and the puppy can run away. Get a standard collar or better yet, a harness and attach a short leash to that.
Beds, Cots, and Kennels
Our bichons prefer dog beds with bolsters or donut style begs. Our favorite beds are made by California Dogs and hold their shape after washing. You can find them at www.cadoggies.com. They even have a bichon fabric. Call them for fabric options and to place an order. We pick them up at local dog shows.
Our bichons also like cots and crates. This gives them options for retreating to a safe and quiet place whenever they feel like it. Not all cots will hold up well (especially with chewers) so spend the extra money and get a good one. When it comes to crates, the sizes in our examples are perfect for puppies as well as mature bichons. You may need to make the crate smaller inside initially so the puppy only has enough room to stand up and lay down…and no room to pee or poop. Don’t forget to get a bolster bed liner for the crate. I like to cover my crate pad with a standard pillow case to keep it fresh. Also, make sure you have a pet carrier of some type for your car. Don’t ride with your dog unrestrained in the car.
Puppies should ride in a carrier or crate. Older dogs may use a harness and seat belt buckle. A crate is always the best option.
Pens and Gates
If you need a way to keep your dog contained when you are away from home or unable to keep an eye on him. Consider setting up a safe area using an exercise pen or using a baby gate to contain him in the kitchen or other area that’s safe. We prefer a 24 inch high pen, but a 30 inch is better for a mature dog (and higher if you have a jumper). We also like the ones that have a door.
For car travel we use crates and harnesses (see examples above). For airline travel and sometimes in the car, we like carriers that fit under the airline seats. Most adult bichons will fit in the medium sized Sherpas. We also like the ones on wheels.