Can Bichon Frises Live In Apartments - Cover Image

Can Bichon Frises Live In Apartments?

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A great question that people often ask me is “can Bichon Frises live in apartments?”.

People generally love the idea of owning a Bichon Frise but may live in small houses or apartments. They worry that they won’t be able to give their new Bichon enough exercise.

This is a very important thing to consider as you shouldn’t own a dog if you can’t look after it properly.

The Bichon Frise is very well suited for living in apartments or small houses. This is because of their small size and relatively low exercise requirements.

With that said, there is a difference between “Can Bichon Frises Live In Apartments?” and “Can Bichons Be Left Alone?”. This is an important distinction to make.

That’s why in this article we’ll look at why Bichons are great apartment dogs, can Bichons be left alone, what to do if you work full time and finally some great advice for exercising your Bichon.

Why not pin this to your Exercise & Play board to read later?

Are Bichon Frises Good Apartment Dogs?

As we discussed above, the Bichon Frise is generally considered one of the best breed of dogs for living in apartments.

This is down to their small size and low to medium exercise requirements.

As well as this, the Bichon Frise possesses a very low shed, hypoallergenic coat which means your apartment won’t be covered with dog hair.

The Bichon Frise breed itself started out life aboard sailing ships but later became some of the best lap dogs. This is something that is especially true today. They like nothing better than curling up on your lap as you watch TV or read.

With all of that said, it’s still highly important that your Bichon Frise is exercised daily to ensure they are happy and healthy.

The Bichon Frise is a sociable dog that requires both mental and physical activity each day, so it’s important these requirements are met no matter where they are living.

Can Bichon Frises Live In Apartments?
Bichons are one of the best dogs for living in an apartment

1 How Big Do Bichons Grow?

As we talked about above, the relatively small size of the Bichon Frise makes them well suited to living in an apartment. Let’s look at the average height and weight of males and females so you can see for yourself.


Height: 9 – 11 “

Weight: 11 – 16 lbs


Height: 9 – 11 “

Weight: 10 – 15 lbs

2 Bichon Frise Temperament

The Bichon Frise temperament is friendly, sociable and playful. This breed certainly enjoys being the center of attention and socializing.

This sociable and friendly temperament means that they will generally get on well with other dogs and other people. It’s certainly something important to consider when you have guests over.

3 Bichon Frise Activity Levels

A Bichon Frise requires on average 30 minutes of exercise per day. This is widely regarded as the standard amount of exercise time.

With that said, this is something that can easily be achieved if you live in an apartment or a small house.

This exercise can take the form of a walk around the block, a game of fetch, or a whole host of other fun activities that we’ll talk about later in this article.

Can Bichons Be Left Alone?

While Bichons are certainly well suited to living in an apartment, it is not always the case that they can be left alone for long periods of time.

The Bichon Frise is a very sociable and playful dog that enjoys attention and socializing. This means that it is not a good idea that they are left alone for long periods.

This can often be a deal-breaker for potential new dog owners who work long hours so it is very important to consider.

Let’s take a deeper look at why Bichons shouldn’t really be left alone for long amounts of time.

1 Bichons Can Suffer From Separation Anxiety

Bichons can be prone to suffering from separation anxiety as we looked at in 9 Best Questions To Ask Before You Buy A Bichon Frise.

When you think about the history of the breed it becomes clear just why this is the case.

Bichons were bred to be companion dogs and served as dedicated lapdogs throughout their history. Therefore, not being in constant company with other people or dogs can be tough for them so it’s easy to see how something like separation anxiety can occur.

The symptoms of separation anxiety include:

  1. Excessive barking and hyperactivity when you’re about to leave
  2. Destructive behavior when you’re gone
  3. Barking and whining when you’re not there

We have talked about this unfortunate condition previously and about the best ways to prevent separation anxiety if it occurs. If you would like to learn more about it I would highly recommend reading this article: 9 Best Questions To Ask Before You Buy A Bichon Frise.

2 Dogs Need Regular Exercise

All dogs need regular exercise to ensure they are happy and don’t get bored.

Although the Bichon Frise doesn’t necessarily have high exercise requirements, that doesn’t mean they can sit around all day doing nothing.

This will lead to a bored dog who will likely become destructive.

Knowing this, it can be tough to achieve if you work long hours and are rarely at home.

With that said, there are a lot of dog owners that work regularly and still find the time to exercise their dogs. It’s all about being motivated enough to do it.

3 Dogs Need Mental Stimulation

Mental stimulation is also something highly important for this breed due to their sociable nature.

By playing with your dog regularly or allowing them to play with other dogs, you are ensuring your dog is properly socialized and mentally stimulated.

Not only that but it ensures you develop a strong bond with your dog which is highly important as a dog owner. You want to be seen as the leader of the pack and the one who gives the orders.

If this is challenged by your dog you could end up with a dog that shows a lot of negative and dominant behaviors which can be dangerous.

Bichons are sociable dogs that don’t like being left alone for long

Can I Have A Dog If I Work Full Time?

This is a question a lot of dog owners have and it’s certainly important to consider.

You don’t want your pooch to be left alone all day on their own.

With that said, there are some things you can do if you own a dog and work full time. Let’s take a look at these things below.

1 Invest In A Dog Camera For Peace Of Mind

Investing in a small webcam or WIFI camera that you can access while you’re at work is a great way to check up on your dog.

Dog cameras like these come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. You can also invest in more comprehensive devices that allow you to feed your dog and talk to them remotely.

What an age we live in!

Being able to check in on your dog at various points throughout the day will give you peace of mind that they are doing ok.

I highly recommend getting a camera regardless so you can see what your dog gets up to when you’re not there. You never know what odd behaviors you might come across.

2 Send Your Dog To Doggy Day Care

Doggy day care is something I highly recommend in probably most of the articles on this site.

I’m not even joking when I say that, it has so many benefits for your dog. In fact, we looked at the benefits in this article: 7 Of The Best Reasons Doggy Day Care Is Beneficial For Your Bichon.

When your dog is at day care, you know they are getting a ton of exercise, mental stimulation, and socialization with other dogs and with other people.

At the end of the day then, your doggo will be super chilled out and ready for bed.

3 Go Home At Lunch

Something worth considering if your commute isn’t too long is to simply go home at lunchtime.

Having your lunch at home will give you some time to spend with your dog. You can enjoy a game of fetch or practise some training.

As well as this, you might also end up saving some money as you won’t be tempted to buy your lunch out!

4 Ask A Friend Or Family Member To Check In

This is a good idea to consider if your friends or family members live nearby.

Why not ask them to check in on your dog during the day?

Even if it’s just to say hello and to play a quick game of fetch.

You’ll know that someone has been to check on your dog and that will put your mind at ease.

Having a dog and working full time can be difficult but it is possible

How To Exercise Your Bichon?

Though the exercise requirements of the Bichon are relatively low when compared to other breeds of dogs, that doesn’t mean you can sit on the couch together all day.

Bichons need mental stimulation and physical activity every day so they can stay happy and fulfilled.

Thankfully, whether it’s indoor or outdoor play there are a ton of things you can do which we’ll look at in more detail below.

Exercising Your Dog Indoors

Let’s face it, the weather is not always your best friend. Unless you live someplace perfect there will always be some sort of weather to contend with.

There may be days when you look out the window and are greeted with storms and showers battering against your house. This happens to me constantly and it fills me with dread.

These are the days when you truly don’t want to leave the house and so the idea of taking your canine friend for a walk is the last thing on your mind.

Thankfully there are some super fun indoor activities you can do with your dog which we’ll look at here.

Doggy Day Care

Yes, doggy day care is mentioned yet again!

This might not come to mind immediately but is a good idea if you know you won’t be able to take your dog for a walk that day.

Having that peace of mind really helps me on days when I know I won’t be able to get out of the house.

Running Up And Down The Stairs

Honestly, have you tried running up and down the stairs yourself?

It’s quite the workout, and for your dog, that’s no different.

We play fetch from the top of the stairs for about 10 or 15 minutes and that will certainly tire out any dog.

It’s important not to overdo this to prevent any muscle strain on your dog.

It’s also important to note that you can’t do this with every dog. Smaller dogs or older dogs can have a hard time with stairs so in those cases, it’s a good idea to try some other fun activities.

Set Up An Indoor Obstacle Course

This might have been something you did as a child but now that you’re an adult the same can be done to play with your dog.

Setting up an obstacle course is free to do, lots of fun and gets your creative juices flowing.

You’ll certainly be as tired out as your dog by the end of it.

Work On Your Training

Simply working on obedience training with your dog is an invaluable way to exercise and mentally stimulate them from the comfort of your house.

Starting with the basic commands like sit, stay, lie down and paw are a great place to start.

Once you’ve mastered those you can move on to more complex commands and there’s no telling where you’ll end up.

This has the added benefit of ensuring a healthy bond between you and your dog so it’s great to do.

Exercising Your Dog Outdoors

If you live in a small apartment or house, it may not always be possible to exercise your dog indoors. In that case, stepping outside offers a whole host of activities you can do with your dog.

Let’s take a look at these below.

Regular Walks

Simply taking your dog for a walk can provide them with the physical activity they need.

You can take a walk around the block and take in all of the scenery and the smells.

If you live in a busy, built-up area, take a trip to the local park and have a walk around there.

Should you feel more adventurous, you can even go off to the beach and run around dodging the waves.

Playing Fetch

Teaching your dog to play fetch is an invaluable way to ensure they get lots of exercise.

It won’t break the bank either as chances are you have a few tennis balls lying around the house.

As well as that, this won’t tire you out in the process which can sometimes be a good thing.

Playing Frisbee

Frisbee is another super fun way to get your dog running around.

Once they have mastered how to play fetch, you can try using a frisbee instead of a tennis ball.

This will be something different to play with as the frisbee will have a mind of its own when it’s caught by the wind.

For even more great outdoor activities you can do with your dog, check out this article I wrote: 9 Of The Best Free Outdoor Dog Activities To Do With Your Bichon.


We were able to cover a lot of highly useful information in this article so let’s summarize the main points:

  • We answered the question “are Bichon Frises good apartment dogs?”.
  • Next, we asked, “can Bichons be left alone?”.
  • After that, we explored if you can have a dog if you work full time.
  • Finally, we looked at all of the fun ways you can exercise your Bichon both indoors and outdoors.

If you found this information helpful at all, please consider sharing this article on social media. It will help other awesome people like you find this information.

As always, if you have any questions about anything we covered here, please leave me a comment below.

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