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Can a Bichon Frise Be Left Alone? Essential Tips & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

White Bichon Frise on bed

The Bichon Frise is a relatively intelligent dog that can be trained to do anything, as long as you apply positive reinforcement.

They can be left alone for 3 to 7 hours, but not longer, as that could lead to psychological distress. Bichons are bred to thrive in social settings. They always want to be around the people they love, because, from their point of view, family is everything.

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What Happens If You Leave a Bichon Frise Alone?

We would never encourage anyone to leave their Bichon Frise alone for more than 7 hours, without supervision, due to the following reasons:

Disruptive Behavior

The Bichon Frise is similar to other dogs in the sense that it barks as a reaction to different stimuli. Bichon Frises will bark whenever they are bored, and they’ll even resort to chewing things. Of course, you could train the dog to be okay with spending time alone, but it will take time for them to grasp the concept.

You have to be patient as they navigate this new situation, including incessant barks and the complaints that you’ll most likely receive from the neighbors.

Bored Bichon Frise
Image Credit: gabrijelagal, Shutterstock

Separation Anxiety

Dogs are usually bred for various reasons. We have those that are meant to offer protection as guard dogs, those born to be herders, some are hunters, and a group that exists to just offer companionship.

The Bichon Frise is not a stand-alone guard dog, hunter, or herder, but a companion. We love their company and they love ours. So, if for some reason you decide to leave it alone for a considerably long period of time, they’ll gradually develop separation anxiety.

The signs are pretty common, seeing as the dog will start peeing in unusual places, constantly bark at anything and anyone, or even aggression. Suffice it to say, this is not the breed to go for if you’re living alone and working a 9 to 5 job.


Animals in stressful situations will attempt to alleviate their stress levels through chewing. The Bichon Frise will chew anytime it’s bored, sad, or anxious.

By the way, this behavior is not just restricted to puppies. If an adult Bichon is struggling to comprehend some negative emotions, it will chew and even try to swallow things like socks, gloves, toys, etc. They might even choke in the process, should that item go down the wrong way.


Barking is not their only form of communication when they are upset, anxious, or scared. They’ll growl from time to time, too, just to let you know that you were in breach of contract by leaving them alone for too long.

We’d implore you to not ignore a Bichon Frise in that state. If you don’t fix the problem soon, and as quickly as possible, chances are it will snowball into something unmanageable.

Happy purebred Bichon frise dog laying on the floor
Image Credit: Gaschwald, Shutterstock

Recurrent Potty Accidents

The Bichon Frise is a tiny breed. And small breeds typically come with small bladders. Asking this dog to hold in its pee for too long is inhumane, as it could lead to a urinary tract infection.

Due to fear, they’ll often poop or pee in unusual areas of the house.

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Can a Bichon Frise Be Comfortable with Staying at Home Alone?

The Bichon Frise ranks in the middle on an intelligence scale. That, coupled with the fact that they are always eager to please their owners, makes them highly trainable.

They respond positively to gentler methods and once they’ve grasped a command or concept, they never forget it. Here are some tips to make your Bichon more comfortable at home alone.

Leave On the Television

On day one of training, leave them in a room alone, with the TV on. You could use a radio if you don’t have a TV, as long as the device is powerful enough to generate some audible background noise.

To ensure they remain preoccupied while you’re busy working on your own stuff, leave some intriguing toys in the room, too. The kind that they love playing with for hours on end.

teacup bichon frise sitting on red fabric
Image Credit: Vladimir Nenezic, Shutterstock

Get Another Dog

The Bichon Frise likes to be surrounded by family members. They may not even realize that you are gone if there’s another pet there to keep them company.

After spending time with your second pet, and picking up a few tricks in the process, they will slowly start to realize that they can comfortably live alone without the intervention of a human. This is a good thing because now you won’t have to worry about them developing separation anxiety if you aren’t at home a lot.

Exercise Together Before Leaving

Are you familiar with that feeling of exhaustion that people often experience after an intense workout? Well, we can use that as an applicable strategy here. It only takes 10 to 15 minutes for a Bichon Frise to be exhausted after playing fetch. And after releasing all that pent-up energy, they’ll immediately go to sleep.

Create a Safe Space

This could be a playpen or just a section of the house that has been designated for your dog’s play toys. What we normally like to do is play games before leaving the playpen. The games have to be stimulating both physically and mentally, or they’ll be bored. Have a timer nearby to determine the amount of time it takes to complete a game.

Crate Training

This is not imprisoning the dog, as some people seem to think. Seeing as these animals enjoy their own safe space, you’ll be teaching your Bichon Frise how to spend time alone in a familiar space.

As they get used to the crate, they’ll start seeing it as a place where they can go to calm anxiety. But you have to be patient while crate training your dog, or they’ll never see that environment as a secure sanctuary.

Image Credit: TheWonderWays, Shutterstock

Ensure the Room Has a Clear View

There’s no way that dog will be bored if it stays engaged. And one way to ensure that is by providing a clear view of what’s happening outside. We’ve seen how dogs love seeing other people go about their businesses in life, and your Bichon will enjoy watching people or animals.

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Bichons are social in nature. They can be trained to stay at home alone for 7 to 8 hours, but if you go past that time frame, they’ll likely develop separation anxiety or disruptive behavior.

We wouldn’t recommend this dog to anyone working a 9 to 5 job, even if the option of training them is on the table. Your perfect fit would be a breed who doesn’t mind spending time alone.

Featured Image Credit: Natasa Ivancev, Shutterstock

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