What is more adorable than a fluffy Bichon Frise? A sleeping fluffy Bichon Frise of course!
Whether you are a first-time Bichon owner or a long-time lover of this fun-loving and fluffy breed you may wonder what is normal for sleeping patterns and behaviors for your Bichon Frise. I did some research and reached out to other Bichon owners and this is what I found out.
Adult Bichon Frises will sleep on average 12-16 hours a day. Bichon puppies will sleep 18-20 hours a day in a 24hr period. How much your Bichon Frise sleeps depends on their personalities. Bichons also tend to develop sleep habits similar to their owners.
If you are fit and active, your Bichon will be also. If you are relaxed and laid back, chances are your Bichon Frise will be similar to you. But how do you know if your Bichon is getting too little or too much of those precious zzzzzz’s? Continue reading to find out.
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How Much Sleep Do Bichon Frises Need? Puppies, Adults, Seniors
Bichon Frise Newborns
This stage of life is very short and full of lots of shut-eye! For the first week of their life, Bichon Frise newborns will be sleeping anytime they aren’t nursing. Newborns generally nurse every 2 hours but even while doing so they will have their eyes shut and look as though they are eating in their sleep.
As they grow they will slowly start to spend more time awake. Around 3 weeks old they will have around 2-4 hours of active time a day broken up into small spurts of energy and exploring their world.
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Bichon Frise Puppies
Puppies are quickly growing and changing. They need plenty of sleep to fuel and recharge their growing bodies. From 2-5 months old, Bichon puppies will generally sleep around 18-20 hours in a 24-hour period. This includes sleeping at night and daytime naps.
Your puppy will sleep in longer stretches at night, but will still need to get up to relieve its small bladder and stretch. He may even have a burst of energy and seem like he wants to play. With some patience and guidance, your puppy can learn to sleep through the night by 4 months old, maybe even sooner.
Older puppies from around 6-12 months old will sleep about 14-16 hours throughout a 24 hour period. At this point, they should be more active and inquisitive during the day and will be better about sleeping through the night in 6-9 hour stretches.
They will also take multiple naps during the day, as well as times of rest when they appear to be just lying around, but somewhat alert as well as high energy awake time when they will want to play and be active.
Bichon Frise Adults
Your adult Bichon will normally sleep around 12-16 hours in a 24hr period, but more as he ages. In this study, researchers found that older and middle-aged dogs slept more during the day than young adult dogs.
This was because they took more naps, not because their naps were longer. They tend to run out of energy and need to rest more often than the younger group. Older and middle-aged dogs also slept more at night than younger dogs because they had longer stretches of sleep at night (waking up later) and woke up fewer times during the night.
It’s important to remember that this can greatly differ depending on the personality and temperament of each dog as well as the atmosphere/lifestyle of your home. When I asked Bichon Frise owners what their Bichon’s behavior was like they covered all the ranges of this 12-16 hour span. A big factor was how active and attentive the owners were.
Bichon Frises are intelligent and curious, they do love to be active and playful with their owners when they are awake. They are a loyal and loving breed and tend to take their cues from their owners.
Some owners I talked to said that if their Bichons are left home alone all day they tend to just sleep since there is no one there to engage them with play or give them a reason to exercise.
Senior Bichon Frises
Your standard Bichon Frise is considered a senior after they have reached 7 years old, and a toy Bichon Frise around the 8 or 9-year mark. At this time you will probably start to see your dog slowly increasing the amount of time it is resting and sleeping.
It won’t happen all at once, but just like humans as they age they tend to slow down and not have quite as much energy as a young pup. Senior Bichon Frises will sleep 14-16 hours a day on average as they get to be 10-14 years old and older they could be sleeping up to 18 hours a day.
At an older age, your Bichon’s sleep patterns may change as well. It’s normal for your Bichon Frise to take more naps during the day and have a few wakeful periods at night. This change will probably happen slowly and should be nothing to worry about unless it’s a sudden or significant change.
If your Bichon has sudden or significant changes in its patterns of sleep it’s probably best to consult your vet. For older Bichons, these could be signs of more serious issues such as dementia, arthritis, hypothyroidism, or other conditions associated with older age.
Your Bichon Frise may be waking up more at night because its bladder is getting older and they need to use the potty more often. You can try and help with this by taking them out right before bed and limiting their water intake just before bed as well.
Sleep Problems and Solutions for Puppies and Adults
If you are struggling with getting your Bichon Frise to settle down and sleep at night you are not alone. Whether it’s the new puppy days, or you just moved, most owners go through this stage at some point.
Things that may be making this challenging can range from crying or whining at night, waking up in the middle of the night, struggling to settle down, or waking up too early in the morning.
Some dogs will start to sleep well through the night then a few weeks or months later start to wake up again. This is called a sleep regression and can be normal.
Similar to human babies when puppies are teething or going through growth spurts it could cause them to wake up at night or have difficulties sleeping.
Luckily there are some things that you can do to help your dog (as well as yourself) get the good night’s sleep you need.
Have a routine and schedule:
If your Bichon knows what to expect and has specific cues to alert him that it’s time to wind down and get some shut-eye it can do a lot to help them easily get settled at night. This routine can include using the restroom, bringing the noise level down, dimming the light, and creating a relaxing and calm atmosphere.
It’s important to keep this schedule as consistent as possible. Going to bed around the same time each night, and having set patterns will not only signal to your dog’s brain it’s time for bed, which will in turn help to increase the production of melatonin (your body’s powerful natural sleep aid) it can also help you fall asleep more easily as well.
Give them plenty of exercise:
Since Bichon Frises were originally bred to hunt they are very intelligent and have an internal desire to work.
Bichon Frises need plenty of stimulation and exercise each day. If they have been bored and laying around all day chances for a good night’s rest are minimal.
The best time for a good exercise session is about 2 hours before bedtime. Try to include high cardio exercise as well and engaging brain activities so that your Bichon will be both physically tired as well as mentally tired.
Have a specific sleeping area and make it inviting:
Whether it’s in their crate in the living room, their doggy bed (Amazon affiliate link to a comfy warming bed) next to your bed on the floor, or even in your own bed. Having a designated area to go to will help create the routine and let your dog know that it’s sleep time. If your dog sleeps in his own bed, or in a crate, having something that smells like you and a small stuffed animal to snuggle with can help him feel more safe and secure. This is especially true for puppies.
Try changing meal times or limiting food and water
Take up their water after a certain time of the evening. If your Bichon Frise seems to need a bathroom break in the middle of the night all the time you can try changing his meal time to be a few hours earlier (so he will get the poop out before bed) or a few hours later (so he can hold it until tomorrow).
You can also take up the water dish a few hours before bed so that he isn’t filling up his bladder just before dozing off.
Either way, you may want to slowly adjust the time of his meals to see if that will help with the late-night bathroom breaks.
If early morning waking is a problem try figuring out what it is that may be waking them up?
Is the sun coming up? Try adding some darkening curtains. Are there noises such as birds or early morning traffic? Try adding some white noise by using a noise machine like this one from Amazon. (Amazon affiliate link).
All it takes is some investigative work to try and figure out what may be causing the problem. It can be easier to do this if you keep a log or journal of your dog’s sleeping and eating patterns. This doesn’t have to be something that you do long-term, but just long enough for you to notice a pattern so you can address it.
Speaking of eating, if your Bichon eats strange things click here to read my latest article about Bichon Frise health and what to do.
If nothing seems to be working, your dog has changed his sleep patterns suddenly, he seems very lethargic and low on energy all the time, or he has other symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, blood in his stool, or other concerns then you should take him to the vet immediately to get checked out.
If you have a puppy and all its needs are met and it is still crying just remember it is common for it to whine and cry especially for the first week or so that you have him in your home. You can try a soothing stuffy like this one from Amazon (affiliate link).
An older dog who is new to your home may experience this as well. If you must check on him make sure that the lights stay dim, and you are as un-intrusive as you can be. If you are working with your puppy to sleep in their own bed or crate, make sure to not give in and then expect smooth sailing after that. You need to start the expectations as you mean to go forward.
How to Know if Your Bichon Frise is Sleeping Too Much
Dogs tend to sleep a lot more than we might expect. If your Bichon is sleeping significantly more than the recommended amounts for its age then you will want to talk with your vet. If your dog seems lethargic all the time is struggling to eat, drink, or use the bathroom you definitely need to speak with your vet!
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Where Should Your Bichon Frise Sleep
Your Bichon should sleep wherever it is most comfortable for you and your pup to get a good night’s rest. This could be in your bed, in its own bed, in a crate, on the floor in your room, or on the couch in another room. This will vary depending on each owner and what works well for you.
Should I Let My Bichon Frise Sleep With Me?
There are a lot of great benefits you could get by letting your Bichon sleep with you. Here are some listed below.
- Eases stress and anxiety
- Extra warmth
- Greater security
- Morning cuddles and love
- Decreases loneliness
- Releases Oxytocin
- Helps you bond with your dog
- Makes your dog feel more secure
Dogs and humans have been sleeping together in some cultures for thousands of years, and for good reasons, just being close to your Bichon Frise helps to increase your levels of Oxytocin (link to PubMed article) a powerful hormone that will help you unwind, destress, lower your heart rate and feel more relaxed. This is a perfect recipe for a great night’s sleep.
Research shows that dog owners who share special bonds with their dogs benefit greatly from mental health benefits such as lower blood pressure, decreased stress, less anxiety and depression, and overall better health.
Many Bichon Frise owners choose to let their Bichon sleep with them for many of these reasons.
There are however also reasons you should consider that may make you decide to not let your Bichon Frise sleep with you. Here are some below.
- Sleep quality could be affected
- Could make any allergies worse
- Possible transmission of disease
- Possibility of more separation anxiety
- Could make resource guarding worse
- Could make intimacy with your partner more challenging
Dog and human sleep cycles can actually differ quite a bit. If you or your dog is a fitful light sleeper it could be difficult to get enough deep sleep if your dog is waking you up constantly. If you and your pooch are constantly battling it out then you will probably be better off with them in their own bed.
Even though everyone has their own opinion about why or why not their Bichon Frise should sleep in bed with them ultimately you get to decide what’s best for you and your furry friend.
Should My Bichon Frise Sleep Outside?
It is not recommended that Bichons sleep outside. Sleeping outdoors can be lonely and unsafe for your dog. Extreme temperatures, predators, and isolation can make sleeping outdoors unsafe or a health hazard for your Bichon Frise.
Bichons thrive on relationships and being close to their owners, sleeping outdoors can be lonely for this social breed. Most dogs are much more comfortable knowing their owner is near. They won’t feel completely comfortable sleeping unless they are with their pack. You are most likely part of their pack.
It is also not safe for your Bichon Frise to sleep outdoors. Predators can be problematic. Bichon Frises are not a breed that has an instinct to be a watchdog or a guard dog.
Even though they can be protective of their owners, they can not defend their territory from wild animals. In a fight with a wild animal, a Bichon Frise can get badly hurt. This breed is better suited for companionship indoors.
The elements are another thing to consider if you are thinking of having your dog sleep outdoors. Any dog that sleeps outdoors needs to have a warm, safe, clean, dry place to sleep. Sleeping in the rain, mud, or other unsuitable conditions can lead to health problems.
If your dog has companionship (other dogs), prefers to be outdoors all the time, and has a suitable place to sleep that is safe and provides protection from the weather, then it is possible that it could be a good fit, but for 99% of Bichon Frise, they are better off sleeping indoors.
Bichon Frise Sleeping Positions and What they Mean
Curled up in a ball: I’m keeping warm and protecting myself. Dogs curl up in a ball as an instinct from their wild days when they needed to do so to protect their most vital organs and stay warm.
Sprawled out with legs in the air: I feel completely comfortable with you and have no worries about being safe I know you will protect me!
Next to your favorite companion: ready to defend and protect!
Up Next: Check out these other articles all about your Bishon Frise!
While we strive to give the most accurate and helpful information about your pet’s health that we can, this article is meant to be informational only and not medical advice. Never disregard, avoid or delay in obtaining medical advice from your veterinarian or other qualified veterinary health care provider regardless of what you have read on this site or elsewhere.