Are Bichons Frises Good for Apartments?

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Are Bichons Frises Good for Apartments?Getting a puppy is one of the most exciting moments of our life. But, just like any other important decision we make, we need to plan for it accordingly. If you live in an apartment, you may want to know if you can get a bichon frise and how to plan for the big moment.

Below, you’ll find everything you need to know to have a healthy, happy bichon frise.

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Can Bichons Frises Live in Apartments?

Bichons frises are one of the best breeds if you live in an apartment. It is a small-sized dog with a low exercise requirement (about 30 minutes per day of walking), so you can simply go out for a walk in a nearby park or in the neighborhood.

Bichons are indoors dogs, so you should not keep them outdoors under any circumstance.

What Are the Minimum Requirements for a Bichon Frise-Friendly Apartment?

The minimum requirements for a bichon frise-friendly apartment depend on whether you plan to get a puppy or an adult. Also, even if you get a puppy, you should know what changes to make to the environment as your pooch grows older.

Requirements for a Puppy Bichon Frise

If you want to avoid damages to your property or even injuries to your new bichon frise puppy, you need to prepare a few things in advance. A bichon frise-friendly apartment should:

  • Have enough cupboards with doors where you can keep toxic products, such as household cleaners, out of reach.
  • Keep the trash away from accessible places. Puppies are extremely curious and will surely be interested in it. It’s recommended to buy trash bins with lids.
  • All power cords should be out of reach (or inside cable tubes), so your new pup cannot chew on them.
  • Bichon frise puppies get very attached to their owners, so they will love all the chewable belongings that smell like you – slippers, shoes, clothes, and everything in between. Make sure you keep them all safe in wardrobes and closed shoe racks.
  • Block all the tiny and unsafe spaces, such as underneath your sofa, otherwise, your puppy will squeeze in there and sniff all the dirt, dust, or find lost objects that may be dangerous, such as pins or needles.

Finally, of course, you should have a space safe for your pup where it can rest and sleep. This place should be away from disturbances and noises. As a puppy should not be taken outdoors unless fully vaccinated, you will also have to choose the playing space and buy some puppy-friendly toys.

This playing corner will keep your puppy active until it’s safe to go out on a walk. If your new puppy is in the chewing phase, you can buy pet-friendly deterring substances from the pet store to keep them from chewing your furniture and items. The substance doesn’t hurt your pet, but the bitter taste will stop this habit from taking root.

Requirements for an Adult Bichon Frise

It’s important to note that there is no exact space requirement for a bichon frise – they are small pups, so any small house or apartment will be sufficient for them as long as you take them out daily to stretch their little bodies and have some physical exercise.

At this point, you should be able to have some peace of mind regarding some of the bad behaviors puppies get into – such as chewing your slippers or damaging furniture as long as you train the puppy before it reaches maturity.

However, it is inevitable that you will have to leave your dog alone at home at some point. In this case, you need to consider what you are most comfortable with: will your bichon frise be allowed to roam free in your apartment or do you need a confined area, such as by setting pet gates and keep it away from dangerous items?

If you have a very small apartment, you may want to rearrange your furniture to make a special space for your bichon frise where it can play and stretch in between walking sessions.

3 Things That Make the Bichon Frise a Good Apartment Dog

Here are some of the main aspects that make the bichon frise a good apartment dog:

1. Small Size

Bichons frises reach up to 11 inches when mature and weigh up to 18 pounds. This small size makes them ideal for living in small apartments. It is a gentle pet, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it out for daily exercises – especially if you want a happy and healthy dog!

Also, sometimes, they have energy outbursts, which means that they will go into a running spree around your apartment. To avoid making a mess or injuring itself, it’s best to take your bichon frise outdoors to burn some energy.

Compared to many other breeds, bichons frises are small, and so are their physical exercise needs. Due to the small body, the pooch gets tired quickly. For an adult, it’s recommended to spend about 30 minutes outdoors each day.

2. Low Shedding

You don’t need to worry about leaving hair all over your apartment. Bichons are low-shedders, so keeping your apartment clean will be easy.

They tend to be a great choice for allergic people, too, since most of the falling hair gets trapped in the double coat. That said, if you fall into this category, of course, make sure to check with your doctor before getting one.

3. Well-Mannered

Bichons frises are very smart pups, so they are highly trainable. If you lack experience, you could go to an obedience class or contact a professional trainer. They have a tendency to bark, which means that it may upset your neighbors, but you can also train your bichon to be as quiet as possible.

4 Apartment-Friendly Alternatives to the Bichon Frise

Lastly, while the bichon frise is an excellent apartment dog, you might also want to consider a few other breeds before committing. Below are similarly apartment-friendly breeds you can think about getting.

1. Shih Tzu

Just like bichons, shih tzus are a companion breed and have a small size. They adapt very well to small homes and are extremely versatile – simply put, the shih tzu will be happy to follow you everywhere and do anything you’re doing.

For more information, read my detailed shih tzu vs. bichon frise comparison.

2. Pomeranian

Another apartment-friendly pup, Pomeranians are an excellent choice for people who live in small spaces. Their tiny body and joyful personality will surely bring light into your home. They are a bit more active than bichons, so stocking up on toys will be a great way to keep them entertained indoors.

For more information, read my detailed Pomeranian vs. bichon frise comparison.

3. Maltese

Maltese belong to the same family as bichons frises, so the similar appearance and size are not a surprise. They are a bit more active indoors, so having an interesting play corner will be necessary to keep this active small pup well-behaved indoors.

For more information, read my detailed Maltese vs. bichon frise comparison.

4. Havanese

Yet another member of the bichon family, Havanese seem to have been born specially to live in small spaces. The breed is relatively bigger than the Maltese, but its energy levels are lower. Thus, Havanese dogs are totally fine with napping for most of the time and exploring the apartment from time to time.

For more information, read my detailed Havanese vs. bichon frise comparison.


Bichons frises are excellent dogs for apartments. With proper training, they will adapt quickly and you will have a new best friend in no time. Furthermore, bichons frises do not smell – at least in most cases.

The best thing to do to prepare your apartment for its arrival is to try to look at your space through a puppy’s eyes: is there anything to chew on? Do you have any toxic plants? Where will your puppy eat, sleep and play?

Also, switching to pet-friendly household cleaners will be best to avoid licking toxic chemicals off the furniture. A combination of vinegar and water, for instance, will keep your house clean without hurting your little buddy.

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