Do Bichon Frise Dogs Bark a Lot?

Bichon Frises are charming little dogs that are popular apartment dogs, but if you are considering this breed, particularly for an apartment, you probably won’t consider them a good choice if they bark a lot. 

Do Bichon Frise dogs bark a lot? Bichon Frise typically don’t bark a lot since they’ve never been guard dogs and since they’re very trainable. If a Bichon is suffering from separation anxiety, isn’t well-socialized with other dogs or people, or haven’t been taught self-control, they may bark a lot. 

Do you want to raise a Bichon that doesn’t bark a lot? Here’s what you need to know about why Bichons are not particularly prone to barking but why they may still end up being yappy so you can prepare your dog for a quiet life together.

How Much Do Bichon Frises Bark?

To understand how much Bichon Frises bark, it is very helpful to understand their history. Bichon Frises have been companion dogs throughout their entire history. They developed on islands, along with some other dogs of similar type like the Maltese. 

These little dogs were the companions of fisherman and villagers. They may have had some role as ratters as well, but for the most part, they seem to have been mostly companions. 

Sailors visiting the islands fell in love with the gregarious little dogs and brought them with them on their travels. From there, Bichons spread across the world, becoming popular everywhere they ended up. They became particularly beloved by the royalty of Europe. 

In all of this time, Bichon Frises were companions before all else. It may have been very useful for them too far to alert people to potential threats by barking, but they were never specifically bred to be guard dogs like some small breeds such as the Lhasa Apso. 

If you train your Bichon not to bark, the chances are good that you will not have a problem with a yappy Bichon. However, these dogs have had a tendency to be quite independent throughout their history as well, so if you do not properly motivate your Bichon, they may decide that they want to bark despite reprimand. Training is essential to teach your Bichon Frise barking is and is not appropriate.

How To Train Your Bichon Frise Not To Bark Too Much

Very few people want their dogs to not bark at all. However, you probably don’t want your dog to bark excessively either. The trick is to train your Bichon when is an appropriate time to bark and how to stop barking on command. Here are some tips to help:

  1. Encourage your dog to bark by getting them excited with toys, frustrating them by keeping a toy or treat out of there reach, or doing whatever else you can do to encourage your dog to become rambunctious and bark. After your dog barks for a moment, give them a command for quiet like, “Thank you” or “That’s enough,” and offer them a delicious treat. Your Bichon will stop barking so that they can take the treat. 
  2. Once your Bichon understands that they get a treat when they stop barking, you can begin asking for quiet and then delaying the amount of time before you give your dog a treat. Stay quiet and wait for two or three seconds before you offer the treat. 
  3. Keep extending the time that your Bichon needs to wait before they get the reward so that they will understand why they are being rewarded and internalize the concept of being quiet. 
  4. Once your Bichon knows how to stop barking in situations where you have instigated barking, it is time to progress to training your dog to stop barking even when they want to bark for their own reasons. Ask your dog for quiet when visitors come over, when they are playing with another dog, and any other time they bark. Be sure to regularly reward your dog, especially at the beginning, so that they internalize that being quiet is a very positive thing that gets them a great reward.

Do Bichon Frises Bark When Left Alone?

Bichon Frises are known to be great apartment dogs because of their small size, relatively low exercise needs, and their low-shed coat. However, if your Bichon Frise is yapping when you leave them alone, they will not be very great apartment dogs as far as your neighbors are concerned. Here’s what you need to know about Bichons barking when they are left alone. 

Separation Anxiety

Bichon Frise tends to be relatively independent, and most are not particularly prone to separation anxiety. However, if your dog feels that they are not getting enough from you or you are gone for long periods very frequently, your Bichon Frise may begin to express dissatisfaction by barking. Some Bichons are prone to separation anxiety even if they are properly engaged and not left alone too much. 

Is Your Bichon Suffering From Separation Anxiety?

Bichon Frises that are suffering from separation anxiety often become very excited and vocalize  before you leave and when you get back. They often are destructive as well as noisy, ripping up  furniture or trying to escape through windows or doors by scratching at them. 

What To Do

If you suspect that your Bichon is suffering from separation anxiety, resulting in barking when you’re not home, there are a few things that you can do. However, it is important to note that separation anxiety can be very serious and difficult to resolve in dogs, so you may want professional help if these techniques aren’t effective for you. 

  • Food distributing toy. Feeding a clever little dog like the Bichon Frise from a food bowl is a missed opportunity, especially if they are suffering from anxiety. Instead, use a food distributing toy so that your dog can entertain themselves getting their food when you go away. 
  • Don’t make a big deal of coming and going. It’s natural for humans to be excited about leaving and arriving, just as it is for dogs. However, amping up the experience makes it much more likely that your dog will suffer from separation anxiety. When you leave, don’t even say goodbye, just give your dog their food toy and walk out the door. 
  • Reduce excitement around leaving signals. Bichons are very clever, and they may interpret all kinds of signs of leaving like picking up the keys, grabbing a jacket, or even just increasing your speed as your hurry around the house as indications that you are getting ready to leave. Perform these cues throughout the day without actually leaving so that your Bichon will stop becoming excited every time they see a signal. 

In time, your Bichon Frise will hardly notice your comings and goings at all. It may be a little bit sad to feel like your dog doesn’t care when you leave, but it is much better for your Bichon in the end.

What To Do If Your Bichon Frise Barks At Other Dogs

Bichon Frises are generally friendly with people and animals, including other dogs. However, this is also a fairly brave little dog that may not back down from a fight. Bichons that are not well socialized with other dogs may respond to them by barking at them, either out of fear or out of boldness. 

A Bichon that barks at other dog can be very annoying for the owner and anyone else around, but it also can be a potentially dangerous situation. Other dogs may not respond well to be yapped at by your little Bichon.

Here’s what to do if your Bichon barks at other dog a lot. 

  1. Desensitize from a distance. Go close enough to other dogs that your Bichon can smell or see them, but not so close that your dog reacts by barking. Reward your Bichon Frise for not barking and being calm at this distance from another dog by giving them lots of delicious treats that they considered very high value. 
  2. Continue working with your Bichon several times a week at this distance until they are indifferent to the other dog and just concerned about getting the treats. 
  3. Once your Bichon is indifferent to other dogs at the initial distance, keep moving closer at small increments, gradually getting nearer and nearer to other dogs. Eventually, you should be able to walk right past another dog without your Bichon barking. 

Every dog is different, and it may take some time for your Bichon to master self-control around other dogs if they want to bark, but this is an intelligent, trainable breed that will likely find a way to resist the urge to bark with a little bit of consistent training.

Enjoy A Quiet Bichon Frise

You do not have to deal with a yappy Bichon Frise. Bichons are naturally happy, confident little dogs, so barking isn’t usually a big issue with the breed, but some Bichons are prone to barking. With training and providing the right environment for your dog, you are very likely to find that your Bichon Frise does not bark a lot.