You may know that the Bichon Frise isn’t the most high-energy breed out there, but how much do they actually sleep, and will their sleep patterns match yours?
Do Bichon Frises Sleep a Lot?
Bichon Frises sleep a lot compared to some more high-energy breeds like terriers. The average Bichon will sleep through the night and much of the day as well. This may seem like a lot to people who are accustomed to higher energy dogs.
Whether you’re looking for a cuddly, sleepy companion or you’re wondering why your Bichon sleeps so much, here’s what you need to know about how much Bichon Frises tend to sleep and some reasons why, as well as some potential medical causes for sleeping too much and how to get the over-excited Bichon to settle down.
How Energetic Are Bichon Frise?
In general, the more energetic a dog is, the more time they’ll spend being active and the less time they’ll spend sleeping. Therefore, it’s very helpful to understand just how energetic the Bichon Frise tends to be to help you understand how much they tend to sleep.
Bichon Frises have been bred for a very long time almost exclusively as companion dogs. They did not have a job to do like many breeds of dogs, such as herding livestock or protecting property.
Bichons didn’t even have as much work to do as many other small breed dogs such as terriers, which needed to hunt rats, requiring large amounts of energy. The Bichon very likely has served some function as a ratter over the years, but the vast majority of Bichon Frises have been dedicated companions.
Therefore, they have much less energy than working breeds, even small working breeds. If you are used to little dogs with more terrier-level energy, it may seem to you that your Bichon spends a lot of time sleeping.
Do Bichons Sleep When Their Owners Sleep?
If you’ve been noticing how much your Bichon sleeps, you may have noticed that their sleep patterns correspond to your own. Bichons are highly adaptable dogs that have been adjusting their schedules and behavior to their people for a very long time.
When you consider how natural it is for a Bichon to adapt to their owner’s schedule, it really should come as no surprise to learn that Bichons may be more likely than some other breeds to sleep when you sleep.
Bichons have been the companions of royalty, sailors, performers, and common people everywhere and they have needed to adapt to all sorts of situations. One aspect of a Bichon’s adaptability is that they are very likely to match your schedule.
This is just one of the reasons that Bichon Frises are superb apartment dogs and able to live in a huge variety of situations. However, it is very important that you do not take adaptability for granted.
A Bichon Frise that is not provided with sufficient mental and physical engagement will not be a happy dog, and they are likely to become destructive or have behavior problems if denied exercise too much.
It’s fine to take advantage of your Bichon’s willingness to relax with you every so often, but make sure you are also giving them the exercise that they need to remain happy and healthy.
Why Does My Bichon Frise Sleep More Than They Used To?
If your Bichon Frise is sleeping significantly more as they get older, you may have some concerns that perhaps they aren’t as healthy as they once were. It is normal for your Bichon Frises energy level to reduce as they get older.
However, changes in energy level do sometimes point to health problems. Therefore, it’s extremely important to take seriously any changes in your Bichon’s sleep and rule out any medical causes for the behavior change. Here are some medical-related reasons why your Bichon Frise may be sleeping more than they used to
Arthritis Or Elbow Luxation
Many small breed dogs, such as the Bichon Frise, have an unfortunate tendency towards luxating patella. This is a condition in which the elbow does not properly fit the socket, leading to mobility challenges and pain, especially as your dog gets older.
If your Bichon is in pain, they will doubtless sleep more and be less energetic than previously when they were comfortable. Have your veterinarian perform an orthopedic exam to find out if your Bichon Frise is suffering from luxating patella and provide appropriate treatment. There are many good treatments for this painful condition, so there isn’t any reason to let your dog suffer.
Arthritis is often secondary to luxating patella, but it can also occur independently of luxating patella. Arthritis pain can be very painful for your dog and make it hard for them to move around, which may cause them to lie around and sleep most of the time.
Your veterinarian can tell you whether your dog is suffering from arthritis by manipulating the joint and looking for signs of discomfort and searching for stiffness or calcification. Medications and supplements can be very helpful for increasing your dog’s comfort when living with arthritis.
Most Bichon Frise are very food motivated, and it can sometimes be hard for the people who love them to deny them, even if it is in their best interest. As Bichon Frises get older and less naturally active, it becomes more likely that they will gain weight.
Even a small amount of weight added to a small breed dog like the Bichon can result in impaired mobility and increased pain from conditions like arthritis and luxating patella. Therefore, it’s very important to keep your Bichon Frise at an ideal weight, even as they move into old age. It is even more important to keep your Bichon Frise at an ideal weight when they are getting older and age related issues are more likely.
The Bichon Frise is not known to have many heart issues and this is typically a very robust breed, but any dog can suffer from heart problems. if your Bichon isn’t as as energetic as they used to be, especially if they seem to suddenly get tired, they may be suffering from a heart condition.
Have your veterinarian check your Bichon’s heart to make sure there is no rhythm or arrhythmia. If after a couple of trips to the vet you still suspect a heart problem but the heart seems fine upon examination, consider going to a specialty vet for a heart monitor.
The dog will wear the heart monitor over the course of a couple of days while it transmits information back to the veterinarian. Since dogs often get excited when they go to the vet, the heart reading in the vet office may not be accurate.
Diabetes can be another cause of excessive sleeping. If your dog also is drinking an unusual amount of water, it may be that diabetes is at fault. Your veterinarian can test for diabetes and offer treatments for your Bichon Frise. While the breed is not particularly prone to diabetes, it sometimes seems more likely to affect smaller breeds.
How To Get My Bichons Recent To Relax
If you have heard that Bichons tend to be fairly low-energy dogs, but you cannot get your Bichon Frise to calm down for anything, you may be wondering what’s going on and whether you were sold a defective Bichon.
Like any breed, energy levels vary among individuals. Young Bichon Frises are much more energetic than older ones. A Bichon Frise that is not given sufficient training and exercise may seem extremely energetic because they are so often out of control.
If you find that you cannot get your Bichon Frise to calm down no matter what you do, here are a few tips to consider
Try A Food Distributing Toy
The average Bichon Frise is highly food motivated. This can be a problem as dogs can be prone to easily gaining weight, but it can also be very advantageous when you want your Bichon Frise to settle down.
By providing your dog with a food distributing toy, you can occupy them and encourage them to relax during downtimes. Because chewing is naturally soothing for dogs, you’re likely to find that your Bichon is willing to settle down and relax with their toy.
Bichon Frises are natural performers. Most love to learn things and follow commands. Many people are surprised to learn that obedience training your Bichon Frise can actually wear them out very quickly.
Many dogs even seem to get tired faster when they are obedience trained than when they are provided with plenty of exercise. Obedience training tires out your Bichon’s mind, which is all too often at the root of the inability to settle.
Plenty Of Exercise
Bichon Frises are smaller dogs that typically are not believed to require much exercise, but every individual is different. If your Bichon Frise is having a hard time settling down and seems hyperactive, they may need more exercise than they are getting.
Taking your Bichon on a good walk is one of the best ways to physically tire them and mentally provide stimulation. Many Bichons also enjoy games like fetch. Often owners find that setting up a little agility course in the backyard is a great way to provide exercise and training at the same time
Enjoy Your Sleepy Bichon Frise
Bichon Frises have a medium energy level which many find ideal for the average American lifestyle. They are much lower energy and may seem to sleep more than some higher drive breeds like terriers. However, these little performers are more than happy to get up when you’re ready to go.