Maltese Vs Bichon Frise: Top 10 differences

Maltese Vs Bichon Frise: Top 10 differences

Let’s look at ‘Maltese Vs Bichon Frise’ in detail.

The Maltese is a small breed of dog that originated in Malta. These dogs have long white coats that may sometimes have some tan patches on them. They are known for being gentle, friendly, and playful animals that love to cuddle with their family members.

The Bichon Frise is a small, white dog with a curly coat. They are very social and loving and are happy to be around people. These dogs are also very intelligent and responsive. They can learn quickly and can be taught to do tricks as well as follow commands. These dogs need to be groomed every day, but they do not shed hair like other breeds of dogs.

While the Maltese and Bichon Frise are both small low-shedding dogs, these two breeds can vary quite drastically. It is important to learn the differences between them before making a decision on which dog would be best for your lifestyle.

Here are the top 10 differences between the Maltese and the Bichon Frise.

1. Maltese Vs Bichon Frise: Their History

Maltese History

Bichon Frise History

Maltese is believed to be descended from the ancient Mediterranean island of Malta. These dogs were originally bred by the ancient Egyptians as a companion dogs and status symbols. Bichon Frise was developed in the Mediterranean area in the 16th century from water dogs, such as the Barbet and the Maltese They were primarily bred as companion dogs.

2. The Bichon Frise Is Bigger Than The Maltese:

Maltese Height/Weight

Bichon Frise Height/Weight

The height of a Maltese ranges from 8 to 10 inches and its weight rarely exceeds 4 to 7 pounds. The height of a Bichon Frise is typically between 9 to 12 inches and with an average weight of between 12 to 18 pounds.

3. The Difference In Their Coat:

Maltese Coat

Bichon Frise Coat

Maltese are distinguished by their single-layered coat that is long, silky, and white and covers their entire body. Their hair falls to the ground. The Bichon Frise has a double-layered coat, one linked to the body and the other to the exterior, with thick curly hair. The coat is almost always white but cream and/or apricot-colored markings can be found around the paws, ears, and nose.

4. The Bichon Frise Is More Suitable For Family With Small Children:

Maltese Temperament

Bichon Frise Temperament

A Maltese would not be suitable for a home with small children because they are tiny and can be easily injured while playing. They also naturally have a lower tolerance towards small kids. Bichon Frises are excellent buddies for your children. They are tolerant of boisterous play and rough handling.

5. The Maltese Needs Less Exercise Compared To The Bichon Frise:

Maltese Exercise

Bichon Frise Exercise

The Maltese needs to be walked at least once every day, but it’s also important that they get some exercise in the house too. This can be accomplished by throwing the ball or toy into their crate, then letting them out to retrieve it. The best way to get the Bichon Frise enough exercise is to take them on walks or runs at least twice a day.  You can also play fetch, or go swimming with them.

6. The Maltese Is Easier To Train Than The Bichon Frise:

Maltese Trainability

Bichon Frise Trainability

The Maltese are recognized as one of the most intelligent breeds of dogs, due to their ability to learn quickly. They are also known for being very obedient and eager to please. The Bichon Frise is smart, but their intelligence can sometimes make things more difficult when training them. They need plenty of attention and will not do well with people who don’t have much time for them.

7. Difference In Their Ways Of Burning Off Energy:

Maltese Energy

Bichon Frise Energy

The Maltese are remarkably energetic dogs who like being active most times of the day. They excel in agility courses as well as rigorous walks and playtime. The Bichon Frise exhibits bursts of energy, wanting to play, exercise, and go on a long walk when they wish to. However, that activity will be followed by a long nap.

8. The Maltese Is Typically More Protective of The Family:

Maltese Protective Instinct

Bichon Frise Protective Instinct

Maltese dogs are not unfriendly, but they are usually more protective of their family as they are more reserved with strangers and must be properly introduced to new people. The Bichons have a tendency for “not knowing strangers,” which means they will be friendly to everybody they encounter.

9. The Maltese Is More Popular In The U.S Then The Bichon Frise:

Maltese Popularity

Bichon Frise Popularity

In the United States, Maltese is ranked 39th in terms of popularity, according to the American Kennel Club. According to the American Kennel Club, the Bichon Frise is ranked 47th in popularity in the United States.

10. The Bichon Frise Is More Expensive Than The Maltese:

Maltese Price

Bichon Frise Price

A typical Maltese pup costs anywhere between $600 and $2,000. For a puppy, the price of a Bichon Frise can range from roughly $900 to over $3,500.


Both the Bichon and the Maltese can make wonderful pets for the proper folks! They are both clever and affectionate breeds that make excellent companion dogs. The Maltese, however, is probably not the greatest choice for families with little children. This is owing to the breed’s tiny stature, which leaves them vulnerable to child-inflicted damage.

Also, both these dogs can bark a lot, so consider your noise tolerance (and your neighbors) while choosing between the two.

You should know that adopting either one of these two beautiful breeds is a lifetime commitment. You’ll need to make sure you understand more about both breeds to know if you can offer them a suitable home.

Here are some other articles that we have on the Maltese and the Bichon Frise.

Which is the breed of your choice? The Maltese or the Bichon Frise? Let us know in the comments below!

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