Bichon Frise vs. Maltipoo: Which Breed to Get?

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Bichon Frise vs. MaltipooSmall dog breeds may be the best companions for people living in small apartments or houses. Bichons and maltipoos have a similar appearance, but there are some notable personality and maintenance differences between them.

The next sections introduce you to these two breeds and everything you need to know about them to choose the right one for you and your family.

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Bichon Frise vs. Maltipoo: A Detailed Comparison

With that, let’s jump right in.


Originating in the United States, the playful maltipoo is a crossbreed between the poodle and Maltese. It is known as a designer breed, but it is not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. The small maltipoo was bred as a companion dog for allergy sufferers as it is a low shedder, just like bichons.

There are numerous tales regarding the history of bichons, some of them tracking this breed to Spain and France. The poodle is a common ancestor of both breeds, which helps to explain their numerous similarities in appearance. Bichons are part of the barbichon family, which also includes the Bolognese, the Havanese, and the Maltese, and it was initially mentioned in the 14th century. When it reached Europe, the bichon frise turned into a favorite for the royal families and nobility.


The maltipoo is a small dog with a wavy coat and it may reach 8 to 14 inches height with a weight between 5 to 20 pounds, depending on its parents. The coat is fluffy and tends to grow quite long, which is why most owners take their maltipoos to a professional to clip it and keep it neat and short. Maltipoos do not have a breed standard; you may find them in different colors, including white, cream, or even brown. The pooch also comes with a long, curled tail.

The energetic bichon frise is usually white and has curly or wavy fur, similar to maltipoos, and reaches about 9 to 11 inches in height and 7 to 12 pounds. With a fluffy look, bichons are similar to white poodles. They are recognized by the American Kennel Club. Some bichon puppies may be pale yellow or cream, with black eyes and noses. When reaching maturity, the bichon’s coat becomes white.

Both dog breeds have a hypoallergenic coat, with a higher density compared to other breeds. One of the main reasons behind the crossbreed is to have a small dog that sheds very little, while bichons are also known as hypoallergenic due to their double coat.

Aging Profile

The life expectancy of the two breeds is quite similar. Maltipoos are known to live from 10 to 16 years, while bichons are expected to live from 12 to 15 years.


Maltipoo owners are delighted with their pup’s energy, intelligence, and fun personality. It is an easy-going, friendly breed. It may be suitable for a family with kids as long as the children know how to treat the pooch – with kindness and respect. Similar to bichons, the maltipoo can easily adapt to a city or country life – it doesn’t mind much as long as it has a loving family. Essentially, they are indoor dogs, but also love walking or ball games.

Both dog breeds are cheerful pets who love affection, cuddles, and attention. They can be good friends with kids and they are considered companion pets. They may turn possessive or territorial if encouraged, so it’s best to avoid encouraging bad behaviors or leaving the pooch alone for long periods. Most adult dogs require from 30 to 60 minutes of activity per day to ensure that they stay healthy.


The maltipoo is a very intelligent crossbreed, which means that you can easily train it or teach it how to socialize. This breed is often excellent for seniors as it is a therapy dog that brings happiness and joy.

When the right techniques are used, bichons can be trained fairly easily, but they do have a reputation of being quite resilient when it comes to housetraining. Most first-time owners find it easier to look for a professional who can teach the pup how to behave in its new home.

Other Factors

Grooming is extremely important for both breeds. Maltipoos may require significantly less maintenance than the fairly high-maintenance bichons.

To groom your maltipoo, you need to brush its coat twice per week or take it to a professional to trim its coat. It’s important to note that maltipoos’ skin is extremely sensitive, so bathing should be quite rare as even mild shampoos may strip its skin of necessary oils that keep the coat healthy. You should also check its floppy ears for wax and debris, keep the nails short, and clean its teeth at least twice per week to avoid dental problems.

Bichons’ coat can lead to severe health issues if it is not combed every day. Matting leads to hematoma growth or ear infections. When hair is not kept clean and tidy, bichons tend to scratch or chew themselves, leading to numerous skin conditions and infections.

Bichons may also be highly allergic to foods, fleas, pollen, and chemicals.

Most bichon owners opt for professional grooming sessions where a professional cleans and trims the fur, nails, and facial hair. This pooch is also prone to eye infections if the facial hair is not trimmed regularly. Daily brushing is highly recommended to reduce the mats in their wool-like coat.

Both breeds are to be kept indoors as they cannot protect themselves from threats and can easily become prey to wild animals. If you keep your maltipoo outdoors in cold weather, it can turn life-threatening. It’s highly recommended to watch your bichon frise or maltipoo when outdoors and keep them safe from extreme weather conditions.

Bichon Frise vs Maltipoo: Which Should You Get as a Pet?

Both bichons and maltipoos are people-loving pets. They need to live indoors with their family and you should not leave them on their own or outside. They might bark excessively unless they receive proper training. Maltipoos are more willing to be trained, while bichons may require a professional who knows how to convince them to pick up good behaviors. Positive reinforcement techniques, such as praise and food rewards, will guarantee the success of their training.

Maltipoos and bichons are active, but they are great as apartment pets. Make sure you provide them with the opportunity to stay active daily to keep them healthy and happy. A short walk, a ball game, or any indoor activity can help them burn energy and keep extra weight at bay. If you live in a building with noise restrictions, you may want to train them as they tend to bark at anything they consider suspicious.

In the end, the best pooch for your needs depends on how much time you are able to dedicate to its maintenance as bichons require more grooming compared to maltipoos.


Bichon frise and maltipoo are two breeds highly appreciated for their low-shedding coat, fun and loving nature, and ability to adapt to any living conditions. If you have a large home and there is always at least one family member at home, choosing one or the other may be up to your personal preference.

Keep your pup in good shape, offer it lots of affection, and it will quickly turn into a loving member of your family.

Considering Other Breeds Too?

See how bichon frise compares with: Beagle | Bolognese | Boston Terrier | Brussels Griffon | Cavachon | Cavalier King Charles Spaniel | Cavapoo | Chihuahua | Cockapoo | Coton de Tulear | French Bulldog | German Shepherd | Golden Retriever | Goldendoodle | Havanese | Labrador Retriever | Lhasa Apso | Maltese | Papillon | Pomeranian | Poochon | Poodle | Pug | Samoyed | Schnauzer | Scottish Terrier | Shetland Sheepdog | Shichon | Shih Tzu | West Highland Terrier | Yorkshire Terrier

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