Maltichon (Bichon Frise x Maltese Mix): All You Need to Know

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Maltichon (Bichon Frise x Maltese Mix)The maltichon is a cross between our favorite bichon frise and its close cousin, the Maltese. These breeds are also similar in looks and temperament. However, the Maltese is generally highly sensitive, while the bichon frise is the more outgoing of the two parent breeds.

Mix the two together to get the maltichon, and you have a generally wonderful companion for an easygoing, homebody lifestyle. But what is this Maltese bichon frise mix like?

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Maltichon (Bichon Frise x Maltese Mix) History

The maltichon is a cross between two old companion breeds from the Mediterranean. The parent breeds actually have more than a few commonalities in their ancestry. Descending from the same oldest known ancestor for both breeds, the Barbet, they are both also small, white, witty, and beloved companion dogs.

Gaining knowledge about the history of both parent breeds is useful to understand the wonder that is the maltichon.

Casper with pink toy #Casper #Maltichon #puppy #dog

Maltese History

Maltese DogThe Maltese is an older breed than the bichon frise. Their history is traceable to around 3500 B.C. to the small island of Malta, off the coast of Italy. Since the time of the ancient Greeks, they were favored by the wealthy.

The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1888. Maltese fall into the toy-dog category, weighing in at less than 7 pounds. They are famous for their white, long, silky coats and do not have an undercoat. Their feathered drop ears and black-rimmed dark round eyes make them rather handsome, and probably even more popular with the nobles.

Bichon Frise History

Bichon FriseBichons frises were actually working dogs initially, used to hunt vermin on ships (which was a very important job) by Spanish sailors from the Canary Islands. That said, the sailors grew to love them as companions too. However, their lively nature and beautiful looks caused them to become a royal family favorite from the 1300s until as late as the 1800s.

They lost some of their popularity in the 1800s though, but they secured a place for themselves as circus and fair dogs due to their funny and loveable nature and trainability. French immigrants introduced the bichon frise breed to the United States in 1956, and in 1972 they were recognized by the American Kennel Club as a breed in the non-sporting group.

Maltichon Appearance, Coat, Size, and Weight

As an adult, the maltichon should weigh between 9 and 13  pounds and is typically between 8 and 11 inches tall. It is definitely one of the smaller bichon frise crossbreeds around. However, the maltichon should be handled with care regardless of its boisterous personality because these dainty dogs are prone to injuries.

The maltichon can be either silky or a little more curly. Even within the same litter, the length and texture of their coats can vary. Malteses have single-layer coats which can grow very long. On the other hand, bichons frises have double-layer coats with a dense undercoat covered with wavy or curly hair. Your maltichon may inherit any combination of these qualities. However, they should have medium-to-long coats.

In terms of color, the maltichon is usually white, but may have markings in buff, cream colors, and apricot.  If your maltese cross is another color, such as brown or black, then it is likely not a true maltichon, but a crossbreed with another dog like a poodle.

The great news is that this maltese bichon frise is most likely to be a relatively hypoallergenic dog.

They are very small dogs but reasonably sturdy. Their heads are small and slightly rounded with square, medium-length muzzles. If your maltichon takes after the Maltese more than the bichon frise the muzzle may be tapered. Their eye color possibilities are mainly brown or dark brown and their noses are black.

Maltichon Maintenance Requirements

The maltichon requires regular grooming and bathing. Their coats resemble those of their parent breeds, which need plenty of effort to maintain. They should be brushed and combed on a daily basis to make sure tangles and matting does not occur. They need to be bathed every three weeks, and it is advisable to apply a delicate conditioner after bathing.

They are prone to tear staining, so carefully wiping their faces with a soft, damp cloth is recommended for proper facial hygiene.

The maltichon is a low-shedding dog that has been classified as hypoallergenic, like the parent breeds. Thus, they are unlikely to cause allergic reactions which is beneficial since they are essentially lap dogs. Investing in a pin brush and comb for your maltichon’s daily brush is a good idea.

As with most smaller dogs, attention should also be given to maintaining the health of their ears, teeth, and nails. Ask your vet or a professional groomer to show you how to keep your maltichon’s ears clean, and how to trim their nails correctly. Having your maltichon’s teeth cleaned by the vet once a year in addition to brushing it at home, will decrease the risk of teeth and gum diseases later.

Maltichon Exercise and Space Requirements

The maltichon is not a dog with high exercise needs. As they are quite small, they expend more energy in a shorter amount of time. For example, around 2 to 5 miles of walking per week will be enough to keep them fit and active. This amounts to walking your maltichon about 30 minutes a day. You can even break this up into shorter walks of 15 mins.

Remember to give them frequent breaks while out on walks, every ten minutes or so.

Your maltichon may be susceptible to cold, especially if they inherited the single-layer coat from the Maltese parent breed. If you live in a colder region, invest in a sweater or jacket for your tiny companion. During winter, they should have their sweater or jacket on when going out at all times.

This is a very intelligent breed that will enjoy plenty of stimulation. Physical activity alone is not enough for these keen, bright dogs. Although this breed is not especially demanding, they can still become bored and frustrated. In the case of sensitive dogs like the maltichon, boredom may also cause them to become anxious.  This can lead to bigger problems like separation anxiety.

They are not guard dogs and definitely not outside dogs. These mixed breeds are hyper-attached companions that want to be part of the family. They do well in apartments and smaller spaces, provided they are given enough exercise and playtime.

Although they are busybodies, they are very adaptable due to the fact that they do not need an intense exercise regime.

Maltichon Temperament and Intelligence

The maltichon’s parent breeds are beloved companionship dogs because of their lively, affectionate and loyal traits, and it is no different with the maltichon. They are curious and very smart. Shorter and more focused training sessions will keep them engaged and they will do best with loads of praise and treats. They even have potential to become good therapy and emotional support dogs.

Although they are easy to train, they can be stubborn or easily distracted and might need more patience and effort in the area of house training. Remember, their bladders are tiny, and they will need easy access to the outdoors if you want them to be housetrained.

In toy dogs like the maltichon, traits like timidity and insecurity can become a problem if they are not trained and socialized from an early age. They are prone to yapping if they are not trained and stimulated.

The Maltese bichon frise mix seems to do exceptionally well with children. Some owners even report taking their maltichon to their local children’s hospital to visit the kids. They also do well with other animals.

But, because of their size, they can easily get trampled on or injured while playing with larger animals or unruly children. Therefore, these interactions must be closely supervised. The maltichon is outgoing and loves engaging with the whole household, and might not be aware of their own limitations and small stature.

Separation anxiety might become a problem, because as much as they get along with other animals, they are very people oriented. Crate training is also advisable and could assist your maltichon with their separation anxiety if they learn from an early age that the crate is a safe space where they can be while you are away.

Maltichon Health and Lifespan

The average age for a Maltese and bichon frise mix breed is between 12 and 15 years. A good designer dog breeder will make sure to screen both the Maltese and the bichon frise parent for genetic health concerns. This is vital, because even mixed breeds dogs can still receive a bad gene from one of their parents that can result in health issues.

The major health concerns you have to be aware of when owning a maltichon, are:

  • Cushing’s disease (the body overproduces cortisol)
  • Patellar luxation (kneecap dislocation)
  • Allergies
  • PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosis)

Minor concerns and occasional diagnoses, include:

  • Deafness
  • Epilepsy
  • Cataracts
  • Dental disease
  • Shaker dog syndrome
  • Corneal dystrophy

The maltichon may have some gastrointestinal problems and making sure they get the right food and nutrition is very important. They have sensitive stomachs, so be sure to watch for tummy upsets, or issues with itchy and inflamed skin.


The maltichon should not be fed table scraps, because it can lead to serious health concerns with a dog this small, in just a few years.  Because they are usually not very active as they age, they are vulnerable to problems related to being overweight. Obese maltichons will by more prone to issues like diabetes, hypothyroidism, pancreatitis, or arthritis.

Therefore, keeping your bichon frise Maltese crossbreed trim and lean throughout their life is essential for their long-term health. It is also important to adjust their food for every life stage, as a puppy, adult, and senior. Certain health conditions can also be made worse or even created by the wrong diet. Therefore, always have your maltichon fully evaluated by a vet before deciding on an appropriate diet.

One example of this is that tiny breeds like the Maltese sometimes have liver anomalies or liver shunts. For these dogs, eating too much animal protein causes a buildup of ammonia in their bodies and this can be deadly. Specialized diets are needed in such cases. So, always be sure to have your pup completely cleared for any regular food.

Very small maltichons can also be prone to hypoglycemia and may need to be fed small meals throughout the day.

Is the Maltichon the Right Breed for You?

The bichon frise Maltese mixed breed might be the right dog for you if:

  • You live alone or with another adult and you are looking for a constant companion
  • You or someone in your household is home most of the day
  • You are looking for a family dog and your children are big enough to follow instructions and take good care of a pet
  • You are a first-time dog owner and have enough time to bond with and train your new puppy
  • You want your heart to melt every time you look at your dog’s face
  • You want a lap dog, cuddle buddy, or companion animal who stays close by and accompanies you through your daily routine
  • You want a playful dog
  • You do not want a running partner, but rather a walking partner as maltichons are not built to cover long distances
  • You struggle with mild allergies and need a hypoallergenic dog (in that case make sure to check with your doctor first)
  • You have plenty of time to invest in grooming
  • You do not want a dog that requires too much exercise


The maltichon is an adorable, fluffy, bite-sized unit of joy and affection. Do not be fooled by their small bodies; they are not docile and fully loaded with energy and playfulness. They make perfect indoor dogs and do well in apartments and homes.

Their personalities offer such fun and interesting combinations! They are friendly and spirited, playful and cheeky, and focused on their owner but still very outgoing.

The maltichon’s high intelligence can cause them to become a handful once in a while, but they are so cute and loving, you will not mind offering both your hands to this feisty little friend.

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