In today’s guide, we are going to look at the Maltichon, also known as the Maltese Frise. Find all the information you need on this designer breed below!
Height: 8-11 inches
Weight: 3.5-5 kilos
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Pedigree? (registered with the KC?): No, this breed isn’t registered with the Kennel Club.
Positives and Negatives
Learn the basics about the Maltichon at a glance below.
- Suitable for apartment living
- Child and dog friendly
- Ideal watchdog
- Intelligent and easy to train
- Prone to separation anxiety
- High grooming maintenance
- Vocal likes to bark
- It May be difficult to housebreak
A Bichon Frise x Maltese produces the hybrid we know today as the Maltichon. Although both parents are registered with the Kennel Club, the Maltichon is not as it is classed as a crossbreed. They’re called hybrids but are better known as designer dogs.
As this breed isn’t a pedigree it isn’t possible to source papers of the dog’s lineage.
Those interested in Maltese Bichon puppies must search harder to find a responsible breeder. Ensure the puppy’s parents have been health screened for any inherited health conditions.
The Hybrid Breeders Association was set up in 2016 due to the surge of hybrid puppies. As there is no regulatory body, the association aims to meet ethical breeding standards of designer dogs.
The hybrids increase in popularity also means a rise in unwanted dogs. Check your local rescue centers first if you would prefer to rescue a pet.
Attention seeking, affectionate, mischievous, and playful, the Bichon-Maltese will keep any owner on their toes! Despite their cute faces, they are still dogs.
A furry companion is a member of the family but should not be treated as a baby. Leadership, socialization, and training will help a puppy grow into the perfect all-round pet.
The Maltese Bichon is a designer dog breed crossed with the Bichon Frise and Maltese. It is estimated this breed was first purposely crossed around 20 years ago.
Although it isn’t possible to determine exactly when the first Maltichon was created. Many believe the United States is the first country to produce this hybrid.
Dating back before the 14th century is the Bichon Frise. They originate from Spain but were developed in France where their name stands for the ‘Curly Lap Dog’.
Originally the Bichon Frise was used as sailing and herding dogs. The breed was also loved by nobility yet despite this, after World War I, the Bichon faced extinction.
The Maltese Terrier dates back approximately 3,000 years ago. The breed is known to have existed during the Ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian periods however their exact creation isn’t known.
Originating from the island of Malta, this pooch was popular among the aristocracy, just like the Bichon Frise.
As a hybrid (designer dog) the Maltese Bichon mix is bred solely for companionship. They aren’t recognized by any official Kennel Club, nor can they compete as show dogs.
Unlike other hybrids such as the Cockapoo, the Maltese x Bichon hasn’t established an official breed club.
As a mixed breed, the Maltese cross Bichon will inherit traits from both parents. It isn’t possible to estimate exactly which traits will be passed on.
Both breeds are fairly similar in behavior and looks. However, it is important to research both parent breeds before purchasing or rehoming a Maltichon.
Maltichons are deeply affectionate, friendly, gentle, and intelligent. They love being involved in a busy household and thrive off being the center of attention.
Despite their small size, these canines are packed with personality, bringing joy to everyone around them. The Maltese Frise is suitable for couples, seniors, single owners, and families.
Known to be vocal, Maltichons may bark excessively if they haven’t been taught the quiet command.
This hybrid can best be described as a lapdog and can’t be left alone for long periods of time. They’re prone to separation anxiety and could try to escape or destroy their home.
Recommended: The Rough Collie breed has a face that is thought to resemble the Borzoi, although genetically a connection hasn’t been confirmed. Learn about them in our guide.
Is the Maltichon Good with Strangers?
Yes, this breed is friendly towards strangers. Maltichons are great watchdogs and will bark at a stranger approaching their home.
Aggression isn’t a known trait of this designer dog but could be a possibility if they haven’t been socialized correctly.
Is the Maltichon Good with Children?
Yes, the Maltese Frise gets along well with children. They enjoy the company, extra attention, and playtime received from their little human companions!
Due to their size, older children are better suited as they understand the fragility of the dog.
Is the Maltichon Good with Other Dogs?
Maltichons get along well with other dogs due to their sociable nature. Be aware of larger dogs as rough play could seriously injure this small pooch.
Both canines and cats can live alongside the Maltichon although it is recommended they grow up together.
Due to their small size, the Maltichon won’t require much exercise. Thirty minutes each day will be satisfactory. These dogs can happily live in an apartment, although it will be more difficult to housebreak them without a garden.
Hikes, jogs, and vigorous exercise won’t be suitable for this breed.
Given early socialization, Maltichons will be friendly towards other animals. Whilst they can get enough exercise from playing fetch indoors, they still greatly benefit from interacting and playing with other canines.
In the winter months, some Maltichons will need a coat to withstand the colder temperatures.
Maltichon puppies are very active and playful growing up. Whilst they may benefit from a little extra exercise, they mustn’t overexert themselves.
It can cause muscle soreness, strains, and tears. In severe cases, a dog could cause serious injuries to its tendons and ligaments.
Related: Smooth Fox Terriers were one of the first varieties of Fox Terriers to be established as their own breed.
Find out the breed-related health conditions of the Maltese Frise below:
- Patella Luxation- A luxating patella is a term used for a knee cap that temporarily dislocates out of place. Affected dogs may skip a step or run on three legs before quickly returning back to normal.
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus- Before birth, the Ductus Arteriosus is used to divert blood from the Pulmonary artery to the Aorta. After birth, the Ductus Ateriosus will close. In some dogs, this doesn’t happen hence the word ‘Patent’ which means open.
- Cushing’s Disease- The adrenal glands produces the stress hormone Cortisol in excess. This will lead to symptoms such as increased thirst, urination and appetite, reduced activity, hair loss, and excessive panting.
- White Dog Shaker Syndrome- This inherited disorder, mostly seen in small white dogs affects the nervous system causing tremors. Affected dogs show signs of tremours by age one or two.
- Cataracts- This health issue is the most common cause of vision loss in dogs. A change of lens in the eye produces an opacity which if big enough could interfere with sight, leading to blindness.
- Hepatic Microvascular Dysplasia- An inherited condition affecting the liver. A lack of microscopic blood vessels in the liver decreases blood flow, thus reducing the size of the liver and its cells. Some dogs show no sign of the disease until 3-4 years of age.
Intelligence & Training
The Bichon Maltese is intelligent. After all, their parent the Bichon Frise would work with French musicians by dancing in the street.
Generally, this breed is easy to train as they love to please their owner. Housebreaking, however, is a struggle for most Maltichon owners.
Intelligent dogs like the Maltichon can become bored easily. This may result in destructive behavior if they haven’t got anything to occupy them.
Separation anxiety is something the Maltichon is prone to. Training will be needed to help the dog feel safe and secure when left alone.
Due to their small bladder size, the Maltichon will need to use the toilet more frequently. Owners with a garden will find it much easier to be consistent as opposed to those in an apartment.
Crate training is recommended. By giving the dog a safe space with a little independence, housebreaking may become easier.
Maltichons enjoy learning, which makes training simpler. Whilst the Maltichon isn’t as dominant as other breeds, it is still important to establish respect and leadership. Socialization is very important for small dogs.
Aggression is a result of fear and anxiety. Be sure a Maltichon is introduced to a variety of dogs, people, and places.
Related: The Smooth Collie dog is one of the less popular members of the Collie family. Learn more about them.
All you have to do is look at the Maltichon and you will know they have high grooming needs. Especially when it comes to keeping them clean and white!
The Bichon Frise and the Maltese are both low shedders so there is a possibility the Maltichon will be hypoallergenic. An ideal choice for allergy sufferers.
Brushing is needed daily to prevent any knots and tangles from forming in the coat. The best tools to use would be a pin, bristle, and slicker brush.
Grooming can be painful so be gentle. Press down to the skin to help redistribute the natural oils across the coat. Trim the fur around the eyes to prevent tear stains.
The Bichon-Maltese will need frequent baths. Approximately every 3-4 weeks. It is best to blow-dry the fur as opposed to air drying, to prevent any debris from discoloring the fur.
It is recommended to trim the coat every 4-6 weeks. Some owners prefer this is done professionally. The coat should only be shaved for medical reasons.
Don’t forget to trim the nails every fortnight. Frequent walking may file them down naturally but always keep an eye out.
Cleanse the ears weekly to prevent a build-up of bacteria within the ear. Brush their teeth at least three times a week, although vets do recommend it is done daily.