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Maltichon (Maltese Terrier & Bichon Frise Mix): Info, Pictures, Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove


Height: 8–11 inches
Weight: 9–13 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Colors: White, apricot, cream
Suitable for: Individuals or families with children, homes of all sizes, first-time dog owners
Temperament: Gentle and sweet around friends and family, eager to learn but prone to stubbornness, alert and protective around strangers, great with small children

Compared to most popular mixed breeds, the Maltichon isn’t easily distinguishable from its purebred parents. After all, the Maltese Terrier and Bichon Frise share nearly identical sizes, physical builds, coat types, and coloration. The physical and temperamental similarities between the Maltese Terrier and Bichon Frise also mean that Maltichon puppies display more consistent traits than other designer breeds.

If we had to name the top three reasons for the Maltichon’s popularity, we would choose its (frequently) hypoallergenic skin, sweet personality, and adaptability. Whether you live alone or with a family, in an apartment or a single-family home, you’re sure to find a loving companion in this mix.

But is the Maltichon really as good a dog as it sounds? Is it prone to genetic health conditions and other concerns common in designer breeds? Keep reading to learn if this is the ideal pup for you or if you should keep searching.

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Maltichon Puppies

maltichon puppy
Image Credit: lunamarina, Shutterstock

If your dream dog is small, playful, and gentle and can adapt to almost any living situation, then a Maltichon might be the perfect companion. But as with owning any dog, actually finding your new best friend is often the hardest part.

The Maltichon is rare and like other so-called designer dogs, is not recognized by the world’s major breeding organizations. Prospective Maltichon owners should be especially wary of unethical backyard breeders looking to make a quick buck.

Any breeder who refuses to share the health information of a litter’s parents or claims that their puppies couldn’t possibly have health issues should be avoided. Buyers should also look into the parental lineage of prospective puppies before making a decision, as some breeders rely on harmful inbreeding to secure designer breeds’ most desirable traits. Instead, look for a Maltichon breeder who is candid and open about the pros and cons of breeding and owning this hybrid pup.

Three Little-Known Facts About the Maltichon

1. They are sometimes called “Maltese Frise.”

“Maltichon” seems to be the unofficially agreed-upon name for the Maltese Terrier and Bichon Frise hybrid. However, it’s certainly not the only name you’ll find these dogs listed under. One of the most popular alternative names is “Maltese Frise,” which is obviously taken from the names of its parent breeds.

2. Maltichons are often hypoallergenic.

Despite what many believe, people with dog allergies aren’t triggered by the dog’s fur but by the dander coming off of their skin. Dog breeds labeled as hypoallergenic (meaning that they are less likely to trigger allergies) are desirable for obvious reasons.

Technically, there’s no way to guarantee any individual dog will be hypoallergenic. But since both the Maltese Terrier and Bichon Frise frequently have hypoallergenic skin, a large number of Maltichons also carry this easy-breathing trait!

3. The Maltichon comes from a royal lineage.

That’s right—both of the Maltichon’s parent breeds were well-loved by royals and aristocrats of old.

Over millennia, the Maltese Terrier spent time in the laps of Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans until finding their way into the homes of Chinese nobles. At the same time, the Bichon Frise’s popularity within the Italian, Spanish, and French aristocracies began sometime around the 13th century and continued up to the French Revolution. Today, all three dogs are still seen as pretty posh pups!

Parent Breeds of the Maltichon
Image Credit: (L) Jumpstory | (R) Spill Photography, Shutterstock

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Temperament and Intelligence of the Maltichon 🧠

The Maltichon is sweet and good-natured but far from passive in its everyday environment. In other words, this canine companion doesn’t just tolerate being around children, dogs, and other people. It actively enjoys the hustle and bustle of day-to-day family life.

Like many extra-small dogs, the Maltese Bichon Frise mix is also near-fearless. This trait makes the mix an excellent watchdog but might not be the best for prospective owners in small apartments or who already own a large dog. Adequate socialization from an early age can help temper the Maltichon’s alert personality.

As can be seen in how the cross-breed interacts with its family members and environment, the Maltichon is quite bright. While not as interested in performing a job or problem-solving as, say, a Border Collie, the Maltichon requires plenty of interaction and bonding. If these needs aren’t met, these dogs are prone to separation anxiety and similar problems.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Yes! Most Maltichons love spending time with children, whether it’s spent playing or lounging around the house.

Even though Maltichons are extremely adaptable, we recommend introducing your new puppy to young children in a controlled and supervised environment. Ensuring positive experiences at an early age will help your dog grow into a sociable, well-adjusted adult.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Yes, the Maltichon is well-known for getting along with other pets, including other dogs. But keep in mind that Maltichons can be a bit reckless around larger dogs, so they should always be supervised when meeting new canine friends!

While you might expect your new Maltichon puppy to become fast friends with every dog it meets, it’s important to remember that every dog has its own unique personality. Proper socialization and positive reinforcement will help ensure that your dog is ready for every encounter.

Image Credit: lunamarina, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Maltichon

The sweet-tempered Maltichon is a great dog for many, but even the best dogs require a little bit of hard work! Here’s what you need to know about day-to-day life and what to expect from owning the Maltese Terrier/Bichon Frise hybrid.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

On average, the Maltese Bichon Frise mix requires half a cup of food per day. We always encourage our readers to reference feeding guidelines provided by their food’s manufacturer.

If possible, consider feeding a formula designed specifically for small breeds and their dietary needs. Your veterinarian is the best source of information when it comes to selecting the right food for your new pup.

Exercise 🐕

While no one is refuting the Maltichon’s overall energy level, structured exercise is not this dog’s cup of tea. Instead, Maltichons thrive on brief walks, running around the house, and playing with their toys. Approximately 30 minutes of activity per day is enough to keep their little fluffballs healthy and active!

If your Maltichon is getting plenty of exercise but still struggles with pent-up energy, think about how much mental stimulation they receive each day. Since these dogs are intelligent and alert, physical exercise isn’t always enough to truly tire them out. Brain games and puzzles are excellent ways to burn off that extra energy before it turns into destructive behavior.

Training 🦮

According to several Maltichon breeders and enthusiasts, this mix responds best to short, tough training sessions. This might seem counterintuitive for such a small and gentle dog, but it’s the best way to keep their attention and focus. Without clear direction, the Maltichon’s natural stubbornness can derail any and all training attempts.

When purchasing or adopting a Maltichon puppy, keep in mind that potty training can take a bit longer for these and other toy-sized dogs. Positive reinforcement and tools like puppy pads can help ease the inevitable aches and pains that come with housebreaking.

Aside from basic household training, the Maltese Bichon Frise mix excels at canine sports like competitive agility and obedience. These activities are excellent ways to keep your pooch both mentally and physically engaged!

Grooming ✂️

When it comes to grooming a Maltichon, these dogs are low-shedding but not low-maintenance. Each dog’s coat and skin type will vary slightly, but the Maltese Terrier and Bichon Frise are known for having low-shedding, hypoallergenic coats. However, both parent breeds also require near-daily grooming.

Gentle daily combing or brushing can help prevent tangles and mats in your Maltichon’s coat from becoming painful and unmanageable. It can also ensure that the coat stays clean and free of loose debris. Baths should be given about once per month, followed by a conditioning and detangling treatment for easier grooming.

Health Conditions ❤️

Unfortunately, countless owners subscribe to the false belief that since Maltichons are technically mutts, they are healthier than their purebred counterparts. While breed genetics do play a role, no dog is immune from disease and chronic health conditions.

Generally, Maltihons are most likely to develop health issues common to both the Maltese Terrier and Bichon Frise. Many of these conditions are genetically linked, which makes knowing the health history of your new dog’s parents extremely important.

Minor Conditions
  • Deafness
  • Dental diseases
  • Cataracts
  • White dog shaker syndrome
  • Chronic allergies
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
Serious Conditions
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Liver diseases
  • Patellar luxation
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Patent ductus arteriosus

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Male vs Female

In researching the Maltese Bichon Frise mix, we didn’t find any major differences between males and females. Like any dog, male Maltese Bichon Frise mixes tend to be more dependent on their human companions and retain a puppy-like personality into adulthood. Meanwhile, female Maltese Bichon Frise mixes are sometimes easier to train but can also be a bit aloof.

Since there are no notable, guaranteed differences between male and female Maltichons in terms of personality or physical health, we suggest going with whatever dog feels right for you.

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Final Thoughts

If the Maltese Terrier or Bichon Frise is on your list of dream dogs, why not combine the two with a Maltichon? These hybrid pups boast great personalities without much maintenance (aside from their luscious coats) and do well in all types of households.

The Maltichon is a great option for first-time owners or experienced dog owners, as long as you understand the unique requirements of this cross-breed. While these dogs are intelligent, their stubborn streak calls for a bit more hands-on training than some other toy breeds. If you put in the work, however, you’re sure to have a loyal, loving companion for many years to come!

See also:

Featured Image Credit: lunamarina, Shutterstock

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