Bichon Frise vs Maltese

Compare the Bichon Frise to the Maltese. Use the tool below to compare temperament, size, personality, maintenance requirements, and everything else between Bichon Frise and Maltese.

Quick Summary

Below are a few quick comparisons between the two breeds.
  • Owner Experience - Both breeds are good choices for new or inexperienced owners, but the Maltese is better suited for new owners.
  • Children - Both breeds are child friendly, but the Bichon Frise is the most friendly between the breeds.
  • Grooming - The Maltese requires moderate grooming, The Bichon Frise has very high grooming needs.
  • Barking - The Bichon Frise has an average tendency to bark. The Maltese will bark less frequently than most dogs.
Choose Another Breed to Compare
  • vs
Bichon Frise vs Maltese
Bichon Frise Dog Breed
Maltese Dog Breed
Breed NameBichon FriseMaltese
General Details
Breed TypePurebredPurebred
Is Hypo­allergenicYesYes
Lifespan12-15 yrs.12-15 yrs.
Height9-11 in.8-10 in.
Weight7-12 lb4-9 lb
IntelligenceHighAverage
History
Origin CountrySpainMalta
Origin Year1300 AD200 BC
Temperament
Overall FriendlinessVery GoodVery Good
Family FriendlyVery GoodVery Good
Kid FriendlyVery GoodGood
Pet FriendlyVery GoodVery Good
Stranger FriendlyVery GoodBelow Average
Personality
  • Affectionate
  • Enjoys Attention
  • Jealous
  • Loving
  • Does Not Like Being Alone
  • Likes To Snuggle
  • Willing To Please
  • Affectionate
  • Enjoys Attention
  • Jealous
  • Loving
  • Does Not Like Being Alone
Living Environment
ApartmentYesYes
IndoorYesYes
Small YardNoNo
Medium YardNoNo
Large YardNoNo
Temperature Tolerance ¹50°F to 75°F55°F to 80°F
Barks/HowlsAverageBelow Average
Exercise Needs
Energy LevelMedium-HighHigh
Exercise RequiredMediumLow
Top Running Speed15 mph12 mph
StrengthLowLow
Grooming Needs
Coat Main­tenanceHighHigh
SheddingNoneLow
DanderNoneLow
Drool AmountNoneNone

¹This is estimated min/max temperature range for a healthy adult dog. Dogs that live indoors, puppies, seniors, unwell dogs, and/or dogs with improperly groomed coats may overheat sooner and get cold more quickly.
Instincts & Behavior Comparison
Breed NameBichon FriseMaltese
Breed Mentality
Dominant/AlphaNoNo
Family/PackYesYes
IndependentNoNo
Breed Focus
Distracted EasilyNoNo
AverageYesYes
Focused & PatientNoNo
Breed Instincts
AggressionBelow AverageVery Low
Burrow/DiggingBelow AverageVery Low
ChasingBelow AverageVery Low
Follow CommandsAverageVery Low
FightingBelow AverageVery Low
GuardingBelow AverageVery Low
HerdingBelow AverageVery Low
HuntingAverageVery Low
ProtectionBelow AverageVery Low
Remove VerminBelow AverageVery Low
SleddingBelow AverageVery Low
WatchBelow AverageVery Low
Health Comparison
Breed NameBichon FriseMaltese
Lifespan
Lifespan12-15 yrs.12-15 yrs.
Common Health Issues
AllergiesYesNo
Bladder StonesYesNo
Collapsed TracheaNoYes
Hip DysplasiaYesNo
HypoglycemiaNoYes
Juvenile CataractsYesNo
Patellar LuxationYesYes
Portosystemic Liver ShuntNoYes
Progressive Retinal AtrophyNoYes
Reverse SneezingNoYes
Vaccination SensitivityYesNo
White Dog Shaker SyndromeNoYes
Appearance Comparison
Breed NameBichon FriseMaltese
Coat
HairYesYes
Coat Type
Double CoatYesNo
Single CoatNoYes
Coat Texture
WavyYesNo
SilkyNoYes
StraightNoYes
Coat Length(s)
LongYesYes
Coat Color(s)
WhiteYesYes
White & ApricotYesNo
White & BuffYesNo
White & CreamYesNo
White & LemonNoYes
White & TanNoYes
Feedback
Leave Feedback close