All About the Maltese Bichon
More and more pet owners these days are turning away from purebred dogs and looking instead at a newer “type” of dog – a hybrid dog, or a dog bred to be a cross between two other popular breeds. Maltese Bichons, also known as Maltichons, are not purebred dogs – like their name implies, they are in fact a cross between a Maltese and a Bichon Frise! This cross means they are tiny, white puffballs that are full of energy.
Maltese Bichons have silky white coats that cover these small dogs from their heads to their feet. They get this because Maltese coats are typically less curly than a Bichon Frise’s coat, so it’s not as puffy. It should be noted that they have no undercoat at all and that their hair is long, straight, and falls straight down. They are very small, weighing between two and three kilograms, but despite their tiny size they pack a big punch – they are very high energy. They’re wonderful with children, especially younger ones that can match their playfulness and high energy level.
These dogs have very engaging personalities. Because they are so small they are often considered one of the “toy breeds.” They are naturally very sweet and obedient to their owners. They’re intuitive and intelligent and also have a bit of spunk – watch one walk and you’ll notice the way they tend to prance and carry themselves like royalty. They are very lively and affectionate with their owners, and their intelligence makes them easy to train. And because of their small size, they are typically very fast and agile, which makes them perfect for agility or obedience competitions.
Great With People!
They are also extremely social dogs. They love being around people and other animals and usually get along well with everyone. But that means that you have to properly socialize a Maltese Bichon because they can suffer from suspiciousness of strangers and even separation anxiety if not properly socialized. Maltese Bichons are also notorious barkers and some owners have a very hard time housebreaking them (which is common in small dogs.) Because of their strong wills, they need strong owners to correct any behavioral issues – they may be small but that doesn’t stop Maltese Bichons from trying to prove they’re the boss!
Maltese bichon puppies are born small. However, they grow very quickly – within just a scant eight months they will have reached their full size, in fact. A healthy one will weigh between 6 and 11 pounds.
The most difficult part of taking care of these dogs is definitely properly caring for their coats. Their hair is soft, fine, and loosely curled. They need to be brushed very often, typically for around 15 minutes a day; however, they do not shed a lot because they have no undercoat. Owners should instead worry about their Maltese Bichon’s teeth – for some reason, they retain their baby teeth instead of losing them so they have to be physically removed to allow adult teeth to grow in. If that’s not done, the teeth can become misaligned or even infected. Their teeth also tend to chip with age, and they do get cavities if an owner isn’t careful. Maltese Bichons typically live around 13 years if cared for properly. Like most small dogs, they can also be prone to ear infections and eye diseases. And like all dogs, you should watch for diseases like cancer or hip problems.
Like Maltese Bichons, Bichon Yorkies are a hybrid breed – a cross between a Bichon Frise and a Yorkie, they are often called “Yo-Chon” or even a “Borkie” dog! They are very similar in temperament to Maltese Bichons. They come in many colors, including white and black with brown patches. Because of their coats, they are very high-maintenance. Their personality tends to be playful and spunky, typical of both breeds they come from, and they’re also extremely stubborn.
Maltese Bichons – and Bichon Yorkes – are considered “hybrid” dogs because they’re a deliberate cross between two breeds. While some breeders look down on this, most Maltese Bichons carry the best characteristics of the breeds that went into them – they’re smart and playful and a whole lot of fun! Just make sure you and your family are ready to take on these high-energy puffballs because if you let them, they can run circles around you!