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Bichon Frise vs Poodle vs. Maltese: What’s the Difference?

US Bichon Frise vs. Poodle vs. Maltese_ What's the Difference_

The main difference between Bichon Frise and Poodles and Maltese are Along with the similarities, there are a few differences between Maltese, poodles, and Bichon Frise that include grooming needs, health issues, temperament, and training requirements. These are small and demanding dogs and require a lot of attention, so are not recommended for families with toddlers or very young children

Bichon Frise vs Poodle vs. Maltese: What’s the Difference?

Bichon Frise vs Poodle – Bichon Frise, Poodles, and Maltese are the most fascinating, cheerful, and lively breeds and share many similarities. These are hypoallergic breeds that produce a low level of allergens, so people with allergies often consider these breeds.

All of these are low shedding breeds that mean they shed fewer hairs, so you don’t need to clean the house that frequently, still all these breeds have grooming requirements and the owners need a considerable amount to spend on their dog’s grooming.

Ancient History:

Maltese have been around the globe for 2000 years from the Mediterranean island of Malta and were praised well by Greeks and Romans. The Holy Roman emperors presented Maltese as gifts to China’s emperor and this breed was considered as a sign of wealth and graced European homes. Bichon Frise vs. Poodle vs. Maltese: What’s the Difference?

As far as poodles are concerned, they have a long fandom history, including King Louis XVI of France. In Germany, poodles were bred as water retrievers while in French they were praised as companion dogs.

The earliest records of Bichon Frise date back to the 14th century, when French sailors brought, the dogs home from Tenerife. The exact origin of Bichons is uncertain, but it’s a common belief that they are descendants from the Barbet, a medium-sized woolly water dog.

Bichon Frise Dog Breed

Bichone Frise Breed
Bichon Frise vs Poodle vs. Maltese: What's the Difference? 1
toy poodle vs bichon frise

Maltese Dog Breed

Maltese Dog Breed
Bichon Frise vs Poodle vs. Maltese: What's the Difference? 2
bichon frise vs toy poodle

Poodle Dog Breed

Poodle Dog Breed
Bichon Frise vs Poodle vs. Maltese: What's the Difference? 3
maltese vs toy poodle

Bichon / Poodle Mix

Poochon Bichon / Poodle Mix

Lifespan: Bichon Frise vs poodle vs Maltese

The average life span of all three breeds ranges from 12 to 16 years. Maltese and Bichons are cute long-lived small dogs while poodles are a little bulky. The life span depends on many factors including health, care, lifestyle, diet, and many other grooming habits.


Out of all the three breeds, Maltese and Bichon Frise are small dogs and are considered fragile and delicate. The male of Bichon Frise weighs 12 to 15 lb., while the males of poodles and Maltese range from 45-70 lb. and 6-8 lb. respectively.


As discussed earlier, these are low shedding breeds but require proper grooming sessions, including daily coat care. Their coats need to be brushed daily. If you prefer short coats for easy maintenance, monthly trimming is required as their coats grow very fast.


These three breeds are different in their trainability. Poodles usually are quick learners and are easy to train, while Maltese and Bichon Frise requires lengthy sessions and are less responsive so is difficult to house train.

Dog Behavior Issues:

As far as behavior is concerned, all these breeds love to hang around their owners and spend time with them. Behavior problems often result due to separation anxiety and excessive barking is observed in the response. Lack of physical activities often results in such behaviors and may arise when a dog is bored or lonely.

bichon vs toy poodle


The temperament of Maltese can be described as lively and affectionate towards the owners. Similarly, Bichons and poodles are very sensitive to the mood of their owners. These friendly breeds are eager to learn and enjoy the brain-stimulated training sessions.


As far as companionship is concerned, Maltese, Bichons, and poodles are excellent companion dogs. All these breeds are playful with their owners and follow them around the house.

Maltese and Bichons being small are not much demanding, but poodles are more active and need more energetic owners. For senior citizens that don’t have an active lifestyle can go for small-sized poodles, Maltese, and Bichons as these are easier to carry and travel with.

Winning Personalities:

It’s really a hard decision to choose from the three breeds. The Maltese were originally bred to be a playful companions and excel in this quality. They are very responsive to training sessions and can show off whatever you’re able to teach them.

Poodles are also quick learners and learn the training quickly, but may have a stubborn streak. Bichons, also respond well to the training sessions and are much devoted to their people , and want to spend more and more time with the owners.

Behavior with Kids:

Bichons, Maltese, and poodles make great companions for senior citizens who love to spend a lot of time grooming and enjoying their furry friend, but these breeds are not recommended for families with small children and are prone to small accidents around the children. These breeds do better with senior citizens that have time to spend on a dog and can pamper a small family pet.

Behavior with Other Dogs:

Maltese, Bichons, and poodles enjoy the company of other dogs but are needed to be supervised around larger breeds to avoid any accidents. As these breeds are fragile, small, and cuddly, they are more vulnerable to being accidentally hurt by larger dogs. It’s better to train and socialize your dog breed before their interaction with other dogs.

Exercise needs:

All three breeds need physical as well as mental exercise to stay healthy. Poodles are a little bulky need a more active lifestyle and require longer walks as compared to Bichons and Maltese. Indoor playtime along with long walks are enough to keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated. Large varieties of poodles need long walks to get enough exercise.

Common Health Issues: Bichon Frise vs Poodle vs. Maltese: What’s the Difference?

Standard poodles are more vulnerable to bloat, ear infections, and hip dysplasia. Among Maltese eye diseases including eye, infections are more common.

To avoid eye infections in Maltese, it is suggested to keep their hairs short and away from their eyes to minimize the risk of eye infections. Every dog has potential health problems and many purebreds are predisposed to specific conditions. Maltese are vulnerable to portosystemic syndrome shunt as well as shaker dog syndrome causing the dog to tremble uncontrollably when he tries to move or stand.

Poodles are prone to Cushing’s syndrome, hypothyroidism, Addison’s disease, and hemophilia. Similarly, Bichons Frise is prone to eye infections and Cushing’s syndrome. Despite the potential health problems, these breeds have a long life span of 14 to 18 years.

Top 10 Bichon Designer Breeds / Parents /Size / Video

Designer MixParentsSizeVideo
MaltichonBichon / MalteseHeight / 8-11 inches
Weight / 8 - 13 lbs
Bichpoo Bichon / PoodleHeight / 9 - 14 inches
Weight / 6 - 9 lbs
Shichon Bichon / Shih TzuHeight / 9 - 12 inches
Weight / 10 - 15lbs
Yorkie BichonBichon / YorkieHeight / 9 - 12 inches
Weight / 6 - 8 lbs
Bichon Yorkie
Chi Chon Bichon / ChihuahuaHeight / 8 - 10 Inches
Weight / 6 - 10 Lbs
Chi Chon
KashonBichon / Cairn TerrierHeight / 9 - 15 Inches
Weight / 10 -18 Lbs
Goldichon Bichon / Golden RetrieverHeight/15 - 20 inches
Weight /20-40 Lbs
ChonzerBichon / Miniature SchnauzerHeight /10-16 inches
Weight / 25-35 lbs
Glechon Bichon / Beagle Height /15-16 inches
Weight / 15-35 lbs
Corgi Bichon / CorgiHeight /11-13 inches
Weight / 31-37 lbs
List of the Designer Breeds from the Bichon Frise
Name - Link for Research
Parents - Breeds of Dogs
Size Height / Weight
Video - Video of the Bichon Designer Breed

Chart of Bichon Birthing Accessories

Breeder BoxDo Not used Wired Dog cage
HeaterWe use space heater for whole Room
scaleTo Weigh Puppies make sure they are Gaining Weight
Clean towelsChande during Birthing to clean up
Protected SpaceKeep Mother away from other Dogs to avoid Distress
Draft ProtectionDrafts can chill and kill a Puppy
Squash protectionMothers can accidently squash a puppy
clean bedding to replace after birth - will be wet
SeclusionNeeds her Privacy - she can get Hyper
Rubber GlovesKeep things Clean and from Blood
Scisorrs & ThreadFor Cutting Cord
List of Needed Items to Have Prepared For Puppy Birth

Puppy Birthing Complications

If UnsureTake to Vet If Time allows
Keep Mother IsolatedIf Other dogs around she could get defensive and accidently Hurt Puppies
Puppy Accidentally CrushedMake sure Not Giving Birth in Dog cage - puppies can work themselves through mesh and get Damaged
Not BreathingGently Give it Mouth to mouth
Not breathingMassage Puppy trying to gently force fluid from his lungs
Puppy StuckGently Pull
Puppy BreechHelp Guide legs out
Puppy ColdRaise Enviorment to 85 degrees
Puppy ColdChange Wet Bedding
Puppy ColdWarm Puppy up put on Your body till body heat warms him
Puppy ColdNo drafts - No metal Floor Pan on Cage
Puppy not going on NippleHelp Guide him to nipple till he gets hand of it
Puppy not feedingTry Small baby Bottle
let him suck - do not force him - can drown him with milk going in lungs
Puppy not feedingUse puppy Milk Supplement
Puppy Not feeding check for Cleft Palate
Puppy Not FeedingTake to Vet - he can show you Catheter Feeding
Puppy Not GrowingMake sure Mother has plenty Food Water
Puppy Not GrowingYou can check on scale
Labor stops or is prolonged over 24 hours Take to vet - C section can save litter and Mother if needed
Mother does not Remove MembraneYou will Need to Manually remove it
Mother does not chew through Umbilical CordYou will need to cut it 1/2 " away from puppies body tier with thread
Here is a List of Puppy Birth Complications you might Encounter
And Recommended Steps

Expense Table for Owning Bichons Frise

Average Cost of AKC PuppyPuppy ShotsFoodGrooming 4 / per yearCage / Accessories / Bowls / Brushes / Leash / CollarAKC - Registration
Within 6 Months of Purchase
Micro ChipYearly Meds
Heart Worm
Dog LicenseTotal InvestmentPuppies Possible / Year
$ 450 - No Breeding Rights$ 120$ 10 / Wk
High Quality Food
$ 45 ea / $180 YrCage - $50
Rest - 50
$ 35$ 45 - One Time Cost
By Vet
Heart Worm Meds - $60 / Yr
Worming - $ 30 / YR
$ 35 / Yr$ 1575 / Dog1-6 Puppies
Average 3
$ 750 - $ 950
Puppy with AKC Papers and No Restrictions
Total Investment
This Table just shows you the Expenses in Keeping a Bichon That we have found in Owning a Bichon

Breeds Descended from Water Dogs

Name of BreedCountry of Origin
American Water SpanielUnited States
Cantabrian Water DogSpain
English Water SpanielEngland
Irish water SpanielIreland
Lagotto RomagnoioItaly
Portuguese Water DogPortugal
Pudelpointer Germany
Spanish water DogSpain
Tweed water SpanielEngland
This a list of Breeds that have Descended from Medival times Water Dogs- used by Hunters

Bichon Frise Resource Links

Bichon Frise Club of AmericaUnited StatesLink
Bichon Frise AKCUnited StatesLink
Bichon Frise United Kennel ClubUKLink
Resources for Bichon Frise Owners and Breeders