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I've never heard that they are in the Bichon family, but perhaps they are.

Regardless, Maltese & Bichon Frise are completely separate AKC recognized breeds and are not the same.
 

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I've never heard that they are in the Bichon family, but perhaps they are.

Regardless, Maltese & Bichon Frise are completely separate AKC recognized breeds and are not the same.
under the FCI maltese are in group 9 and within group 9 they are in bichon breeds.

1.1 Bichons
1. Central Mediterranean Region (Italy)
Maltese (65)
27/11/89 FR/EN/DE/SP
2. Western Mediterranean Region (F.C.I.)
Bichon Havanais (250) (Havanese)
04/11/08 FR/EN/DE/SP
3. Belgium/France
Bichon à poil frisé (215) (Bichon Frise)
10/01/72 FR/EN/DE/SP
4. Italy
Bolognese (196) (Bolognese)
27/11/89 FR/EN/DE/SP
1.2 Coton de Tuléar
1. Madagascar (France)
Coton de Tuléar (283)
25/11/99 FR/EN/DE/SP
1.3 Petit chien lion
1. France
Petit chien lion (233) (Little Lion Dog)
24/03/04 FR/EN/DE/SP
 

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I've never heard of it either. A Maltese is a Maltese. :p
 

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In french Maltese are called Bichon Maltais. As I understand it Bichon is a way of saying small/cute dog. So of course Maltese are small cute dogs. This should not be confused with claiming that a Maltese is a type of Bichon Frise. Though I believe based on the histories I have read that Maltese were the earlier of the two types and Bichon Frise dogs were developed from the historic Maltese dogs. So the answer is, it depends on what you mean when you say are Maltese Bichons. Yes, they are small and cute and in some languages they have the name Bichon Maltais, but they are not the same breed as a Bichon Frise (though the Frise breed has been influenced by Maltese).

To me this is like the question are Maltese terriers. English people often refer to the breed as Maltese Terriers (and some terriers were influenced by Maltese) but they are not truly terriers.

Here in the US, we simply call them Maltese. It is the best description as all the others add confusion.
 

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"Family" and "Breed" are not the same thing. Maltese, Havanese, Bolognese, Coton de Tulear, Bichon Frisé are all in the same Family (Bichon) but they are all different breeds. My understanding is that the Maltese is called Bichon Maltais in France because he is a part of the Bichon Family.

I just checked the french dictionary to see what the explanation of "bichon" is.
Bichon - Bichonne : petit chien ou chienne à poil long (small male or female dog with long coat/hair).
 

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jane - thanks for bringing this up . I was at a store in France (during my trip) with Snowy and Crystal. A lady approached, had a little chat, petted the malts, went Awwhing and cute talking to them...etc then she looked at me and was like "I also have a bichon":blink:
My response was "these two are Maltese dogs". She smiled and said "yes I know, bichon Maltese". I do know that they are grouped in the bichon family under FCI because I read that when I was doing my first search on the breed when I got Snowy, but it did confuse me at that second when i heard that lady, so I repeated once again to her "there is no bichon in them - they are Maltese" lol the funny part is that we were like going back and forth "bichon Maltese" and "Maltese" for a couple more times :HistericalSmiley: she sure was a nice lady, nevertheless - ended that breed convo with a giggle from both sides and continued petting the malts :) I learned that the term bichon maltese is common there. However, they do know that the bichon fries is a different breed than a Maltese.
Kat
 

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We must keep in mind that people not familiar with the Maltese do confuse them with the Bichon Frise which (I believe) is more popular. We have quite a few of the Bichon Frises in my neighborhood. I concur that the Bichon is a newer breed. I have been asked that question before, too. :popcorn:
 

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We must keep in mind that people not familiar with the Maltese do confuse them with the Bichon Frise which (I believe) is more popular. We have quite a few of the Bichon Frises in my neighborhood. I concur that the Bichon is a newer breed. I have been asked that question before, too. :popcorn:
I gotta agree.
Actually, I noticed that people who aren't familiar with these breeds will see all white, small, fluffy dogs the same (personally, I see the bichon frise to be far different than a Maltese or bolognese or cotton de tutelar...etc) but some can't really differentiate them. A friend of mine was a big time cat person - when he met my malts and got to know more about how fun, nice, loving, big in personality they are, he started to like the *small white fluffy* dogs. He told me once that his neighbor got a dog who is just like Snowy and Crystal - me being the crazy about the Maltese breed person, I wanted to see the pup. When I did, I was very surprised to see a West highland white terrier pup:w00t: if only my friend payed very little attention, he would notice the huge difference; those ears (of the westie) speak loudly that they aren't a Maltese ears. LoL
 

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The reason why Maltese are in the "Bichon" family is that the word "Bichon" means small white lap dog. In France, the Maltese is one of 5 breeds that are considered to be in the Bichon family, and are called "Bichon Maltese"

So "Bichon" is a word used in France to describe a class of dogs. Bichon is also used for a particular breed, which is "Bichon Frise," which means "curly lap dog."

Under AKC, the Maltese and the Bichon Frise are two separate breeds. The Maltese is the older breed. The Bichon Frise is thought to have originated from a cross between a Maltese and a Poodle.

In my experience, unless people are really into identifying dog breeds, they generally will lump dogs of the same color and size together. I've had both a Maltese and a Bichon Frise, and both are great dogs.
 

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I would like to meet a Bolognese some day. I've only read about and seen pictures of them. Some say they are more "serious". I'm not sure that's what I need--I am serious enough on my own and want to be entertained. ;)
 

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I would like to meet a Bolognese some day. I've only read about and seen pictures of them. Some say they are more "serious". I'm not sure that's what I need--I am serious enough on my own and want to be entertained. ;)
I haven't heard that they are serious - really interesting.

I think that they are adorable:wub: ok, let me be honest and say, all these fluffs are adorable- i love them.
 

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They're called bichon maltais by french-speaking Quebec show breeders too. To the french, that's just their proper name. They always seem to make the distinction between bichon maltais and bichon frisé though. If an english-speaker would refer to a dog as a bichon, I'm sure 99% of the time they mean a bichon frisé.

Still, calling them bichon maltais kind of makes sense to me. I remember googling "canadian maltese association" way back to see if we had one, and we do! In fact we have many! But they're all for Canadian Maltese people... not for dogs. :p
 

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MANY differences :)

I've been a Bichon Frise mom for over 25 years.. The breed has developed many severe genetic problems since I bought my first one, unfortunately, due to overbreeding and poor breeding. They were the puppy mill/ pet store darlings and highest sellers for most of the 80's and 90's. Now, puppy mills give them away to the country's largest Bichon-specific rescue group. Small Paws.

I live with both elderly and middle aged adult Bichons Frises ( the correct plural) and young adult Maltese. Overall, my Malts are healthier and hardier than my larger Bichons were at the same ages. The breeding lines of all are quite sturdy and good.

I love my Bichons dearly, but at this point and time in their troubled breeding programs, I would be quite afraid to buy a Bichon from the top show/ breeding program in the country, even with the 2 DNA certs which Bichons can have done. I know that this forum is about Maltese, but since the discussion has taken this turn, I have to say that my research shows that the Maltese breed still retains more purity of bloodline that has not been diluted, overbred and filled with fraudulent pedigrees like the possibly more popular Bichon Frise has been. That's the main reason we chose Malts over Bichons Frises for our last 3 fluffs. Their tiny preciousness being the other. :)
 

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I've been a Bichon Frise mom for over 25 years.. The breed has developed many severe genetic problems since I bought my first one, unfortunately, due to overbreeding and poor breeding. They were the puppy mill/ pet store darlings and highest sellers for most of the 80's and 90's. Now, puppy mills give them away to the country's largest Bichon-specific rescue group. Small Paws.

I live with both elderly and middle aged adult Bichons Frises ( the correct plural) and young adult Maltese. Overall, my Malts are healthier and hardier than my larger Bichons were at the same ages. The breeding lines of all are quite sturdy and good.

I love my Bichons dearly, but at this point and time in their troubled breeding programs, I would be quite afraid to buy a Bichon from the top show/ breeding program in the country, even with the 2 DNA certs which Bichons can have done. I know that this forum is about Maltese, but since the discussion has taken this turn, I have to say that my research shows that the Maltese breed still retains more purity of bloodline that has not been diluted, overbred and filled with fraudulent pedigrees like the possibly more popular Bichon Frise has been. That's the main reason we chose Malts over Bichons Frises for our last 3 fluffs. Their tiny preciousness being the other. :)
That is heartbreaking. Whenever a breed becomes popular, greeders jump on the bandwagon and ruin their health.

I've seen that happen with Yorkies. Liver shunts, Legg-Perthes and other serious health issues are rampant in Yorkies now. I always wanted a Yorkie, but I would be too afraid to buy one today.

I hope Maltese never make the that top ten list.
 
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