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Maltese vs Cairn Terrier vs Bichon Frise – Which one is a better dog breed for you?

"Find similarities and differences between Maltese vs Cairn Terrier vs Bichon Frise" Compare Maltese and Cairn Terrier. Which is better: Maltese or Cairn Terrier or Bichon Frise?
Name Maltese Cairn Terrier Bichon Frise
OriginsItaly Scotland Spain Belgium
Group Companion Dogs Hunting Dogs Companion Dogs
Popularity Rank336946
Reviews234
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Other Names Maltese Dog, Maltese lion dog Cairn, Toto Dog Bichon Frise, Tenerife Dog, Bichon A Poil Frise, Bichon Tenerife, Purebred Bichon
Breed Type Purebred Purebred Purebred
AKC Group Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1888 as a Toy breed. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1913 as a Terrier breed. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1972 as a Non-Sporting breed.
FCI Group Recognized by FCI in the Companion and Toy Dogs group, in the Bichons and related breeds section. Recognized by FCI in the Terriers group, in the Small sized Terriers section. Not recognized by FCI.
Breed Recognition American Canine Registry
American Kennel Club
America's Pet Registry
Canadian Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America Inc.
Federation Cynologique Internationale
Kennel Club of Great Britain
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
American Canine Association, Inc.
Australian National Kennel Council
Continental Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
New Zealand Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
American Canine Registry
American Kennel Club
America's Pet Registry
Canadian Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America Inc.
Federation Cynologique Internationale
Kennel Club of Great Britain
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
American Canine Association, Inc.
Australian National Kennel Council
Continental Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
New Zealand Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
Club Espanol De Terriers
American Canine Registry
American Kennel Club
America's Pet Registry
Canadian Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America Inc.
Federation Cynologique Internationale
Kennel Club of Great Britain
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
American Canine Association, Inc.
Australian National Kennel Council
Continental Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
New Zealand Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
The Bichon Frise Club Of America
Price $600-$800 $700-$1000 $700-$1000

General Appearance - Maltese vs Cairn Terrier vs Bichon Frise

Size Small Small Small
Weight 6.5-9 pounds (3-4 kg) Male: 14-18 pounds (6-8 kg), Female: 13-17 pounds (6-8 kg) 7-13 pounds (3-6 kg)
Avg. Weight 6.7 pounds (3.5 kg) Male: 16 pounds (7 kg), Female: 15 pounds (7 kg) 10 pounds (4.5 kg)
Height Male: 8-10 inches (21-25 cm), Female: 8-9 inches (20-23 cm) Male: 10-13 inches (25-33 cm), Female: 9-12 inches (23-30 cm) Male: 9-12 inches (23–30 cm) Female: 9-11 inches (23-28 cm)
Avg. Height Male: 9 inches (23 cm), Female: 8.5 inches (21.5 cm) Male: 11.5 inches (29 cm), Female: 10.5 inches (26.5 cm) Male: 10.5 inches (26.5 cm) Female: 10 inches (25.5 cm)

Hair & Care - Maltese vs Cairn Terrier vs Bichon Frise

Coat Feathered Waterproof Curly
Colors White Cream
Red
Wheaten
Brindle
Gray
Silver
Black
White
Apricot
Buff
Cream
Grooming
Average: The Maltese requires average grooming effort.
Average: The Cairn Terrier requires average grooming effort.
Professional: This breed needs a lot of work to keep in good condition.
Shedding Level
Malteses shed none to minimal.
Cairn Terriers shed moderately.
Bichon Frises are low shedders.

Characteristics - Maltese vs Cairn Terrier vs Bichon Frise

Temperament Active
Easygoing
Intelligent
Responsive
Docile
Gentle
Playful
Sweet
Tempered
Active
Courageous
Intelligent
Assertive
Fearless
Affectionate
Playful
Sensitive
Cheerful
Gentle
Intelligent
Intelligent Rank
Low to average: This canine intelligence is not the brightest one.
Smart: Cairn Terrier's has great intelligence.
Average: Bichon Frise's has average obedience intelligence.
Trainability
Malteses are quite easy to train.
Cairn Terriers are easy to train.
Bichon Frises are quite easy to train.
Playfulness
Malteses, like any other dog breed, like playing.
The Cairn Terrier is a playful breed.
The Bichon Frise is a playful breed.
Sensitivity Level
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds.
Cairn Terriers have an average emotional level and are not the most sensitive dog breed.
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds.
Affection Level
Malteses are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Cairn Terriers are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Bichon Frises are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Social Needs
Malteses need a lot of social interaction.
Cairn Terriers need a lot of social interaction.
Bichon Frises need a lot of social interaction.
Barking
High: The Maltese is a very vocal breed.
High: The Cairn Terrier is a very vocal breed.
Average: The Bichon Frise barks occasionally.
Watchdog Ability
Malteses are average watchdogs.
Cairn Terriers are good watchdogs.
Bichon Frises are average watchdogs.
Territorial
Malteses strongly protect their territory.
Cairn Terriers are average defenders.
Bichon Frises are not the best to protect their territory.
Biting Potential Low
The Maltese has a low chance of biting somebody.
Low
The Cairn Terrier has a low chance of biting somebody.
Low
The Bichon Frise has a low chance of biting somebody.
Mouthiness
Malteses have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Cairn Terriers have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Bichon Frises have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
Malteses are not the biggest explorers.
Cairn Terriers have average wanderlust potential.
Bichon Frises have average wanderlust potential.
Prey Drive
Malteses have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.
Cairn Terriers have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.
Bichon Frises don't have an impulse to catch or chase small animals.
Apartment Friendly
Malteses are very apartment-friendly dogs.
Cairn Terriers are not the best choice for an apartment lifestyle, but they don't mind being inside if you walk them several times every day.
Bichon Frises are very apartment-friendly dogs.
Adaptability
Malteses adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Cairn Terriers adapt to lifestyle changes and different living environments quite okay usually.
Bichon Frises adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Malteses tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Cairn Terriers tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Bichon Frises tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Fighting Dog Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Good With - Maltese vs Cairn Terrier vs Bichon Frise

Stranger Friendly
Malteses are very stranger friendly dogs.
Cairn Terriers are average friendly towards strangers.
Bichon Frises are very stranger friendly dogs.
Child Friendly
Malteses are kid-friendly dogs.
Cairn Terriers are kid-friendly dogs.
Bichon Frises are kid-friendly dogs.
Cat Friendly
Malteses are very cat-friendly dogs.
Cairn Terriers are average friendly towards cats.
Bichon Frises are very cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly
Malteses are very dog-friendly dogs.
Cairn Terriers are average friendly towards other dogs.
Bichon Frises are very dog-friendly dogs.
Office Friendly No
Maltese is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Yes
Cairn Terrier is one of the best dog breeds for office environment
No
Bichon Frise is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Malteses are usually recommended for elderly people.
Cairn Terriers are usually recommended for elderly people.
Bichon Frises are usually recommended for elderly people.
Pet Friendly
Malteses are one of the friendliest dog breeds.
Cairn Terriers are generally with other pets.
Bichon Frises are one of the friendliest dog breeds.
Good For First Time Owners No
Malteses are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Yes
Cairn Terriers are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
No
Bichon Frises are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Service Dog Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog.
Therapy Dog Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog.
Yes
This breed makes a perfect therapy dog.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR) Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Boat Dog Not really
Maltese breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Not really
Cairn Terrier breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Not really
Bichon Frise breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.

Health Factors - Maltese vs Cairn Terrier vs Bichon Frise

Health Issues
The Maltese is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
Cairn Terriers tend to have more and frequent health issues than other breeds.
The Bichon Frise is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
Health Problems Collapsed Trachea
Hypoglycemia
Patellar Luxation
Portosystemic Liver Shunt
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Reverse Sneezing
White Dog Shaker Syndrome
Cataracts
Craniomandibular Osteopathy
Cryptorchidism
Glaucoma
Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy
Hypothyroidism
Legg-perthes Disease
Luxating Patella
Microvascular Dysplasia
Portosystemic Vascular Anomaly (PSVA)
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Allergies
Bladder Stones
Hip Dysplasia
Juvenile Cataracts
Patellar Luxation
Vaccination Sensitivity
Life Expectancy 15-18 years 12-15 years 12-15 years
Hypoallergenic Yes Yes Yes
Energy Level
Malteses have an average energy level, so if you live a semi-active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Cairn Terriers are high energy dogs.
Bichon Frises have a lower energy level than other dogs.
Exercise Need
Malteses exercise need is very minimal.
Cairn Terriers need quite a lot of exercise.
Bichon Frises exercise need is minimal.
Sleeping Need
Malteses sleep 12-14 hours a day as an average dog and they're not considered as a lazy breed.
Cairn Terriers don't need too much sleep.
Bichon Frises like sleeping so they do sleep a lot.
Avg. daily food consumption Recommended daily amount: 1/4 to 1/2 cup of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. 0.5 to 1.5 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. 1/2 to 1.5 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential
Average.
Average.
Average to High.
Weather & Climate Prefers warm weather Prefers average to cold weather conditions
The Cairn Terrier can adapt to well to cold weather conditions, some dogs even can be a good mountain dog.
Prefers average to warm weather conditions
Stinkiness Medium
The Maltese has an average chance of bad smell.
Medium
The Cairn Terrier has an average chance of bad smell.
Low
The Bichon Frise has a low chance of bad smell.
Drooling tendency
The Maltese is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
The Cairn Terrier is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
The Bichon Frise is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.

Reproducibility - Maltese vs Cairn Terrier vs Bichon Frise

Gestation Length 60-64 days 60-64 days 60-64 days
How often can the have a litter? Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Litter Size 3-5 puppies 2-10 puppies 2-5 puppies

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