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¿How many types of bichon are there? Although the first that comes to mind is the Maltese, the truth is that it is not the only type of dog that exists. Currently, the International Cynological Federation (FCI) officially recognizes four types of bichon, grouped in section 1 of group 9, belonging to those classified as "companion dogs ". Within this same section, add two more breeds for being very similar to bichon dogs, although, theoretically, they are not bichons.
That said, in this AnimalWised article we are going to talk about the four types of bichon and of the two breeds that the FCI classifies as "similar " due to their physical characteristics.You may also be interested in: Differences between Westie and Maltese Bichon Index
- Bichon frize
- Havanese bichon
- Maltese bichon
- Bichon bolognese
- Coton de Tuléar
- Little lion dog
1. Bichon frize
Although its exact origin is unknown, the Bichon Frize was developed in France, initially, and also in Belgium after the two world wars, at which point the breed almost became extinct. This dog was very popular as a companion dog among the upper class due to its peculiarities, both physical and character. Currently, it is still a very loved dog by practically everyone..
The Bichon Frize, also known as the curly-haired bichon, is a small dog characterized by its leafy cloak. It is made up of two layers: a dense and soft internal one and an external one with well defined curls. Although at first glance it may seem that your hair is woolly in texture, it really is not, this appearance occurs when brushing the defined curls that you have. In this sense, it should be noted that we are dealing with a dog that requires a lot of care to keep its coat in perfect condition, being the ideal to go to the dog groomer once a month.
Regarding its character, this type of bichon is one of the most sociable and calm. In general, it is not used to being a barking or restless dog. Of course, he tends to establish a very strong bond with his human companions, so he can develop separation anxiety if he is not taught to be alone.
Despite its name, the Havanese did not originate in Cuba, but in Mediterranean regions of Spain and Italy. Apparently, these dogs were brought to Cuba by Italian captains, where they were called "whites of Havana " because, at that time, they were totally white dogs. Over the years, after experiencing times in which it almost disappeared and the selection of different breeds such as the poodle for the breeding and development of this type of bichon, the dog we know today was reached..
Currently, the Havanese Bichon has a cloak with spots which can be black, brown or tan in all its shades. The base is still white, but completely white specimens are rarely seen. However, this solid pattern is still accepted. The coat of this bichon does have a woolly inner coat and an outer coat that can be wavy, smooth or with curls..
In reference to his character, he is active, playful, awake and very happy. It is usually easy to train, but we must emphasize that it is used to being a barker and can be suspicious of strangers if it is not socialized correctly.
3. Maltese Bichon
It is one of the types of bichon considered a toy or miniature dog, since its weight is usually around 3 kg, or even less in some specimens. Likewise, at present, it is the most popular of all worldwide. It is suspected that it is a very ancient breed, whose exact origin is unknown, since documents dating from the time of Aristotle, about 384 BC, have been found, in which there are mentioned dogs called "Melite dogs ".
The Maltese can be white or very light ivory in color and has a long, straight and silky coat. Occasionally, it can be seen with slight waves, especially when it has shorter hair, but more often it is straight. As with the previous bichons, the Maltese needs to receive very strict care to maintain this coat well. Knots or buildup of dirt could lead to serious health problems.
The Maltese is also a dog smart and calm, as long as he is accompanied. In the absence of your humans, you can develop separation anxiety and / or become destructive if you don't get the daily exercise you need. Likewise, it is a dog that usually remains alert, so the barking in this breed is more present than in others.
Types of Maltese Bichon
Although the FCI does not differentiate between types of Maltese, two slightly different lines have developed over the years: the American Maltese and the European Maltese..
- American maltese bichon: smaller in size, the muzzle somewhat flatter and the hair longer. It is the so-called Maltese bichon toy.
- European Maltese Bichon: with a longer, slightly larger snout and a shorter coat.
However, we insist that the FCI does not differentiate between types of Maltese, therefore, officially, there is only one type that may present some variations..
4. Bolognese Bichon
The last of the official and recognized types of bichon dogs by cynological organizations. Its origin is not known for sure although it is suspected that it could be related to the origin of the Maltese bichon and, sometimes, it is even confused. What is known is that this dog became very popular in Bologna during the Renaissance period, the Italian city that gave rise to the name of the breed..
The Bolognese is also a miniature dog, weighing about 4 kg and measuring no more than 30 cm in height at the withers. This dog's hair is long, very fluffy and completely white. At most, it can have light shades of ivory, but it is usually pure white. Again, this is a dog that needs to be brushed and properly cared for to avoid knots and dirt..
His character stands out for being very calm and docile. He is very loving, intelligent, loyal and obedient but, as in the previous cases, due to the attachment he develops, he can suffer from separation anxiety.
5. Coton de Tuléar
After the official types of bichon are finished, we are going to know the dogs similar to the bichon and that the FCI includes in the same section. We start with the Coton de Tuléar, a dog originally from Madagascar but developed in France. It is a small dog, whose body is longer than it is tall, weighing between 3.5 and 6 kg. Highlights his dense, long, silky, shiny and straight coat, that he gives that appearance of cotton texture, reason for which it receives that name. The accepted color is white, although ivory is also accepted.
The cotton of Tuléar is intelligent, affectionate, playful but calm at the same time. Due to its intelligence, it is easy to train and socialize, since it is also a fairly sociable dog. Of course, as with the previous breeds, the coton can develop separation anxiety if it is not properly educated to stay alone at home. For this, we recommend consulting this article: "¿How to accustom an adult dog to being alone? ".
6. Little lion dog
Also developed in France, it is suspected that this canine breed could already be present in the thirteenth century, since in the Cathedral of Amiens there are small dogs similar to this carved in rock. Throughout its history, it has been a much appreciated and loved dog due to its peculiar appearance, similar to that of a small lion. However, this appearance is not entirely natural, since it is a cut style associated with this breed and that it is mandatory in case of presenting it at dog shows.
Naturally, without a haircut, the little lion dog has a long, wavy, silky and dense coat all over its body. In this breed all colors are accepted and combinations, so that it can be seen as white, spotted, gray, brown...
This dog stands out for being extremely obedient, attentive, loving and receptive. This means that it is an ideal dog for almost anyone, since it is playful with children, calm enough to live with older or more sedentary people and easy to train. Now, this canine breed is not exempt from the main behavioral problem that all the previous ones present: it also develops separation anxiety due to the needs of company that it usually has. However, with a good education it doesn't have to happen.