Maltese and Bichon Varieties

Vase from 4th Century BCVase from 4th Century BC

The fore-runners of today's Maltese are among the most ancient of all Toy Breeds. They were originally called 'Melitaie', an ancient name for the Island of Malta from which the Phoenicians traded between the East and the West. Around 300 BC Aristotle described these as 'about the size of a Maltese dog of the little, tiny sort'. Consequently, we have the 'Maltese and Bichon Varieties' considered here.

Maltese with Cup Rev

Maltese and Bolognese

Many toy breeds descend from the forerunners of the Maltese which have been adored continuously as a small companion dog since the earliest civilizations. Their development demonstrates the effect of trading small dogs between the East and the West. Maltese history is summarized here, together with documentation from many respected sources. »» Read more...

Bichon with hose

The Bichon Family

Bichons are complete extroverts, a joy to live with and well suited to modern society. Bichons are comparatively recent additions to the pure breed dog world, resurrected from virtual extinction. With controversy surrounding their ancient history, a few facts are presented here in the hope that the typical coat of each variety will not be dissipated by modern show ring ... »» Read more...

Lowchen Bob Russell

Lowchen ('Little Lion Dog')

The L√∂wchen or 'Little Lion Dog' is generally accepted as a member of the Bichon family. Its traditional 'Lion' clip is its distinguishing 'trade mark' but serves no practical purpose like the Poodle and other 'Water Dogs'. Typically, the Chinese background of the 'Little Lion Dog' has resulted in a personality that differs from other members of the Bichon family. »» Read more...