Bichon Frise Lifespan – How Long Does This Small Breed Live

Bichon Frise Lifespan – How Long Does This Small Breed Live?

The Maltese is one of the most popular small breeds of dog. They are very loyal, affectionate, and love to please their owners. However, they tend to live shorter lives than other breeds because they have short lifespans compared with larger dogs such as Great Danes or German Shepherds.

Maltese lifespan is generally around 15 years. Although some breeders will produce litters of puppies that may live longer, it’s not uncommon for them to die before reaching adulthood due to various causes.

According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), Maltese are known as “the puppy mill dog.” Because they’re so adorable and easy going, many people buy them thinking they’ll grow up quickly and become just like their human companions. Unfortunately, they don’t live as long as other large breeds.

How Long Do Maltese Live?

When looking at the average lifespan of a Maltese, it’s hard to believe that this little dog can live so much less time than other breeds. According to the ASPCA, the average lifespan for a Maltese is between 10 and 12 years old. Some Maltese may live even longer; however, most will only reach maturity after they’ve reached around 5 years of age.

Maltese are often plagued with various health issues that may shorten their life spans. Many of these issues are the result of inbreeding as well as irresponsible breeding. While some breeders work hard to raise awareness and stop these damaging practices, there are still others who engage in it without thinking about the long-term effects it has on the dog.

Emotional Trauma

Emotional trauma is something that affects dogs on a much deeper level than humans. Because they are much more in-tune with their owners, separation anxiety can severely impact their ability to live long and happy lives. Even if a person has the best of intentions when purchasing a puppy, it’s very common for them to move away or get a new job that requires them to be away from home more often.

This causes a great amount of stress for the dog who will no longer have their primary source of love and attention. Dogs also tend to get depressed much easier than humans. If a person is constantly yelling at them or training them with physical punishment, they will begin to lose confidence in themselves and in their owner.

Dogs are very victimizable when it comes to emotional distress. Whatever is going on in their owner’s life is often reflected in how they feel as an individual. If you are struggling with depression or anxiety and the dog is constantly around you, it’s only natural that they will start to feel that way as well.

Physical Trauma

Maltese aren’t usually big chewers; however, if you’ve owned one in the past you probably know that they do like to rip up things when they get bored. This could mean tearing up carpet, chewing on furniture or anything else around them.

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Although it might seem harmless to some, this type of behavior can lead to various dental problems in the future. If they don’t receive proper care, their teeth will soon become rotten and infected. In addition, if they swallow the materials they are chewing, they could cause internal bleeding or an obstruction that results in death.

While this may be an uncommon occurrence, it’s still something to take into consideration. If you purchase a dog that is constantly chewing, you’ll want to make sure you keep everything in your home out of their reach or made out of a strong material such as plastic or metal.

Purchasing an older dog means you’re also taking on the responsibility of their past. Maltese that were bred irresponsibly may suffer from a variety of genetic disorders and health conditions that can result in death if left untreated.

While this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the Maltese breed, it’s important to have realistic expectations before bringing one into your home. Maltese are loving and fun dogs if you are able to provide them with the things they need.

Before you start your search, make sure you have the following:

Sufficient Income – While it’s possible to own a dog for as little as $500, this is the absolute lowest cost you should ever go for. Dogs, just like people, need to get checkups on a regular basis and this costs money. In addition, most vets will require an annual vaccination that needs to be updated every year.

This can cost anywhere from $100 to $300 depending on your location and the type of vaccine your dog needs. Food is another major expense that many people don’t think about. While it’s true a bag of food will last you a long time, you still need to buy it on a regular basis. Last but not least is the cost of toys and other items you may want to purchase for your dog. If you want to buy them a soft bed, it’ll cost you around $50. If you want to buy chew toys, it’ll cost you around $20 for a pack. These may not seem like a lot, but they start adding up quick. Living Space – If you live in an apartment or similar living space, you may want to reconsider getting a dog as they have a tendency to bark or howl which is not something most landlords appreciate. If you do have a yard, you’ll still need to make sure it’s fenced in properly otherwise your dog will find a way to escape and you may end up losing your dog. Top Brands – There are many different brands of dog food on the market. While some are trusted more than others, they all have their pros and cons. It really just comes down to personal preference of how you want to feed your dog and what is most cost effective. One thing that is almost universally accepted is that you should never feed your dog people food without a doctor’s approval. While this isn’t typically harmful to dogs, it can result in them getting an upset stomach and there are certain foods that if eaten on a regular basis can lead to long term health issues. Exercise – Dogs need exercise or they get themselves into trouble. When left alone for extended periods of time, they start getting bored which results in mischief. This is especially true for puppies or dogs with a lot of energy. If you want to have a dog, make sure you have the time and dedication to exercise it on a daily or at least regular basis.

Breeds Within Group:

Today, there are three recognized breeds within the Maltese group: the American Maltese, the English Toy Maltese, and the Romanichal (often just called “Maltese”). Each breed has its own specific traits, but ultimately all are classified as lap dogs, which means they have the characteristics of a small dog despite their larger size.

The American Maltese is a relatively new breed that was officially recognized by the AKC in 1972. It descends from the old Spanish dogs that were brought by sailors or foreign travelers to the US and bred with local dogs. It has a fox-like appearance.

The English Toy is also an older breed, previously known as the “Roman Ladies’ Dog”, and is the smallest of the three breeds. It has been bred almost exclusively as a companion dog and for that reason has retained some of the features of the similar ancient Mediterranean or Egyptian breeds, including slightly elongated head, long ears, and a very muscular body. Its face has a very sly appearance with its large eyes and small triangular shaped nose.

Sources & references used in this article:

Age-related cataract in dogs: a biomarker for life span and its relation to body size by SR Urfer, K Greer, NS Wolf – Age, 2011 – Springer

Longevity of Cane Corso Italiano dog breed and its relationship with hair colour by E Korec, O Chalupa, M Hančl, J Korcová… – Open veterinary …, 2017 –

… Japan using the International Veterinary Epilepsy Task Force classification 2015 (2003–2013): Etiological distribution, risk factors, survival time, and lifespan by …, Y Yu, M Wada, T Kuwabara, A Fujiwara-Igarashi… – BMC veterinary …, 2016 – Springer

Methods and mortality results of a health survey of purebred dogs in the UK by VJ Adams, KM Evans, J Sampson… – Journal of Small Animal …, 2010 – Wiley Online Library