Archie at our Modesto Location

Some of the best pet breeds and their humans at

This is Archie and his favorite human at our Modesto pet vaccination clinic. Now guess his breed: If there are any two breeds which people have trouble differentiating they are the Maltese and Bichon Frise – and guess what – Archie is a mixed Maltese and Bichon Frise! The first thing to know about these breeds and this dog is that they are among the most reliably cheerful and pleasant family pet dogs of all. The Bichon Frise (the name translates to ‘small lap dog with frizzy hair) is possibly a cross of the Pudelhund (Poodle from Germany) and Spaniel (from Spain) and dates to the 16th century and earlier. They had long been sailor’s pet dogs and possibly escaped to the North African Barbary coast and there became associated with organ grinders and other street entertainers. The Maltese dog looks and acts like a Bichon but has a completely different history dating back to the the 5th century BC. They were probably related to Spitz types and also possibly the Tibetan Spaniel. In 1905 they were named for the Mediterranean island of Malta which sits between Sicily and Africa and they were long the favored dog of Italian nobility. Like the Bichon, they are happy, lovable and cute and always 100% safe. So here’s how to tell them apart: The Maltese has long silky white hair which never stops growing while the Bichon has a long double coat with silky under coat and frizzy white outer coat which also never stops growing and makes it look like a cloud with a dog’s face. The Maltese has consistent black eyes and black button nose making it look like a little snow man with eyes and nose of coal. The Maltese is perhaps more ‘yappy’ than the Bichon though both breeds require training over that issue – but, hey, what can you expect from a breed that’s supposed to be as entertaining as it is cute? These are wonderful breeds so Archie has no choice but to be a great, loving and entertaining friend.

-Geoffrey Antipa


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