Bichon is the name for a type of related non-sporting category dog breeds. They vary in appearance, but all have tails curled over their back, fur that doesn't readily shed, short snouts, drop ears, and large, dark eyes. They were all bred to be amiable companion dogs and have a friendly, alert temperament. Their life expectancy is 15 years or more. The Bichon Frise, a type of bichon, is sometimes simply called a bichon in North America.
The Maltese, Canis familiaris Maelitacus, is a small breed of dog in the Toy Group. It descends from dogs originating in the Central Mediterranean Area. The breed name and origins are generally understood to derive from the Mediterranean island nation of Malta.