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Maltese Breed Information

Affectionate, cuddly, joyful, and kind, the Maltese puppies are the precious little gems of the dog kingdom. These beautiful dogs are playful, happy, fun, and full of life. They love to be surrounded by their human family and they never seem to grow old – neither in spirit nor in appearance. The adorable Maltese puppies want nothing more than to bring joy and love into their homes. They are natural-born entertainers who love to perform and perfect little cuddle buddies. They train easily, are eager to please, and they’re always happy and up for fun.  

Small, gracious, and elegant, the Maltese grows to a height of 9 to 10 inches and weighs 4 to 7 pounds fully grown. Their small stature is beautifully matched with a long white silky coat, a round face, expressive dark eyes, a tiny black nose, feathered floppy ears, and a puffy tail.  

BREED TYPE / MIX Purebred ENERGY Moderate SHEDDING Minimum TRAINING Determined TEMPERAMENT Affectionate, Gentle, Intelligent, Loving, Playful ADULT WEIGHT 4-7 lbs ADULT HEIGHT 9-10 in LIFE SPAN 12-15 yrs

Characteristics

  • Maltese are cheerful, devoted, and all-around happy dogs. They are very receptive to human emotion and they make wonderful therapy dogs
  • Highly social and friendly, these dogs are known to make fast friends with everyone they meet, they are friendly with children of all ages, other pets, and strangers
  • The breed has a long lifespan (14-16 years) and is believed to be amongst the healthiest of dog breeds
  • Clever, curious, and eager to please, the Maltese puppies are easy to train and they find the process very enjoyable
  • The Maltese retain their playful nature and young looks well into their teen years
  • The dogs shed very little and are considered to be hypoallergenic dogs  
  • The breed is easy to adapt and thrives in both small apartments and big homes as well as in active and calm lifestyles
  • Fearless, alert, and vigilant, the Maltese is an excellent watchdog
  • The Maltese breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club as a member of the Toy Group. The breed received its official recognition in 1888. It is also one of the most popular small breeds in the United States.

Appearance

Elegant and sweet with a proud demeanor and a gracious step, the Maltese has often been called “a living piece of jewelry”. These precious dogs appear friendly, approachable, affectionate, and happy.  

The lovely dogs stand at 9 to 10 inches tall and weigh 4 to 7 pounds. The Maltese size can differ quite a bit in the case of the Mini, Teacup, and Toy, as they are smaller variations of the Standard dog. The weight should remain in the 4 to 7 pound parameter as these dogs are not prone to severe weight gain. There is also little difference in terms of size and weight between a female and male Maltese.  

These cute dogs have a small compact body, a medium-length muzzle, a gorgeous round face, dark round expressive eyes, feathered drop ears, and a puffy tail worn gracefully over the back.  

The dog has a gorgeous, silky, pure white coat that is shiny, straight, and quite long. Other colors like black, brown, or black and white are not part of the breed standard. The black, brown, and black and white are most certainly a Maltese mix such as the Maltipoo, Maltipom, Morkie, or other crossbreeds.  

The long hair coat is hypoallergenic with minimal to no shedding. The hypoallergenic qualities are famously known to be friendly for people suffering from severe dog allergies. 

Temperament

The Maltese are sweet, highly affectionate, and devoted dogs who love nothing more than to be near their family where they can perform tricks, entertain with stunts, and receive kisses, belly rubs, praise, and cuddles. As dogs of royal descent and background, these sweet pooches retain a great need to be pampered and spoiled. They love jumping from one lap to the next and are quite determined on finding the human that gives the best belly rubs. Given that they have always been champions in the dog show ring, Maltese Bichons retain their need to entertain and show off for others.

Gentle, playful, and fun, this dog is excellent around children of all ages and gets along great with other pets especially if games like fetch and chase are involved. Dog parks are their favorite playground and kids remain their best friends. They often like to get into mischief with the younger kids of the house and are quite fond of chasing their fellow fur siblings.  

The Maltese is lively, playful, sporty, and athletic. These fun dogs enjoy and excel at canine sports such as agility, rally, obedience, and tracking and they love to participate in family activities, especially ones that allow them to be in the center of attention. Goofy and sometimes too good at tricks, these dogs love to impress with funny stunts and tail-chasing skills.  

Though very small and precious, these dogs are as feisty and vigilant as they are adorable. They make excellent watchdogs and will bark any unwelcomed intruder right out the door.   

Insights

The Best Pros and Cons of Owning a Maltese

The Maltese are one of the most popular dogs in the world, and they have been for centuries. These cuties are renowned for their pure white coats and fashionable appearance. They're completely adorable and have fantastic personalities. You will find these dogs in shows and sporting competitions holding trophies and making their parents proud. You will also find them on millions of laps across the world.  

Owning a Maltese is...

5 Facts About the Maltese Dog We Guarantee You'll Love

The Maltese dogs are a gorgeous toy breed that everyone has come to know and love. They are white, fluffy, tiny, and perfectly adorable. They are also among the cuddliest and most well-behaved dogs in the world. But apart from their heart-melting looks and endearing personalities, there are several amazing attributes to this popular breed. Their ancient origins, skills, and reputation in various fields paint a brighter picture about the amazing Maltese breed. Here are...

All Maltese Insights

Care

Grooming

The Maltese grooming needs depend on the length and haircut style of their gorgeous coats. The participants in canine show rings generally have long, luxurious coats and require daily brushing, combing, and spritzing. The most famous Maltese haircuts are the puppy cut and the Teddy Bear cut. The puppy cut and the short hair require up to three weekly brushes, and the Teddy Bear cut requires a brush every two days.  

It is beneficial for these dogs to have their nails clipped every two months, their teeth brushed weekly, and their ears cleaned regularly. It is also recommended to bathe the dog every 4 to 6 weeks in order to keep their coats healthy, silky, and shiny.   

Learn more about Grooming your Dog at Home.

Exercise Needs

The Maltese are moderately active dogs. They love to chase, fetch, and chew canine toys, play with other dogs, entertain kids, and impress family members with tricks. They also love lazing around, cuddling, and being pampered and spoiled. Two walks per day combined with fun activities indoors are enough to keep this gorgeous dog happy, in shape, and ready for cuddles.   

Health

The Maltese is one of the healthiest dogs in the canine kingdom. Although they are generally healthy for most of their lives, they can sometimes be prone to certain health conditions such as dental conditions, luxating patella, white dog shaker syndrome. They can also suffer from eye conditions such as cataracts and progressive loss of sight during old age.  

Life Span

The Maltese lifespan is 14-16 years. Their life expectancy can extend to 18 and even 20 years if the dog is properly cared for, exercised, and fed high-quality dog food.  

Training

The Maltese are very smart dogs. Their cheerful nature and eagerness to learn allow for training sessions to be fun and entertaining activities. They are clever, fast-learning students with a knack for tricks and a great love for stunts. They are quick to pick up on basic commands and are more than capable of taking on complex tasks like obedience and agility.  

They are easy to housebreak, leash train, and socialize. They are outgoing friendly dogs that love to meet and interact with new people, kids, and other pets. Introducing them to other dogs, cats, new situations, and new places when they are puppies is a great way to ensure they grow into well-behaved sociable dogs.  

The Maltese are independent dogs. They are more than happy to entertain themselves when left alone. They love to nap, play with toys, and nap some more when they are home alone. They are also moderately quiet and not prone to excessive barking. It is always best, even with naturally independent dogs, to gradually leave them alone for short periods of time when they are young, in order to avoid any problematic behavior or separation anxiety in the future. 

More on raising a new puppy.  

History

The Bichon Maltese also referred to as “Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta”, “the Roman ladies' dog” and “the canine aristocrat”, is an ancient breed as old as time. These cute dogs have been represented in ancient Egyptian drawings, ancient Greek monuments, English literature, and French poetry throughout history.  

From the Island of Malta and across Europe, Asia, and the United States, the breed has gathered an impressive number of admirers and the well-deserved title of “more precious than gems” companion pet. Sweet, affectionate with an elegant demeanor, and a joyful personality, the Maltese has earned the favor of pharaohs, aristocrats, noble and royal families around the world for thousands of years. They have had more notable admirers like King Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, and Aristotle.  

During the 1800s the breed became known as a “living piece of jewelry” and would soon become one of the most popular companion pets at royal courts around the world. Enchanted by their small size and elegant demeanor, the ladies of the courts would carry their white dogs on their sleeves as a symbol of wealth and luxury. The cute Maltese also had quite a career as circus dogs across Europe, being especially adored in France, where they were very popular with the traveling circus.

The gorgeous and comedic dogs moved on to become quite the champions in the show ring as the show dog of the moment, as well as in canine sporting competitions. Today, the precious and charming breed is considered to be one of the most popular breeds in the world. The breed was given official recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1888 and is now a member of the club’s Toy Group.  

As the breed's popularity reached its peak during the 1990s, breeders began the journey of creating more Maltese-type dogs. Among the most popular Maltese mixes are:

5 Facts About The Maltese Dog We Guarantee You'll Love

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