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Maltese Breed Information

Affectionate, cuddly, joyful, and kind, the Maltese 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

Maltese 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, Maltese are known to make fast friends with everyone they meet, they are friendly with children of all ages, other pets, and strangers
  • The Maltese 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 Maltese shed very little and are considered to be hypoallergenic dogs  
  • The Maltese 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 is recognized by the American Kennel Club as a member of the Toy Group. The breed received its official recognition in 1888 

Maltese Breeders

WATCH VIDEO of our Breeder Care

It truly takes a special breeder to assist with nourishing and raising a Maltese puppy properly. Like people, the most critical moments in a puppy's life starts in the beginning. Providing a safe, natural, comfortable, and healthy environment for the nursing mother and her baby is essential. Only the nation's best Maltese breeders can provide the best quality of life. Here at Premier Pups, we work hand-in-hand with our breeders. We spend consistent on-site time with our selected breeders and can undoubtedly say that our puppies come from a caring environment. The footage produced in our videos is 100% real. We take un-staged, unedited, and only authentic scenes at our breeder locations. We only align ourselves with Maltese breeders whose standards are much higher than the rest. 

Maltese 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 Maltese 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 Maltese, Teacup Maltese, and Toy Maltese, as they are smaller variations of the Standard Maltese. The Maltese 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.  

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

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

Maltese 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.

Gentle, playful, and fun, the Maltese 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, the Maltese dogs love to impress with funny stunts and tail-chasing skills.  

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

Maltese Reviews

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Maltese Insights

7 Best Apartment Dog Breeds

Choosing the best dog breed for apartment living can be a tricky task. Some dog lovers believe that being small is all it takes for a dog to be suited for apartment life but that is not always the case.  

Coming home to a loving bundle of joy is a dream come true, but there are a few other things to keep in mind when choosing your new apartment-friendly puppy.  

Your neighbors, kids, and pets in the building, new faces, distractions, and quiet hours, are all things you...

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Maltese Care

Maltese Grooming

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

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

Maltese 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 the Maltese happy, in shape, and ready for cuddles.   

Maltese 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, and eye conditions such as cataracts and progressive loss of sight during old age.  

Maltese Life Span

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

Maltese 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.  

The Maltese 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 in the future.   

Maltese 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. The Maltese 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 Maltese 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, with more notable admirers like King Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, and Aristotle.  

During the 1800s the Maltese 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 the Maltese 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 well as in canine sporting competitions. Today, the precious and charming Maltese 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 Maltese popularity reached its peak during the 1990s, Maltese breeders began the journey of creating more Maltese-type dogs. Among the most popular Maltese mixes are:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average lifespan of a Maltese? The average lifespan is 12 to 15 years.

Does the Maltese shed a lot? No. The Maltese sheds very little if at all. They are considered one of the best breeds for people who suffer from dog allergies.

Is the Maltese a good option for a family with children? Maltese’s are very small dogs who enjoy play, however, they are not often recommended with families that have small children as young children may not quite understand how to be gentle, especially if left unsupervised.

What colors do the Maltese come in? White. Thought they do have some tan or lemon markings around their ears the rest of their coat is fully White.

What if any healthy issues should I be concerned with? All dogs will face ailments as they grow older, just like humans. The most common health issues found in the Maltese are patellar luxation, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), patent ductus arteriosus, portosystemic liver shunt, white dog shaker syndrome, and hypoglycemia.

Is the Maltese an intelligent breed? Yes, the Maltese are highly intelligent. They love learning new skills and performing learned tricks, which makes training a pretty simple process.

How much exercise does a Maltese need? This breed requires a minimal amount of exercise each day to remain fit and healthy. Short strolls either in a park or a yard are great for these pooches.

How often does a Maltese need to be groomed? This depends on the look that you’re going for. If you prefer your Maltese to have a longer coat then you’ll need to brush your little one daily as well as wash their face to avoid tear staining around the eyes. If you are keeping your dog’s coat shorter, brushing every couple of days as well as cleaning of the face each day is sufficient. A weekly bath will also keep your Maltese’s coat clean and soft.

Do Maltese come in different sizes? No. Unlike Poodle mixes, there is only one Maltese.

Are Maltese’s easily trainable? Like most small dogs, the Maltese is a spirited animal that tends to do things on their terms. The most effective way to train your Maltese is with proper socialization at an early age as well as practicing patience, consistency and most positive reinforcement. These dogs love to be told they did something well, so this is a big benefit in terms of training.

Where does the Maltese originate? This breed was founded on the Mediterranean island of Malta and was developed to be the companion pet of wealthy, cultured families.

What are Maltese halos? Halos are a part of the Maltese’s black points and are quite beautiful. Not all Maltese have these.

What's the best type of food for My Maltese? It's always best to feed a high quality dry dog food instead of wet canned food to help your dog maintain healthy gums and teeth. For optimal health, offer a formula with wholesome ingredients and all-natural preservatives (such as a vitamin blend and/or herbs). Avoid artificial preservatives when you can.

What breeds are similar to the Maltese? The Papillon and the Bichon Frise are both very similar to the Maltese breed.

I’ve seen advertisements for “tea cup” Maltese, what does this mean? Please be aware that there is no official separate breed called a “teacup Maltese.” This is a marketing and advertising ploy rather than a true recognized type of dog.