Maltese

The inquisitive dark eyes and the elegant white coat make the Maltese an attractive little dog. The breed is the perfect size for toting along as a charming, faithful sidekick. The aristocratic air of a Maltese identifies its heritage as a cherished and pampered pet among royalty. The ancient Italian breed originated in Malta more than 28 centuries ago. Maltese dogs were considered valuable commodities in the trade industry, and they were popular subjects that were featured in cultural art. In 1877, the first Maltese was shown in the United States under the breed name of Maltese lion dog. Eleven years later, the American Kennel Club recognized the Maltese as a member of the toy group.

The Maltese is a small, compact dog with square proportions and a straight, long, silky white coat. It coat needs to be brushed frequently and some dog owners may choose to clip the coat to prevent it from getting dirty. A groomed Maltese looks like a puppy that is ready to prance elegantly around a show ring, sweeping everyone that they meet off of their feet. The tiny Maltese stands 8 to 10 inches tall and weighs four to seven pounds. The body is sturdy and compact, and it is clad in a long, straight coat that lays flat. The coat drapes over each side of the body from along a central part line along the top of the dog, and the coat barely sweeps the floor. The coat is white or cream in color, and the white face makes a striking contrast with the dark eyes and black nose. The ears hang downward, framing the face, and the plumed tail is carried upward over the dog's back. Personality: The Maltese is a gentle and calm little dog breed. Its exercise needs can be met with a short walk or a fun indoor game. It's affectionate with its family and friendly towards children, but it can get yappy and feisty. It's friendly towards other dogs and strangers. The Maltese is a sociable, lively and playful dog that loves to perform tricks and spend time with its family. This dog gets along with cats, other dogs and children that are calm and gentle. Due to the tiny, delicate size, this is not a dog for children who enjoy rough housing with their canine companion. The Maltese is alert and barks insistently at unusual noises and potential intruders. The breed is intelligent and eager to please, making it easy to train. Early training and socialization will ensure a Maltese that is gentle, loving and well mannered. The Maltese requires little exercise and adapts well to life in an apartment setting.

Maltese image
Breed Type
Pure
Origin
Europe
Family
Group
Function
Life Span
13-18 Years
Hypoallergenic
No
Other Names
Maltese lion dog, Maltese

Maltese Build Information

Size
Toy
Length (Male)
8-12 in.
Length (Female)
8-10 in.
Weight
< 14 lbs
Litter Size
4 - 5 Puppies
Tail Dock or Crop
No
Preferred Climate
Any Climate

The Maltese is a small, compact dog with square proportions and a straight, long, silky white coat. His coat needs to be brushed frequently and some dog owners may choose to clip the coat to prevent it from getting dirty. A groomed Maltese looks like a puppy that is ready to prance elegantly around a show ring, sweeping everyone that they meet off of their feet. The tiny Maltese stands 8 to 10 inches tall and weighs four to seven pounds.

The body is sturdy and compact, and it is clad in a long, straight coat that lays flat.

The coat drapes over each side of the body from along a central part line along the top of the dog, and the coat barely sweeps the floor. The coat is white or cream in color, and the white face makes a striking contrast with the dark eyes and black nose. The ears hang downward, framing the face, and the plumed tail is carried upward over the dog's back.

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level
Energy Level
Independant
Good to Other Pets
Dominating or Submissive?
Guardian Skills
Barking
Aggressiveness Level

The Maltese is a gentle and calm little dog breed. His exercise needs can be met with a short walk or a fun indoor game. He is affectionate with its family and friendly towards children, but it can get yappy and feisty. He is friendly towards other dogs and strangers. The Maltese is a sociable, lively and playful dog that loves to perform tricks and spend time with its family. This dog gets along with cats, other dogs and children that are calm and gentle.

Due to the tiny, delicate size, this is not a dog for children who enjoy rough housing with their canine companion.

The Maltese is alert and barks insistently at unusual noises and potential intruders. The breed is intelligent and eager to please, making it easy to train. Early training and socialization will ensure a Maltese that is gentle, loving and well mannered. The Maltese requires little exercise and adapts well to life in an apartment setting.

Appearance

Colors
Off White White
Shedding
None
Grooming
Medium Maintenance
Coat Type
Feathered

The long, silky locks of a Maltese require daily brushing or combing to detangle the coat and prevent matting. Their glistening white coats need to be bathed whenever they start to look dingy. The hair under the eyes and on the chin should be cleaned daily to prevent reddish-brown tear and saliva staining, respectably. The hair on top of the head should be tied up to protect the eyes from irritation. Many owners choose to request a puppy cut trim from their dog groomers every six weeks to make home grooming easier and less time-consuming.

Inspect the ears daily, and keep them clean and dry to prevent ear infections.

Like most toy breeds with tiny mouths, the teeth tend to be overcrowded. This predisposes the Maltese to periodontal disease. By brushing the teeth at least every other day, plaque buildup with be reduced.

Breed's Talents and Facts

Training
Moderately easy to train
Hunting Companion
No
Jolly for Jogging
No
Sighting Capabilities
No
Ideal for Tracking
No
Retrieving Skills
No
Pointing Breed
No
Herding Skills
No
Dutiful Watchdog
No
Security Guard Capable
No
Police Performer
No
Wet Water rescues
No
Assist Disable Owners
No
Dog Sledding
No
Able to Perform Dog Carting
No
Agile/Zippy
No
Fun with Lure Coursing
No
Obedient
Yes
Possible Schutzhund Work
No
Trainable for Tricks
Yes
  • The Maltese originated in Italy
  • The Maltese is also called a Maltese lion dog
  • The Maltese is a lively, devoted and playful companion and an attentive watchdog
  • The Maltese stands 8 to 10 inches tall and weighs four to seven pounds
  • The Maltese has a high energy level
  • The Maltese requires extensive grooming
  • The average lifespan for a Maltese is 15 to 18 years

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Maltese Training

The Maltese is known as the extremely well-rounded dog. They are suitable for every situation whether the pet parent lives in a small apartment or country home. They are also incredibly loving and adore their pet parent. They immediately bond very closely to their pet parent so are often fairly easy to train. The main behavioral issue with this breed tends to be separation anxiety due to that strong bond. Activities such as leaving the radio on, not making a big deal of departure or arrival or leaving mental stimulating toys will assist with your dog’s separation anxiety.

Common Health Conditions in Malteses

The longevity of a Maltese grants an average lifespan of 15 to 18 years. Some health conditions to be aware of in the Maltese include patellar luxation, hypoglycemia, periodontal disease, tracheal collapse, portosystemic shunt, progressive retinal atrophy and glaucoma.

Maltese Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

Insure your Maltese

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