Maltese

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4-7 lbs
8-10"
Malta
Melitae Dog, Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta, Roman Ladies Dog, The Comforter, Spaniel Gentle, Bichon, Maltese Lion Dog, The Maltese Terrier

Known by many different names, the Maltese was originally thought to have come from the islands of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea.  They were loved by all, from the Greeks to the Egyptians and were used in art as well as being a “comforter” to the sick. Being one of the earliest lap dogs in history, it is no surprise that the Maltese has remained a favorite companion through the years. They have a playful personality and are both trusting and affectionate. Their signature coat, which in show dogs is allowed to grow all the way out to the floor, used to be produced in a number of different colors, but is now always white. The Maltese has dark, intelligent eyes and a white mustache that needs to be cleaned often in order to prevent staining from food and tears. Although these little dogs are great with older children and pets, they can become intimidated and grouchy towards younger children. It is best to be sure that the Maltese is well socialized when they are young so that, when they age, they have that pleasant and gentle-mannered personality that everyone loves.

Purpose
companion, comforter
Date of Origin
ancient times
Ancestry
terrier

Maltese Health

Sketch of Maltese
Average Size
Male Maltese size stats
Height: 9-10 inches Weight: 4-7 lbs
Female Maltese size stats
Height: 8-10 inches Weight: 4-7 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus
  • Obesity
Minor Concerns
  • Mono/Bilateral Cryptorchidism
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Dental Disease
  • Portosystemic Shunt
  • Shaker Dog Syndrome
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Knee
  • Liver Ultrasound
  • CT Scan
  • Dental Examination
  • Physical Examination

Maltese Breed History

The Maltese, taken from the breed’s original home in Malta, actually has many different names. While Maltese Terrier is the most common one, a few others are names such as the Melitae dog, Ye ancient Dogge of Malta, Roman Ladies dog, the Comforter, the Spaniel Gentle, the Bichon, and the Maltese Lion Dog. Each of these unique names are perfect at reflecting the interesting and playful personality of the little white dogs. Their long fur and sophisticated manner make it easy to understand why the Maltese would be so popular with the royalty and artists of ancient days. Perhaps the most well-known duty of the Maltese was as a “comforter” to the sick people of Egypt and later, the Europeans. People believed that they had healing properties and would even go so far as to lay the little dog on the pillow of an ill individual. On top of this, the dogs were portrayed in poems, paintings, and ancient artwork. Nowadays, the Maltese are still excellent companion dogs and partake in shows all over the world.

Maltese Breed Appearance

 When one sees the Maltese trot across the floor with their long, white, silky fur an image of a graceful cloud may come to mind. When the dogs are shown, they seem to float across the ground with ease. This is due to their gentle manner and very light step. Paired with the fur that touches the ground, the Maltese is heavenly. This breed has bright, black button eyes that shimmer with mischief and fun. A black nose and little black lips poking through a white beard complete the appearance of this breed. Despite the small size of the Maltese, they make up for it in spirit and energy. Males and females do not differ much in size or stature and although this breed used to come in different colors, they are now always white. Because this particular breed does not have a double coat, they do not tend to shed often and are therefore considered hypoallergenic.

Appearance of Maltese
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Maltese eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Maltese nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
white Maltese coat
White
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Maltese straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Maltese Breed Maintenance

 In order to keep this breed’s luscious white coat white and free from tangles, frequent bathing and daily brushing is required. The best brushes to use for the Maltese consists of a pin brush and a stainless steel comb. There is no doubt that these dogs are high maintenance. When you brush the coat of your Maltese, you may want to use a gentle conditioner diluted with water to make the process easier and pain free. This will also help to protect the hair from breaking and remain static free in order to achieve a perfect hair placement. Bathe your Maltese once he starts to look dirty or dingy. Before bathing, however, be sure to comb the fur out completely to get rid of any tangles. You may want to use a whitening shampoo to help brighten the fur then followed up by a conditioner that tames long hair. Blow dry the coat completely after drying lightly with a towel. A Maltese that air-dries will not look as pretty. Regular ear cleaning and nail trimming should also be in the routine.

Brushes for Maltese
Pin Brush
Dematter
Comb
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Maltese requires daily brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Maltese Temperament

The Maltese is a sprightly, fun-loving dog that loves to be loved. There is no stopping a Maltese from wanting to be the center of attention and we are sure not many people care to stop their adorable antics. Due to this love of people and their intelligent nature, these dogs are extremely easy to train. Start training early when you bring a Maltese puppy home. Gentle yet firm guidance is all this breed needs to catch on quickly. Early socialization is also key considering that, while the Maltese is an excellent family dog, they tend to better with older children unless raised with young ones. As long as you take the time to bond with your dog, give him ample time to adjust to all kind of different people and situations, and work on training throughout his life you will end up with an excellent family companion who will never run out of loves to give.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
6 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Maltese Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1 cups
Daily Cost
$1 - $1.3
Monthly Cost
$30 - $37.5

Maltese Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Maltese at six months
Male Maltese size stats at six months
Height: 7 inches Weight: 3 lbs
Female Maltese size stats at six months
Height: 6 inches Weight: 3 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Maltese at 12 months
Male Maltese size stats at 12 months
Height: 8 inches Weight: 4 lbs
Female Maltese size stats at 12 months
Height: 7 inches Weight: 4 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Maltese at 18 months
Male Maltese size stats at 18 months
Height: 9 inches Weight: 5 lbs
Female Maltese size stats at 18 months
Height: 9 inches Weight: 5 lbs

Top Maltese Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Maltese breeders of 2018.
Top Maltese breeder Sonshine Acres
Sonshine Acres
Lincoln, Nebraska
Top Maltese breeder Josymir Maltese
Josymir Maltese
Greensburg, Pennsylvania
Top Maltese breeder Angel Lite Maltese
Angel Lite Maltese
Attalla, Alabama
Top Maltese breeder Annas Heavenly Maltese
Annas Heavenly Maltese
Phoenix, Arizona
Top Maltese breeder Sand Maltese
Sand Maltese
Charlotte, Tennessee
Top Maltese breeder Lakeshore Maltese
Lakeshore Maltese
Rindge, New Hampshire

Maltese Owner Experiences

Lollie
11 Years
3 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
My parents surprised us with a small little furry ball, full of joy from the get go. The best first dog I could’ve ever wished for! Super soft, cute, friendly, loyal, extremely easy to care for as he is a small doggy, and loved by all. Lollie is half papillon so he has longer ears and honey coloured eyes. Although he’s 11, strangers mistake him for a puppy
2 months ago
Tex
9 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
My male Maltese has been the best dog I have owned. He loves everyone unconditionally and everyone loves him. He will “sit” and “shake hands”. He is great with other dogs, cats, other people and children. He is very well behaved and so loving. He has been a pleasure to have as a companion.
5 months ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
being cute
When I walked through the door and glanced around the client's home, I had to look carefully to find the dog. I opened the light and upon scanning the room for the second time, I finally saw two small, curious brown eyes looking back at me from the doggie bed in the corner. Was that a teddy bear or a dog? As I approached and started to coo at it, it moved! Like an animated plush toy, the cute little maltese jogged up to me with it's miniature legs and started barking with excitement, confirming my suspicions that it was indeed a dog. It was too cute to be true! I kneeled down to his level and put my face close to his. He immediately started showering me with little doggie kisses. It melted my heart. As I went to grab the leash, the little Maltese started doing little spins from his excitement. I will confess I hesitated for a minute to put his leash on, because I wanted to enjoy his little dance a while longer. Finally, once he exhausted his happy dance routine, we got the leash on and went outside. He was as peppy as ever even though it was blistering cold! He would jog to the tree, sniff it, then jog to the rock across and sniff, jogging back curbside to check out the hydrant. We approached a large roundabout with some trees and bushes in the middle. I decided to go through it and the little Maltese was so happy to be there. He started getting even more excited and was zig zagging back and forth, side to side and all around in the snow mounds. I had to give him extra lead on his leash so that he would not hurt himself or get tangled. While he was having his fun, I started bending down to pick up a cool looking stick. Zoom! The little maltese cheekily grabbed it from me before I could reach it and started taunting me to grab it from him. We played this little game of faux fetch for a good while before starting to return home. On the way back we met other tiny furry companions that greeted the little Maltese in a friendly manner, but he was having none of it! He told them off very rudely and continued on his way home. Once we got back, he made his way back to bed and resumed starting at me until I left his home.
5 months, 4 weeks ago
3 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
being cute
When I walked through the door and glanced around the client's home, I had to look carefully to find the dog. I opened the light and upon scanning the room for the second time, I finally saw two small, curious brown eyes looking back at me from the doggie bed in the corner. Was that a teddy bear or a dog? As I approached and started to coo at it, it moved! Like an animated plush toy, the cute little maltese jogged up to me with it's miniature legs and started barking with excitement, confirming my suspicions that it was indeed a dog. It was too cute to be true! I kneeled down to his level and put my face close to his. He immediately started showering me with little doggie kisses. It melted my heart. As I went to grab the leash, the little Maltese started doing little spins from his excitement. I will confess I hesitated for a minute to put his leash on, because I wanted to enjoy his little dance a while longer. Finally, once he exhausted his happy dance routine, we got the leash on and went outside. He was as peppy as ever even though it was blistering cold! He would jog to the tree, sniff it, then jog to the rock across and sniff, jogging back curbside to check out the hydrant. We approached a large roundabout with some trees and bushes in the middle. I decided to go through it and the little Maltese was so happy to be there. He started getting even more excited and was zig zagging back and forth, side to side and all around in the snow mounds. I had to give him extra lead on his leash so that he would not hurt himself or get tangled. While he was having his fun, I started bending down to pick up a cool looking stick. Zoom! The little maltese cheekily grabbed it from me before I could reach it and started taunting me to grab it from him. We played this little game of faux fetch for a good while before starting to return home. On the way back we met other tiny furry companions that greeted the little Maltese in a friendly manner, but he was having none of it! He told them off very rudely and continued on his way home. Once we got back, he made his way back to bed and resumed starting at me until I left his home.
5 months, 4 weeks ago
1 Year
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
I love malteses they are soooooo cute and loveable. The maltese I walked was not shy at al it greeted me at the door very sweet pup and a lot of energy. It loved to play around and run. I think they need a little exercise to keep them healthy because they are small dogs. Malteses are small dogs and can not really go on a walk for to long . People love malteses because they are small and fluffy so that cause them to get a lot of attention on the street, they are a people lover. When walking past other dogs he was not to friendly he tended to bark at the other dogs and was not wanting to be nice. I think that malteses like getting petted and enjoy belly rubs. They are an adorable breed to have. They have a lot of fur that grows long and needs a lot of grooming and maintenance. Overall this bread would make a great companion to have.
6 months ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
I walked a Maltese about a week ago. She was 2 years old and very small. She was friendly. When I arrived at the house she ran over to the front door to greet me. She was very attached to her owner, though, so she was extremely hesitant to leave. It took me about 5 minutes to pull her away from the house. After we got away from the house she would not walk and kept looking back toward her house. I literally could not get her to leave the street she lived on, so we walked up and down her street for about 15 minutes. Every time we passed her house she would stop and want to go inside and I would have to pull her away from the house again, but after we got going she walked fine and was very playful too, and even wanted to run a little bit. She was a little sweetheart, just very attached to her family.
6 months ago
9 Months
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
wrestling
Running
Playing
chasing
This pup is so friendly and loving and full of energy! Plays with anyone and anything that is in front of him. Not a care in the world and super happy-go-lucky. Chases leaves and dogs and feet!
6 months ago
5 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Snuggle
Walk
I walk two different Malteses on a regular basis. They are two very different dogs, except in appearance. One is an older female with boundless energy and enthusiasm for life and myriad health problems (She has liver and heart problems that developed in her old age.), and the other is a rescued mill male who is skittish and timid and craves attention in the form of snuggles and kisses. Both do very well in their kennels during the day when the owner is working. The female is in a regular kennel and goes in there regularly to take a break from the world (hoping for a treat). The male is in a gated-off bathroom during the day, and does well in there with his bed and toys, but he wears a belly band to catch and potty mistakes. When I arrive the female runs in circles, she’s so excited to go out! She tries to stop long enough for me to put her harness on, but if I take too long, she’ll start running in circles around me again. The male, on the other hand, crouches down in total submission as I leash him up. He is glad to see me, but he wishes I would just sit with him on the couch for some snuggle time. Once we get out the door, the female forgets I exist and happily sniffs every tree, bush, ...blade of grass, enthusiastically exploring the world around her. If I reach down to pet her, she tolerates it, but I can practically feel her shrug it off in disinterest. The male on the other hand, trails slowly behind, constantly looking up to me, begging me to crouch down and pet him, which I try to do every time his sister stops. If we pass another dog, the female does her best to remind it that she is the boss. She’ll bark at anything, regardless of its size. Her brother will crouch low, preferably behind a tree, and hope to not be noticed. As we turn to go back home, the male will pick up the pace. As far as he sees it, home is the happy place, the place where he gets snuggles and love, and time on the couch with his owner by the fire. What I’ve learned from these two is that Malteses can have different energy levels, but all of them love to be loved. And treats.
6 months ago
1 Year
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
The Maltese that I have walked was very timid and scared of everything. He wasn't friendly with other people or other dogs. He does not do well being home alone and needs someone there with him.
6 months ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Sniffing
Running
Playing
The Maltese I walked is literally one of the sweetest dogs. She's like a little teddy bear, and she is so hyper and jumpy every time I walk her. No aggression whatsoever, and is very playful and gets so excited around other people too. They have a lot of great energy, and because mine is on the younger side, they're even more energetic and release that during the walk. I love malteses because they're not aggressive (not any that I've known at least).
6 months ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
The Maltese i had the pleasure of walking was very petite compared to others I've seen. It was very timid at first but warmed up to me. Very smart breed, responded to my commands without hesitation.
6 months ago
5 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Exploring
Sniffing
Walking
The Maltese I walked was friendly. He seemed to enjoy or walk and had a good amount of energy. Once in a while he would try to pull me to walk faster. He enjoyed sniffing everyone's yards and plants. He stopped to urinated frequently/mark his territory. While he didn't seem all the interested in socializing with me, he was friendly and listened to what I told him. He got scared of loud noises (trains) and some people but got over it quickly.
6 months ago
13 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Sniffing
Walking
Very shy dog! At first when I met this dog she barks at me no matter how many times I’ve walked her. She’s got a bit of a problem seeing in the dark. She’s a very good walker! Very quick and surprisingly energetic for an old dog. She doesn’t like to be held or played with at all. All she wants to focus on is her walk. She loves to sniff everything around and just go quickly. We have to kind of convince her to go out onto the walk by me petting her and the owner setting her outside. She doesn’t like to pose for a picture at all and won’t ever look at the camera. Once she gets going she really gets going though. She’s very focused and if I try and stop for a second she pulls to keep going. She can walk very far I just have to use my flashlight for her since she can’t see very well or she starts running into stuff. She doesn’t like loud noises or cars or anything like that. But she is a super sweet dog at the same time!
6 months ago
3 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
petting
Walking
The Maltese is such a small but mighty breed. I have found that they do seem to bark a decent amount when I am approaching the apartment, but they are never a vicious breed and always loving and affectionate. They are steady walkers and very curious when out and about on their walks. They are never aggressive towards other dogs but sometimes bark which I think may assert their friendliness.
6 months ago
10 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Petting , cuddling, sniffing everything, other do
Malteses are so sweet! They greet you at the door and always have so much energy. They want to be pet and cuddle. And they love a good treat. They sniff and mark everything - like bushes, trees, and corners.
6 months ago
5 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Playing in the snow
sleep
cuddle
Look out the window
Maltese might just be the absolute sweetest dogs ever. If properly socialized at a young age, they are incredibly friendly and lovable. They enjoy walking and running around in a yard, but they mostly love looking out the window and barking at leaves. Maltese are smart and well mannered dogs. They’re perfect family pets.
6 months ago
9 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walk
The maltese I walk sometimes is very sweet and always excited to go outside, but super calm when she gets outside. She hates being left alone, so it's hard to say bye to her, but I always look forward to seeing her again.
6 months ago
5 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Maltese can become attached and protective of people they like.
6 months ago
Mario
Nineweeks
3 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Well I have had three of them each one was different always kept fur short this one is very loving.
7 months, 2 weeks ago
Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd