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Maltese Breed Information

Paws Pattern
short hair Maltese dog in an orange background

Sweet, playful, and entirely lovable, the Maltese puppies are an excellent addition to any loving family. These beautiful white puppies are very friendly, caring, and cuddly. They enjoy interacting with other dogs and are immensely fond of playing with children. Maltese puppies are also very intelligent and fond of learning, so training them is always fun and undemanding. As a member of the American Kennel Club’s Toy Group, the toy-size Maltese has a very small stature and is an excellent pet for apartment living. 

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


  • The Maltese is also known as Melitae Dog and The Ancient Dog of Malta 
  • A member of the American Kennel Club’s Toy Group, the Maltese has received its official breed recognition in 1888 
  • The Maltese breed is a member of the Bichon Family 
  • Hypoallergenic Maltese. The Maltese dogs are excellent for owners who suffer from dog-related allergies 
  • Maltese therapy dogs. Maltese dogs have all the right skills and qualities to be trained for therapy word 
  • Maltese puppies are renowned for their intelligence and eagerness to learn. They are highly trainable and well-suited for a novice dog owner 
  • Social and fond of interacting with others, the Maltese dogs make friends wherever they go. They are well-behaved and playful, excellent for both young and older kids, and friendly towards strangers, dogs, and other pets 
  • Maltese puppies are quick to adapt to any type of lifestyle. They make wonderful companion pets for outdoorsy owners, seniors, families with children, single owners, and non-experienced owners 
long hair Maltese sitting next to a person on a couch


Graceful, warm, and completely adorable, adult Maltese dogs have a most beautiful appearance defined by elegance and joy. These cute white dogs are small, toy-sized, with a height of 9 to 10 inches and an adult weight of 4 to 7 pounds for a full-grown Maltese. Their build is compact, well-proportioned, and their demeanor speaks to their joyful nature.

The Maltese dogs have a rounded face, cute dark round eyes, tear-shaped ears that hang close to their faces, and a fluffy, upwards tail. Their noses are tiny and black, and their muzzles are of medium length. The Maltese size is smaller in Teacup Maltese and Toy Maltese puppies and dogs.  

Maltese hair is long, ground length, straight, pure white, silky, and smooth. Other Maltese colors like black, brown, or combinations of white and black, are most commonly found in Maltese mixes like the Maltipoo or Morkie. White Maltese is the only color recognized by the American Kennel Club.  


The Maltese is perhaps one of the most adaptable and kindest dogs in the canine world. Maltese puppies take their first steps with a ready-to-live and love attitude. They are the type of dogs that find joy in any lifestyle, be it active, relaxed, or a combination of both. They are adventurous, excited to go on hikes and to run freely, but also calm and passionate about relaxing and cuddling on the couch during the evening.

Maltese dogs are also very friendly, not only as puppies but as they grow into beautiful adult dogs. They are kind and gentle with children, well-behaved around strangers, and very social with dogs and other companion pets. Playing with chew toys and chasing/fetching toy balls are the Maltese’s favorite activities.

When it comes to their human family, Maltese puppies and dogs love big and are entirely devoted to making every family member happy. They are fantastic with children, very warm towards seniors, and very attached to their pet parents. The Maltese temperament is calm, balanced, and composed. The cute Maltese puppies have no territorial instincts, nor any aggressive behavior.  


Maltese Grooming

As dogs that tend to grow out their hair quite long, the Maltese require either daily brushing or more frequent haircuts. Long hair Maltese need their hair brushed out at least once every two days, although daily would be preferable, to help keep their coats shiny, smooth, and knot-free. For Maltese haircuts like the puppy-cut or teddy bear-cut, brushing becomes less demanding and only necessary every 3 or 4 days. The ideal time between baths should not exceed 4 to 6 weeks. Some Maltese dogs may be prone to ear infections as well as dental issues, so it is necessary to clean their ears and brush their teeth regularly. If their nails grow long enough to make sounds on the floor as they step, a nail clipping is also needed which is best done after their monthly bath.  

Maltese Exercise Needs

As a moderately active dog breed, the Maltese doesn’t have high exercise needs. Some Maltese dogs are more energetic than others, but most will find 2 or three walks enough to keep them exercised and happy. Since Maltese dogs are neither energetic nor the lazy type, a balanced daily workout with walks and games will be all they need. Indoor games of fetch or hide-and-seek, treat hunts, and fun chases, are ideal to burn off any excess energy. 

Maltese Health

Maltese dogs are a very healthy breed that rarely develops serious conditions. Although most live their entire lives illness-free, conditions like allergies, dental issues, and ear infections can be possible. To ensure your little Maltese lives a long, healthy life, make sure to provide the recommended diet, exercise, and environment.  

Maltese Life Span

The Maltese are a long-lived dog breed with an average lifespan of 14 to 16 years. Although the Maltese life expectancy is believed to be 15 years, some dogs have been known to live well past this limit. 

Maltese Training

Maltese puppies are very easy to train. They are not only exceedingly clever, but they also have a strong desire to please their owners and will do whatever it takes to meet their goal. As a general rule, Maltese puppies respond well to any reward system. They are fond of petting, words of praise, puppy-friendly treats, their favorite toys, and encouragement. Lack of patience from their trainer, a harsh approach, or the use of punishments, will most likely present negative outcomes with these sensitive puppies.

When training your Maltese puppies their basic commands, it is recommended to be consistent and to recap as often as possible. Hand signals as well as word commands followed by treat rewards will offer the best results in training Maltese puppies.  

Maltese puppies are dogs that crave any type of interaction, be it with people, dogs, and other pets. It is beneficial to begin socializing them indoors before their first walk to get them comfortable with new faces. Leash training should also begin indoors along with a recall command. Make sure your Maltese puppy is comfortable with its harness before venturing out into the world.  


The Maltese is an ancient breed of dog that has been around for many centuries, possibly even more. There have been several archeological discoveries of sculptures and statues with depictions of Maltese dogs from ancient times. As depictions of these small white dogs point to them being around in the time of pharaohs, it is entirely possible that the Maltese breed has indeed been around longer than a few centuries.

Throughout their extensive history, the Maltese dogs have been at the side of kings, emperors, and presidents. During the 1800s, in the times of kings and emperors, Maltese dogs were the favorite companion pets of royalty, most notably winning over the Ladies of the court who would wear their little “jewel” pets on their sleeve. Admirers of the Maltese breed include Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth I, and King Henry VIII. 

These cute white puppies are said to have originated in the Island of Malta off the coast of Italy. Other names the breed was commonly known as were “Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta” “Dog Melitae”. Today, the little white Maltese dogs are known as living toys. Spreading from Malta to the rest of the world, the cute Maltese puppies were met with popularity at every destination. Their skills for entertainment were discovered in France, where they proceeded to become the most famous act in the traveling circus. As they journeyed through the world, the Maltese dogs became famously known as fashion icons, champions in the show ring, therapy dogs, and cinematic stars.  

As the Maltese puppies reached the United States, they were again met with instant admiration. The breed soon joined the American Kennel Club in 1888, becoming a member of the Club’s Toy Group. As their popularity took off during the 1990s with the ever-growing demand for new dog breeds, the Maltese dogs became one of the top-selected breeds for the creation of designer dogs. The Maltese is now the parent breed of several Maltese mixes such as the Maltipoo, Morkie, Maltipom, Havamalt, Mal-Shi, and Malchi.