Learn About Maltese Dogs

Maltese dogs are spunky little dogs with a luxurious long white coat. This toy breed can make a loving companion but don’t let size fool you as they are also full of energy! They typically bond to 1 person and will be a devoted pet. They are very smart and can learn tricks easily but care must be taken not to overprotect or overindulge your little fur ball as this can cause them to become jealous. Take care with your small dog around children as they can be rough on little dogs and your Maltese may get a bit snappish. They have a keen sense of smell and can be a good watch dog.

Breed Specifics

This toy breed should have a pure white coat of long hair (about 8″ long). Pure white is the standard color, although ivory is also acceptable. Maltese dogs should be 8 to 10 inches tall for males and 8 to 9 inches for females. Acceptable weight is 6 1/2 to 9 pounds. They live to be around 15 years old.


Maltese dogs are an ancient breed and their image has been found on ancient Greek and Roman vases, although the breed goes back much farther than that. In 1600’s England these little dogs were much loved by upper class ladies who were rumored to carry them in their sleeves! They were recognized buy the AKC in 1888.

Medical Concerns

Maltese dogs are pretty hardy for a small breed. They should be kept out of the damp weather. The love to go outside, but take care to keep them shaded as they can get sunburned along the part of their hair. Like many small breads, they can develop respiratory problems, eye problems and problems with their teeth. They are sensitive to extremes in weather.

Grooming and Care

Maltese dogs have a long white coat which doesn’t shed much but will require daily brushing and frequent washing especially if your dog goes outside. Tear staining can happen easily so the fur around their eyes needs to be cleaned daily as well. Their beard should be cleaned after they eat to prevent food staining. Typical grooming of their nails is also necessary as for any small dog.

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