Breed Information: Maltese

Breed Description: The Maltese is one of the oldest and hardiest of the toy breeds. Its small, elegant body is covered with a silky white coat that is contrasted by dark eyes and a black nose. This breed has courage and an acute sense of hearing, which makes it a good watch dog. The Maltese has a playful and affectionate demeanor that makes him a wonderful companion.

Group: Toy Group.

Purpose of Breed: Ratting, Companionship

Country of Origin: Malta.

Average Size: Range from 9 inches to 10 inches and 4 to 6 pounds. Color(s):Typically white, but beige and lemon markings are sometimes seen.

Coat Type: Very long (floor length), silky and dense.

Grooming: The coat of the Maltese takes considerable care and must be brushed daily and kept dry to prevent matting. This breed requires standard care for pads and nails. Ears and eyes need to be cleaned and examined frequently.

Exercise Needs: The Maltese needs moderate amounts of exercise and adapts very well to apartment living.

Temperament: The Maltese is an intelligent little dog with a charming personality. They are outgoing and lively and make wonderful lap dogs. This affectionate breed is a good choice for the elderly, but may not be suitable for young children prone to rough-housing. The Maltese is friendly and alert. It is naturally suspicious of strangers and makes a good watch dog.


Common Ailments: Susceptible to eye problems and patellar luxation.

Life Expectancy: Averages 12-14 years.

Trivia: The ancient Greeks erected tombs to honor their Maltese.

More Information: American Maltese Association, Inc.


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