Maltese Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Overview and more

Maltese Dog Breed Information and Pictures

Breed Overview

The Maltese is a small toy dog breed known for its luxurious white coat, graceful demeanor, and playful personality. Originating from the Central Mediterranean region, this breed has a history dating back to ancient times, often cherished by royalty and nobility. Despite their small size, Maltese dogs are sturdy and adaptable, making them great companions for various living situations. They are affectionate, friendly, and thrive on human companionship, often forming strong bonds with their owners. With their intelligence and trainability, Maltese dogs excel in obedience training and enjoy learning new tricks to showcase their lively and spirited nature.


Known for their affectionate and gentle nature, these dogs are friendly and playful with a charming personality. Maltese dogs are intelligent and social, forming strong bonds with their human companions. They are known to be good with children and other pets, making them excellent family pets. Their loving demeanor often leads to them seeking attention and cuddles from their owners. Despite their small size, they are fearless and protective when it comes to their loved ones, showcasing loyalty and devotion. Overall, their sweet temperament and adaptability make them cherished companions in any household.

Size and Appearance

The Maltese breed is characterized by its small size, typically weighing between 4 to 7 pounds and standing around 7 to 12 inches tall. With a distinctive long, straight, silky white coat that hangs down to the floor, Maltese dogs have a graceful and elegant appearance. They have a compact body with a slightly rounded skull, drop ears, and dark, alert eyes, giving them a sweet and expressive facial expression. Despite their small size, Maltese are sturdy and well-proportioned dogs, exuding an air of refinement and sophistication.

Health and Lifespan

These small dogs typically live between 12 to 15 years, but with proper care, they can live even longer. Maltese dogs are generally healthy but can be prone to certain health issues like dental problems, luxating patella, and White Dog Shaker Syndrome. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, dental care, and proper exercise are crucial for maintaining their overall health and maximizing their lifespan. Providing a loving and nurturing environment, along with early detection and treatment of any health issues, can contribute significantly to ensuring a Maltese lives a long and healthy life.

Family Compatibility

Known for their affectionate nature and love for human companionship, these small white dogs make excellent family pets. As natural cuddlers, they thrive on attention from their family members and are gentle and playful, making them great for families with children. Their adaptable nature allows them to fit seamlessly into various living environments, from apartments to larger homes. While they may require regular grooming and attention to prevent mats in their luxurious coats, their loyalty and devotion to their families make them a cherished member of any household.

Exercise Needs

Maltese dogs have moderate exercise needs, requiring daily walks and playtime to stay healthy and happy. They enjoy interactive games and mental stimulation, like puzzle toys or obedience training. Despite their small size, Maltese dogs are surprisingly energetic and agile, making them excellent companions for various activities. It's important to provide them with opportunities to burn off energy, but be cautious of overexertion due to their delicate frames. Regular, gentle exercise helps maintain their overall well-being and prevents behavioral issues that may arise from boredom or lack of physical activity.

Diet and Feeding

For the Maltese breed, it is important to provide a balanced and high-quality diet to maintain their overall health and well-being. It is recommended to feed them a diet containing lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Portion control is crucial to prevent obesity, as Maltese dogs are prone to weight gain. Fresh water should be available at all times, and treats should be given in moderation. Consulting with a veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations based on the individual dog's age, weight, activity level, and any health concerns is highly advised.
Maltese Dog Breed Information and Pictures

Living Environment

Maltese dogs thrive in indoor living environments with their owners, as they are highly affectionate and crave human companionship. They are well-suited for apartment living due to their small size and minimal exercise needs, but they also enjoy playing in a securely fenced yard. These dogs are sensitive to extreme temperatures, preferring a moderate climate. Providing them with a cozy bed, toys for mental stimulation, and regular grooming sessions will keep them happy and content. Additionally, Maltese dogs are generally well-behaved and adaptable, making them suitable for households of all sizes, including singles, couples, and families with children.


Grooming plays a crucial role in maintaining the exquisite appearance of these delightful companion dogs. The Maltese breed is known for its long, flowing white coat which requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangles. Daily brushing and combing are recommended to keep their coat in top condition. Regular baths with a gentle dog shampoo are essential to keep their fur clean and healthy. Additionally, grooming their facial area is important to prevent tear staining common in this breed. Many Maltese owners opt for professional grooming services to keep their pup looking pristine and elegant.

Training and Intelligence

Training a Maltese requires patience and consistency, as they are intelligent but can have a stubborn streak. Positive reinforcement methods work best, as they respond well to praise and treats. Keep training sessions short and engaging to hold their attention. Due to their sensitive nature, harsh discipline can be counterproductive. Early socialization is vital for Maltese to prevent excessive barking and separation anxiety. With proper training, this breed excels in obedience, agility, and even therapy work. Their intelligence and eagerness to please make them quick learners, but they can also be willful, so firm yet gentle guidance is key.

Exercise and Activity Requirements

Maltese dogs have low exercise requirements due to their small size and delicate nature. A short daily walk and some indoor playtime are usually sufficient to keep them happy and healthy. They enjoy activities such as fetch and interactive toys that engage their mind. It is important to monitor their activity levels to prevent overexertion. These dogs thrive on human companionship and are content to snuggle up with their owners, making them a great choice for apartment living or for those with limited mobility. Overall, Maltese dogs are adaptable to various living situations and are suited for both active and more laid-back lifestyles.


Proper socialization is crucial for this breed to ensure they develop into well-adjusted and confident companions. Exposing them to various people, animals, environments, and experiences from a young age helps prevent shyness or aggression. Positive reinforcement methods are recommended during socialization to build trust and a positive association with new encounters. Regularly engaging in social activities, such as supervised playdates or obedience classes, can also contribute to their social development. It is important to monitor their interactions closely and provide guidance to shape their behavior effectively.


The lifespan of this breed typically ranges from 12 to 15 years, though some individuals may live even longer with proper care. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and routine veterinary check-ups can contribute to a Maltese's longevity. It's important to monitor their dental health, manage any potential weight issues, and address any health concerns promptly to ensure a healthy and happy companion for many years. With their small size and delicate build, providing a safe environment and preventing accidents is crucial to help them live a full and active life.

Common Behavioral Issues

Common behavioral issues in this breed include separation anxiety, excessive barking, and possessiveness. Maltese dogs are known to become very attached to their owners, which can lead to destructive behaviors when left alone for extended periods. Their tendency to bark excessively can be problematic without proper training and socialization. Additionally, Maltese dogs may exhibit possessive behaviors over their toys or food, requiring consistent training and boundaries to prevent aggression. Proper socialization, positive reinforcement, and consistent training can help address and mitigate these behavioral issues in Maltese dogs.
Maltese Dog Breed Information and Pictures

Special Considerations

When considering a Maltese, keep in mind that their beautiful white coat requires daily grooming to prevent mats and tangles. They are prone to tear staining, so regular cleaning is necessary. Due to their small size, they can be easily injured by rough play or falls, so gentle handling is crucial. Socialization and training should begin early to prevent excessive barking and separation anxiety. Proper dental care is important for their dental health, as small breeds are prone to dental issues. Finally, monitor their weight closely to prevent obesity, which can lead to various health problems.

Guardian Instincts

Despite their small size and gentle appearance, these dogs possess a surprising guardian instinct. Maltese are fiercely loyal and protective of their owners and territory, and they will not hesitate to bark loudly to alert their family of any potential threats. Known for their watchful nature, Maltese will make sure to keep a close eye on their surroundings and act as a vigilant guardian. Additionally, their intelligence and quick learning abilities allow them to quickly adapt to new situations and respond effectively to any perceived dangers. Their unwavering devotion to their loved ones makes them excellent companions with a strong sense of duty to protect their family members.

Allergies and Shedding

The Maltese breed is known for being hypoallergenic due to their minimal shedding. This makes them a great choice for individuals with allergies to pet dander. Their silky white coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and to maintain their distinctive appearance. Despite their lack of shedding, Maltese dogs still require frequent brushing to prevent tangles and to keep their coat healthy and free from debris. It's important to establish a grooming routine early on to ensure the health and comfort of these adorable companions.

Cost of Ownership

The cost of owning a Maltese can vary greatly depending on factors such as breeder reputation and location. On average, initial expenses for a Maltese puppy can range from $1,000 to $3,000, including vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and supplies. Recurring costs like food, grooming, toys, and medical care may add up to around $500 to $1,000 annually. Additionally, expenses for training classes, pet insurance, and unexpected veterinary bills should also be factored in. Overall, potential owners should be prepared for an annual expenditure of $1,500 to $3,500 to ensure the well-being and happiness of their furry companion.

Availability and Adoption

Maltese dogs are a popular breed and can often be found in shelters, rescue organizations, and breed-specific rescues. Additionally, reputable breeders may occasionally have Maltese puppies available for adoption. It's important to do thorough research and choose a responsible source when adopting a Maltese to ensure the health and well-being of the dog. Many local animal shelters and rescue groups have Maltese dogs in need of loving homes, so adoption is a great option for those looking to welcome these adorable and affectionate companions into their lives.

Famous Examples

Famous examples of this beloved breed include celebrity owner Halle Berry's Maltese named 'Lola', who frequently makes public appearances and even has her own Instagram account. Additionally, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld had a Maltese named 'Choupette' who inherited a portion of his fortune upon his passing. These famous Maltese dogs showcase the breed's enduring popularity and charm in the entertainment and fashion industries.
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