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Maltese Breed

Sara Ochoa

By Dr. Sara Ochoa

Do you like a little drama?

Looking for a dog who can rock the glitz and glam?

Look no further than the Maltese!

This toy breed will turn heads and attract all kinds of attention.

Known for his beautiful, long, white coat, the Maltese is a scion of beauty.

It doesn’t matter if you are out in public or relaxing at home.

This pup will bring a higher level of elegance to everyone around him.

The breed is an ancient one.

Since the time of the Greeks, the Maltese has been known as the rich woman’s lapdog.

The breed has even been featured in many famous paintings throughout history.

However, this breed is no longer exclusive to the rich and powerful.

A loyal and loving dog, many enjoy having a Maltese as a family pet.

He is gentle with children and has the sensibilities of a watchdog.

While the breed doesn’t shed much, there is some care that goes into his well-known coat.

If you want to learn more about this beautiful pup and what it’s like to live with him, keep reading.

Let’s get started!


Maltese Appearance

The Maltese is easily recognizable by his long, elegant coat.

Historically, the breed came in many different colors but now is exclusively bred in the color white.

This is a toy breed, so this pup stands between 7 and 10 inches tall.

A healthy weight for this breed is up to 7 pounds.

Beneath all his hair, the Maltese has a compact and muscular body.

His gait is smooth and flawless.

This makes it look like the dog is a cloud floating above the ground.

Because of this, the Maltese is a favorite at dog-shows.

Besides his beautiful coat, the Maltese has incredibly expressive eyes.

His round, dark eyes will follow his family everywhere.

This pup is incredibly loyal.

Once you have gained the affection of a Maltese, you have it forever.

He loves the lapdog life and will happily chill with you.

However, the breed is energetic and needs daily exercise, as detailed below.

If you make sure to keep up with this pup’s grooming and exercise needs, he will be your devoted companion.

And you get the added benefit of a gorgeous head-turner while out in public!

The Maltese absolutely deserves his reputation as a companion of the nobility!


Maltese Personality

This pup is famous for his affection, love, and loyalty.

You might even call him fiercely loyal.

Once a Maltese has been assimilated into a family, he will be stubbornly protective of them.

It is important to know that, when meeting new people, your Maltese will be very defensive.

Experts recommend socialization training for this breed as early as possible.

This will help mitigate the Maltese’s over-protective nature.

This breed functions best with children who are 6 years old and up.

Because of how small the Maltese is, children need to be taught to be aware of where they are at all times.

The Maltese can also express aggression towards small children, as well as other pets if not properly trained.

A well-trained and adjusted Maltese will love your children and protect them from all dangers.

This breed is a perfect companion and is often trained as a therapy dog.

Whether you like to go out or stay home and chill, the Maltese will be happy just spending time with you.

He loves the lap-dog life and will not complain about extra cuddles.

But don’t be fooled!

Your Maltese is a bold little defender, so don’t be surprised when he shows watchdog tendencies.

These include barking at disturbances and actively protecting his family.


Maltese Exercise

While the Maltese is a wonderful lapdog, he does have a significant amount of energy.

In addition, this pup is liable to unhealthy weight-gain if not exercised properly.

Ideally, your Maltese should be, at most, around 7 pounds.

They don’t really need that much exercise.

Usually around 10-20 minutes daily is enough to keep your pup a healthy weight.

You can take your Maltese out for a walk or to play at a dog-park.

Just make sure you choose a small-dog dog-park.

The Maltese forgets his own size and will try to command authority even over large dogs.

The Maltese is small and doesn’t require a lot of exercise.

This makes them the perfect apartment dog.

Your pup can even get plenty of exercise inside the house if you are unable to get outside.

As always, having a small, fenced-in yard would be ideal.

But with this breed, it isn’t absolutely necessary.

Your Maltese will be happiest spending time with you.

Making sure he gets his daily exercise will only make him more contented.

Your pup will be a loyal and energetic companion in any adventure you choose to undertake!


Maltese Grooming

Don’t be scared off by the Maltese’s luxurious coat!

If you give your pup daily love and care, his beautiful coat isn’t difficult to keep up with!

The coat of the Maltese continuously grows, but sheds little.

You can trim it short, but it will still require the same amount of care as the more popular long coat.

Because the texture of his hair is so fine, it tangles and mats very easily.

Experts recommend that you gently comb and brush your pup daily.

In addition, your pup’s coat will pick up dirt and debris relatively easily.

It is important to wash him once a week to prevent a buildup of dirt.

This helps your Maltese to maintain his dapper appearance.

This breed is known to have fast-growing nails.

You should plan on trimming them at least once a week.

Don’t be surprised if you end up trimming your Maltese’s nails twice a week.

Tear stains are common with the Maltese.

You can find products at your local pet store to help remove tear stains.

Finally, dental hygiene is important for this breed.

Ask your veterinarian for their recommended dental care products.

With some time and effort, your pup will be happy and attractive!


Maltese Training

The best way to approach training a Maltese is when he is as young as possible.

This breed is headstrong and knows what he wants.

Early training and socialization will build the skills necessary for good interactions later.

Positive reinforcement and treats are huge motivators for the Maltese.

Just be careful not to overdo the treats.

It’s important to cognizant of your pup’s weight when using treats for training!

This breed gets overprotective and vocal when exposed to new people and animals.

It is extra important to socialize your pup and teach him to be calm in new situations.

The Maltese is an incredibly loyal dog who will become strongly attached to his family.

This can lead to severe separation anxiety if your pup is left alone for long periods of time.

Experts recommend this breed to families where there is usually at least one person home at all times.

This will help prevent your dog from becoming anxious.

It could also help if your Maltese is barking excessively.

Barking can be a symptom of stress and anxiety.

Providing a constant presence for your dog can remove some of that separation anxiety.


Maltese Health

The Maltese is a generally healthy breed and has an impressive lifespan of 12-15 years.

However, there are some hereditary health issues your pup may be prone to.

There are tests for luxating patella and patent ductus arteriosus.

Do not hesitate to ask your breeder if your pup has been tested for these conditions.

The Maltese can be a picky eater.

Ask your veterinarian what food he recommends for this breed.

Most Maltese owners opt to feed their pup two meals a day.

As always, keep your pup’s health in mind.

Be sure to feed him a healthy amount.

Over and under-feeding are both an issue.

Do not hesitate to ask questions of your veterinarian to make sure your pup is receiving all the nutrients he requires.

Finally, Maltese do love children.

But is best to wait until your kids are old enough to know how to be gentle with your dog.

This breed is very small.

There is risk of injury when around young children who don’t know how to be gentle.

It is also important that you don’t allow your Maltese to jump down from tall heights.

Your pup’s delicate bone-structure won’t be able to take the jarring force.

Protect your pup’s health and safety and you’ll have a loving companion for years to come!


Maltese History

The Maltese has an ancient and prestigious background.

It is widely thought that the Maltese was introduced to Malta by the Phoenicians.

This was before the Greeks rose to power.

The Greeks were fascinated by this beautiful pup.

The philosopher Aristotle refers to the breed as being ‘perfectly proportioned’.

Following on the heels of the Greeks, the Maltese became a status-symbol in the Roman Empire.

A wealthy Roman woman would not be seen in public without her Maltese pup.

After Rome fell, the European Dark Ages might have spelled extinction for the Maltese.

However, the Chinese fell in love with and preserved the breed for hundreds of years.

Once the Maltese made his way back to the Mediterranean and Europe, he instantly became popular.

He became a regular companion of royalty, often being featured in paintings of nobles throughout Europe.

The breed has been a part of dog shows since the first one in the late 19th century.

He remains a staple in every dog show since.

Since the 1950’s the breed has been booming and his popularity only continues to grow.

The Maltese is truly a scion of history and elegance.

Where Can I Find Maltese Puppies?

The most important step is to find a reliable and reputable breeder.

Avoid puppy mills and internet scams by confirming the credentials of your breeder.

You want to make sure that your puppy was raised in a loving and ethical home.

A trustworthy breeder will be more than happy to provide any paperwork you ask for.

When looking for a puppy, you should always ask for his medical history and his breeding record.

This paperwork should be available to anyone who is interested in a puppy.

If your breeder refuses to allow you access, they might not be a legitimate breeder.

Several of the medical conditions that Maltese are prone to can be tested for.

Always double check that your puppy has been tested for these conditions.

Personality is important.

You want to make sure that your puppy will interact well with your family.

Most breeders will have a personality quiz that you can take.

This will help them to match you with the right puppy.

If you are able to visit the breeder and interact with the puppies in person, that is even better!

Take the time to really consider your decision.

In the end, both you and your puppy will be the happier for it!


Q: Are Maltese good apartment dogs?
A: Yes! They are toy-sized and don’t need a lot of exercise! In fact, they can get all the exercise they need just by playing inside.

Q: Do Maltese bark a lot?
A: This breed barks a medium amount, and is most vocal when interacting with new people, animals, or situations. Early socialization training can help mitigate barking.

Q: Are Maltese good with children?
A: This breed interacts better with older children who understand the need to be gentle. His small size means that young children may accidentally hurt your pup.

Q: Is this breed good with other animals?
A: Typically, no. With early and continuing socialization training, your Maltese can become comfortable with other animals, but that is not his default.

Q: Does the Maltese require a lot of grooming?
A: Yes, he requires a daily amount of grooming. However, if you ensure to keep up with it, grooming your Maltese won’t be too time-consuming.

In Closing


So, what do you think of this breed?

The Maltese is a wonderful companion.

He is well-suited for apartment life.

He will adore you and do everything with you.

Does he sound like the perfect dog to you?

Then check out these Maltese Puppies for sale today!

And thank you for learning about this beautiful breed with me!

Until next time!


American Kennel Club. (2022, 1 18). Maltese. Retrieved from American Kennel Club:

Daily Paws. (2022, 1 18). Maltese. Retrieved from Daily Paws:

Dogtime. (2022, 1 18). Maltese. Retrieved from Dogtime:

Hill’s Pet. (2022, 1 18). Maltese. Retrieved from Hill’s Pet:

The Spruce Pets. (2022, 1 18). Maltese. Retrieved from The Spruce Pets:

Picture of author Dr. Sara Ochoa in her scrubs with a cute dogSara Ochoa, DVM is an expert veterinarian ready to help you give your dog an amazing life. Stationed in East Texas, Dr. Ochoa specializes in small and/or exotic animals. She’s currently loving life alongside her husband Greg and their three fur babies: Ruby the Schnoodle, Monkey the tortoise, and Oliver James (affectionately dubbed “OJ”) the cat.

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