Custom Search
Dog Breed Info Center(R) DBIC
Dog Breed Info Center(R)


Rescue a Maltese
Maltese Puppies for Sale

(Maltese Lion dog)

Latte the light ivory purebred Maltese at 3 years old


Find a Maltese Breeder
Place an Ad

Rescue a Maltese
List Your Rescue




The Maltese is a small, hardy dog with silky hair. The body is compact, fine-boned, but sturdy and slightly longer than it is tall with a level topline. The chest is deep. The skull is slightly rounded on the top with a moderate stop. The medium length muzzle tapers, but not to a point. The pendant, low-set ears are set close to the head and heavily feathered. The black eyes are large, round and set moderately apart with dark rims. The nose is black with open nostrils. The dog has a silky, single layer coat that is white or light ivory. When kept long and groomed like a show dog, it hangs flat, long over the sides of the body almost to the ground (about 8½ inches (22 cm)), hanging on each side of a center part line and is not wavy, curly or kinky. A lot of owners choose to cut the coat into a short, easy-care puppy cut.


The Maltese is spirited, lively and playful. Gentle, loving, trusting and devoted to its master. Highly intelligent. Good at learning tricks. Bold and quick to sound the alarm in case of suspicious noises. It is a classic companion dog: graceful and lovable. It does well with other non-canine animals and other dogs. Maltese love to play outdoors. Some like to jump in puddles. May be difficult to housebreak. If you feed them table scraps, they can become picky eaters. Do not allow these dogs to develop Small Dog Syndrome, human induced behaviors where the dog believes he is pack leader to humans. This causes a varying degree of behavior problems. If the dog believes he is boss, he can be snappish with children and even adults. Do not over-pamper or overprotect these little dogs, for they will become unstable, and some may become jealous of visitors. Maltese that are allowed to take over the house, being boss of the humans, can also develop separation anxiety, guarding and obsessive barking. These are not Maltese traits, but rather behaviors brought on by the way the dog is treated by the people around it. These behaviors will go away when the dog is surrounded by stable pack leaders.

Height, Weight

Height: Males 8 - 10 inches (21 - 25 cm) Females 8 - 9 inches (20 - 23 cm)
Weight: 6½ - 9 pounds (3 - 4 kg)

Health Problems

Prone to sunburn along the hair parting, skin, eye issues, respiratory, and slipped stifle. Some may be difficult to feed with weak, upset digestion. They may get the chills, and they experience discomfort in hot weather. Maltese should be kept out of damp areas. Also prone to teeth problems. Feeding dry dog biscuits in addition to their normal food can help the teeth stay clean and healthy.

Living Conditions

The Maltese is a good dog for apartment life. They are very active indoors and will do okay without a yard.


Maltese need a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe, open area off lead, such as a large, fenced-in yard. They remain playful well into old age. They are very active indoors.

Life Expectancy

About 15 or more years. It may live as long as 18, but it is important to keep it out of the damp.


Daily combing and brushing of the long coat is important but be gentle, as the coat is very soft. Clean the eyes daily to prevent staining, and clean the beard after meals for the same reason. Bathe or dry shampoo regularly, making sure the animal is thoroughly dry and warm afterward. Clean the ears, and pull out hair growing inside the ear canal. The eyes should be checked regularly and cleaned if necessary. The hair on the top of the head is often tied up in a topknot to keep it away from the eyes. Some pet owners opt to clip the hair short for easier and less time-consuming grooming. The Maltese sheds little to no hair and is good for allergy sufferers.


The Maltese was developed in Italy. It is said to have miniature spaniel and Poodle blood. The Maltese was first recognized as a breed in Malta, where it received its name. It was once known as "Ye ancient dogge of Malta." The breed was owned by royalty all over the world. Women carried them around in their sleeves and slept with them in their beds. They were first brought to England by Crusaders returning home from the Mediterranean. The Maltese was first recognized by the AKC in 1888.


Gun Dog, AKC Toy



CKC = Continental Kennel Club
FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale
AKC = American Kennel Club
UKC = United Kennel Club
KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club
NKC = National Kennel Club
NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club
APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
ACR = American Canine Registry

DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
ACA = American Canine Association Inc.

Jellybean the Maltese at 12 years old

Jellybean the Maltese at 12 years old


Maltese named Prince- better known as NutPup.

"Maltese named Prince, better known as NutPup, at 3 years old—"Keep your eyes on the road, NutPup.""


Lilly and Gracie the adult Maltese

Lilly and Gracie the adult Maltese


Nemo the Maltese at 1 year old. "His puppy dog face can win over anyone's heart!"

Nemo the Maltese at 1 year old—"His puppy dog face can win over anyone's heart!"


Five week old male Maltese puppy with his two year old mommy.

Five-week-old male Maltese puppy with his two-year-old mommy

5 week old male Maltese puppy.

5-week-old male Maltese puppy

Two year old Maltese female.

Two-year-old Maltese female


Lilly the Maltese puppy at 4 months old.

Lilly the Maltese puppy at 4 months old—"Lilly is a registered Maltese originally from Abbeville, GA. Lilly lives in an apartment in Knoxville and is owned and loved by a full-time college student at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. In these pictures she is about 4 months old. She is very happy in the apartment lifestyle, but loves to run and play in open, grassy areas when she can. She is very alert in the home and will "sound the alarm" if she hears anything. She loves to play with her canine roommates until they are exhausted and flop down beside each other. Lilly fulfills the void of a family for a college student and is very loving and dedicated. She loves to chew, so plenty of pencil-size rawhide chewies are essential."

Lilly the Maltese puppy at 4 months old.

Lilly the Maltese puppy at 4 months old

Lilly the Maltese.

Lilly the Maltese—"Her momma, a student at college, was "Skyping" home when she needed to step away for a couple of minutes. When she returned to the Skype session, Lilly had taken over and was talking to her grandparents who she lived with over the summer!"


Latte the light ivory purebred Maltese at 3 years old

Latte the light ivory purebred Maltese at 3 years old

Latte the light ivory purebred Maltese at 3 years old



Maltese Pictures 1

Maltese Pictures 2




Small Dogs vs. Medium and Large Dogs

Understanding Dog Behavior


Maltese Dogs: Collectable Vintage Figurines



What's New on DBIC Newsletter!

* Email

About Dog Breed Info Center®
Understanding Dog Behavior
Natural Dogmanship
What does it mean to be dominant?
Successfully Adopting a Rescue Dog
Transforming a Rescue Dog
Proper way to walk a dog
Raising a Puppy
Why did my dog do that?
Speaking Dog
Small Dog Syndrome
Dominant Behaviors in Dogs
Jumping Dogs
FAQ about dogs
Alpha Boot Camp for Dogs
The Human Dog
Ready For a Dog?
Dog Bite Survey
Dog Breed Popularity Survey
Dog Breed Quizzes
List of Dog Names
Dogs Caught in the Act
Those Amazing Dogs
Dog Care Training and More
Designer Dogs? What?
Pictures of Mixed Breed Dogs
Puppies vs. the Adult Dog
Chaining Your Puppy or Dog
So, you want to breed your dog...
Feeding Puppies and Adult Dogs
Corn in Dog Food. Really?
Collectible Vintage Figurine Dogs
Success Stories & Positive Feedback


All Breeds - Purebreds - Hybrid Dogs - Understanding Dog Behavior - Raising a Puppy - Find the Perfect Dog - Dog Breed Quizzes - Pets - All Creatures - Care Training+ - Whelping Puppies - Photos - Submit a Picture - Breeders vs. Rescues - Spike the Bulldog - Maguire Farm - Scam Warning - Privacy Policy - Contact Us - Site Updates


Successfully Adopting a Rescue Dog - Adopt a Rescue Dog


DBI Advertiser Policy - Classifieds/Breeder - Puppies for Sale



Custom Search

The Material contained herein may not be reproduced without the prior written approval of the author. Contents & Graphics Copyright © Dog Breed Info Center® (C) 1998- . All Rights Reserved. Our work is not Public Domain.