Maltese Breed Profile


KC Group Toy

Size Small

Weight Not stated in breed standard but usually around 3 - 4kg

Height Not exceeding 25cm from ground to withers

Average lifespan 14 years

Good with children? Yes

Good guard dogs? Would bark

Moulting level Heavy

Exercise requirement Little

Jogging partner Short runs

Colours Pure white, but slight lemon markings are permitted

Maltese Breed Profile

The Maltese is a merry and full of fun dog breed, and despite their appearance and reputation are lively dogs.

The enchanting Maltese has always been a companion dog, devoted to his owners. The Maltese’s love for his owners makes him a wonderful companion, but many Maltese have separation-related behaviour problems as they find coping without them very difficult indeed.

Maltese health

The Maltese is healthy and hardy but patellar luxation is known in the breed. This is a condition where the kneecap slips out of place, either temporarily or permanently. It is more common in small breeds and often treated with surgery.
There are no compulsory health tests for the breed. However, when buying a puppy you should always look for a reputable breeder. If possible, visit the breeder more than once and don't be afraid to ask questions. A good breeder will be happy to give you answers and will be just as interested in you as a potential owner. If you have any doubts, do not buy.

Maltese temperament

  • Maltese are merry and full of fun and despite their appearance and reputation are lively dogs.
  • Loving and friendly.
  • Outgoing and active.

Maltese lifestyle

  • Maltese are companion dogs who want to spend time with their families so are not recommended for those who are out all day. If given their own space to retreat to, they can be left for a few hours. 
  • They do not need lots of space and are equally at home in an apartment or a large country house.
  • Their sweet nature means they are good with children but interactions must be supervised. Their small stature means they can be injured easily if play is too rough.
  • A Maltese needs around half an hour's exercise a day. A run around the garden is sufficient but he is happy to go for longer walks too.

Maltese trainability

  • Maltese are intelligent and obedient.
  • With a regular routine they are usually easy to house-train.

Maltese general care

  • The Maltese has a soft and silky coat which requires daily grooming. The coat is naturally long but some pet owners choose to have it trimmed shorter which will mean a trip to the groomer every four to six weeks, unless you are able to do it yourself.
  • In the past, the breed used to have problems with losing their teeth early, so it is important to keep up with their dental care.
  • Maltese are prone to tear staining so their eyes need to be checked regularly and owners should try to keep them as dry as possible.


  • Faithful and genial.
  • Adaptable to different lifestyles.


  • Requires a lot of grooming.

Facts about the Maltese

  • The Maltese is regarded as one of the oldest dog breeds. It is reported that Charles Darwin placed the origin of the breed at 6,000 BC but research suggests it could have been even earlier.
  • The Maltese does not shed his coat making him a good companion for those with allergies.


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