Maltese Puppies

Photo of Maltese

A playful, sweet, and popular family dog

The Maltese is an energetic tiny bundle of energy. For generations, owners have been enchanted by this toy breed's lively, cheerful demeanor. Maltese are popular as family pets because they are so loving and sociable.

Maltese At a Glance

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Maltese At a Glance

  • Size: 8"-10", 4-7 lbs.
  • Lifespan: 10-14 years
  • Energy Level: medium
  • Coat: Long, silky, and wavy
  • Shedding: light
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Dog Group: Toy
  • Common Nicknames:

Maltese Breed Guide

Learn More About Maltese

  • Temperament

    Maltese are playful, affectionate, and gentle companions with a sweet nature. They are very social dogs that are eager to make friends with just about anyone, whether human or animal. Because of their people-oriented nature, Maltese take well to training. They love to please their owners and respond well to reward-based training and positive reinforcements. These dogs love being the center of attention and have a way of putting a smile on anyone who interacts with them. While lively, the Maltese do not need vigorous exercise and they are perfectly content to spend the day by their owner's side (or on their lap).

  • Health

    The Maltese is a healthy breed with few health issues but could be subject to Patellar Luxation, Porosystemic Liver Shunt, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Hypoglycemia, White Dog Shaker Syndrome, Collapsed Tachea, or Reverse Sneezing.

  • Activity Level

    Despite the fact that Maltese are reasonably energetic dogs, a walk around the neighborhood or a play session in a fenced yard is typically enough to tire them out. These smart dogs also benefit from frequent mental stimulation, like games and dog puzzles.

  • Grooming

    A Maltese coat can be kept at a variety of lengths, but at any length it should be brushed daily with a pin brush. Once a week, using a slicker brush will clean out any dirt. Bathe every 6 weeks or so, any more and you'll risk damaging their skin. Regular brushing should do a good enough job of keeping their pure white fur white, anyway. To prevent tear staining, you can also wipe down their face when brushing each day.

  • Shedding

    The Maltese's long silky coat lacks an undercoat, which means it sheds less than many dogs. But, it does require a lot of upkeep.

  • Appearance

    The Maltese is a small breed with a compact body and lots of pep in its step. These dogs are known for their long, silky coats that almost reach the floor. The Maltese's fur is usually all white, but light tan on the ears is possible.

  • History

    The Maltese is one of the oldest toy breeds and historic records of the breed date all the way back to ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt. However, the Maltese's exact origin is unclear. The most widely-believed theory is that the Maltese originated on the Isle of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. Malta was a trading port, and these dogs were among the variety of goods being exported from the island. During the 15th century, the Maltese appeared in other parts of Europe, like England and France. In both countries, the breed became a favorite among the nobility, including Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria. Despite its extensive history, the Maltese did not appear in America until the late 19th century, and the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed in 1888.