Dog Breed Profile

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• High energy level
• Low exercise needs
• Very playful
• Moderately Affectionate
• Friendly towards other dogs
• Friendly around other pets
• Shy around strangers
• Fairly easy to train
• Great watchdogs
• Not very protective
• Moderate grooming requirements
• Low tolerance to heat
• Medium tolerance to cold


The Maltese is a member of the smallest group of dog breeds, but he is one that possesses a great deal of bravery. He’s full of energy but also one of the most well-mannered and gentle small breeds, while still being a playful companion for families.

Despite his lap dog tenancies, he’s also a very energetic dog breed, and will happily spend his time playing and romping about. Don’t be surprised to see the Maltese challenging dogs much larger than he is.

The Maltese has long silky hair that is flat and reaches almost to the floor, and he should have a daily brushing to ensure his coat is healthy and tangle-free.

  • Cannot be expected to live outdoors
  • Health conditions that need to be tested for are his knees and eyes
  • Grooming needs include daily brushing
  • The Maltese is a very affectionate and friendly, playful animal that is fairly easy to train
  • Has a great relationship with family members, young and old, not very protective but do make great watchdogs
  • The average size of a male is 4 to 7lbs and 9 to 10 inches tall
  • The average size of a female is 4 to 7lbs and 9 to 10 inches tall

Care & Health:

Although his coat may suggest it, he is not suited to living outdoors, but that doesn’t stop him from loving a daily walk or romp in the yard. The Maltese can easily meet his exercise needs with games indoors.

Although some dogs are clipped, they really only require a daily brush to keep their coats looking beautiful and healthy.

Major Health Concerns:

– none

Minor Health Concerns:

– patellar luxation, open fontanel, hypoglycemia, hydrocephalus, distichiasis, entropion and occasionally deafness, white shaker-dog syndrome

Test for:

– knees and eyes

Life Span:

– 12 to 14 years

Breed History:

The Maltese is one of the rare breeds that are still the same size as its original ancestors over 28 centuries ago. They have been pets to royalty around the world, and even in the 16th century they sold for $2000.

There is evidence that there are even tombs in honor of these dogs. Because of the relative isolation of the breed in Malta his lineage remained pure, but earlier versions also came in colors other than the white we see today.

In the 1300s he was popular with the elite society as a companion for ladies in England. They were never a common dog, and they neared extinction towards the end of the 1800s. A painting brought this to the attention of those who bred the dog and a few wound up in the US in 1877 at dog shows. In 1888 the Maltese was recognized by the AKC and has grown in popularity to become one of the most popular toy breeds today.

  • Family history is bichon, companion, terrier, water dog
  • Originally from Malta
  • First bred in ancient times
  • Original purpose was lap dog
  • Today they are used for companions
  • Also known as bichon Maltiase