Dog Breed Profile

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Maltese History

The Maltese is a small, long-haired toy dog of the Bichon type. The breed is descended from the now-extinct Spanish Water Dog, whose early ancestors originated in the Pyrenees Mountains. The Maltese is named after the Italian island Malta, and is closely related to the Bolognese, Cirneco dell’Etna, Grizzled Spitz, Havanese, and several other small dogs. The Maltese has been selectively bred over the centuries to produce an extremely loyal, loving, and affectionate companion. The Maltese is a lapdog and is typically very calm and friendly, making them great for families with young children. The origin of the name “Maltese” is disputed. Most historians believe that the name came from the word “maltese”, which means “mallow” or “small white one” in Old French. Others believe that the name “Maltese” comes from the Italian word “maltese”, which means “of Malta”. The “maltese” in “Italian maltese” refers to the island itself, not to the dog.

Time of Origin


Country of Origin



English White Terrier

Maltese Physical Characteristics

The Maltese is a small, toy breed that typically stands between 9 and 11 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 4 and 9 pounds. They have a thick, double-layer white or cream-colored coat. They have a round head with button eyes and a small, pointed nose. The ears fold over and hang down. The tail is thick at the base, tapering to a point, and is usually docked. They are sweet, loving, and sociable dogs.

Eye Colors


Nose Colors


Coat Colors


Height Range

Male Height Range: 9 – 10 inches

Female Height Range: 8 – 10 inches

Weight Range

Male Weight Range: 4 – 7 lbs

Female Weight Range: 4 – 7 lbs

Maltese Health

Description of breed health.


12-18 yrs

Maltese Health Concerns

Patent Ductus Arteriosus, Obesity, Mono/Bilateral Cryptorchidism, Hydrocephalus, Dental Disease, Portosystemic Shunt, Shaker Dog Syndrome

Maltese Temperament and Behaviour

The Maltese is an affectionate, gentle, and spunky little companion. They are the smallest of the toy breeds, but have the biggest personalities. They are very intelligent and very easily trained, and are known to be quite protective of their families. They are incredibly friendly and sociable, and get along well with everyone. Despite their small stature, they are playful and energetic, and love to play. They also love attention and affection, and are very attached to their owners.

Maltese Activity Requirements

The Maltese is a small, compact dog that is best known for its silky white coat and long, straight ears. This playful, intelligent breed can be a wonderful companion, but they can be quite demanding of attention and affection. The Maltese is a low energy pup, so they don’t require much exercise. However, they do enjoy short walks and games of fetch. They do not need a lot of space, but they do like to explore their surroundings. The Maltese is a quiet, gentle companion. They do well in small homes and with families who can provide lots of attention. They do not require a lot of exercise and may be content to sit and watch the world go by. If you are looking for a quiet lapdog, the Maltese may be the perfect companion for you.

Miles Per Day


Activity Per Day


Daily Food

1 cups

Kennel Club Recognition

American Kennel Club

Recognized by the American Kennel Club

Maltese is part of the Toy group.

Visit the American Kennel Club website.

The Kennel Club

Recognized by The Kennel Club

Maltese is part of the Toy group.

Visit the Kennel Club website.

Australian National Kennel Council

Recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council

Maltese is part of the Toy group.

Visit the Australian National Kennel Council website.

Canadian Kennel Club

Recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club

Maltese is part of the Toy group.

Visit the Canadian Kennel Club website.