Best family
Best guard
Kid friendly
Best watch
Easy to train
Low shedding
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Maltese PictureMaltese Picture
Breed Information
Popularity 2016: #332015: #312014: #29
Name Maltese
Other names Maltese Dog, Maltese lion dog
Origin Italy Malta
Breed Group Toy (AKC:1888)Companion Breed & Show Breed (UKC)
Size Small
Type Purebred
Life span 15-18 years
Temperament ActiveDocileEasygoingGentleIntelligentPlayfulResponsiveSweet-Tempered
Height Male: 8-10 inches (21-25 cm)Female: 8-9 inches (20-23 cm)
Weight 6.5-9 pounds (3-4 kg)
Colors White
Litter Size 3-5 puppies
Puppy Price Average $600 - $800 USD
Breed Characteristics
Adaptability 5 stars
Apartment Friendly 5 starsThe Maltese is a good dog for apartment life. They are very active indoors and will do okay without a yard.
Barking Tendencies 5 starsFrequent
Cat Friendly 5 stars
Child Friendly 4 starsGood with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.
Dog Friendly 5 stars
Exercise Needs 1 starsThe Maltese does not require a great amount of exercise. It can have its needs met by indoor play and activities, and enjoys playing chase.
Grooming 3 starsModerate Maintenance: Beyond regular weekly grooming the occasional bath will keep them clean and looking their best. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your pet. Their strong fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.
Health Issues 3 starsHypoallergenic: Yes
Intelligence 4 starsThey are ranked 59th out of 79 in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs which indexes obedience and the ability of a dog breed to follow commands, with very light focus on skills seen outside of working breeds, such as emotional intelligence.Ranking: #59. (See All Rankings)
Playfulness 3 stars
Shedding Level 1 starsMinimal Shedding: This dog will shed a negligible amount. Recommended for owners who do not want to deal with dog hair in their cars and homes.
Stranger Friendly 5 stars
Trainability 2 starsDifficult Training: Encouragement rather than harsh words should always be used when training the Maltese. They are very sensitive. Maltese are very difficult to housebreak and may need to be paper or box trained.
Watchdog Ability 3 stars
Maltese Puppy PictureMaltese Puppy Picture
Puppy Names
Rank Male Female
01 Charlie Lucy
02 Buddy Ellie
03 Toby Molly
04 Gizmo Lola
05 Teddy Kona
06 Oliver Piper
07 Harley Lilly
08 Jake Penny
09 Bruno Sadie
10 Diesel Annie
See All Names ›

Even though the breed is known for its coat, its body structure, facial expression and overall carriage are essential components of the type. The Maltese is a diminutive dog with a compact, square body, covered all over with long, flat, silky, white hair hanging almost to the ground. The expression is gentle yet alert. It is a vigorous dog, with a jaunty, smooth, flowing gait. The well-built Maltese seems to float over the ground when trotting.

They are one of the most gentle mannered of all little dogs, but are also full of energy and very playful, making them great family dogs. Maltese are highly intelligent and know very well how to use their charm to get their way. If given the chance, they become easily spoiled. This isn’t a problem for dog savvy owners, but many pet owners will give in, often resulting in a pet with poor manners. It is not recommended that Maltese go to homes with young children, where as tiny puppies, there is the possibility of being stepped on or dropped by a child.

The Maltese, one of the many Bichon breeds indigenous to the areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, is believed to be as much as 2,000 years old. It is of spaniel origin, descending from the same stock that produced the Portuguese Water Dog, the Barbet and the Poodle. The breed was prized for its beauty and companionship, especially by women. The Maltese was first recognized by the AKC in 1888.