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Maltese Overview

Maltese dogs have been sitting on the laps of luxury since way before your time. Reputed as one of the oldest dog breeds, the Maltese is lovable, playful and charming. They love nothing more than getting pampered and praised by their owners. Known for their black button nose and white silky coat, the Maltese is a true show stopper. The smooth coat can be kept long or short, but whatever your preference, your pup will look like it's fresh out of the doggy salon. With round black eyes and floppy ears, their expression is both alert and gentle. They can be everything from a therapy dog to guard dog because of their affectionate yet sassy personality. Maltese will bark at strangers and their yap will likely echo throughout the house. As this can be frustrating at times, it's very important to train your puppy to set the standards. Despite their innocent nature, they’re fearless and feisty and will stand its ground to big dogs. It's a good idea to keep your eye on your Maltese while around young children even though they are usually super friendly. Maltese do well in apartments as their exercise needs are minimal. At the very least, a vigorous indoor game should suffice and chill them out for a while. They're suited for the city, country, and even your purse. Maltese need frequent trips to the groomer to clip their low-shedding, hypoallergenic coat. Their petite size but large personality makes them very versatile. Maltese can be a perfect travel companion, sleeping buddy, and fashion accessory!

Did you know?

There is a Maltese worth $2 million. When a real estate developer named Leona Helmsley died, she left $12 million to her pooch in her will. The government cut the inheritance to two million, but that didn’t stop the dog from living it up until it died in 2011.

Maltese Stats

  • Kid-Friendly Kid-Friendly

  • Good with other animals Good with other animals

  • Hypoallergenic Hypoallergenic*

  • Easy to train Easy to train

  • Therapy dog Therapy dog

  • Service dog Service dog

Popularity ranking**
7-9 in / 6-7 lbs (S)
Average lifespan
12-15 years
Activity level
When necessary
Barking level
When necessary
Coat length

Caring for your breed

Daily serving

Daily kibble serving

3-5 cups

Daily exercise

Daily exercise

2 hours


Grooming frequency

Brushed regularly

Dog Food

Feeding your Maltese

Don't overfeed your Maltese, even when it begs you with its big beaming eyes. The recommended daily amount is 1/4-1/2 cups of high-quality kibble per day. It’s important to measure the amount of food and set meal times to keep you pup from getting overweight. Some Maltese have sensitive digestion systems and can be picky eaters. You can try dry or canned food, and sometimes adding water to make the kibble softer will help your pup. If you have any questions or concerns, contact a veterinarian.


*Contrary to popular belief, there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs. There are breeds, however, that have non-shedding coats and are suited well to allergy sufferers.
**The breed popularity ranking is based on the most current ranking of the American Kennel Club (AKC)

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