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Maltese Breed Facts and Advice

from the Gumtree Team

7 Feb 2024 4 mins read

Why get a Maltese?

The Maltese dog breed is famed for its fluffy, white coat, elegant stance, and playful temperament. As one of the more adaptable toy breeds, the Maltese is an excellent choice for apartment dwellers and those who adore small dogs. Their pint-sized stature and affectionate personality make them great companions for both individuals and families. But don’t let their delicate exterior fool you; these dogs are bold and lively, ready to participate in both agility and obedience dog sports. And if you’re looking for a small dog that’ll happily curl up on your lap after a play session, the Maltese might just be your perfect match.


Dog breed Suitability Height Weight Life Span
Toy Apartments and Larger Homes 21 – 25 cm (Male), 20 – 23 cm (Female) 3 – 4 kg 12-15 years

Maltese information

What makes Malteses special?

Maltese dogs have an illustrious history dating back over 2000 years, once gracing the lap of Roman matrons and being immortalised in Greek poetry. Renowned for their luscious white coat and playful yet elegant demeanour, the Maltese breed has won the hearts of dog lovers worldwide. Their diminutive size combined with their lively, endearing personality sets them apart from many other breeds. Their size, charisma, and pedigree all contribute to their uniqueness.

Maltese grooming and coat

The Maltese coat is one of the breed’s most striking features. Their long, silky fur, which often reaches the ground, creates an elegant and regal appearance. However, this beautiful coat does need regular grooming to prevent matting. Brushing your Maltese daily with a soft bristle brush will help keep their fur shiny and tangle-free. Though some owners prefer to keep their Maltese’s hair short for ease of care, a longer coat can be managed with regular attention. Both at-home grooming and professional services are advisable, depending on your comfort level and the time you can devote.

Maltese colours

The traditional colour of a Maltese is pure white, resembling a little snowflake, which highlights their playful yet regal character. This white coat has been a significant Maltese trait for centuries, with the American Kennel Club strictly recognising only white. However, some Malteses may have light tan or lemon hues, especially on their ears, but these are less common.

Maltese temperament and personality

With their warm, affectionate nature, Malteses are true companions who love nothing more than spending time with their humans. Known for their vivacious and cheerful disposition, Malteses have a personality much larger than their size. They are often described as fearless and brave, expressing their playful and exuberant nature in various activities. While they may have a delicate appearance, they are often fearless in the face of bigger dogs, a testament to their assertive and confident nature.

Maltese barking

Malteses are known to be expressive and communicative. They may often alert you to any new visitors or unusual sounds with their enthusiastic vocalisations. But don’t worry, their bark is more of an endearing chatter than a bothersome noise. However, early training and socialisation can help moderate their vocal tendencies, turning your Maltese into an ideal housemate.

Maltese trainability

Training a Maltese can be a joy thanks to their intelligent and eager-to-please nature. Obedience training usually goes smoothly, and many Malteses excel in dog sports like agility and rally. However, Maltese toilet training may require a little patience. Consistency, positive reinforcement, and the use of interactive dog toys can help to facilitate the training process. Their fast learning and natural agility make them a rewarding breed to train, whether for simple commands or more complex activities.

Maltese diet

When it comes to feeding your Maltese, a diet rich in high-quality protein and low in fillers is best. This breed, like many small dogs, can be prone to dental issues, so dry dog food may be preferable to keep their teeth healthy. However, it’s important to keep an eye on their weight as they can easily become overweight, especially if they’re given too many treats. Always consult with your vet for the best dietary advice, and remember, fresh water should always be readily available.

Maltese health

Malteses are generally healthy dogs, with a relatively low risk of breed-specific conditions. However, like all breeds, they are susceptible to certain health issues. Maltese breeders should screen for conditions like patellar luxation and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Regular vet check-ups and a healthy diet can contribute to the overall well-being of your Maltese.

Maltese safety

Given their small size, the safety of a Maltese is paramount. They are delicate creatures who require a gentle touch and extra care. Due to their stature, they generally have a higher risk of injury from falls or rough play.

Malteses and Children

Not to be mistaken by their small size, Malteses have a big heart for kids. Their spirited and exuberant nature combined with a loving disposition makes them excellent companions for children. Their small size makes them easy for kids to interact with, but supervision is still necessary to ensure the safety of both parties. Remember, the tiny Maltese requires gentle handling, and teaching children to treat their furry friend with respect is essential.

Maltese Lifespan

Want a faithful companion for many years to come? Maltese dogs can be your long-term pals. The average lifespan of this small dog is around 12 to 15 years. However, there are tales of Malteses living to the ripe old age of 18 or even beyond. A nutritious diet, regular exercise, and lots of love can go a long way in helping your Maltese enjoy a long, healthy life. Just like us, each Maltese is an individual and lifespan can vary, but with the right care and attention, your fluffy friend will be with you for many joy-filled years.

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