Breed Highlight: Maltese


The Maltese is the quintessential lap dog. This breed is extremely lovable and playful. It enjoys nothing more than being pampered and praised by its owner. We will discuss this breed to help you determine if it is ideal for you and your family.

The Maltese

Vital Stats of Maltese


The following are vital stats of Maltese:

  • Dog breed group: Toy
  • Height: 8 to 10 inches at the shoulder
  • Weight: 4 to 7 pounds
  • Lifespan: 15 to 18 years

Physical Characteristics of Maltese

The Maltese is a toy dog breed that has a compact and square body. It is entirely covered with silky, long, flat and white hair. If you allow, it will grow to full length, hanging nearly to the ground. The Maltese expression is both alert and gentle. As a vigorous breed, this dog moves with a smooth, lively and flowing gait. It may even appear as the dog is actually floating on the ground when it is trotting.

This breed is delicate with round, black eyes and ears that are dropped. Meanwhile, its tail is long and caries over the bag. Their coat is typically pure white, though is sometimes a light tan or lemon hue on the ears.

Care for Maltese


You can meet the exercise needs of the Maltese with a romp in the courtyard, a short leash-led walk, or vigorous indoor games.

For easier maintenance, you can clip its coat. Their coat also requires combing on alternating days and needs special grooming attention.

Typically, this breed is unsuitable as an outdoor dog but care fare well in either the city or the country.

Health of Maltese

Similar to any other breed, the Maltese is prone to specific health problems. Most small dogs have health problems related to their size, some genetic and others acquired. Tiny puppies are fragile, and have problems keeping their blood sugar levels up.

As adults, the tracheal cartilage of some tiny dogs can weaken, resulting in narrowing of the main airway. This can cause difficulty breathing and makes it difficult for the breed to wear any kind of collar. The small, crowded mouth of this breed makes them prone to periodontal disease, and their kneecaps tend to pop easily out of place, a condition called luxating patellas.

Other common health problems in the Maltese include the following:

  • deafness
  • shaker system
  • hydrocephalus
  • open fontanel
  • hypoglycemia
  • distichiasis
  • entropion
  • hypothyroidism
  • portacaval shunt

History of Maltese


To the Greeks and Romans, this breed was known as the Melitaie. These little white dogs were popular as trade goods in ancient times. From its homeland in Malta, the Maltese went everywhere, spreading his charm and beauty. This dog adorned the laps of Roman ladies and figured in art and poetry. A pair of Maltese were presented to the emperor of China by the Holy Roman Emperor. Eventually, this breed was known throughout Europe, having the reputation as a “comforter dog,” about to heal the sick. Even more, this dog gathered fleas and kept them off the wealthy ladies in whose household it lived.

The Maltese was not known in the U.S. until the 1870s. The American Kennel Club registered the first Maltese in 1888. Since then, the breed’s popularity has increased significantly. Currently, the Maltese ranks 22nd among the breeds registered by the AKC.


For more information on the Maltese or other dog breeds, don’t hesitate to contact us here at All Pets Veterinary Medical Center with the link below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *