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Country of Origin: Malta

Group: Companion and Toy Dogs

Section: Bichons and related breeds

Original Function: lap dog

Todays Function: companion

Dimension Male: 21-25 cm

Dimension Female: 20-23 cm

Weight Male: 3-4 kg

Weight Female: 3-4 kg

Litter Size: 2-4 puppies

Life span: 12-14 years

Other Names: Bichon Maltiase

Colors: White. light tan or lemon on the ears is accepted, but not desired.

Living: They are not an outside dog, as many fall victim to larger animals. their coats are also not heavy e



The Maltese is a hardy little companion dog with a luxurious silky white coat hanging straight to the ground on each side of a center part line. The coat is single, with no undercoat, and should not be wavy, curly or kinky. It should be made of shiny, thick, heavy hair which is about 8? inches (22cm.) long. The color is pure white, although light ivory is acceptable. The long pendant ears and tail are thickly covered with hair and the tail drapes over the back. The eyes are dark, round, large and deep with dark rims. The muzzle tapers slightly and should be one-third the length of the total head. It should have a black nose with open nostrils and a distinct stop. The body is slightly longer than tall with a level topline. The Maltese is fine-boned, but sturdy. A properly built Maltese seems to float along the ground under his cloud of white hair.


Long a favorite lap dog, the gentle Maltese fills this role admirably. It also has a wild side and loves to run and play. Despite its innocent look, it is bold and feisty and may challenge larger dogs. It is reserved with strangers. Some bark a lot.


The exercise requirements of the Maltese are easily met with indoor games, a romp in the yard or a short walk on leash. Despite its coat, the Maltese is not an outdoor dog. The coat needs combing every one or two days; show coats may be "wrapped" for protection. The white coat may be difficult to keep clean in some areas. Pets may be clipped for easier care, but then an essential trait of the breed is lost.


Daily combing and brushing of the long coat is important but be gentle, as the coat is very soft. Clean the eyes daily to prevent staining, and clean the beard after meals for the same reason. Bathe or dry shampoo regularly - making sure the animal is tho


Major concerns: none

Minor concerns: patellar luxation, open fontanel, hypoglycemia, hydrocephalus, distichiasis, entropion

Occasionally seen: deafness, white shaker-dog syndrome

Suggested tests: knee, (eye)