Maltese: Dog Breed Info & Facts

Country of origin: Italy
Shoulder height: 20 – 25 cm
Weight: 3 – 4 kg
Age: 14 – 15 years
Colour: white
Use: companion dog, companion dog

The Maltese are very small but robust companion dogs with long, pure white coats. It is a balanced, intelligent, and uncomplicated housemate who prefers to accompany his caregiver everywhere. It is easy to train, gets along well with other dogs and animals, and is also suitable for inexperienced dog owners.

Origin and history

The Maltese is one of the companion dogs and comes from the central Mediterranean region. The exact origin of the breed and the origin of the name have not been clearly clarified. The breed is believed to have descended from ancient lap dogs and was named after the Mediterranean islands of Melitaea or Malta.


With a size of 20 – 25 cm and a maximum weight of 4 kg, the Maltese belongs to the very small dog breeds, to the dwarf dogs. Its fur is pure white, the coat is long – mostly floor length – and has a silky structure. It has no warming undercoat. The body of the Maltese is significantly longer than it is high. The eyes are large and almost round, dark in color. The ears are almost triangular and hang sideways.

The long coat of the Maltese requires a lot of care. It should be brushed thoroughly daily and washed regularly to keep it from matting. The advantage: the Maltese do not shed.


The Maltese are lively, docile, and intelligent companion dogs. It’s alert, but not a barker. It is rather reserved towards strangers, the more he binds to his caregiver.

Due to its small body size and its uncomplicated nature, Maltese can also be kept well in the city or in a smaller apartment. It likes to go for walks but does not need any sporting challenges. Rather, he lives out his urge to move in the game. Its hunting instinct is – compared to other dog breeds – only weakly developed. Therefore, it is also easy to lead on the go and generally easy to train. Even novice dogs will have fun with the always cheerful Maltese.

It would like to have its caregiver close at all times. Therefore, it is also an ideal companion for single people or working people who can take their dogs to work.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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