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Breed Profile: Maltese


Maltese Dog Breed Photo - Picture of a Maltese Dog Photo © iStockphoto.com/Andrey Medvedev




The Maltese can be traced back over 28 centuries and an ancient breed of Malta. It has been known to be a prized companion of royalty over the years. Unlike many small breeds, the Maltese was not bred down from larger sizes - it has always been a very small dog.

The Maltese has remained a dog breed of distinction - highly esteemed and quite sought-after. Towards the late 1800s, the Maltese was introduced to the US and was officially recognized by the AKC in 1888. The breed has remained relatively popular to this day.


4-7 pounds



Health Problems:

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:

About the Breed:

The Maltese is a small, refined and energetic dog with long, soft white hair. Many owners choose to keep the hair trimmed short and it takes on a wavy and fluffy quality; others keep the coat long and flowing. This dog breed is intelligent and compact making it a conveniently portable little dog.

The Maltese is just one of many dogs thought to be hypoallergenic dog breeds. However, because of its coat type, routine grooming is an absolute necessity. The Maltese should be brushed out thoroughly every 1-2 days and haircuts are typically necessary every few weeks.

Like all dogs, the Maltese can benefit from basic obedience training. The breed is smart and therefore a quick learner. Some feel that the Maltese has an endearing stubborn streak and can be a little on the vocal side.

An active little dog, the Maltese should get daily exercise. The breed is a brave and joyful toy dog, making it a wonderful companion for most households. The Maltese is also rather gentle, making it an appropriate choice as a pet for most children (specifically older kids).

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