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maltese dog breed

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The Maltese is among the gentlest mannered of all little dogs, and its trust and responsiveness are appealing. Art objects dating back 3,000 years depict this beautiful little dog, whose breed name may derive from the island of Malta or the Sicilian town of Melita. The breed gained favor and popularity wherever it went, thanks to its affectionate, intelligent personality.

The Maltese can reach 10 inches high at the shoulder and ideally weighs 4 to 6 pounds. Its silky, pure white coat is long and hangs straight to the ground from a center part running from nose to tail. The coat needs daily brushing to stay tangle-free and frequent bathing to keep it sparkling white, even if you choose to give it a shorter pet trim. Dark eyes and pigmentation of nose, lips and eye-rims enhance the alert expression.

A fine pet for limited accommodations, the Maltese’s exercise needs are minimal. Although tiny, this breed makes a fine watchdog, barking to alert its people when strangers approach. Because of its size, the Maltese is best suited to a home with older children who can be trusted to handle it carefully.

Breed Details


Toy Group

Country of Origin:



Small Dog Breed




Long, flowing single coat


Weekly grooming.

Life Expectancy:

12 to 14 years

AKC Group:

Toy Group

UKC Group:



No height standards


4 to 7 pounds

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Posted by: Chewy Editorial

Featured Image: kajakiki/iStock