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  • Origin: Malta & Italy
  • Alternate names: Maltese Dog, Maltese lion dog
  • Size: Small
  • Life Span: 12-15 years
  • Popularity: Ranked #33 in 2017
  • Availability in India: Average
  • Avg Puppy Price in India: ₹30,000 and above
  • Dog Breed Group: Toy Group
  • Guide Dog: No

Is Maltese Good for Indians?

The Maltese come under the uncommon group of breeds to be found in India. They are not readily available by small-scale breeders and as they are a bit rare in the country, they should always be adopted or purchased from a reputable breeder. Maltese are a very good option for anyone who is looking for a small and compactly-sized dog with good adaptability, hence anyone with a small house or apartment will find the Maltese to be a perfect fit for the space available. The Maltese also are decently tolerant to hot weather conditions and can survive in the Indian climatic conditions. They do require some kind of care and protection during the summer months, but still, they thrive more effectively than some other breeds in the country.

Maltese Official Dog Breed Standards

The Maltese are categorized under the toy group of dogs as they are substantially little in size. Their whole body is covered in a silky coat with long strands of hair. Official standards for the Maltese Dog are as follows:

  • Maltese Height and Weight

As they are extremely compact in size, their physical characteristics like height and weight are nothing to boast about. They have a very tiny stature and are tremendously light-weighted. The average weight of a Maltese dog is around 2-4 kg and its height is between 7-10 inches.





2-4 kg

8-10 inch


2-4 kg

7-9 inch

  • Coat

They have no undercoat; hence they are just single coated. They have a flat and silky coat which is very long in length and hangs almost close to the ground. The long hair on the head region can be tied into a top-knot. And, their coat possesses a pure white color with sometimes a hint of light tan or lemon around the ears.

  • Body

They have a compact body with an adequately long neck which carries their head high. Their chest is fairly deep with well-sprung ribs and the back region is short. The Maltese have a plumed tail that they carry gracefully over their backs. The forequarters and hindquarters are well-boned, short and nicely feathered.

  • Head

Their head is slightly rounded, medium in size and is in proportion to the rest of their body. They have round eyes which are very dark in color and are set close to each other. The ears are set low and are heavily feathered.

  • Jaws

The Jaw region is well made with the teeth meeting in an edge-to-edge bite or in a scissors bite. The muzzle is fine, tapered and of medium length.

  • Temperament

The Maltese are very playful and active dogs. They like to play games and spend time with their owners and family members. They are very gentle and easy-going by nature, but sometimes they can be a bit snappy to small kids. They like to socialize and make new friends but they take their time to start trusting someone new. They are a little reserved at first and may seem less warm, but eventually, they become very friendly. They are also fairly intelligent and clever and thus learns new things and commands very quickly. General temperamental traits of a Maltese Dog are listed below:

  • Active
  • Responsive
  • Gentle
  • Intelligent
  • Docile
  • Playful
  • Easygoing
  • Sweet-Tempered

Maltese Dog Overview

Maltese are very famous all over the world because of their tiny size, their long coat, and their cute and endearing appearance. They are one of the most adorable dogs out there and anyone opting for a Maltese would be very happy to bring this sweet bundle of joy into their lives.

They were bred to be companion dogs. They are very frisky and happy and make an awesome all-around family pet. They have an adjusting and adapting nature and are happy with any amount of space given to them. They are quite playful and likes to play with their loved ones either in the house or outside.

They are kind and caring for their family members but it is important to teach them to be warmer towards small kids as they may get irritated and annoyed with them. They are also fairly easy to train as they like to learn new things and are quite responsive while getting trained.

Because of their easygoing attitude and excellent adaptability, they are considered to be a very good choice for the inexperienced dog owners. Overall, the Maltese are very charming and sweet-natured dogs and they know how to fill someone’s life with positivity and liveliness.

Popular Maltese Types and Colors

Officially there are no different types of a Maltese Dog, but some breeders casually classify Maltese into three different types which are Teacup Maltese, Miniature Maltese, and Toy Maltese.

Talking about the colors that a Maltese can have, then, according to official standards, they are only available in White color with some lemon or tan markings around the ears, but there are some cases of a Non-White Maltese which could be a result of cross-breeding.

Maltese Dog Breed Characteristics



Sensitivity Level


Affection Level


Potential for mouthiness




Drooling Potential


Barking Tendencies


Energy Level


Friendly towards dogs


Health Issues


Friendly towards other animals




Child Friendly




Exercise Needs


Shedding Level


Grooming Needs


Social Needs


Good for novice owners


Stranger Friendly




Watchdog Ability


Tolerates Heat


Tolerates Cold


Maltese Maintenance and Care

  • Feeding

Maltese are small sized dogs and hence must be fed in limited amounts. Overfeeding should always be avoided especially for tiny breeds like the Maltese. They should be given small amounts of food at regular intervals and must not be fed all at once. The food can be prepared at home or bought from a pet store.

  • Exercise

Maltese are quite lively and active but they require minimal exercise to be in the right shape and health. Playing with the family members inside the house for brief amounts of time or going for small walks regularly would be enough to fulfill their exercise needs.

  • Training

Maltese are fairly responsive and agreeable while getting trained. A trainer will have a fun time teaching new things to this cute pooch. But he/she must be consistent with the training schedule as it will be good for the dog’s mental growth. And, as mentioned earlier, Maltese are very intelligent and thus they can learn new commands in no time.

  • Grooming and Shedding

Maltese possess a silky white coat which is very long in length. This might make them very beautiful and cute but it also requires a lot of grooming to look that way all the time. Daily brushing of the coat with a soft brush, regular baths with a good quality shampoo, frequent brushing of teeth and occasional trimming of nails are all necessary to keep the tiny white dog neat and clean. Also, it is important to regularly check their ears for any kind of infections. Coming to their shedding potential, they only shed in limited amounts infrequently.

  • Health Issues

Maltese are generally quite healthy and have a decent life-span but they do get affected by some health-related issues. Common health problems found in the Maltese are:

  • Patellar luxation
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Portosystemic liver shunt
  • White Dog Shaker Syndrome
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Visits to the Vet

The Maltese rarely needs to visit the veterinarian’s clinic as they remain fairly healthy.

Maltese History and Background

The Maltese are considered to be quite ancient and are supposed to be one of numerous Bichon dogs found in the areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. There are many theories about their place of origin but the most prominent one states that they are from the island of Malta.

Malta is situated near the southern coast of Italy and is the inspiration behind their name. The Maltese are believed to be the descendants of the same breeds of dog that were responsible for producing the Barbet, the Poodle, and the Portuguese Water Dog.

In the olden times, they were very popular for trading purposes. People might trade goods and services for one of these tiny little white pooches. When they were exported to other parts of the world, they became very famous as companion dogs and lap dogs. They started to spread their charm and loving nature all around the world.

Later in the 1870s, they reached the United States and were instantly a hit among the masses. Their popularity gradually increased and they were registered as an official breed in the year 1888. Since, then, they are still climbing the ladder of popularity and are currently ranked #33 in the list of most popular dog breed in the whole world.