Description Maltese

Playful, Active, Intelligent
Maltese are an ancient breed of dog. Their traces can be traced back four thousand years to the empire of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs. Often derided today as a lap dog, there is a lot more to the little bundles of energy than the cute exterior would initially suggest. Maltese are sincere and very dignified little dogs, yet easygoing and lovable to deal with.FCI group: Companion dogs

  • Size: Small
  • Weight: 3-4kg
  • Life expectancy: 18 years
  • Coat type: long hair
  • Colours: white

Character Maltese

Maltese are very easily recognized by their long, silky, pure white coat . The dark-rimmed eyes and the black button nose give him his typical appearance. Off-white or greyish color types are rare. Yellow highlights do occur, but are not desired by the breed standard. If left untrimmed, the fur will grow straight down to the ground.

With a shoulder height of 20 to 25 cm, the Maltese belongs to the dwarf dog breeds. The breed standard stipulates that the body length must exceed the height at the withers. The weight is 4 to 5 kg.
However, the Maltese is not a pure lap dog. He is active, loves exercise and lots of short walks.

Due to its sociable nature and handy size, it is an ideal companion for older people. Once a day, the Maltese really wants to work out. Long walks with the opportunity to run freely, dog play groups or extended play times at home are suitable for this .
Maltese dogs are considered to be extremely smart, eager to learn and affectionate. Dog sports such as agility , dog dancing or tracking are possible with him.

The hunting instinct in the open field is moderate. Maltese love to playfully pick out small tracks and rummage about them. You can make him happy with hidden toys or treats.
Maltese are also suitable as an apartment dog for the city and for individuals. He has a centuries-old history as a companion dog and forms very close bonds.

He should n’t be left to his own devices for too long. Boredom and loneliness can make a Maltese aggressive. If you have little time for your dog, a second caregiver is a good solution. Dog sitters are suitable for this or you share your dog with a loving person of your choice.
Maltese have a very long life expectancy.

The average is 18 years, some even reach the age of more than 20 years.

Diet Maltese

As with all small dog breeds, needs-based feeding is a big issue. Conventional dry dog ​​food may not always be the right thing for the little ones. The croquettes are often too big and the Maltese cannot break them up with its delicate teeth. Chewing or reward food is also available in mini versions in well-stocked specialist shops.
Always take a good look at the ingredients before you decide on a food.

Veterinarians recommend foods that contain enough high-quality protein . Types of food with a lot of muscle meat are ideal . You should refrain from feed that mainly consists of animal meal and fats. You don’t have to do without grain completely. Dogs are perfectly capable of digesting carbohydrates.

Again, you should pay attention to the source of the herbal ingredients.
On the wet food shelf you will always find bowls and pate specially tailored to the needs of small dogs. The package sizes are adjusted and the chunks or pieces of meat in the food are not too big and easy to bite. Pay attention to the sugar content of wet food . Sometimes this is disguised as dextrose, sucrose, glucose syrup or grape sweetener.

If there are more types of sugar among the first three to four ingredients, that is too much. Sugar not only damages the teeth, it provides the dog with the wrong energy and makes it fat.
Neutered or older Maltese are particularly prone to gaining weight quickly. Check the rations regularly and adjust them if necessary. If you change a type of food you should have a special eye on the weight of your dog.

The food can often differ significantly in how it affects your dog with the same amount.


Due to the long coat, the Maltese is a bit more complex to care for. However, brushing and styling shouldn’t be a chore, it should be fun for both. If you do not want your dog to have floor-length fur, you must trim it regularly or take it to a dog groomer.
Comb your Maltese’s coat regularly and thoroughly. Dirt, plant parts or other foreign bodies are removed by grooming .

These foreign bodies quickly cause knots in fur that has been worn for a long time. Long hair also tends to tangle under the armpits and other points of movement. A coat care spray can help in such areas . These care products make the hair easy to comb and impregnate it against dirt.
The best coat care is also a healthy and balanced diet.

You can quickly see from your dog’s fur whether it is being supplied with sufficient vitamins and vital substances. If it is nice and silky and falls loosely, then everything is fine. A deficiency shows in a greasy or dull and matted coat.
The facial and head hair of the Maltese dog also requires your special attention. Head and facial hair can fall into the eyes and irritate them.

Overall, Maltese tend to shed tears . You should remove these regularly, as the remains of the tear fluid leave unsightly reddish-brown spots on the fur.
You can get help with the care of facial hair in the dog salon. You can also have them show you how to groom your dog yourself. Beautiful hair clips are suitable for taming facial hair .


The breed name leads to the assumption that the dogs come from the Mediterranean island of Malta. That doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Rather, the name “Maltese” derives from the Semitic word “malat” for port or refuge . The ancestors of the Maltese lived in the port and coastal towns around the central Mediterranean. Definitely also in Malta but not exclusively.

Their task in the port facilities was to track down rats and mice. They kept camps clean and spread through the shipping and trade routes.
To this day, traveling is in the Maltese’s blood. Taking it with you on longer vacation trips is not a problem. Dogs prefer to accompany masters and mistresses instead of having to do without their people in a kennel.

In the 4th century BC, the Greek naturalist Aristotle described the “canes malitenses”. The history of the Maltese probably goes back much further. In the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II (1301 to 1225 BC) there were dog statues made of natural stone very similar to the Maltese.
Much later, in ancient Rome , the small white dogs appeared as popular companions of noble society ladies . The well-known Roman poet Strabo sang about the pride of animals and the beauty of their owners.

Over the centuries, the Maltese was to further consolidate its status as a dog of the finer circles . Well-known works of art of the Renaissance depict Maltese at the side of fine gentlemen and ladies. Today they are distributed worldwide and in a variety of breeding lines.

Maltese Accessories

For your Maltese you need accessories in small sizes. Normally, all common products for small dogs should also be suitable for your Maltese. You can certainly take your Maltese with you to almost any shop to try it on. If you order accessories on the Internet, you should pay attention to convenient exchange and return modalities.
Instead of a collar, Maltese also gratefully accept a chic harness that relieves the neck a little.

With harnesses, always make sure that the width of the chest part is also adjustable. At the vet or when traveling, the slightly tighter harness is safer.
To care for your dog, you should get the right brushes, combs or even a soft grooming glove. Occasionally, Maltese dogs may need their claws clipped. You can also do this yourself.

Special safety scissors are available at affordable prices in the accessories store.

6.5Expert Score
Breed characteristics

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