Maltese

Toy Group

Maltese dog sitting in front of white background

Height at Shoulders

7-10 in

Weight

<7 lbs

Life Expectancy

12-15 yrs

History

The Maltese is believed to have been brought to the island of Malta by Phoenicians, most likely during the fourth century BCE. They were popular amongst Romans during the 4th and 5th centuries and became a status symbol and fashion statement amongst aristocrats of the Roman Empire. Women would sometimes have the dog displayed in their sleeves or bosom. After the fall of Rome, Chinese breeders kept the Maltese breed alive and refined it by crossing it with their native toy breeds.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Maltese will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★☆

★★★★★

★★☆☆☆

★★★★☆

★★★☆☆

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★☆☆

★★★★☆

★★★★☆

★☆

★☆☆

Intelligence

★★★★


Affection Towards Family

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★★★☆


Exercise Needs

★★★☆☆


Energy Level

☆☆


Sensitivity

★★★★☆


Noise Level

★★★★☆


Prey Drive

★☆


Shedding

★☆☆

Common Traits

Lively, curious, spunky, and playful

Eager to please and intelligent which makes training a breeze

Do very well living in apartments but also known to be nuisance barkers

Fearless and alert, making them great watchdogs

As a companion breed, they require lots of attention and affection and do not like to be left alone for long periods of time