Pet Advisor Blog

Maltese – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Small
Weight: 6½ to 9 pounds
Height: 8 to 10 inches
Longevity: 15
Bark Tendency: High
Aggression: Low
Compatibility to other pets: High

Adopt a Maltese, Dog Breed Guide


The Maltese is a dog breed that is considered to be one of the most longest-lived dogs in the world today! Their longevity average from 15 years and most can reach a full 18 years! This is a dog breed that has changed its official name several times. It has been called the Maltese Lion Dog during the first Westminster show in the year 1877. A couple of years later at the same dog show, it was called the Maltese Skye Terrier. Then this dog breed’s name changed again to the Maltese Terrier. Today, the modern dog breed is known all over the world simply as the Maltese!

Official Name

This toy dog breed is recognized internationally as the Maltese. Some canine registries and organizations, breeders and aficionados have various official names for this toy breed including the Maltese Lion Dog, the Maltese Skye Terrier and also the Maltese Terrier.


Date – Ancient times but officially recognized as a purebred in 1888.
Country – Italy, but recognized as purebred in Malta.
Family / Group – Companion, Toy, Gun Dog, Terrier


The Maltese are a terrier that belongs to the bichon dog family. Their origins can be traced as far back as 2,000 years ago and originated in the Mediterranean regions where a lot of modern-day bichon breeds come from. Throughout history, ancient historians and scholars recorded their fascinations about this breed. The beauty of the Maltese was impressive that most Greeks found these dogs fit to join them in the afterlife. The ancient Greeks buried these dogs in well-built tombs! It reached Europe between the 16th and 17th centuries. The Maltese only arrived in North America during the later part of the 19th century.


The Maltese may be small and beautiful, but these dogs are known to be brave and fearless! These dogs will display trust and gentleness when around family and friends. When around strangers, this particular bichon dog will be showing wariness. The Maltese Terrier is a dog breed that is very affectionate. They are very playful as well. Too playful that these small dogs are prone to anxiety attacks!

Bred For

The ancient Mediterranean bred these companions’ dogs for beauty. Throughout history, the Maltese have been owned by royalty and nobility. Women of stature preferred these toy dogs because they can carry them with one arm.


The Maltese are a family pet that is an ideal apartment companion dog.


The Maltese is world-renowned for its beauty and considered one of the most high-maintenance dogs when it comes to grooming. Grooming requires high attention and should be done every day. They are the types of dogs that should be bathed regularly. The Maltese should have their hairs above their head clipped or tied in a knot to avoid getting it on their eyes. Fortunately, these dogs shed hair in little amounts to none at all. They are great dogs for owners who have allergies.


The Maltese is very easy to train and will be great companions dogs that can be taught to perform tricks!


This particular bichon dog faces various medical problems that are prone to some dog breeds coming from the Mediterranean region. Health issues to watch include liver problems, complications of the trachea, various skin allergies and even hypoglycemia. They are also known to have white shaker dog syndrome.


The small Maltese needs to be taken on short walks every day. The rest of their activity needs will be satisfied through play.



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