Lively, affectionate, and highly intelligent, Malteses make excellent companion dogs.

About the Maltese

Maltese dogs are gentle and friendly, and will greet new people with confidence. Over the centuries they have been bred as companions and are never happier than when sitting in the lap of their owner.

Despite the name, Malteses are not from Malta at all. The word is derived from a word in one of the Semitic languages for haven or harbor, which just happens to be at the root of the word Malta too.

Source: key facts and characteristics sourced from Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)

Breed specifics

FCI Group 9, AKC Toy Group
Size category
Very small
Avg life expectancy
12–15 years

Lively / Loving / Calm / Intelligent

Key facts

  • Yard not essential
  • Requires a lot of grooming
  • Needs little exercise

A Maltese's life story

Find out more about the intelligent Maltese in each stage of their life.

Up to 10 months

Maltese puppy

Maltese puppies are loving, sociable and lively, with a naturally energetic character that belies their delicate appearance. Care must be taken in their first year to set ground rules and fully socialize a Maltese puppy so they begin to understand their boundaries and grow into well-rounded and obedient adults.
Maltese puppy standing


Start training from an early age to take advantage of the Maltese puppy's natural predisposition and capacity for learning.

Ensuring your dog is well-socialized and understands the basic rules of life from a young age will significantly impact their well-being and behavior in adult life. 

As very intelligent puppies, Malteses can prove to be a little stubborn during training, but with positive reinforcement and plenty of repetition, they will get there in the end.
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From 10 months

Maltese adult

Adult Malteses are extremely adaptable and will happily assimilate to life in the city with single owners, couples or families. That being said, adult Malteses don't like to be left alone for long periods of time, and so are best suited to people who spend a lot of time at home.
8 - 10 in Height
7 - 9 lb Weight
8 - 9 in Height
7 - 9 lb Weight
Maltese adult sitting down

Maltese health

It is important to know how to properly care for a Maltese to ensure they are healthy and happy in every stage of their life. As they age, their sensitivities can include patellar luxation. 
Maltese senior lying down looking away


Maltese dogs are considered aging when they reach 12 years old. With age, your Maltese may experience some hearing loss and vision impairment.

This is common in older dogs but will impact their lifestyle and how much they are able to do. You may also notice reduced motivation to exercise, often due to stiffer joints, so it is important to make sure your aging dog is kept comfortable to ease any joint pains.
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Tailored nutrition for your Maltese

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A healthy start to life

Puppyhood is a time of massive physical and behavioral change, and a steep learning curve for new owners. Find out how you can provide your puppy with the best start to life so they develop into strong, healthy dogs.

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Lifetime of health

Get advice and information on how to provide the best care for your dog at every stage of life.

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