The Maltese has soft, silky hair that does not shed, and does not have many of the genetic health problems that get passed down through other breeds. They have a reputation for being the healthiest toy breed in the world.
As an adult, the toy Maltese stands less than 8 inches. Maltese are solid white sometimes with fawn or lemon markings on the ears but this usually disappears by the age of one year.
In addition, many people find the Maltese to be hypo-allergenic. This is because the Maltese has "human-like" hair that sheds minimally. For this reason, many people that are allergic to other breeds find that they are not allergic to the Maltese. 
Maltese general characteristics include: One of the brightest toy breeds, gentle and playful, craves personal attention, needs very little outdoor exercise ( perfect apartment dog ). 
Affectionate with his owners, the Maltese is quite an individualist and does not always take readily to strangers. This is a clean and fastidious breed, one that has understandably been a much loved pet with a certain refinement about them.

Coat Texture: Silky Soft 

Coat Color: Available only in white. 

Characteristics:  Maltese are excellent companion dogs. When treated well they rarely develop bad habits of biting or scratching. They're patient with children as long as the child isn't very rough with the dog. They have a tendency to bond strongly with one person, but can still be affectionate to other members in the family.

Personality:  As with all animals they each have a personality all their own, which will develop and mature when loved and cared for. 

Temperament: Gentle-mannered and affectionate, yet very alert to sound. Considering their diminutive size, the Maltese seems to be without fear. Their trust and affectionate responsiveness are very appealing. Among the gentlest mannered of all little dogs, yet lively and playful as well as vigorous.

Maintenance: Low to Medium

Health: Maltese are known to be one of the healthiest small breeds available. Very rare that they would pass down any genetic health problems.

Grooming: May be kept in a short puppy cut or long. Will need to be professionally groomed every 4 to 6 weeks. 
May be able to go up to 8 weeks if hair is shaved or cut very short.

Teeth: Teacup & Toy Dog Breeds - Must be cleaned every 12 to 16 months.

Price: Maltese & Yorkshire Terriers are a known as some of the most expensive small breeds available. 
Average price for a high quality Maltese will range from $1,500.00 to $5,000.00
Average price for high quality - Size Guaranteed Micro Tiny Teacup puppies will range from $5,00.00 to $14,000 & up during peak season. ( Christmas, Valentines, Mother's Day, Father's Day)

Life Expectancy: Up to 15 years

Travel: Loves to travel by car or airlines. Very curious of their surroundings and love riding in a car seat.

Training: Maltese are fairly easy to train because they are finicky like cats. They demand a clean environment with no odor.
They are very uncomfortable in a dirty or messy home and are known to stay in their crate or bed most of time if they are unhappy with their surroundings.

Training and socialization also play key roles in how a Maltese turns out. If you treat him like a helpless baby they are likely to end up overdependent & insecure. Treating them like an intelligent little dog and teaching them tricks and simple voice commands will encourage them to strut out into the world with self-confidence.
Very sensitive and responsive to non-forceful training, many Maltese excel in competitive obedience and agility. They train very quickly to a doggie door or puppy pad because they pick up quickly on where their potty place is located and prefer that it not be moved.
Train best with the crate training method because they demand a clean environment and will alert you when they need to go potty.
Crate training method teaches a dog to signal you and keep their home clean & dry. 
You can read more about crate training, keeping them on a schedule and the importance of consistency on our training page.

Eating Habits: Extremely picky eaters. They demand a high quality dog food, with premium taste for their picky appetite. Enjoy extra lean pieces of turkey or chicken. Have been known to go on a suicide attempt and reach the point of starvation until they become hypoglycemic if not given a food that suites their taste. 
It is important that you find a premium brand of dog food that they like at a early age, because they are not happy with cheap dog food and will let you know right from the start.

Recommended Food:  We recommend Royal Canine - Baby Dog for new puppies because it is the most flavorful dog food on the market.
If not available in your area you may also want to consider Eukanuba or Science Diet.
Maltese require a combination of vitamins and minerals that contribute to healthy skin and a shiny coat.

Exercise: Even though they enjoy daily walks, it is not required. The exercise they receive in a small apartment or house is sufficent.

Watchdog: A Maltese can be a good watch dog. Its keen nose warns it of approaching strangers.

Barking: Bark only when excited or hear a strange sound. Not yappy or high strung.