We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Maltese?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The Maltese, sometimes called a Maltie, is a small white lap dog that has been bred as a companion breed for literally over a thousand years. The Maltese results from a cross between the Bichon Frise and the Poodle, and is prized for its intelligence, its low-shed coat, and the ease at which the dog can be trained. Some people now train Maltese as visiting dogs to hospitals and convalescent homes, where their small size and hypoallergenic coat make them quite welcome to patients. Their ability to be affectionate with new people makes them valuable assets as visiting or therapy dogs.

Maltese are quite small—at full size the largest Maltese may weigh about 10 pounds (4.54 kg). Some are significantly smaller than this size, with weights as low as three to four pounds (1.36-1.81kg). Concern exists about Maltese that are very small, as females may have difficulty bearing pups, and in general, the small size may indicate poor health or overbreeding.

The dog should appear pure white, with a black button nose and dark brown eyes. The coat of the Maltese is very long, the upper parts extending past the feet. Many owners who have a Maltese for companionship don’t relish the daily coat care and simply have the dogs groomed with a short puppy cut. When they have the shorter cut, Malties greatly resemble their ancestor the Bichon Frise.

Like most white dogs, Maltese dogs are prone to tear-staining, small dark brown spots that appear below the eyes. Wiping the eyes once a day can help reduce this issue though it may not completely eliminate it. Using bleach to remove tear staining is not recommended since it can damage the dog’s eyes.

Maltese are known for their easy companionship, and they have been owned by many historical figures in the past. Queen Elizabeth I, Marie Antoinette and Queen Victoria all owned at least one Maltese. They were sometimes called Roman’s ladies dogs of old, since Roman women might carry the dog in large bell sleeves. Maltese thrive on companionship; it’s simply in their nature to be social. They therefore need pretty constant companionship and are not a good dog choice for people who are often away from home.

There’s some debate about the suitability of the Maltese temperament in homes with children. One concern is that the small size of the dog could make them prone to injury if a child accidentally trips or steps on the dog. While this may be the case, similar concern exists with kids and small cats. Decision about whether a Maltese is suited to your home and family should take into consideration the potential clumsiness of any household member, and whether children might be likely to roughhouse with the dog. If such is the case, a less delicately built dog may be a better choice.

Maltese dogs can be charming, but they should always be obtained from a reputable breeder and chosen for families with adequate time for the dog. Unfortunately, because they are greatly popular, disreputable breeders and puppy mills frequently overbreed this small dog. Choosing a breeder recommended by a humane animal organization like the American Kennel Club will help you support legitimate breeders and not fund puppy mills.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a All Things Nature contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By StormyKnight — On Jan 09, 2011

@dill1971: A Maltese makes a wonderful pet but they can be time consuming. Their hair needs to be combed and brushed at least 3 times a week. If you groom them properly, they rarely shed. You also need to wash their face every day so that they develop tear stains under their eyes.

The ears need to be cleaned with cotton balls. They need their teeth brushed regularly with canine toothpaste to prevent tooth loss.

By dill1971 — On Jan 07, 2011

My daughter wants a puppy and we went to our local pet store and she fell in love with a litter of Maltese puppies. I have heard that a lot of care is involved with these dogs. Is it really that bad?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a All Things Nature contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.