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Maltese Dog Information And Characteristics

The origin of Maltese remains unclear. Whether from Malta Island, their exotic look is incomparable. Yet, beneath those flowing white locks, there’s an affectionate, loyal and gentle-mannered dog. Although raised in an aristocratic regime, Maltese are adaptable and lively.

Maltese efficiency as cross breeders has resulted in much-adored hybrids;

  • Maltipoo( Maltese and poodle mix)
  • Morkie-(Maltese and Yorkshire terrier mix)
  • Malshi(Maltese and Shih tzu mix)
  • Mauxie ( Maltese and Dachshund)


Maltese move as if floating underneath their coat. Small floppy ears, rounded skull, and tufted tail complete their thick body.

Although show dogs prefer long flowing hair, a Maltese with a short hairdo is easy to maintain. Any breed that shed less is a gem. Maltese are hypoallergenic, suitable for allergic people.


If looking for an excellent apartment dog, you’ve stumbled on the right breed. Maltese are lively, playful, vigorous, and affectionate. But that’s not all; they have limitless potentials with easy-to-train smarts.

Living Needs

Maltese teeny-tiny statures are desirable for small apartments. They adore running around fenced yards.

Like any other breed, Maltese have the urge to pee or poop after exercising or feeding. But you wouldn’t want a stinky basement, would you? To prevent that, introduce them to potty training basics when still young. The training helps them to control when and where to eliminate.

When missing their owners, Maltese suffers from separation anxiety and become destructed. Also, they bark a ton. But that’s not a bad thing. The barking somehow grooms them into becoming effective guard dogs.


Maltese coat tangles up when not brushed for a while. And you can note their dull appearance. To maintain the glorious look, brush their coat more often.

There are common diseases such as Tear Stains that affect Maltese. When brushing, watch out for the presence of rusty tints. If any, consult your vet for advanced treatment.

Similar to other pets, their nails grow faster and need regular trimming. While cutting, beware of the bundles of nerves found on their black toenails.

Also, wax and hair build up exponentially. You can control this by cleaning their ears weekly. As Maltese age, they are prone to dental diseases. But this is something you can prevent as they grow by brushing their teeth at least thrice a week.


Young Maltese enjoys walking and running around. Surprisingly, this continues till adulthood.

An active life indoors guarantees them a fit body. But a controlled exercise poses a risk, especially when still young. For instance, an eight months old puppy can’t participate in long-distance walks.


Improved homemade or manufactured dog food makes Maltese nourish. There are factors to consider when feeding them; age, size, build, and metabolism. For instance, an adult Maltese consumes more food than a puppy Maltese.

Treats-rewarding is an old tactic yet essential during training. But, some treats make Maltese obese. So, you’d instead check their weight fast before shopping for their subsequent reinforcements. Here is how:

  • Spread your fingers downwards to Maltese’s sides.
  • Put your thumb beside their spine
  • If you feel their ribs, everything is okay. But if it’s a layer of fat, put them on a diet immediately.

Healthy gums and teeth are vital for Maltese and make their eating times blissful. But there is a problem. Their fragile digestive system makes them picky eaters.


Maltese are not immune to diseases. Before adopting, ensure the breeder has a certified report of their health condition. The health clearance form must contain the health conditions below;

  • Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). Scores range from fair or better. Here are the conditions tested;
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism &
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Auburn University

Condition tested;

  • Thrombopathia
  • Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF)
  • The form certifies that the eyes usually operate

Patella luxation

The Patella is the knee cap, whereas luxation the dislocation of a bone at a joint. Back and forth sliding doubles the knee joint pain.

Good news: Despite the pain, Maltese lead everyday lives with Patella luxation.

Portosystemic livers shunt. The liver cleanses the blood. But when the reverse happens, the above-mentioned renal disorder occurs.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Responsible breeders detect PRA disorder earlier before actual blindness signs. Behind Maltese blindness are the photoreceptors found at the back of the eye. Eyes examined annually by a veterinary ophthalmologist decrease blindness risks.

Hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar is the primary cause of hypoglycemia. Signs such as seizure-like episodes, confusion, and weakness are common. Consult your veterinarian for advanced treatment.

White Dog Shaker Syndrome. Signs include; rapid eye movement, lack of coordination, and tremors all over the body. Discuss treatment options with your vet.

Collapse trachea. The primary role of the trachea is carrying air to the lungs. But when the trachea collapses, it leads to a collapsed trachea problem. Signs include; dry, harsh cough like a goose honk. Surgery and medication are the best treatment for the disease.


Maltese are tiny toy dogs bred to be faithful, affectionate, and gentle-mannered. They are lovely for people and families. But parents should watch their children’s interaction with the breed. After all, they are canines with sharp-pointed jaws, and accidents do happen.

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