The cuddly Maltese dog is a vivacious little dog that loves humans and needs lots of care and attention. This ancient breed from the Mediterranean has been a popular companion dog for ladies of high standing around the world for centuries.
The small Maltese stands between 20 and 25 cm tall and weighs 3 to 4 kg. Its single white coat is long, straight and silky and can almost touch the ground when kept long. However, many owners keep their Maltese trimmed in a so-called puppy cut, an all-over trim of its hair at 3-5 cm.
This sweet and gentle dog is also very playful and active and can easily get over-excited. Maltese are very trusting and adore humans. However, it’s important not to pamper them too much or they can start to display undesired behaviours such as obsessive barking. You should socialise and train your dog from an early age but be gentle as Maltese are very sensitive dogs.
A Maltese isn’t a dog to get on a whim. These dogs need daily walks but it’s the ongoing grooming requirements in particular that you need to consider carefully. Because they don’t shed, Maltese dogs should be brushed and combed daily to prevent matting. They also need a regular bath and their eyes and ears need to be checked and cleaned regularly. An additional expense is the professional grooming this dog needs every six weeks.
The Maltese dog may be prone to hypothyroidism, eye, dental, respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, and sunburn where their hair parts. Their average life expectancy is 13 to 15 years.