The gentle-mannered Maltese makes an affectionate companion dog. He’s also bold and fearless, making him a reliable watchdog. He’s lively, playful and loves to learn new tricks—provided he gets a reward.


This toy breed moves effortlessly beneath his lush, flat, silky white coat. The white coat is accented with dark eyes and black nose.


12 to 15 years


The standard Maltese color is white. Most dogs will have black points (eyes and nose), which are also considered standard by the American Kennel Club (AKC).


This low-shedding breed needs daily brushing and frequent baths to avoid tangles and matting.


The Maltese is a relatively healthy breed, though he is prone to dental disease. Brush the teeth regularly to help keep them healthy. Other health concerns may include patellar luxation and heart problems. Responsible breeders screen for these conditions to help produce the healthiest breed possible.

Maltese puppies should be tested for congenital liver issues. Encephalitis is also a risk, but, unlike the other health concerns, there’s no current test for this condition.