RESOURCES : Collapsed

Life Expectancy: 12 - 15 years
Dog Breed Group: Toy Dogs
Weight: 6 - 9 lbs.
Height: 8 - 10 inches

Where Does the Maltese Rank?

See where this beloved breed ranks in comparison to other breeds in 7 key categories.


The Maltese is a trainable canine, and with repetition of commands, your dog will learn quickly. Be careful when scolding this dog as they are sensitive.

Ease of Grooming

The Maltese do not require a significant amount of grooming. The Maltese are a low-maintenance breed.


Maltese don't suffer from significant health risks like large breed dogs do, but this smaller breed does have a propensity for patella luxations and renal issues.

Exercise Needs

Your Maltese will enjoy any activity you are engaged in. Their primary focus is to be with their pet parent.

Are Maltese Good with Children?

The Maltese are not recommended for households with small children due to their intolerance with small children as well as their ability to injure easily.

Barking Restraint

Barking is not known to be an issue with this breed.

What You Need to Know About Maltese Dogs


The Maltese are known for her gentle and fearless nature. The Maltese are also known to be stranger-friendly. Do not let their teddy-bear like qualities fool you, they are quite energetic and enjoy exercise.

The Maltese breed is a breed which requires a lot of attention. If you are looking for an independent breed, this is not the breed for you. If you are searching for a constant companion, the Maltese would be perfect. If they do not obtain a sufficient amount of love and attention, they are likely to develop separation anxiety and other behavior disorders.

The Maltese are also not recommended for families with other dogs or small children. They are extremely dependent and often choose one person as their constant companion. If attention is taken away from them by a child or other dog, they may become protective resulting in aggression.

There are some tolerant Maltese dogs; however, this breed is still not recommended for a home with small children as they are easily injured due to their small size.

The Maltese breed is extremely intelligent and relatively easy-to-train. Their energy level and eager-to-please personality often brings them to the agility field.


The Maltese have a beautiful straight and thick coat which falls all the way to the floor. Many would tend to believe they would be a high-maintenance dog; however, this is not the case. The Maltese do not have an undercoat and they shed very little. Due to the lack of an undercoat, they are known to be hypoallergenic.

Health Problems

Patellar luxation - The Maltese are known to develop Patellar luxation. Essentially, this is the dislocation of the kneecap.

Portosystemic liver shunt - The Maltese are known to develop this renal disorder. This occurs when a vessel causes blood to bypass the liver.

Hypoglycemia - Low blood sugar

White Dog Shaker Syndrome - Per the name, this dog primarily affects white dogs. White Dog Shaker Syndrome often appears between six months to three years of age and you may notice the syndrome more when the dog is excited or stressed. Signs of the condition include lack of coordination and/or tremors. This condition does not result in pain and it does not affect the personality of your dog.

Collapsed trachea - This condition is found mainly in small dogs often from tugging the leash too harshly while walking.

Top 10 Health Problems in Maltese Dogs

  • Otitis - middle ear infection
  • Periodontal Disease - infections of the structures around the teeth, which include the gums, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone
  • Conjunctivitis - pink eye
  • Dermatitis - inflammation of the skin
  • Colitis - inflammation of the large intestine or colon resulting in diarrhea or loose stools
  • Pyoderma - bacterial infection of the skin
  • Gastritis - inflammation, irritation, or erosion of the stomach lining
  • Heart Murmur
  • Allergies
  • Mass

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.