The Maltese is considered to be the oldest of the European Toy breeds. Nobles, royals, and aristocracy favored them. They are very well mannered and affectionate. The Maltese displays a graceful and regal demeanor.
The Maltese exudes great joy and delight. They are highly intelligent, animated, and playful. They are very social. They are happy and content being the center of attention whether they are with their family or in the show ring. This endearing breed is bright, loving, and a deeply devoted companion.
The Maltese is gentle, trusting, and obedient. They are typically good natured and amiable and love to be held and cuddled. They will tolerate other pets, but are not suitable for inconsiderate or ill-behaved children. They most often will establish a close bond with one person. They do not do well when left alone for extended periods of time. They may be over-protective of their owner, family, and territory, and bark or bite if they perceive a threat. They are a fearless, vigorous, and agile breed. The Maltese commit themselves fully to their owner and families.
The Maltese coat requires daily brushing and combing to prevent matting. The coat is extremely soft and silky, so gentle care is highly recommended. They need to be bathed or dry shampooed on a regular basis. The eyes need daily cleaning to prevent staining. It is also important to keep their ears clean and free from stray hair. They may be prone to eye problems, skin disorders, and respiratory problems. The Maltese do not do well in very hot climates or damp conditions. They may be finicky eaters and suffer indigestion. Dental hygiene is important to prevent tooth loss.
The Maltese has an elegant mantle of long, silky hair. The coat is straight, lacks an undercoat, and is pure bright white in color. They are non-shedding. Their luxurious cloak of white is the hallmark of the Maltese.
The Maltese may be difficult to housebreak so crate training is recommended. They do best with early socialization. Training must never be harsh in nature. It must be done with gentle love, consistency, reward, and patience. They are adept at learning tricks. The Maltese does not need extensive obedience training, as they are naturally obedient to their Master.
The Maltese does not require a high level of exercise. They are suitable for apartment or condominium living. They enjoy a daily walk, indoor play sessions, or a romp and run in a secured small yard. The Maltese loves to be social, so a play date at the park is always welcomed. They must be supervised and securely leashed.