Maltese Terrier Breed: Everything You Need to Know


Maltese Terrier is a playful dog with a compact, square body, covered with straight, silky, long and white hair. Also known as the Maltese dog. It has a beauty that complements each other with its beautiful feathers reaching down to the ground, perfect body structure, facial expression and general posture. They like to play, run, and sway around with a cheerful gait. Also known as a water dog, the Maltese appears to be swimming on the ground while running.

Personality & Character Traits

The Maltese is a lively, playful and playful breed of dog. It has a sweet appearance with soft, long and white hair. It has a beauty that those who see it cannot resist and creates a direct feeling of love in people. It is friendly and is seen to be friendly towards foreign dogs and pets. It is known to show moderate tolerance towards small children. Due to its small size and sensitive nature, the Maltese is not suitable for families with small children. The Maltese breed is generally affectionate, intelligent, reliable and very attached to its owner. Being highly intelligent helps him to complete the training given by the owner or breeder in a short time. With its quick learner nature, it can learn good things as well as bad behaviors quickly. Therefore, principle and continuity are very important in the education process.

Generally recognized as a gentle and agreeable breed, one side of the breed is ferocious. You can see them challenging larger dogs with their small bodies and barking loudly. With his brave and fearless features, he tries to protect his loved ones by going into an alarm state in suspicious situations. This barking is generally moderate. The barking situation of this breed, which is suitable for apartment life, does not cause much trouble for its owner. However, in some possible cases, it can be seen that it enters a barking attack, as every dog ​​does. For example, when you leave it alone at home for a long time, barking may occur due to separation anxiety, not doing enough exercise, being under stress or sensing a dangerous situation.


They stand out with their devotion to their loved ones. They want to be taken care of and played with. They have an emotional and touchy nature. Maltese does not like to be alone, who wants to be with his owners. He also does not like to share love and attention with others, so he has difficulty in adapting to a house where there are children and pets other than himself. Maltese dogs, which are among social animals, can be accustomed to socialization and relationship with strangers with love, attention and play that starts at an early stage.

They love to run and play. If you allow him to play in the open air, in an environment where you provide security, you will not find him happy at that moment. It is also seen that some Maltese dogs like to jump in puddles in relation to their genetic structure. If you take them outside under your supervision, socialize them, and give them the opportunity to play with other dogs, people and pets, you will help them take important steps in terms of their development.

If you protect the Maltese dog, which is among the small dogs, more than necessary, falling on it can pamper it. This too much attention brings with it negative behaviors. If he thinks that he is the boss and that he has the main control in the house, he tries to be the leading party. This may cause him to be jealous of the guests who come to the house, and to exhibit vicious behavior towards children and adults. Therefore, give the necessary importance to obedience training in your dog’s training in bilateral relations and make it clear that he is not the boss. Just because you love your dog doesn’t mean you’ll pamper him too much.

Maltese Terrier Dog History

The Maltese is the oldest of the European toy dog ​​breeds and is among the oldest of almost all dog breeds. Its history can go back at least 2000 years. This noble and noble race, which dates back to ancient times, was described by the Philosopher Aristotle as “perfectly proportioned” despite its small stature. Around 1500 BC, the island of Malta was a trading port visited by Phoenician sailors. There are even traces of them erecting graves for the Maltese breed. Although its origin and formation are not known exactly, there is a group of people who think that it was developed by crossing the Spaniel and Poddle breeds. Spread over the centuries from the island country to the world, the Maltese Dog is part of the Barbichon family. The Maltese Dog is thought to be the ancestor of the Bichon Frize, Bolognese and Havanese breeds. The people who developed the Maltese breed known and recognized today are the British.

The dogs were exported from the Island of Malta. It was then widely distributed in Europe and the East. However, the dogs that remained in Malta remained isolated from other dogs dispersed by export. This breed continued, with dogs remaining isolated for centuries. The most distinctive feature of the Maltese Dog is its long, silky, dazzling white hair. However, in the past, it was seen in colors other than white in Maltese race. In the early 14th century, Maltese dogs were brought to England and became the darling of the nobility and the upper class. They have gained popularity and many people have adopted these dogs.

In the following centuries, changes are seen in their bodies as well as their colours. Comments are made about this race, which is constantly shrinking. However, this breed continues its popularity without ever becoming commonplace. In a painting dated 1830 and an article titled “Maltese Lion Dog – Last of the Breed,” it was written that the lineage of this breed may be in danger.

After a while, two Maltese dogs were brought to England from Manila. The first dogs to arrive were planned to be given as a gift to Queen Victoria, but when they were taken over by others, the puppies became the first Maltese dogs to be exhibited in England. Although they do not have the characteristics of their terrier ancestors, they were called “Maltese Terriers”.

It was in the 1870s that his fame reached America. In America, around 1877, the first Maltese were introduced as “Maltese Lion Dogs”. The name lion dog is thought to derive from the habit of clipping dogs to make them look like lions. Later on, it became known in European countries and popularized by the elite of Europe.

It was recognized by the AKC in 1888. Over time, it has been used for different purposes with its cuteness and playfulness and took part in the shows. Today, friends have been guests in our homes in their lively form and joined the family members.


Physical Qualities


The body has a compact, sloping shoulder structure. It has a solid and straight neck, although it is thin-boned. The neck is elegantly positioned with a line as if to keep the head elevated. The head structure is quite proportional to the body. It has a deep chest with a flat back and solid rib structure. The skull is slightly rounded. The long hair on the head area adds a different air to them. The fur color is a flawless white. If the hair is not shaved, it can become quite long. Their length varies between 23-27 cm; It is part of the small toy dog ​​family with ideal weights of 1.5 -3 kg.


It has a compact body, a round skull on a flat neck. It has a unique beauty with its black eyes that are proportionally positioned on the skull, black nose, low ears and hair on the head area.


The ears are drop-shaped, low and densely haired. Its ears, which are close to the head, hang down and with its dense hair, it makes it look like a very fancy dog.


It has large, round and black eyes. Round and dark transitions are seen around the eyes. Their eyes are moderately close to each other.

Legs and Feet

The Maltese, which is among the small dogs, has a low leg length. This race, which has a different harmony in its gait, moves effortlessly and fluently, as if it were swimming. Its legs are also hairy like its body. If they are well taken care of, the hairs coming from the sides of the body can go down to the ground, covering their legs.


The Maltese has a tufted tail. Its tail is seen gracefully upright on its back. The dense and long feathers on its body and the feathers of its tail complement each other.


The impressive breed’s silky fur consists of pure white and straight hairs. It has a single-layered feather structure, and if you look at it well, it can be seen that its feathers extend to the ground. Its feathers do not shed much with its single layered structure, but because it is long and white, it can get dirty very quickly. He has hair falling over his eyes in the head area. You can collect them small if you want, or you can leave them free. With its low shedding and anti-allergic feather structure, it is a breed that attracts attention by people who are sensitive to feathers. Its white hair requires regular brushing and combing to keep its silky hair shiny and clean.


It has a completely white fur. Nose, eyes, corners of eyes, lips and paws are black. It has an enchanting beauty where its beautiful, elegant and white feathers integrate with the black color.

Maltese Dog Breed Care

The Maltese breed has eye-catching, magnificent, long and white fur. It is necessary to brush and comb it every day or at least 3 times a week to prevent the fur from matting and tangling. You have to be very gentle while doing this as it has soft fur. It may be a little more difficult to clean due to its white fur. You can also trim and shave to make this easier. Although its fast-growing, flamboyant soft fur is its most distinctive and eye-catching feature, it is also seen that sometimes the owners cut their hair completely for their dog’s comfort. To prevent minor stains, even cleaning the beard after meals and wiping the tears around the eyes is a care in itself. When the long-haired Maltese is cared for regularly and thoroughly, it will shed very little and stay clean.

In order for your long hair to look its best, you should take regular baths and hair care. If necessary, you can use special shampoos and care creams. Since it has dense hairs, you should do the drying process carefully. It is known that the fur structure does not smell and does not have allergenic properties, so you can adjust the frequency of bathing according to your dog’s contamination. However, do not forget that you should definitely take a bath at least 1-2 times a month.

Cleaning the ears, trimming the extra long hairs, checking the eyes, mouth and teeth and nails are other areas that should be checked on a weekly basis. Teeth should be brushed at least 3 times a week. Cutting is essential in nail care due to its lengthening, and it is important for health to do this at least once a month. The veterinarian should be consulted if extra tear stains are seen around the eyes.

Maltese Dog Breed Nutrition

In terms of healthy nutrition of the Maltese breed, you should prefer high-quality small breed dog foods. It has a moderate tendency to gain weight. Therefore, scaling in the diet is very important. In general, it is recommended to give 1/4 – 1/2 cup of high quality dry food for small dogs daily, divided into two meals. The scales provided may increase or decrease depending on your dog’s age, sex, height and activity. You should do this planning carefully and get veterinary support if necessary. In addition, dry dog ​​biscuits, which will be consumed in addition to their normal food, will also help keep their teeth clean and healthy.

You should be sensitive about consuming home-cooked meals. Maltese, who can eat home-cooked food, is selective about the food he will consume. They do not like and eat every food. Since they have sensitive digestive systems, the owner should not give everything in terms of food. That’s why you should research the foods that are suitable for your dog to eat and give home meals in consultation with your veterinarian.

There are certain brands recommended by veterinarians and breeders for dry food, dog canned wet food and treats. Recommended brands Royal Canin, Pro plan, Acana , Hills , N&D, Gimdog, Brit Care, Purina, Reflex, Pro Choice You can choose the one suitable for your dog’s age and allergen status among the brands we have specified.

Maltese Dog Breed Exercise

The Maltese is a cheerful, energetic dog, but it’s enough to do little things to meet his exercise needs. A 1km walk and 30 minutes of activity with his owner will meet his exercise needs. However, they may feel cold during walks in damp or humid weather. In such weather conditions, we recommend that you dress your dog in clothes. You can try to prefer warm weather for exercise. The Maltese loves to run, jump and play games with its owner in the fenced garden and these activities are enough to keep him in shape. Even in their old age, their love of games continues and they get the little exercise they need with these games. However, games do not fully meet the walking need.

He enjoys walking outdoors with his owner on a leash. Try not to take long walks until she’s 8 months old, as her bones and joints will still be developing. Since he is not very active in the home environment and does not need much exercise, you can keep him in shape without making much effort by paying attention to the little things.

Maltese Dog Breed Training

The Maltese breed is very intelligent. They have been close friends with people for centuries and have known them for a very long time. Due to this close relationship with people, they learned how to get what they want from them and get them done. Thanks to his intelligence, the Maltese can use what he knows about people to lead his owner. However, here, the breeder, the owner must intervene. You must complete the training process by showing Maltese that you are the leader in a consistent, gentle and patient manner.

Do not engage in harsh behaviors and interventions during the education process. The Maltese is an intelligent, talented, obedient and agile dog, as well as being stubborn and determined on one side. That’s why harsh behavior can trigger his stubborn side. You can train this smart dog in a short time by making positive approaches and applying positive training and reinforcement methods. First of all, it would be appropriate to give basic obedience, toilet and area protection training. Then you can continue with advanced obedience training and what you want to teach your dog.

You can also support the training process by bringing your dog together with different people and animals in dog parks, different places and venues in the early stages. Since he will see different behaviors in these environments, he gains new gains. Since these gains will be under your supervision, you can support them to leave that environment with good behavior by making them separate the good and the bad.

Maltese Dog Health

The Maltese is a healthy breed that faces few health issues. There is a predisposition to certain genetic diseases. Apart from this, there is no obstacle for him not to live a life over 12 years. Responsible breeders and owners should monitor health conditions such as patella luxation, pda (patent ductus arteriosus), portosystemic liver shunt, progressive retinal atrophy (pra), hypoglycemia, white dog tremor syndrome, collapsed trachea, reverse sneezing, cardiac anomalies.

The most common health problems faced by the Maltese breed are knee caps, liver, hypoglycemia and kidney ailments. In addition, it can be seen in conditions such as separation of the fur, tearing problem, respiratory and sore throat and sunburn on the skin. He has a sensitive digestive system, and due to this situation, digestive disorders may develop and feeding may become difficult. The follow-up of these conditions is important for early diagnosis and intervention.

Regular maintenance means a healthy life. That’s why hair, eye, tooth, mouth, nose, ear, paw and nail care is important for their health. You can do the necessary maintenance in your home with products suitable for your dog. The Maltese breed, whose care and health screening is done regularly, has a life span of 12-15 years, and maybe longer, to spend with their loved ones.

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