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Maltese dog breed profile

These tiny dogs have huge hearts.

Whether your dog is a Maltese or a Maltese mix, learning about their breed can explain a lot about your pet’s personality, habits and overall health. Or maybe you’re interested in adopting a Maltese, but want to do some research first — we can help.

Considering how good these pups are with pet parents and other dogs alike, it’s hard not to fall in love with an affectionate Maltese. Loving, cuddly and clever, these toy dogs are cuties that typically weigh less than 7 pounds and have huge hearts. 

According to Dr. Emily Singler, VMD, an on-staff veterinarian at Fetch by The Dodo, there’s a lot to love about these sweet little pups. “Maltese are known for being gentle, affectionate, playful and intelligent,” she says, adding that they’re usually good with other dogs and are pretty adaptable. 

What do Maltese dogs look like? 

Being such small dogs means Maltese dogs don’t need much space or exercise, which makes them good apartment dogs (however, they’re considered alarm barkers, so you’ll want to ensure that your neighbors won’t be bothered before welcoming this dog breed home.)

The main thing to consider, in terms of appearance, when adopting a Maltese is their grooming needs. “Maltese will need regular grooming, both in terms of brushing at home and going to a professional groomer for hair cuts.” 

And the grooming routine shouldn’t stop at regular brushing. According to Dr. Singler, this breed benefits from cleaning around their eyes, too. 

Do Maltese dogs shed?

Maltese dogs are lower on the spectrum in terms of shedding compared to other dogs. “No dog is guaranteed a non-shedder, and no dog is guaranteed hypoallergenic,” Dr. Singler says. “While Maltese dogs may not shed a lot, their hair is long, so you may still find that there’s a fair amount of hair around the house.”

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What is the average Maltese temperament?

While this pint-sized breed tends to be friendly with other dogs, Maltese can be hit or miss with kids, which is why supervision at home is essential. “Although they’re said to love children, there are also reports that these dogs can be known to snap at children who aren’t gentle with them, so vigilance is required,” Dr. Singler advises. Ultimately, she suggests that they may not be the best choice for a family with very young children.

Aside from being great apartment dogs that don’t shed too much, certain personality traits and lifestyles are ideally suited for adopting one of these precious pups. “Pet parents who are organized and consistent are best for a Maltese,” Dr. Singler suggests. “This is because the breed can sometimes be picky with food and hard to house train. They’ll require a lot of patience and positive reinforcement.”

Maltese puppies for adoption

Are you interested in adopting a Maltese, Maltese mix or any pet at all? We think every pet deserves a home and encourage you to check out our shelter partners.

Ultimately, Dr. Singler reiterates that a household with young children may not be a good fit for a Maltese and you should ensure your lifestyle fits their needs. “Individuals who aren’t up for maintaining their grooming needs shouldn’t adopt a Maltese,” Dr. Singler says. “Parents with inconsistent schedules or an unwillingness to find a high-quality food their dog will eat consistently probably shouldn’t adopt a Maltese.” 

At the end of the day, Maltese dogs are an adorable breed, befitting of various lifestyles and families. However, you should take certain precautions, prioritize pampering and be willing to accommodate their furry needs. 

The Dig, Fetch by The Dodo’s expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too. Fetch provides the most comprehensive pet insurance and is the only provider recommended by the #1 animal brand in the world, The Dodo. 

Photo by Tali Despins on Unsplash

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