This tiny toy breed originates from the Mediterranean, specifically from the island nation of Malta where he was bred as a companion and lap dog. Listed in the Toy group, the Maltese is a dainty little dog, standing only a scant 8-12 inches high at the shoulder and typically weighing between 5-13 pounds.
The Maltese is always white in color, with cream/biscuit markings allowed. His sole purpose in life is to love, and be loved.
The personality of the breed is that of a sweet, affectionate lap dog that loves people, and has a bit of showmanship about him that further endears him to his admirers. He is smart, outgoing, playful, and enjoys being with his family. Small enough to be litter box trained and amiable to both apartment or suburban living, the breed is adaptable to many lifestyles. Whether he is carried around in your arms or sleeping in bed with you, the Maltese is a true, loyal friend.
The coat of a Maltese is white, long, and silky, and soft and luxurious to the touch. The breed sheds minimal to not at all, and is considered by some to be hypo-allergenic with a low dander level, making him a good choice for many allergy sufferers. The coat is cared for through frequent brushing sessions to prevent matting and the occasional trip to the grooming salon to trim the hair if desired. The Maltese average lifespan is 12-16 years.