If fluffy little pooches are your thing, you'd be hard-pressed to resist the undeniable aesthetic charms of the Maltese. The Maltese is an uber-small breed of toy dog that originally comes from scenic Malta, a Mediterranean island nation in the southern region of Europe. These jovial dogs are favored all over the globe as loyal and animated household pets.
Maltese puppies start out as slight creatures, and in most cases stay that way as adults too. Adult Maltese dogs typically weigh anywhere between 4 and 7 pounds, with heights of between 9 and 10 inches at the shoulder. Mature specimens of both sexes are close in size. Their bodies are not only small, but have a rather squarish and dense look to them. As tiny dogs, they usually complete the growth process by roughly 1 year of age.
Although many canine breeds exhibit lots of diversity in terms of coat coloration, that's not true of Maltese dogs. Their fur appears in one predominant color alone, which is snowy white. Adult Maltese dogs have lengthy and luxurious fur that needs considerable upkeep, ideally brushing or combing sessions once per day. Without sufficient maintenance, their long hair is prone to frustrating and unsightly knots and matting. Routine bathing can also be beneficial for maintaining a Maltese coat that is white and tidy in appearance. Individuals of this breed are not equipped with undercoats. Their fur is generally straight, sans curls.
Other Classic Maltese Physical Traits
Some of the other physical features that make Maltese dogs what they are are oval-shaped eyes, dark noses, dainty limbs, circular skulls, low-hanging ears, lengthy necks, dark foot pads, circular feet and moderately sized muzzles. Their faces tend to give off the impression of vigilance, but at the same time usually look kindly and sweet.
Coloration Other Than White
Maltese dogs are famous for having solid white coats, whether they're wee puppies or seasoned senior canines. If you have an adult Maltese dog who isn't 100 percent stark white, however, it in no way necessarily means that he's not really a member of the breed. Some Maltese dogs feature a little bit of slightly darker and subtle coloration on their coats—light yellow or pale beige. This coloration tends to show up over their ears.