The Maltese dog, a breed revered for its elegance and companionship, is a gem in the canine world. Originating from the Mediterranean island of Malta, these dogs have graced the laps of royalty and the hearts of families for centuries. With their silky white coats and expressive eyes, Maltese dogs are not only a symbol of luxury but also of enduring affection and loyalty. This article aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the Maltese breed, answering common questions about their behavior, grooming needs, and overall temperament.

Do Maltese Like to be Outside?

Maltese dogs, known for their playful and energetic nature, do enjoy outdoor activities. However, their small size and sensitivity to extreme weather conditions make them more suited for indoor living. While they appreciate short walks and playtime in a safe, enclosed area, Maltese dogs should not be left outside for extended periods, especially in very hot or cold weather. Their love for exploration and interaction can be adequately satisfied with regular, supervised outdoor excursions.

Do Maltese Dogs Like to Cuddle?

Affection is a hallmark of the Maltese breed. These dogs are known for their loving and gentle demeanor, making them excellent cuddle companions. They form strong bonds with their owners and often seek physical closeness as a way of expressing their affection. Maltese dogs are happiest when they are in the company of their human family members, often following them around the house and snuggling up in their laps.

Do Maltese Dogs Shed a Lot?

One of the attractive features of the Maltese breed is its minimal shedding. Their hair, similar to human hair, grows continuously and falls out very little. This makes them an ideal choice for people with allergies. However, their long, silky coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. Daily brushing and regular visits to a professional groomer are recommended to keep their coat in pristine condition.

Do Maltese Drool a Lot?

Maltese dogs are not known to be excessive droolers. They may drool a bit in anticipation of food or during intense play, but generally, they maintain a dry demeanor. If a Maltese dog is drooling excessively, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue, and a consultation with a veterinarian is advised.

Do Maltese Dogs Smell?

Like all dog breeds, Maltese can develop an odor if not properly groomed and cared for. Their long coat can trap dirt and debris, and without regular bathing, they can start to smell. Additionally, dental health plays a significant role in preventing bad breath. Regular grooming, including baths and teeth cleaning, will keep a Maltese smelling fresh.

Diet and Nutrition for Maltese Dogs

The dietary needs of Maltese dogs are as unique as their personalities. A well-balanced diet is essential for their overall health and wellbeing. Maltese dogs typically do well on high-quality dog food that’s formulated for small breeds. Their small mouths and teeth mean they often prefer smaller kibble, and some may be more inclined towards wet food. It’s important to monitor their calorie intake to prevent obesity, a common issue in smaller breeds. Fresh, clean water should always be available, and treats should be given in moderation.

Exercise Requirements for Maltese

Despite their small size, Maltese dogs have a fair amount of energy that needs to be expended through regular exercise. Daily walks, play sessions, and interactive toys are excellent ways to keep them engaged and fit. However, due to their small stature, exercise should not be overly strenuous. Activities should be balanced with periods of rest to prevent exhaustion. Mental stimulation is also crucial for this intelligent breed, so puzzle toys and training sessions are highly beneficial.

Training and Socialization

Training a Maltese dog requires patience and consistency. They respond well to positive reinforcement techniques such as praise and treats. Early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended to help them develop into well-adjusted adults. Due to their sensitive nature, harsh training methods should be avoided. Maltese dogs are quick learners and can excel in obedience and agility training. Socialization with other dogs and people is also key in developing their social skills and preventing anxiety or fearfulness.

Health and Longevity

Maltese dogs are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they’re prone to certain health conditions. Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for early detection and management of issues such as dental problems, patellar luxation, and heart anomalies. A responsible breeding practice can help minimize the risk of genetic diseases. With proper care, the average lifespan of a Maltese dog ranges from 12 to 15 years, sometimes longer.

Grooming and Coat Care

The iconic feature of the Maltese is its beautiful, flowing white coat. Regular grooming is essential to maintain its condition and prevent matting. Daily brushing is recommended, along with regular baths. Eye cleaning is also important to prevent staining from tear production. Ear care should not be neglected, as their floppy ears can be prone to infections. Many Maltese owners opt for a shorter, “puppy cut” to reduce the maintenance required for their coat.

Table: Essential Care Guide for Maltese Dogs

Aspect Details
Diet Small-breed specific food, balanced nutrition, monitor calorie intake
Exercise Daily walks, play sessions, mental stimulation
Training Positive reinforcement, early socialization, avoid harsh methods
Health Regular vet check-ups, watch for breed-specific issues
Grooming Daily brushing, regular baths, eye and ear care
Average Lifespan 12-15 years
Ideal Environment Indoor living with regular outdoor access for exercise
Social Needs High – thrives on human interaction
Shedding Level Low
Drooling Tendency Low
Suitability for Families High, especially with gentle handling

This comprehensive guide serves as a quick reference for prospective and current Maltese dog owners, encapsulating key aspects of their care and lifestyle needs.


The Maltese breed, with its affectionate nature, minimal shedding, and manageable size, makes for an excellent pet, especially for those living in apartments or small homes. They are companions who thrive on human interaction and love being part of the family. Their care, while requiring attention to grooming, is a rewarding experience, as it strengthens the bond between the dog and its owner. Whether cuddling on the couch or enjoying a playful session in the park, the Maltese dog brings joy and love into the lives of those they encounter.