Maltese Field Guide

PetMD Editorial
Updated: November 25, 2020
Published: March 10, 2016
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Graceful and angelic creatures by day, dedicated lap dogs by night, the Maltese toy dog breed is a popular choice among dog lovers. Maltese dogs are known for their gentle and playful personality and wide, round eyes—but don’t let their innocent demeanor and appearance fool you. The Maltese temperament is famously feisty and bold.

The watchdog-like attitude and unmistaken loyalty of the Maltese dog can certainly come in handy, but will likely require some form of Maltese training if the barking gets out of hand. And don’t be surprised if your toy Maltese approaches a larger dog looking for a challenge. Their self-confidence can prompt them to engage in confrontation with both unsuspecting strangers and other dogs.

When it comes to the appearance of the cute Maltese dogs, their beautiful, long white coats take center stage. Left uncut and with proper grooming, Maltese dog hair can reach the floor. Matched with their flowing, graceful gait, it almost appears as if the Maltese is floating across the floor while they walk.

Take a look at the Maltese field guide below to learn all you need to know about this breed.