Size: Small Height: Under 25 cm (10 inches) Weight: 1.8 - 2.7 kg (4 - 6 lb) Life Span: 14 years Grooming: Very demanding Exercise: Undemanding Feeding: Undemanding Temperament: Loyal & sensitive Country of Origin: Italy/Malta AKC Group: Toy Other Names: Bichon Maltais
General Appearance: Elegant, glossy-white and petite. Colour: Pure white with slight lemon markings permitted. The nose, eyerims and pads are all black. Coat: Long, dense, silky, straight and heavy. The average length is 23 cm (9 inches) and hair hangs down on either side of a straight parting running down centre of back. Tail: Tapering, carried in a large arch over back and finishing with a long plume. Ears: Set high, flat, almost triangular, well feathered with long hair reaching to shoulders. Body: The body is square and short with a straight topline. The belly is rather low and ribs are rounded.
Temperament: Alert, lively, loyal and sensitive. Although Maltese appear delicate at first sight, they are definitely not sissy dogs. They thrive on human companionship and accept and equally love all members of their household. They get along with other household pets and children without any difficulties. Maltese are relatively straight-forward to train and tend to learn quickly.
Grooming: Maltese require a substantial amount of grooming with their long, silky coats. They need daily brushing and combing and regular washing. The red tear stains can be reduced or removed with special lotions specifically designed for area. Some owners chose to keep coat trimmed short if dog is only a pet and not being shown. Maltese typically have hair between eyes tied up in a top knot. Owners who have show dogs often oil hair and wind it up in curling papers to prevent it from splitting.