Maltese adult standing in black and white


Lively, affectionate and highly intelligent, Malteses make excellent companion dogs.

About the Maltese

Maltese dogs are gentle and friendly, and will greet new people with confidence. Over the centuries they have been bred as companions and are never happier than when sat in the lap of their owner.

Despite the name, Malteses are not from Malta at all. The word is derived from a word in one of the Mediterranean languages for haven or harbour, which just happens to be at the root of the word Malta too.

Source: key facts and characteristics sourced from Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)

Breed specifics

FCI Group 9, AKC Toy Group
Size category
Very small
Avg life expectancy
12–15 years

Lively / Loving / Calm / Intelligent

Key facts

  • Garden not essential
  • Requires a lot of grooming
  • Needs little exercise

Other breeds that might interest you