Maltese puppy lying on a white background


Breed Characteristics

Like other lap dogs, the Maltese likes to be pampered. Cannot handle severe weather well. Will alert to the presence of strangers. Some are barkers. Maltese don't do really well spending time alone. If left alone for too long, anxiety related behaviours which include barking and destructive habits may develop. Consider crate training your Maltese to teach him how to manage his alone time. This will keep him out of mischief when you are out for short errands.

Is the Maltese approved as a pet in a Singapore HDB flat?



Malta or possibly Melita (Sicily), antiquity. The Maltese is one of the oldest breeds (yes, there are Egyptian tomb paintings of Maltese, or something vaguely like them), and is thought to have arrived in Britain with the Romans. It is odd to think of Roman legions carrying fluffy little Maltese around with them, but there you are, the ladies brought them along.

Original Purpose

The Maltese was kept as a lap dog through the centuries, and established itself as a popular pet dog in Britain in the mid nineteenth century.

Behaviour and Temperament

Though small the Maltese has big personalities, often described as fearless, lively, loyal, sparkly. Everyone is a potential friend to the Maltese. He has an open and sweet-nature that makes him a good candidate as a therapy pet.

What are some Physical Features of the Maltese?

The Maltese stands between 12.5 and 25.5 cm; and weighs from 1.5 to 3 kg. Colour is white.

Coat Type and Recommended Grooming

Long, silky, single; even a hint of a double coat would ruin the outline for a show dog. Very high maintenance; brushing every day to minimise the chances of matting and knots. Maintenance for a show coat is even more, including “wrapping” the hair in cloth to keep it from matting. Cleaning the fur below your dog's eyes daily is required to prevent tear stains. It is also highly recommended to wash the 'beard' after every meal to prevent food stains. Many owners in Singapore trim their Maltese' fur short to facilitate simple and easy grooming. Professional grooming recommended. Minimal shedding.

Life Expectancy of the Maltese

The Maltese typically lives between 12 to 15 years.

Maltese Puppies in the Community

Have a Maltese?

Health Concerns

Heart problems (PDA, mitral valve insufficiency), patellar luxation.

Exercise Needs

Low; the Maltese gets along well with a few short walks a day, along with short play sessions indoors or out.


Adaptable to any living situation. They are naturally active and will usually get enough exercise, even within a small apartment, to stay healthy and fit.


Attached to whole family. Fine with older kids and strangers, although some individuals are reserved; most Maltese should not be placed in home with toddlers. Although most Maltese are usually happy to have furry playmates around the house or at the dog park, some are not good with other animals, and have a tendency to be protective of their owner's affections.


The Maltese is very intelligent, which makes trining them a breeze, although housetraining may require some extra effort. They are generally eager to please, responds well to positive reinforcement training packed with treats and praises.

Recommended Activities

The Maltese makes a wonderful therapy dog. Will excel in agility and obedience training.

Maltese Dog Club / Communities in Singapore

There is a growing community of Maltese lovers in Singapore. They can be found in the Maltese Fan Club @ SG facebook group.