Size: SmallEase of training: Medium
Grooming: MediumShedding: Low
Exercise needed: Daily walksEnergy level: High
Protection: May make an effective watchdogGood with children: Yes, with older, gentle children
The Maltese is mild mannered, affectionate, and loving, and makes a fine companion dog and a good family pet. These dogs are well suited to inexperienced dog owners as well as to the more experienced, and their intelligence, alertness, and high learning rate helps to make training easier - although they can be very difficult to housebreak. The Maltese has plenty of energy and spirit, and loves to play. For a small dog, the Maltese can be quite confident when well socialized. These dogs tend to fare well in obedience training, and enjoy a variety of mental stimulation to keep them alert.
The Maltese is a dog that thrives on the love, affection, and companionship of the family, and is not the breed for those with little time to dedicate to a pet. An effective watchdog, the Maltese will bark to raise an alarm or to announce visitors. The Maltese gets along well with children but does not like to be handled roughly, so gentler, older children are best suited to this breed. They will usually be friendly around strangers, but many will not get along with other pets, and may stand up to much larger dogs. This breed will be fine with apartment living, but needs regular leashed walks or a safe, securely fenced area to exercise and play.
The Maltese is a small, very elegant and dainty looking dog. The coat of the Maltese is long and straight, with a beautiful silky texture. The coloring of the coat is white, and the Maltese may have some light lemon coloring on the ears.
These small dogs are only around 4-6 pounds in weight, and around 8 inches in height.
When it comes to grooming, you will need to brush the coat on a daily basis in order to keep it looking good. Clipping may be required every couple of months. You should also check that the eyes are clean, and trim the hair around the bottom for hygiene reasons. To reduce the risk of infection you should ensure that his ears are clean and dry. When properly groomed the Maltese is a low shedder.
The life expectancy of the Maltese is around 12-15 years, and there are a number of health problems associated with this breed. Some of these include glaucoma, deafness, thyroid problems, low blood sugar, sensitivity to chemicals and drugs, dental problems, luxating patella, PRA, and entropion. The parents of the Maltese puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.
Adapted from: http://www.justdogbreeds.com/maltese.html