Did you know...?
The Maltese breed is over 8,000 years old!
The Accepted and Approved Standard
For The Maltese
The Maltese is a toy dog covered from head to foot with a mantle of
long, silky, white hair, with little to no shedding. A popular hair style
for family pets (not for show dogs) is a "puppy cut" -- the hair is trimmed short every 6-8 weeks,
resembling the look of the Maltese as a puppy. He is gentle-mannered
and affectionate, eager and sprightly in action and, despite his size, possesses the vigor
needed for the satisfactory companion.
The head should be of medium length and in proportion to the size of the dog. The skull is slightly
rounded on top, the stop moderate. The drop ears are rather low-set and
heavily feathered with long hair that hangs close to the head. Eyes are
set not too far apart; they are very dark and round, their black rims
enhancing the gentle yet alert expression. The muzzle is of medium
length, fine and tapered but not snipey. The nose is black. The teeth
meet in an even, edge-to-edge bite, or in a scissors bite.
Sufficient length of neck is desirable as to promote a high carriage of the head.
Compact. The length from the withers to the ground equaling the length from the
withers to the root of the tail. Shoulders and blades are sloping, the
elbows well knit and held close to the body.The back is level in
topline, the ribs well sprung. The chest is fairly deep, the loins taut,
strong and just slightly tucked up underneath.
A long-haired plume carried gracefully over the back, its tip laying to
the side over the quarter.
Legs and Feet
Legs are fine-boned and nicely feathered. Forelegs are straight, their
pastern joints well knit and devoid of appreciable bend. Hind legs are
strong and moderately angulated at stifles and hocks.
Coat and Color
The coat is single, without undercoat. Unless trimmed to "puppy cut" length
(not acceptable for show), it hangs long, flat and silky over
the sides of the body almost, if not quite to the ground. The long head
hair may be tied up in a topknot or it may be left hanging. Any
suggestions of kinkiness, curliness, or wooly texture is objectionable.
Color, pure white. Light tan or lemon on the ears is permissible, but
Weight under seven pounds, with from four to six pounds preferred. Over-all
quality is to be favored over size.
The Maltese moves with a jaunty, smooth, flowing gait. Viewed from the side
he gives the impression of rapid movement.