Characteristics and Appearance of Maltese Breeds: Discover What They Look Like

What Do Maltese Look Like Characteristics and Appearance

Maltese dogs are small, adorable creatures known for their luxurious white coats and sweet, expressive eyes. They have a distinctive appearance that makes them easily recognizable and highly sought after as pets and companions.

One of the most notable features of Maltese dogs is their beautiful, long, and silky hair. It flows gracefully down their bodies and gives them an elegant and regal appearance. This stunning coat is one of the reasons why Maltese are often considered as a symbol of luxury and beauty.

In addition to their gorgeous hair, Maltese dogs also have a well-proportioned body and a compact structure. They have a slightly rounded skull, a black nose, and dark, expressive eyes that are captivating and full of life. Their small and alert ears stand upright, enhancing their overall appearance.

With their small size and delicate features, Maltese dogs have an irresistibly cute and adorable look. Their tiny, button-like nose, along with a friendly and alert expression, makes them incredibly endearing. Their petite size also makes them portable and easy to carry around, which adds to their appeal as lapdogs.

Overall, Maltese dogs have a distinct and charming appearance that will capture the hearts of anyone who sees them. Whether it’s their luxurious white coat, expressive eyes, or their tiny and adorable features, these little dogs are undeniably beautiful and captivating.

Physical Characteristics

The Maltese is a small breed of dog known for its elegant and charming appearance. They have a distinctive silky and long white coat that covers their compact body. Their expressive dark eyes are set slightly apart and are surrounded by a soft, black nose and ears that hang down close to their head.

Maltese dogs have a well-proportioned body with a slightly rounded skull and a medium-length muzzle. Their jaws are strong and well-developed, supporting a perfect scissor bite. The neck is gracefully arched and leads to a level topline. Their chest is deep and broad, giving them a robust stance.

One of the most prominent characteristics of the Maltese breed is their tail, which is set high and carried over their back, forming a graceful plume. Their front legs are straight and strong, while their hindquarters are muscular and well angulated. They have compact, round feet with black pads.

Physical characteristics of the Maltese breed:
  • Size: Small
  • Coat: Long and silky
  • Color: White
  • Eyes: Dark, expressive
  • Nose: Soft and black
  • Ears: Hang down close to the head
  • Body: Compact and well-proportioned
  • Tail: Set high and carried over the back
  • Front legs: Straight and strong
  • Hindquarters: Muscular and well angulated
  • Feet: Compact and round with black pads

In summary, the physical characteristics of the Maltese breed contribute to their overall elegance and charm. From their long, silky coat to their expressive eyes and graceful tail, Maltese dogs are truly a sight to behold.

Size and Weight

The Maltese is a small breed, known for its tiny size. On average, they typically weigh between 4 to 7 pounds and stand at a height of around 7 to 9 inches. Despite their small stature, they have a well-proportioned body with a sturdy structure. Their compact size makes them easily portable, which is one reason why they are a popular choice for people living in apartments or those who travel frequently.

It’s important to note that there can be slight variations in size and weight within the Maltese breed. Some may be slightly larger or smaller, but they generally fall within the aforementioned range. When considering getting a Maltese, potential owners should be prepared for their small size and take care to handle them gently to prevent any injuries.

Despite their small size, the Maltese is known for its confident and lively personality. They may be small, but they have big personalities and are not afraid to stand up for themselves. Their small size also makes them suitable for families with children, as long as the children are taught to handle them with care and respect. The Maltese is also a popular choice for senior citizens, as they provide companionship without requiring too much physical activity.

Coat Color and Texture

The coat of a Maltese is known for its luxurious appearance and soft texture. The breed typically has a single-layered coat that is long, silky, and straight. Their hair does not have an undercoat, which makes it prone to tangling and matting if not properly cared for. The most common coat color for a Maltese is pure white, but shades of ivory or light cream are also seen. Some Maltese may develop slight shades of lemon or tan on their ears or around their eyes, but this is considered a fault in show dogs. The texture of the coat is fine and silky to the touch, and it requires regular grooming to maintain its beauty and prevent tangles or knots.

Facial Features

The facial features of the Maltese breed are one of their most distinctive characteristics.

Their small, rounded head is adorned with expressive, large eyes that are set wide apart. These eyes are dark, round, and full of life. Their gaze is alert, intelligent, and filled with curiosity.

Another striking feature of the Maltese’s face is their button nose. This small, black nose sits atop their short muzzle, giving them an adorable and endearing appearance.

The Maltese also has a gentle and sweet expression, thanks to the slight arch of their skull and the way their fur falls around their face. Their silky white coat frames their face, enhancing their delicate and angelic look.

Overall, the combination of the Maltese’s expressive eyes, button nose, and sweet expression create a captivating and irresistibly cute facial appearance that is characteristic of the breed.

Facial Features Description
Eyes Large, dark, round, and expressive
Nose Small, black, and button-like
Expression Gentle, sweet, and angelic

Body Structure

The Maltese is a small breed with a compact and balanced body structure. They have a slightly longer body compared to their height, giving them an elegant and graceful appearance. Their body is well-proportioned with a level topline and a deep chest.

The legs of a Maltese are straight and well-boned, giving them a sturdy stance. They have a slightly arched neck that flows into a refined head. The head is proportional to the body and has a slightly rounded skull. They have a black nose and dark, round eyes that are expressive and alert.

The Maltese has a beautiful coat that is long and flowing, with a silky texture. Their coat is pure white in color and hangs straight down from their body, giving them a regal appearance. The hair on their head can be styled in different ways, with many Maltese owners opting for a topknot or a cute bow.

Overall, the body structure of a Maltese is compact, elegant, and balanced, which adds to their charm and beauty.

Proportion and Balance

The Maltese is a small breed, with a compact and square body. They have a slightly longer body compared to their height. The head is proportional to the body size, with a rounded skull and a well-defined stop. The eyes are large, round, and set well apart, giving them an alert expression. The nose is black, and the muzzle is short and fine. The ears are dropped, medium in size, and covered with long hair, blending harmoniously with the head.

One of the key characteristics of the Maltese is their beautiful, silky white coat, which is long and straight. The coat falls evenly on each side of the body, with a part that runs from the nose to the base of the tail. The tail is plumed and carried over the back, adding to their graceful appearance. They have a confident and elegant gait, moving with a springy step.

In terms of balance, the proportions of the Maltese are well-balanced and symmetrical. The body length is approximately equal to the height at the withers, creating a balanced overall appearance. This balance and proportion contribute to their overall charm and elegance.

When considering the overall appearance of a Maltese, it’s important to note that they should have a balanced and well-proportioned body, combined with their beautiful white coat and graceful movement. These characteristics make the Maltese a truly stunning and eye-catching breed.

Legs and Paws

The Maltese breed is characterized by their sturdy and well-structured legs. They have straight, short legs that are proportionate to their body. Their paws are small and compact, with well-arched toes and black pads. The black pads not only provide traction but also serve as protection for their delicate feet.

Legs: The Maltese’s legs are covered with long, flowing hair that gives them an elegant and regal appearance. Despite their small size, their legs are strong and muscular, allowing them to move with grace and agility.

Paws: The Maltese’s paws are small and round, giving them a dainty and delicate look. Their paws are known for their black pads, which are a distinguishing feature of the breed. These black pads are covered with hair that matches the color of their coat.

In summary, the Maltese breed has sturdy legs and small, compact paws with black pads. Their legs are covered with long hair, adding to their elegant appearance. The dainty and delicate paws with black pads are a defining characteristic of the breed.


The tail of a Maltese is also a characteristic feature of the breed. It is set high and carried over the back, giving the dog a stylish appearance. The tail is long and plume-like, covered with a thick coat of hair that blends seamlessly with the rest of the body. When the Maltese is in motion, its tail flows gracefully behind it, adding to its elegance and charm. Some pet owners choose to trim the tail hair of their Maltese to keep it from dragging on the ground, but this is a matter of personal preference. Overall, the tail of a Maltese is a beautiful and distinctive feature that adds to its overall grooming needs and aesthetic appeal.

Distinctive Appearance

The Maltese is a small breed with a distinctive appearance that sets it apart from other dogs. They have a compact body and a strong bone structure. Their head is slightly rounded with a black button nose and dark, expressive eyes. The ears are dropped and covered with long, silky hair that hangs down to their shoulders. The coat of a Maltese is one of its most distinguishing features. It is long, straight, and silky, with a pure white color. The hair often reaches the ground and requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling.

Another characteristic of the Maltese is its small size. Usually weighing between 4 and 7 pounds (1.8 to 3.2 kilograms), the Maltese is considered a toy breed. Despite their small stature, they have a sturdy and elegant build. Their legs are straight and well-boned, and their chest is deep and well-developed. They have a level topline and a high-set tail that is feathered and carried over their back.

In addition to their physical characteristics, the Maltese also has a distinct personality. They are known for their playful and affectionate nature. Maltese dogs are often described as lively and friendly, and they form strong bonds with their owners. They are also intelligent and eager to please, making them easy to train. Despite their small size, they have a big personality and are not afraid to stand up for themselves if necessary.

In conclusion, the Maltese breed has a distinctive appearance that includes a compact body, silky white coat, and small size. They are known for their playful and affectionate personality, making them a popular choice for families and individuals looking for a companion dog.


What do Maltese dogs look like?

Maltese dogs are small, white, and fluffy. They have a long, silky coat that hangs straight down from their body. Their face is round with a black nose, dark eyes, and ears that are set high and hang down to the side. They have a compact body with short legs and a straight tail that is held high over their back.

Do Maltese dogs have any distinctive markings?

No, Maltese dogs are typically pure white without any markings. However, some may have slight lemon or tan markings on their ears, but this is considered a fault in show dogs. The pure white coat is one of the breed’s most distinctive characteristics.

Are Maltese dogs hypoallergenic?

Yes, Maltese dogs are considered hypoallergenic. They have hair instead of fur, which means they shed very little and their dander is less likely to cause an allergic reaction in people with allergies. However, it’s important to note that everyone reacts differently, so it’s always best to spend time with a Maltese before bringing one into your home if you have allergies.

How big do Maltese dogs usually get?

Maltese dogs are small dogs, typically weighing between 4 to 7 pounds (1.8 to 3.2 kilograms). They usually stand about 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 centimeters) tall at the shoulder. Despite their small size, Maltese dogs are known for their lively and energetic personality.

Maltese dogs are generally healthy, but they can be prone to certain health issues related to their appearance. Their long, silky coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. They are also prone to dental issues, so it’s important to take care of their teeth through regular brushing and dental cleanings. Additionally, their eyes can be sensitive and may require special care to prevent infections or tear staining.

What is the average size of a Maltese dog?

The average size of a Maltese dog is between 8 to 10 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 4 to 7 pounds.

What is the appearance of a Maltese dog?

A Maltese dog has a long, silky, and straight white coat. They have a slightly rounded skull, black nose, round dark eyes, and drop ears that are set close to the head. They have a compact body with a level topline and a well-feathered tail that curls over their back.

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