Weight: Male: 3–4 kg, Female: 3–4 kg
Height: Male: 21–25 cm, Female: 20–23 cm
Life span: 12 – 15 years
Maltese are bred to be companion dogs. They are extremely lively and playful, and even as a Maltese ages, their energy level and playful demeanor remain fairly constant. Some Maltese may occasionally be snappish with smaller children and should be supervised when playing, although socializing them at a young age will reduce this habit. They also adore humans, and prefer to stay near them. The Maltese is very active within a house, and, preferring enclosed spaces, does very well with small yards. For this reason, the breed also fares well in apartments and townhouses, and is a prized pet of urban dwellers. Some Maltese may suffer from separation anxiety.
An Australia-wide (not including Tasmania) research project carried out in conjunction with RSPCA found owners likely to dump their Maltese. citing the tendency of Maltese to bark constantly. This breed is Australia's most dumped dog. In addition, figures released in 2010 by the Korean National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service show that some 1,208 Maltese were abandoned between January and August 2010, making it the most abandoned breed in Seoul, South Korea.
The leading health issue in toy dogs is injury: fractures, concussions, choking on small objects, being attacked or jumped on by a larger dog.... you must keep a Maltese under constant surveillance and leash/arm control. Too much can happen to these little guys in the blink of an eye.
Many Maltese are blind from eye diseases like glaucoma and progressive retinal atrophy. Corneal ulcers can form if the prominent eyes get scratched. Tear duct disorders cause tears to overflow onto the white coat, staining it.