Depending on who you ask, you might be presented with many different opinions and conflicting information regarding the Maltese breed.
Based strictly on AKC standards; there is one Maltese dog breed. Although it is true that there is only one Maltese breed, there is a lot of variety within the breed. Here we will give you some information about the different types of Maltese available so you can find the perfect Maltese for you.
What Makes the Maltese So Popular?
Before exploring the different types of Maltese available, you should learn some general Maltese breed information. The Maltese is popular because their personality traits make them excellent companions. They are lively, fun and known for being very intelligent.
The breed’s small size also make them suitable for apartment living. Of all the toy breeds, the Maltese is one of the best family dogs because of their energetic and playful nature. It is easy to see why the Maltese is so popular.
The AKC breed standards states that the Maltese coat must be long, silky and flat. But among Maltese pets, two varieties have been noted. There is the standard silky coat and another type, often referred to as cotton coat.
Early crossbreeding with the Poodle is considered a likely cause for the cotton like coat found in some Maltese. Images of Maltese will give you a clearer picture of the two different coats. If you are interested in owning a Maltese as a pet, it does not much matter which coat your dog has; but there are some notable differences between the two.
Silky Coats Are Easier to Maintain
Maltese with a silky, flat laying coat do not require much to keep their coats looking this way. They will naturally lay flat and smooth, and some Maltese lovers prefer this more traditional coat. They simply require bathing and occasional brushing.
Cotton Coats Can Be Prone to Matting
If you end up with a dog that has a cotton-like coat, you will probably spend more time grooming your puppy. This type of coat is known to mat easier than a Silky coat and it is important to groom your dog regularly to prevent painful matting.
It can be difficult to tell what type of coat your puppy will end up with when he or she is just a tiny puppy. Sometimes a puppy will have a cotton looking coat and then wind up with a Silky coat as he or she grows older.
If your puppy ends up with a cotton-like coat and you prefer silky, you can spend extra time grooming your dog or having him or her groomed to attain the look you want. Blow drying, careful brushing and even straightening are some methods Maltese owners use to make their Maltese look his or her best.
Maltese Coat Colors
Once again there is a difference here between AKC standards and real life observations when it comes to Maltese coat color.
The current AKC standard states that the Maltese must be white. But the Maltese breed was not always limited to only white. Early on in American Maltese breeding, there was a lot of cross breeding between the Poodle and the Maltese.
This resulted in both black and white Maltese puppies, along with some puppies that are a mixture of black and white. Currently the black Maltese is rare, but occasionally still seen.
If you are interested in a black Maltese, it can be difficult to track one down. A litter of mostly white Maltese Puppies might contain an occasional black Maltese puppy, or sometimes a combination of the two like a White with black spots.
Speaking with different breeders and letting them know you are interested in a black Maltese puppy is the first step in locating one of these rare dogs. Some Maltese mixes have an appearance that looks like a purebred Maltese but with a different color like black. If you prefer a purebred black Maltese puppy, be sure to carefully choose your breeder and insist on a puppy with AKC registration papers.
The Teacup or Miniature Maltese Puppies
Like coat type and color; there are officially no different sizes for Maltese puppies. Like people, Maltese come in different sizes, some even much different.
Even a single litter can contain a wide variety of sizes in puppies. Natural variation in size between different puppies has led to some unofficial size labels for very small Maltese. These labels include:
- Teacup Maltese
- Miniature Maltese
- Toy Maltese
Like black Maltese puppies, very small Maltese puppies can be found in almost any litter; although it is fairly random.
Some breeders might attempt to breed more toy Maltese puppies by breeding a very small male and a very small female, but even then there is no guarantee that the resulting puppies will all be teacup Maltese puppies.
Like those searching for a black Maltese, those searching for a miniature Maltese puppy should begin by contacting local breeders and letting them know what they are looking for. Even if a breeder does not currently have the type of Maltese you are looking for, they might be willing to contact you when they do.
Some say that teacup Maltese can be subject to more health and behavior issues than the standard Maltese. Their small size alone makes them especially fragile. All dogs are different, but if you are interested in a teacup Maltese, be prepared for possible special issues and be ready to handle them.
Simply looking at Maltese puppy pictures and seeing all of the different adorable varieties might be enough to convince you this breed is right for you.
They are truly a beautiful dog.
What makes these little dogs even better is they have a beautiful personality to match. Spend some time reading and looking and be sure you have the time and resources for a dog before bringing one home.
With all of the different types of Maltese breed available; there will surely be a great dog for you.