Maltese dogs look like aristocratic dogs. But that is to be expected, given their history as favorites of royalty over the years. They are playful, energetic, loving companion dogs who thrive when given the right attention by their dog owner. Now, if you are a prospective pet parent, you probably want to know how big Maltese get.
After all, one of the main reasons people get a Maltese puppy is because of its small size. That being said, generally, the Maltese dog breed grows between 7 and 12 inches. They weigh between 4 and 8 pounds, making them flight-friendly and transport-friendly.
These dogs are the perfect size for snuggling on your lap. That being said, let’s take a look at the growth chart of this popular lap dog.
What Is The Breed Standard?
With every dog breed, The American Kennel Club sets a standard after recognizing the breed. That is the case with the Maltese puppies as well.
Per The American Kennel Club dog breed standard, the fully-grown adult Maltese should be under 7 lbs. That being said, these dogs cannot be physically in the 2lbs range. So, they grow between 3 and 7 lbs as adults.
Yet, we have to mention that the under 7 lbs range is only for dogs appearing in the show ring. That is a guideline for breeders in regard to their goals. After all, every reputable breeder strives to produce puppies that meet the strict AKC standards.
In terms of height, there is no standard. Yet, most male Maltese dogs are between 8 and 10 inches, while a female Maltese dog is between 8 and 9 inches. Females tend to have a slightly smaller bone structure.
We have to mention that some dogs are slightly larger, and can possibly grow up to 11 inches.
The Maltese dog breed belongs to the toy breed dog group. There are 21 dogs in total in the toy dog group by the AKC.
And out of those 21 dogs, the Maltese is among the smallest. You can compare it to the Chihuahua, which is the smallest and weighs under 6 lbs.
The small size and the hypoallergenic coat of the Maltese make it a popular option for cross-breeding.
Is There A Teacup Maltese?
As we said before, there is no set minimum size for the Maltese dog. But it is almost impossible for an adult to be just 1 pound, and very rarely it is possible to be just 2 pounds.
Yes, there are Maltese puppies toward the lower end of the range, in the 3 to 4-pound range. These smaller dogs are often called Teacup Maltese. Yet, we have to mention, this is not an official variation of the Maltese breed.
In the past several years, breeders have tried to get as a small dog as possible. We have to mention that there are health concerns with the Teacup Maltese puppy variation.
Maltese Growth Chart
Now let’s take a look at the growth range of the Maltese dog breed. This chart will help you understand the expected growth of your new dog.
|birth||0.5 pounds||Less than 5 inches|
|8 weeks||2.5 pounds||Less than 5 inches|
|3 months||4 pounds||5 inches|
|6 months||6 pounds||8 inches|
|9 months||7 pounds||8 inches|
|12 months||7 pounds||8 to 10 inches|
|24 months||7 pounds||10 inches|
When Is Your Maltese Fully Grown?
Most Maltese puppies will reach their adult-size growth at around six to eight months. Smaller dogs usually stop growing earlier than large dog breeds.
From eight months onward, your dog will rarely increase its height or weight.
Factors Influencing Size
The size of the Maltese largely depends on genetics, nutrition, and exercise. Most Maltese puppies stop growing at the age of eight months.
And we have to note that parents play the biggest role. Maltese with smaller parents will often be on the small size. On the other hand, a Maltese dog with larger parents will get bigger.
Proper exercise is important for helping your Maltese pup gain muscle mass as well. Overfeeding might result in obese dogs, and you definitely do not want it.
What Is The Ideal Diet For Maltese?
If you want your Maltese pup to maintain a healthy weight, the diet should include high-quality protein and fiber with moderate fat content.
Look for food that is designed for toy breed dogs and small breed dogs. And make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise to promote proper muscle development.
Why Do People Love Maltese Dogs?
Yes, every dog is different. But generally speaking, Maltese puppies have one of the best temperaments in the canine world.
Yes, personality can vary depending on factors like environment, training, socialization, and experiences. Yet, this breed is famous for its many wonderful personality traits.
Maltese puppies are gentle, loving, obedient, affectionate, trusting, and intelligent. At the same time, they are fun and lively, and playful at every step of their growth process.
Most importantly, Maltese puppies love to be around their humans. If not, they are prone to separation anxiety. So keep that in the back of your mind.
Last, but not least, Maltese puppies have a hypoallergenic coat that helps people with allergies.
Maltese Quick Facts
Let’s finish off our article about how big Maltese get with some fun facts about the breed.
- The dog originated in Malta, a small island nation south of Sicily, Italy
- These dogs have been highly valued throughout history. According to some historians, they were sold for an equivalent of $2,000 in the 1500s
- The breed was loved by royalty, including Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I
- They are considered to be hypoallergenic, the same as Poodles and Bichon Frise
- Considered to be picky eaters because of their silver spoon heritage
- These dogs have a cute black button nose that can turn pink when your pup doesn’t get enough sun
- The noses of female Maltese dogs turn pink when they are in heat