Maltese Dog

Behavior and character:

Playful, affectionate, very gentle, and very intelligent.

Facial Region:

Head: Rather wide, slightly exceeding half of its total length.

The skull is slightly longer than the muzzle; the bizygomatic width is equal to its length. In the sagittal plane, it is very little ovoid; the upper part of the skull is flat with a very little marked occipital protuberance. The frontal sinuses and the supraorbital arches are well developed; the metopic suture is absent or very little accentuated, the lateral walls are a little convex.
Stop: Naso-frontal depression very marked, defining an angle of 90°.

Nose: On the same line as the nasal cane, seen in profile, the anterior face is vertical. Large with open nostrils and absolutely black.

Muzzle: The length of the muzzle is slightly less than half the length of the head. The suborbital regions are well chiseled. The depth is much less than the length. The lateral faces are parallel, but the muzzle, seen from the front, must not appear square as the anterior face is connected by curves. The nasal cane is straight with a well-marked groove in the central part.

Lips: Seen from the front, at their junction, they have the shape of a very open arc. They are poorly developed in depth, with the connexus eye not visible. The upper lips perfectly overlap the lower ones, so much so that the lower profile of the muzzle is given by the mandible. The lip margins are strictly black.

Jaws/Teeth: Normally developed and of light appearance, they overlap perfectly. The mandible, with its straight branches, is neither prominent nor elusive forward. The dental arches overlap perfectly, and the incisors close in a scissors bite. The teeth are white, and the dentition is well developed and complete.

Eyes: Lively and attentive expression, larger than normal, the shape tends to be round. The eyelids adhere well to the eyeball, which is never sunken but rather protruding, just slightly. The eyes are located approximately on the same frontal plane. Seen from the front: they must not reveal the sclera (white in the eye); they are dark ochre in color; the palpebral rims and the third eyelid are black.

Ears: Tending to triangular shape, the width is about 1/3 of the length. They are inserted high above the zygomatic arch, pendulous and adherent to the lateral walls of the skull, slightly erect.
Body Type:

Neck: Despite being covered in abundant hair, the demarcation of the nape is clearly visible. The upper profile is arched. The length of the neck is about half the height at the withers. It has an erect carriage and is devoid of loose skin.

Trunk: The length measured from the tip of the scapula to the tip of the buttock is greater than 1/3 compared to the height at the withers. Topline: Straight until the insertion of the tail.

Withers: Slightly elevated on the dorsal profile.
back: The length is greater than half the height at the withers.

Rump: On the extension of the dorso-lumbar line, the rump is very wide and long, with a 10° oscillation relative to the horizontal. Chest: Wide, deep, well-developed, reaching below the level of the elbows with not very rounded ribs. The sternal region is very long.

Tail: Inserted on the line of the rump, thick at the base and fine at the tip. Forms a single large curve, whose tip falls between the hips touching the rump. A curled tail on one side of the trunk is tolerated.

Front limbs: Overall appearance, limbs fused to the trunk, straight and parallel.

Shoulder: The length represents 1/3 of the height at the withers, with the tips of the shoulders well spaced and well inclined backwards.

Arm: Longer than the shoulder, with good angulation.

Elbow: Never turned inward or outward.

Forearm: Dry with little visible muscle, but with rather strong bones in relation to the size of the breed.

Carpus (Wrist): Follows the vertical line of the forearm, mobile. Without nodules. Covered with thin skin.

Metacarpus (Pastern): Has the same characteristics as the carpus and, due to its brevity, is straight.

Front foot: Round, with united and arched toes; the soles of the plantar and digital pads must be black, and the nails must also be black or at least dark in color.

Hind limbs: Overall appearance: strong-boned. Limbs parallel when viewed from the rear, vertical from the tip of the buttocks to the ground.

Thigh: With firm muscles, the posterior margin is convex. Its direction from top to bottom and from back to front is quite oblique compared to the vertical.

Knee: The joint is free, never turned inward or outward. Leg: With a groove between the tendon and the bone just perceptible.
The inclination relative to the horizontal is 55°. It is slightly longer than the thigh. Hock: The front angle of the hock is 140°.

Metatarso: The distance from the ground to the tip of the hock is slightly more than 1/3 of the height at the withers. Metatarsals are rather low and perfectly straight.

Hind foot: Rounded, with toes joined and arched; the soles of the plantar and digital pads must be black, and the nails must also be black or at least dark in color.

Gait: Fluid, low, loose, with short and very rapid beats of the limbs when trotting.


Tightly fitting to all parts of the body, pigmented with dark spots and patches of a wine-red color, especially on the back.


Dense, shiny, and brilliant - falls heavily and with a silky texture, very long all over the body and straight without any deviation in its axis, along its entire length. On the trunk, it must exceed the height at the withers in length and fall heavily to the ground, like a cloak clinging to the trunk itself, following its contours without any division, strands, or tufts. Strands and tufts are allowed on the front limbs, from the elbow to the foot, and on the hind limbs from the knee to the foot. There is no undercoat. On the head, the fur is very long, even on the muzzle, where it blends with the beard, and also on the skull, where it descends finally until it merges with that of the ears. On the tail, the fur falls on one side of the trunk, namely on one flank and thigh, and is of such a length that it reaches the hock.

Color: Pure white, a pale ivory color is allowed. Traces of pale orange hues are tolerated but not desired and constitute a defect.

Size and weight:

Height at the withers: Males from 21 to 25 cm. Females from 20 to 23 cm. Weight: 3-4 kg.


  • Any deviation from the characteristics of the individual items constitutes a defect, which must be penalized according to its spread and severity and the effect it may have on the health and well-being of the dog.
  • Bilateral strabismus (convergent strabismus)
  • Trunk excessively long.

Severe defects:

Flat nose; pronounced prognathism; size in males over 26 cm and less than 19 cm. Size in females over 25 and less than 18.

Disqualifying defects:

Aggressive or overly fearful dogs. Any dog clearly demonstrating psychological or behavioral abnormalities must be disqualified. Markedly divergent or convergent craniofacial axes. Total depigmentation of the nose or of a color other than black, Enognathism, Strabismus, Total depigmentation of the eyelids, Brachyury anury, both congenital and artificial, Curly hair, any color other than white except for pale ivory, spots of different colors, regardless of their extension.

Males must have two testicles of normal appearance and well descended in the scrotum.