How Big Do Maltese Get?

By John Martin - July 23, 2022

Three Maltese dogs sitting on a bench

Have you ever looked at an adorable Maltese puppy and wondered how big they get?

Maltese dogs are gentle and intelligent dogs. They are greatly admired for their silky coat and their size. Even as puppies, the Maltese breed is very small. There are several factors that determine how big they get.

Let’s find out exactly how big the breed gets.

About the Maltese Breed

The Maltese breed has been around for centuries. They are considered the aristocrats of the canine world. As their name states, their origin is believed to be in the tiny island of Malta, in Sicily.

Across history, you will find the mention of these diminutive dogs in a celebrated manner. They are represented in the ceramic art of the Greek. There is also archaeological evidence indicating they were owned and perhaps worshipped by Egyptians.

They are a high-valued breed famous for their size, elegance, and playfulness. Their first United States appearance was in 1877 at a dog show in Westminster. They gained AKC recognition in 1888.

The tiny breed has a moderate energy level and is very trusting. They are playful and affectionate with family. However, they can get snappy with noisy children. They are highly alert and make for good watchdogs.

Their size makes them suitable for indoor and small confines. They make good companions for those with allergies because of their light shedding. They can be difficult to housebreak because of their stubborn streak but take well to firm training sessions.

Also Read: Why Does My Maltese Keep Coughing?

Physical Characteristics


The Maltese breed has a compact body with a slightly rounded skull and low-set feathered ears. The head is proportionate to the body.

They have dark, round eyes, a black nose, and a slightly tapered, medium-length muzzle.

They boast a level back with sloping shoulder blades and well-sprung ribs. The fine-boned legs are well feathered with round feet and dark paw pads. They carry a tufted tail over the back.


Classified as toy breeds, Maltese dogs weigh about seven pounds when fully grown. They are one of the smallest dog breeds.

While only size is recognized, some illegal breeders put up teacup-sized Maltese who weigh less than four pounds as adults.

The recognized average height for the Maltese breed is eight to ten inches for males and eight to nine inches for females. They typically do not exceed over seven pounds in weight once they hit the eight-month growth marker.

Their ultimate size does not vary by much. However, there may be some variation in growth rates. This means Maltese dogs at the same stage of life may weigh differently.


The coat is the best feature of an adult Maltese. They have silky long white tresses that almost touch the ground. There is no undercoat, and they shed minimally.

The downside of the long, white coat is the regular maintenance. The coat is prone to getting dirty easily. It requires daily grooming and weekly baths. They are very high-maintenance despite their size.

Most people trim down their coats for easier maintenance. It keeps them clean and prevents mats.

The all-white mantle covering the petite body makes for an elegant picture. Some people like to adorn their long hair with jewelry and hair clips.

When Is a Maltese Fully Grown? (Physical and Mental Maturity)

This charming breed stops growing once they are around six to eight months old. They attain their final height and size earlier than other dog breeds.

They can continue to increase in weight until they reach the 12-month marker. However, this varies for individual dogs, and the increase in weight is usually the addition of muscle.

As puppies, they grow quickly. They gain one pound each month for a duration of up to eight months. The lowest average weight for Maltese at birth is about half a pound.

However, there is considerable variation in size among dogs of the same age. For instance, a six-month-old puppy could weigh three pounds while another of the same age could weigh six pounds.

Despite size variations during the early months, the final result is the same. The adult size of a fully grown Maltese is around seven pounds.

The Maltese breed lives up to 12 to 15 years of age. They outgrow their puppy stage by eight months and reach complete mental maturity at 15 months.

Every dog undergoes the same stages of mental development. The only difference across breeds is the rate of development. Some develop quicker than others. Maltese dogs have a moderate rate of development.

How to Determine the Size of a Maltese

It is not a hard task to figure out the final size of a Maltese puppy. They have a pretty standard size for when they mature, with preferred weights of four to six pounds.

An extra pound is fine, but it could indicate obesity and comes with its own set of health risks. There is no standard for height, but most Maltese dogs reach up to 10 inches at the shoulder.

The easiest way to determine how big your puppy will get is to take a look at their parents. Meeting the parents or assessing their size information will give you a clear idea of what to expect.

You can also get an estimate by taking their age and paw size into consideration. If they are still under six months, they have space to grow. Additionally, if their paw size is oversized compared to the rest of their body, they are still growing.

While genetics play a big role in influencing the adult size of a dog, diet and exercise also play an important role. A lack of care and a bad diet can stunt a dog’s growth or push them toward the obesity spectrum.

Also Read: Do Maltese Have Dental Problems?

The Bottomline

The Maltese are adorable tiny dogs with a sweet temperament. They are a toy breed—the littlest of the canines.

These diminutive dogs reach up to nine inches in height and weigh under seven pounds as adults.

Their miniature stature makes them a popular handbag dog breed. They also shed very less, making them a good choice for those with allergies.