The Maltese are one of the oldest dog breeds that exist today. They take their name from Malta, which is their homeland. Maltese dogs are known for the gentle beauty, acute intelligence, and charming playfulness. They are friendly dogs with a distinctive noble appearance, and they have fluffy, glamorous coats.
Maltese dogs make great companions and are sometimes used as therapy dogs. They are also great for competitions because they are spritely and agile. Their tracking skills and obedience can come in handy as well.
These dogs are fairly easy to own, but it’s important to monitor their growth. To make this easier, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about the development of a Maltese dog and even included a Maltese growth chart.
When Do Maltese Stop Growing
Your Maltese dog would have reached his full size by the time of his first birthday. In fact, you probably would have noticed that he had to stop growing by at least three months before this. However, there are a few rare instances where a Maltese dog continues to grow until they are about 15 months old.
It’s also important to consider Maltese dogs tend to vary in size and this is most likely a genetic trait. Therefore, the parents of your Maltese pup will affect his size in adulthood. The male Maltese tend to be larger than females, but they can weigh between 4 and 7 pounds in adulthood.
Maltese Weight Chart
The Maltese weight chart below gives an average size of your Maltese dog’s weight. There are some instances where the weight may be higher or lower than what appears in the Maltese growth chart. In most cases, this is a no cause for serious alarm.
You should note, however, that if you find your Maltese puppy’s weight is a lot lower than any of the numbers stated, you should take an assessment of his health. Your Maltese may be too small and may have a greater chance of developing several health problems.
On the other hand, if your Maltese puppy’s weight is higher than any of the numbers stated, you should not panic. Although your Maltese dog may not fall within the perfect range, (preferred adult weight is 4-6 pounds) having a few extra pounds over average is fine.
Even though it is not common, some Maltese dogs can grow to 9 pounds and still be healthy. Just ensure that you provide regular check-ups. You can feel free to use this Maltese weight chart as a guide and not a standard rule.
Maltese Puppy Weight Chart
|Birth||3.5 oz||4 oz||4.5 oz||4.75 oz||5 oz||5.5 oz||6 oz||6.5 oz|
|Final Adult Weight||3.35 lbs||4 lbs||4.5 lbs||5 lbs||5.5 lbs||6 lbs||6.5 lbs||7 lbs|
Maltese Growth Chart – What To Expect
Birth – 2 Weeks
Maltese pups are born deaf, toothless, and blind. This is a sensitive stage because they are unable to regulate their own body temperature. During this period, the newborn puppy relies on its mother and siblings for their warmth and comfort.
They are able to wiggle and crawl close to their mother, but their muscles and coordination do not allow them to walk just yet. It’s important for owners to allow the puppies to have this time with their mothers so that they may properly develop.
3 Weeks – 12 Weeks
At this time, you will find that your Maltese puppy has gone through a lot of changes. For instance, they are much more mobile as their muscles are starting to develop. So you have cute puppies who are playfully exploring and romping around with their littermates.
Weaning also starts during this time and from around the end of week 4 to the start of week 5, the dam will nurse less. The pup should now be weaned onto solid foods. By the 7-week mark, the pup will be fully weaned and eating solid food. The milk teeth start to come in at around week 8.
4 Months – 6 Months
During this period, the Maltese pup will go through teething. The 28 milk teeth will start to fall out and then 42 adult teeth will come in as its replacement. At this stage, you should also be on the lookout for tear and face staining.
This can be a big problem for most Maltese owners. You should expect tear and face staining to begin when your puppy is four to five months old. Some people treat tear staining with hydrogen peroxide, but it is always advised to visit your vet.
7 Months – 9 Months
During this time, most Maltese dogs experience puberty for the first time. The female dogs have their first heat cycle and the males are now producing viable sperm. You need to keep an eye on them because they have been known to stray at these times in pursuit of mates.
10 Months – 12 Months
For some pups, you may notice a cessation in growth while others keep growing. Most puppies will continue to mature until about nine months old, but they can also grow through the one-year mark. The growth curve will tail off quickly after about 6 months.
The common size of adult Maltese dogs is approximately 7 pounds. Maltese dogs may range from 3 to 8 lbs. They should have a short height and a very small stature as well, with an average height of 8 to 10 inches, measured from floor to withers (shoulder blades).
Maltese Body Shape Change
Newborn puppies gain weight each day after their birth. But each Maltese puppy but basically grows at its own pace this is dependent on a variety of factors like nutrition genetics, and activity level.
It is not uncommon for two 3-month-old Maltese puppies to have different weights (for example, 2.5 lbs. and 4 lbs.) but both still have a weight of 6.5 pounds adults.
The majority of the growth will happen in the first 6 months after birth. For the rest of the first year, there may be small adjustments in weight, height, or both.
Maltese dogs tend to be proportionate, with the height measurement from the top of the shoulders to the ground the same measurement as from the top of the shoulder to the tail root.
Factors That Affect Maltese Puppy Growth
Hereditary factors have the most impact when it comes to a Maltese puppy’s growth. These genetic factors control the rate of growth along with other important factors that add to their development.
The food you give to your Maltese puppy will affect his ability to grow. If you constantly give your puppy low-quality food without the proper nutrients he needs to grow then his development will be impeded.
There are low-quality foods that will not offer enough nutrients as it will be full of fillers which have little or no nutrients needed by a growing puppy. They cause stunting of the growth in dogs.
Physical Activity & Health
Sufficient exercise is needed to stimulate growth and allow bone density to be developed. Stronger bones and a fitter body will add weight to your puppy while keeping him healthy. Your Maltese dog will have healthy strong muscles when he is allowed to exercise regularly. Exercise will also serve to work off any extra calories if your puppy overeats on occasion.
How Long Are Maltese Pregnant?
As with other small dog breeds, a Maltese pregnancy will last for roughly 8 to 10 weeks. After about 8 weeks the Maltese litter could be expected at any time. It should be a cause for concern if a Maltese pregnancy is prolonged after 10 weeks.
Ordinarily, it may be possible for Maltese dogs to get pregnant as soon as they have their first heat cycle. This usually occurs in the 4 months to 8 months period, which is a very young age. It is not advised for Maltese to get pregnant in their first heat cycle because their body has yet to fully develop, and it is harmful to them at this age.
How Many Puppies Do Maltese Have?
In the average pregnancy, a Maltese can have between 3-8 puppies. Though it is rare, every so often, a single puppy will be born or a larger litter of 10 can be born, too. It is important to note that the number of puppies can be affected by Mom’s age, size, and other health factors.
Maltese puppies are very cute and tiny when there are born. It is advised to not allow very small children to handle them when they are young and fragile. Maltese puppies tend to weigh around 4 ounces when they’re born, and steadily gain weight every single day as they gain strength and develop.
What If My Maltese Is Not The Right Weight
Most Maltese owners want to know how big the pup will be as he develops and what size he will be as an adult dog. With Maltese dogs, however, rates of growth can differ quite a bit.
Some owners fear that their Maltese puppy is not gaining weight as he should. It is important to remember that with an end goal of just 3 to 6 or 7 pounds there is not that much growing to do.
Some Maltese dogs will have a somewhat larger bone structure, so a pound or so over that 7 lb. limit is not uncommon and is no cause for alarm.
On the other hand, if a Maltese puppy is always on the low end of the scale, he will most probably end up being 3 to 4 lbs. When Maltese pups have a consistently low weight, you don’t need to be alarmed but ensure that he is receiving proper nutrition and always visit your vet.
What Is The Life Expectancy Of Maltese?
Approximately 12 to 15 years is the usual range for life expectancy, for the Maltese dog breed, with 13 and a half years old being the average age of natural death.
Some Maltese dogs live much longer lives, even though this is the normal age of death. They can reach 15, 16, and even 17 years old with females living a bit longer than males.
Since the average canine lives approximately 12 years, the Maltese breed tends to live a bit longer than dogs on average. A Maltese dog is said to be in his prime between the ages of 1 and 8. After this, they start to decline.
How Much Does It Cost To Own A Maltese?
To own a Maltese dog, the average cost is about $1000 to $3000 annually. This would cover all the expenses such as food, training, vet visits, toys, and vaccinations.
Because the Maltese are a smaller dog breed, the costs are actually less than a much larger dog. Larger dogs would require more food, more exercise, and better training.
Purchasing a dog is not a choice that should be made without proper consideration. It is good to have an in-depth understanding of the overall costs to maintain a Maltese each year so that you can make an informed decision.
Maltese Genetics And Common Health Problems
In their golden years, heart failure is a leading cause of death among Maltese dogs. A weakening of a valve is what causes heart disease in dogs in most cases. A heart valve gradually becomes damaged so that it no longer closes tightly. Blood then leaks back around this valve and hurts the heart. Dogs with heart valve disease will have a heart murmur.
The Maltese are more susceptible than other breeds to have a liver disorder called portosystemic shunt (PSS). This occurs when some of the blood supply that should go to the liver, instead goes around it, causing it to function improperly. If your dog has PSS, his liver cannot remove toxins from his bloodstream effectively. Unfortunately, this could be fatal.