Critter Culture
The Tiny Teacup Maltese

The Tiny Teacup Maltese

Critter Culture Staff



The teacup Maltese is one of the tiniest of pooches, with an adorable face and an incredibly soft coat. What these dogs are missing in size they make up for with personality. Each pet comes with its own set of quirks, and having a micro-dog means a unique set of traits to love and be aware of.



The teacup Maltese dog is a tiny version of a regular Maltese. These dogs have been identified as far back as 500 BCE and were a favorite of the aristocracy and elite classes. These extra small versions are identical genetically to a standard Maltese, both fitting into the toy class of dog. The only identifiable difference is their size and weight.

teacup maltese running outside kimrawicz / Getty Images


Appearance and size

These little dogs have silky white long fur with no undercoat. They stand between 4 and 6 inches tall and generally weigh less than 5 pounds. With floppy ears and stubby short legs, a teacup Maltese will often have a bouncy look when running. Against the white fur, their black eyes and nose stand out in sharp contrast.

white teacup maltese with long fur Laures / Getty Images


Loads of personality

Full of personality and a sweet demeanor, these little teacup pups will use their voice for attention. The Maltese enjoys the company of humans and is content to accompany its owners on outings, rather than stay home alone. Due to their size, they are not overly rambunctious and are often content to cuddle with their owners.

teacup Maltese in fall leaves positivelydigital / Getty Images


Health concerns

health concerns teacup maltese

The small size of a teacup Maltese can make them more susceptible to respiratory concerns, so ensure that the dog is warm and dry whenever possible. Many other health issues come from a poor quality diet. Offering hard chew toys will help to keep teeth and gums healthy. With such small caloric needs, it is easy to overfeed a Maltese, which can lead to obesity-related ailments like diabetes.


Grooming requirements

The silky long hair of a teacup Maltese means that regular combing is required to prevent uncomfortable matting. Ensure that ear canals are kept clear of hair, as this can lead to painful ear infections. Some owners prefer a longer coat, although a trimmed shorter coat will be easier to maintain and keep clean. Keep your dog's nails trimmed and their teeth clean, or ask for assistance from a veterinarian.

teacup Maltese grooming brush mixetto / Getty Images


Dietary needs

teacup maltese food needs

Little teacup Maltese dogs do not require large meals, but can easily become overweight if eating more than 400 calories per day. Choose a food designed for smaller breeds made with high-quality lean proteins. During training, use tiny treats sparingly, as they can add up over the course of a day. Crunchy foods will help to keep teeth free of plaque and debris.


Tiny exercise needs

As might be imagined, a teacup Maltese dog does not have huge exercise requirements. What may seem like a short stroll for a human could in turn be a long haul for such a small dog. These little pooches will enjoy playtime in the yard, a few quick outings down the block and back, and some fun games indoors each day.

teacup Maltese running in grass Consu1961 / Getty Images



Small dogs are often seen as spoiled little terrors. In truth, a teacup Maltese is a very intelligent dog, fully capable of learning an array of commands and tricks. The key is consistency and starting early in the first few weeks. It is easy to ignore jumping and barking in an adorable puppy, but these behaviors are not ideal for guests or outside of your home. Socialization or training classes will help get you started.

teacup maltese smiling kukai / Getty Images


The right fit

is a maltese right for you

Tiny teacup Maltese pups are pretty easy to bring into any household. Their low exercise requirements and tiny size make for very few interruptions to an existing daily routine. Be wary of introducing these pint-sized canines into a house with rowdy children or large pets to avoid possible injury. As these little guys insist on lots of attention, it is important that you try to incorporate them into your routine where possible.



A Maltese is a purebred dog, which means your best bet for finding a great dog is through a registered breeder. When starting your puppy search, ask the breeder to see the parents. This will help to identify the size your dog will grow to and some indication of their temperament.

If you are content with an older dog, rescue organizations are also a great place to start.

teacup Maltese chewing toy ueuaphoto / Getty Images


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