The head is well proportioned to the body and the skull is slightly rounded. The drop ears are low set and heavily feathered. The eyes are dark, the nose black and the muzzle of medium length and slightly tapered. The long, silky coat that sweeps or hangs close to the ground gives the Maltese an almost ornamental appearance. The long hair on the head may be tied in a topknot or left hanging. The coat color is pure white. The Maltese moves in a buoyant, flowing gait.

The Maltese is gentle, affectionate, intelligent, responsive and trusting. A good family dog, Maltese are lively, playful, vigorous, and they generally enjoys learning tricks. They can be snappy with raucous children. The petite build of the Maltese belies its fearless presence. Highly alert, the Maltese elicits a flurry of barking in response to unfamiliar noises.

Obesity can be a significant health problem in Maltese. It is a serious disease that may cause or worsen joint problems, metabolic and digestive disorders, back pain and heart disease.

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