Even though the breed is known for its coat, its body structure, facial expression and overall carriage are essential components of the type. The Maltese is a diminutive dog with a compact, square body, covered all over with long, flat, silky, white hair hanging almost to the ground. The expression is gentle yet alert. It is a vigorous dog, with a jaunty, smooth, flowing gait. The well-built Maltese seems to float over the ground when trotting.
Long a favorite lap dog, the gentle Maltese fills this role admirably. It also has a wild side and loves to run and play. Despite its innocent look, it is bold and feisty and may challenge larger dogs. It is reserved with strangers. Some bark a lot.
Temperament: Active, Docile, Easygoing, Gentle, Intelligent, Playful, Responsive, Sweet-Tempered