10 Facts You Should Know About The Teacup Maltese (with Pictures)


Taylor A Ritz Have you ever wanted a bright, cheerful dog that is curious and low maintenance when it comes to exercise? Do you want your dog to be portable and easy to travel with? Look no further than the Teacup Maltese. What is a Teacup Maltese? The term “teacup” simply refers to a miniature version of a Maltese dog. Read on for a few more facts about the Teacup Maltese.

1. Where Does the Teacup Maltese Come From?

The Maltese breed is littered throughout ancient history. This adorable dog originated sometime between 8,000 and 6,000 B.C. The most likely theory names the Island of Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, as their place of origin. The Maltese breed was a popular trading item for seafaring nations; the breed quickly spread via merchants to places such as China, the Middle East, Tibet, the Philippines, and Japan. Ancient Egyptians worshipped the Maltese as a God while the Greeks depicted them on pottery. Famous poets in Rome described these sweet pups as well. These dogs were considered prize pets by royalty and the aristocracy of multiple countries. Today, the Maltese is still an incredibly popular breed.

2. How Much Does a Teacup Maltese Eat?

Despite their diminutive size, Teacup Maltese dogs can have rather large appetites. Due to their propensity for dental issues such as plaque and tartar build-up, you’ll want to feed your Teacup Maltese a high-quality dry kibble. Their tiny size can also make them prone to obesity, so make sure to follow serving-size recommendations from pet food manufacturers or instructions from your veterinarian. Use a visual body condition scoring system to ascertain whether your Teacup Maltese is getting enough or too much food. 

3. What Does a Teacup Maltese Look Like?

Their coats are usually soft, fluffy, long, straight and white. Maltese coats are also hypoallergenic. Coats that mix in lemon or light tan coloration are also acceptable. They have a compact body, big, dark eyes, and a flowy gait.

4. How Big Is a Teacup Maltese?

The Teacup Maltese has been bred specifically to be quite small. A regular Maltese might stand 8 to 10 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 7 pounds. On the other hand, Teacup Maltese weigh between 2 and 4 pounds. These dogs are so named because a Teacup Maltese puppy is so small it can literally fit into a teacup.

5. What Is the Temperament of a Teacup Maltese?

Like the regular Maltese, Teacup Maltese are playful, happy little dogs. They are known for having rather big personalities contained in a small body. Their love of play will see them running around their home, chasing small toys, and engaging in playtime with their humans. Teacup Maltese usually get along well with other small dogs as well as cats. They are kid-friendly but do better with older children, as young children can accidentally injure the tiny dog. Teacup Maltese are true lap dogs; they form strong bonds with their owners and enjoy nothing more than cuddling and spending time with their human family. As a result, Teacup Maltese often do not do well when left alone for long periods of time. 

6. What Are the Exercise Requirements for a Teacup Maltese?

Despite their small size, Teacup Maltese have quite a bit of energy. Luckily, their tiny size means that they do not require vast amounts of exercise to tire out. A quick walk or play session in the yard, twice a day, is more than enough to burn off the excess energy of your Teacup Maltese. A tired dog is a well-behaved dog; dogs that are not provided with adequate exercise will become bored and resort to undesirable and possibly even destructive activities.  Note that when playing in a yard or other outdoor setting, it is important to keep a watchful eye on your Teacup Maltese. Even if your yard is fenced, dogs of this size have been known to escape or be carried off by flying predators.

7. How Do You Train a Teacup Maltese?

Teacup Maltese are intelligent animals that have been companions to humans for thousands of years. In that time, this breed has learned how to get exactly what they want from their people. In other words, not only is the Teacup Maltese athletic and talented, but these dogs are also stubborn and determined. Their quick mind can make learning tricks and behaviors a breeze, but their hard-headed tendencies mean that many training sessions will require a boat-load of patience from their people. Harsh methods like shouting or punishment will likely cause your Teacup Maltese to shut down in a training set. Instead, stick with positive reinforcement and keep training sessions short and fun. If you begin to feel frustrated, end your training session as soon as possible.

8. How Healthy Is a Teacup Maltese?

The tiny size of the teacup Maltese does not do them any favors when it comes to their health. As with any dog, Teacup Maltese can experience health issues. Here are a few health concerns they are more prone to:
  • Eye, ear, and oral issues (reduce dental issues by feeding high-quality dry kibble)
  • Reverse sneezing (when air is pulled rapidly into the nose)
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Patella luxation (a slipped knee joint)
  • Obesity
  • Cardiac issues
  • Fragile bones
  • Seizures
While a regular Maltese has a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years, a Teacup Maltese may live only 5 years.

9. How Do You Groom a Teacup Maltese?

A Teacup Maltese’s coat is usually long and soft, requiring regular grooming. They should be brushed several times a week to keep the coat from matting or tangling. In addition, a monthly bath and periodic trims by a professional groomer are recommended. Their white coat will only stay white if it is properly conditioned on a regular basis. Teacup Maltese are prone to dental disease, so their teeth should also be brushed regularly.

10. Does a Teacup Maltese Make a Good Pet for a Family?

A Teacup Maltese is an incredibly sweet and loving dog. They bond quite strongly with their human companions and love nothing more than to snuggle up on your lap. They get along with all other members of the household, though young children or big dogs may harm them accidentally due to their minuscule size. Teacup Maltese will likely love every person who comes into your home, making them the ideal small family dog.

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Taylor Ritz

Taylor has a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science. She is a former zookeeper and animal trainer. She has her own dog, Dobby, with whom she has bicycled across the U.S. and thru-hiked the Long Trail.

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