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Maltese Breed Standard Last updated: 15 May 2010
A breed standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be mindful of features which could be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.

Pre 1987 Kennel Club, London

  • Group:
    Group 1 (Toys)
  • History:
  • General Appearance:

    Should be smart, lively and alert. The action must be free, without extended weaving.

  • Characteristics:

    Sweet tempered and very intelligent.

  • Temperament:

    Sweet tempered and very intelligent.

  • Head And Skull:

    From stop to centre of skull (centre between forepart of ears) and stop to tip of nose should be equally balanced. Stop should be defined. Nose should be pure black.

  • Eyes:

    Oval, not bulging, dark brown, black eye-rims.

  • Ears:

    Should be long and well feathered and hanging close to the side of the head, the hair to be mingled with the coat at the shoulders.

  • Mouth:

    Level or scissor bite with teeth even.

  • Neck:

    Of medium length, set on well sloped shoulders.

  • Forequarters:

    Legs should be short and straight. Shoulders well sloped.

  • Body:

    Should be in every way well balanced and essentially short and cobby, with good rib spring and the back should be straight from the tip of the shoulders to the tail.

  • Hindquarters:

    Legs should be short and nicely angulated.

  • Feet:

    Should be round and the pads of the feet should be black.

  • Tail:

    Should be well arched over the back and feathered.

  • Gait/Movement:

    Straight and free-flowing, without weaving. Viewed from behind the legs should be neither too close nor too wide apart.

  • Coat:

    Should be good length, but not impeding action, of silky texture, not in any way woolly and should be straight. It should not be crimped and there should be no woolly undercoat.

  • Colour:

    Pure white, but slight lemon markings should not penalise.

  • Sizes:

    Not over 25 cm (10 ins) from ground to top of shoulder.

  • Faults:

    Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

    Brown nose. Pink eye rims.

    Bad mouth, over or undershot.

    Gay tail.

    Curly or woolly coat.

    Unsound in any way.

  • Notes:

    Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

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