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Australian Maltese Breed Standard

Appearance - Should be smart, lively and alert. The action should be free, without extended weaving. Body should be well balanced and Short and Cobby with good spring of rib and the back should be straight from the tip of the shoulders to the tail.

Forequarters - Legs should be short and straight. Shoulders well sloped.

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

Coat - Should be of 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 penalize.

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.

Temperament - Sweet tempered, and very intelligent.

Care / Grooming - Coat should be of good length, brushed daily, and bathed weekly (if shown). If a pet, you can keep the Maltese trimmed short for easy management and bath every seven to ten days depending on how dirty it gets.

Size - Pre 1987 KC London Standard: Up to 10ins (25.5cm) from ground to top of shoulder. (The original Standard was: No more than 10 lb in weight and No more than 10 ins at the Shoulder, 4 to 6 pounds preferred, the smaller the better.

Faults - Brown Nose; Pink Eye Rims; Bad Mouth (over or undershot); Gay Tail; Curly or Woolly Coat; Unsound in any way.

History - Understood to have originated in the Isle of Melita (Now called Malta) They disappeared in War time and then re-appeared and were popular with certain Royals. It is also believed that the Maltese goes back as far as 7000BC insofar as anyone can find out.