Breed Quick Facts
Height Under 7 inches
Weight 3 to 4.5 lbs
Coat Flat, long and silky
Color White
Shedding Very low shedding, hypoallergenic
Temperament Playful, friendly, gentle, affectionate, eager and lively
Family Friendly Yes
Barking Can be yappy
Training Easily trainable
Lifespan 12 to 15 years

The Teacup Maltese is an adorable breed of dog that weighs only 4 lbs! It’s almost as small as the Teacup Chihuahua. With a cute fluffy white coat and a friendly and loving nature, it is no surprise that this breed of dog has increased greatly in popularity over the last two decades. These pups have a wonderful, playful personality that means they make an excellent companion and lapdog to many.

If you’re interested in knowing more about this dog or adding one to your family, read on below to find out everything you need to.

History Of The Teacup Maltese

The Teacup Maltese is a smaller version of the Maltese dog. They were originally bred to be just a smaller variation of the breed, and were bred by crossing Miniature Poodles and Spaniels into the line. A breed standard was finally created in 1964 and has not changed since then.

The Teacup Maltese is not recognized as it’s own breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and is officially classified as a small Maltese dog. You may find your Teacup Maltese is registered as a Maltese dog with the Kennel Club, however you may also find that your Teacup Maltese is too small for the breed standard.

Breed Origin

The origin of the Maltese dog is not widely known, but they are known to hail from Malta. This dog may descend from Swiss Spitz type dogs, or Tibetan Terriers. The Maltese was thought to be a member of the Bichon family for a number of years, but this two breeds are actually separate.

It is thought that the Maltese was first bred in around 500 BC. However, the breed was miniaturized and bred as we know it today in the 17th and 18th century. These dogs were very popular companions among the rich because of their size and astonishing floor-length coat.

Characteristics Of The Teacup Maltese

A Teacup Maltese is bred by breeding two very small Maltese dogs together. Standard Maltese dogs normally only produce three puppies in a litter, so a Teacup Maltese may only produce one or two dogs.

Breeding can be extremely difficult and dangerous for the mother’s health, and so these pups do come with a hefty price tag. You can expect to pay anywhere between $750 and $2,000 for a Teacup Maltese puppy. You should always make sure you are buying from a reputable breeder.


The Teacup Maltese is an adorable dog who is very small. Normally, these dogs stand at about 8 inches tall and weigh 4 or 5 lbs. They have an easily identifiable round face with black eyes, which is why they look so cute!


This teacup dog has a single coat that is quite thick. Due to the fact they do not have an undercoat, their coat is hypoallergenic which means they are perfect for those with allergies because they do not shed.

The Teacup Maltese can have their coat long or cut short — it depends on how much you want to groom them! We will go into more detail about grooming later on.


According to the breed standard, the only acceptable color for the Teacup Maltese to be is white. All other colors have been unacceptable since 1913.


The Teacup Maltese is a loving and friendly dog that just wants to be around their humans! Originally bred to be a lapdog, the Maltese hasn’t lost this trait and certainly likes to curl up with you and show you how much they love you.

The Teacup Maltese isn’t lazy though, and has a wonderful playful personality! They love to play games and will keep you on your toes, thriving when they can join in the fun with you. Despite their small size, they are much less likely to develop yappy tendencies like many other small dogs, and are a happy dog breed who loves life.

Their small size can mean that they are a little wary around other dogs, certainly ones that are bigger than them. Socialization is key for this pup, so they learn that they do not have to be afraid. Fortunately, the Teacup Maltese is a fast learner and their love for people and pleasing them means they will not find socialization difficult. This also makes training easy, which is perfect if you are a first time dog owner.


A Teacup Maltese has an average life expectancy of between 12 and 15 years.

Known Health Issues

Unfortunately, as with any dog, the Teacup Maltese is prone to some health problems. The biggest health concern that this dog faces is hypoglycaemia, which is low blood sugar. To help combat this, you should feed your Teacup Maltese three to four times a day to help keep their blood sugar levels up.

These pups can also suffer with liver, heart and respiratory problems. This is down to their small size and so prospective owners must be prepared for higher vet bills. Regular vet checkups and keeping an eye on your dog will ensure you can catch any issues before they become untreatable.

Remember — buy from a reputable breeder and the chances your dog will suffer any health conditions will be greatly reduced.

Daily Life

Now we understand the traits and characteristics of the Teacup Maltese, we can take a look at what daily life with one of these pups is like. We will cover their food and diet, their exercise requirements and their grooming needs.

Food And Diet

It is not a surprise that the Teacup Maltese doesn’t eat very much. As a small dog, they don’t need a lot of food, but they are actually quite picky eaters! They will need less than 1 cup of food a day.

To understand how much of a certain food you should be feeding your Teacup Maltese, check the back of the food packet for recommendations based on their weight.


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