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Teacup Maltese

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.

Teacup Maltese Dog

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.

The Teacup Maltese - Complete Breed Guide - Animal Corner

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.

You should always ensure you are feeding your Teacup Maltese dog high quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. These dogs are more prone to developing low blood sugar, so feeding them little and often is advised. Take a look at the dog food we recommend below.

Best Dog Food For The Teacup Maltese

Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

The Teacup Maltese - Complete Breed Guide - Animal Corner BUY ON AMAZON

We recommend this SmartBlend dry dog food from Purina ONE for your Teacup Maltese because it is formulated for smaller mouths. With small kibble piece sizes, your Teacup Maltese will be able to eat this food more easily. It is also made with highly digestible ingredients, including real beef as the first ingredient to promote lean and strong muscles.

Added vitamins and minerals further support your dog’s body, giving them a healthy coat and skin, bright eyes, mobile joints and lots of energy. Even better, the kibble is extra crunchy, which helps to clean your Maltese’s teeth as they chew.


The Teacup Maltese breed doesn’t have great exercise needs, which is unsurprising based on their size. They still do need to exercise and will enjoy walks, but you should be mindful of their small bodies and aware that they certainly shouldn’t overdo it. Two 15 minute walks a day will be enough for these dogs.

Often, owners make the mistake of carrying around their Teacup Maltese due to their size and never exercising them. This can cause your Maltese to put on weight!

One of the best ways to keep your Teacup Maltese exercised is to play games with them! These energetic and playful pups love to engage with their humans, and their intelligence means they also do well when mentally stimulated.

Family Compatibility

As we mentioned above, the Teacup Maltese loves people and is therefore a perfect family dog! They love both adults and children and their playful nature means they always want to join in the family fun and be the center of attention. You will often find them at your feet, wondering whether they can be a part of what’s going on!

Due to the Teacup Maltese’s small size, they are a great dog for families who do not have a lot of space for a large dog, but still want a playful and fun-loving pup! It is important to remember that stairs can be a challenge for this dog due to their size, so they often thrive in homes that are a single floor or homes where they don’t need to climb stairs.

This dog’s small size is one of the reasons you should supervise very young children around the Teacup Maltese. Children can be boisterous and may end up hurting your Maltese without meaning to! The Teacup Maltese may also be nervous around other dogs when first meeting due to their size, but they can easily learn to love them!


Due to their intelligence and eagerness to please their owners, the Teacup Maltese is an easy dog to train. Like all dogs, the Teacup Maltese responds best to positive reinforcement techniques and reward based training. This includes verbal praise and treats.

You should never get angry or frustrated with your dog when training. They may not understand what is happening and this will cause them to not want to learn. You should ignore negative behavior and praise positive behavior so they learn which is more desirable.

Housebreaking your Teacup Maltese can be one of the most challenging parts of owning this dog. This is not their fault and is due to their small bladder. Always assume your dog will have to do their business after eating, sleeping or playing.


We have mentioned above that the Teacup Maltese is a very sociable dog. They get on well with adults and children and just generally love to be around humans. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t socialize them from a young age. This is especially true if you are introducing them to other dogs, because they can be wary of them due to their small size.

You should introduce them to new sights, sounds, places, smells, people and animals when they are young, in a safe and controlled way. This means they will grow up to be a well-rounded dog with no fears!


The amount of grooming your Teacup Maltese will need largely depends on you! It is very common for Maltese owners to have their dogs clipped so the coat is short — less than an inch long. With a coat of this length, you will only need to brush them once a week and their maintenance needs are a lot less.

However, if you decide to keep your Teacup Maltese’s coat long, you will need to be brushing it every day. This is essential to prevent matting. You will also need to bathe them weekly to prevent tear stains on the face.

Your groomer can help you cut your Teacup Maltese’s nails as and when it is needed. You should also brush their teeth regularly to prevent dental problems such as decay and disease, because this is something that the Teacup Maltese is prone to.

The Teacup Maltese - Complete Breed Guide - Animal Corner

Teacup Maltese FAQ’s

How big does the Teacup Maltese get?

A Teacup Maltese is a very small dog that weighs between 4 to 5 lbs and stands at only eight inches tall! They are created by breeding two very small Maltese dogs together. Due to this small size, they are not recognized by any Kennel Clubs on their own but are classified as a small Maltese dog.

How much does a Teacup Maltese cost?

A Teacup Maltese can set you back between $750 and $2,000. They are an expensive dog, but this is due to the fact that litter sizes are very small and breeding can be dangerous to the mother’s health.

Unfortunately, because of the high price tag associated with these dogs, they are popular among breeders who are not reputable or do not care about the health of the dogs. You should always ensure you are buying from a reputable breeder who can give you health clearances for both parents, and meet with the breeder before buying.

If this is out of your price range, you can always check your local shelter. There may be a Teacup Maltese there who is waiting for their forever home!


The Teacup Maltese is an adorable breed of dog that is loving and friendly. A tiny pup, they make an excellent family member even in smaller homes and truly love to be around humans, children included. Their small size doesn’t mean they lack personality and they are known for being playful and keeping their owners on their toes. With low exercise and grooming needs, the Teacup Maltese is a great first pet for anyone who wants a cute and cuddly companion in their lives!

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