FCI-Standard N° 65  / 06. 04. 1998 / GB


TRANSLATION : Mrs. Peggy Davis.

ORIGIN : Central Mediterranean Area.



UTILIZATION :                      Companion and Toy.
CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. :   Group     9    Companion and Toy Dogs.
                                                 Section   1    Bichons and related Breeds.
                                                Without working trial.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY : His name does not signify that he originates from the island of Malta, because the adjective « Maltese » comes from the Semitic word « màlat » which means refuge or harbour; this Semitic root comes up again in a whole series of names of maritime places; i.e. in the name Adriatic island of Méléda, the Sicilian town of Melita and also in that of the island Malta.  The ancestors of this little dog lived in the ports and maritime cities of central Mediterranean, where they hunted mice and rats which were found in profusion in the harbour warehouses and in the hold of ships.  In his list of dogs existing at the time of Aristote (384 322 B.C.) he mentions a breed of little dogs to which he attributes the Latin name « canes melitenses ».  That dog was known in Ancient Rome : favourite companion of the matrons, has been praised by Strabon, Latin poet of the first century A.D.  Representations of the Maltese by numerous Renaissance painters show this little dog in the salons of the period at the side of beautiful ladies of the time.


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GENERAL APPEARANCE : Of small size, longish body.  Covered by a very long white coat, very elegant with a proud and distinguished head carriage.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS : Length of body exceeds by about 38% the height at the withers.  The length of the head is equal to 6/11 of the height at withers.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT : Lively, affectionate, very docile and very intelligent.

HEAD : Its length is equal to 6/11 of the height at the withers.  It is rather wide exceeding slightly half of the length.

Skull : The skull is slightly longer than the muzzle; the bizygomatic width is equal to its length and consequently superior to the half of the length of the head.  In the sagittal direction, it is very slightly egg-shaped (ovoid); the upper part of the skull is flat, with an occipital crest very slightly marked; the protuberance of the frontal bones and the supraorbital ridges are well developed; the frontal indentation of the furrow is so lightly marked, that is invisible; the lateral faces of the parietal bones are somewhat convex.
Stop : Frontal-nasal depression strongly defined making an angle of 90°.

Nose : In the prolongation of the nasal bridge; seen in profile, its forepart is vertical.  Voluminous with open nostrils, rounded and absolutely black.
Muzzle : Length of muzzle is equal to 4/11 of the length of the head; it is therefore slightly less than its half.  The suborbital region is well chiselled.  Its depth is a good 20% less than its length.  The sides of the muzzle are parallel, but the muzzle seen from the front, must not appear square, since its anterior face joins onto the lateral sides by curves.  The muzzle is rectilinear with a well marked furrow in its central part.
Lips : Viewed from the front, the upper lips, at their junction, have the shape of a very open arch.  They are little developed in depth and the labial commissure is not visible.  The upper lips adapt perfectly to the lower lips, in such a way that the bottom profile of the muzzle is defined by the lower jaw.  The edges of the lips must be absolutely black.
Jaws : Normally developed and light in appearance, perfectly adapted.  The lower jaw, with its branches being straight, is neither prominent nor receeding in its anterior part.
Teeth : The dental arches are perfectly adapted and the incisors in scissor articulation.  Teeth are white; the dentition is well developed and complete.
Eyes : Open, with lively and attentive expression, larger than would be expected; the shape tends to be round.  The eyelids are in close contact with the eyeball, which is never deep-set, but rather level with the head, just slightly protruding.  The eyes are set on a same almost frontal plan.  Seen from the front, they must not show sclera (white of the eyes); they are of a dark ochre colour; eye rims are black.
Ears : Of almost triangular shape, their width is about 1/3 of their length.  They are set high above the zygomatic arch, hanging close to the sides of the skull; with little erection.

NECK : Although covered with an abundant coat, the demarcation of the nape of the neck is obvious.  The upper profile is arched.  Its length is about half of the height at the withers.  It is carried erect and does not show any loose skin.

BODY : The length from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock is 38% more than the height of the withers.
Top line : Straight to the tail-set.
Withers : Slightly raised above the topline.
Back : Its length is about 65 % of the height at the withers.
Croup : In the prolongation of the lumbar-dorsal line, the croup is very wide and long; its obliqueness is 10° below the horizontal.
Chest :  Ample; let down lower than the level of the elbows, with ribs not too well sprung.  The circumference of the chest is 2/3 more than the height at the withers.  Sternal region very long.

TAIL : Set on level with the croup, thick at the root and fine at the tip.  Its length corresponds to about 60% of the height at the withers.  Forms a single big curve, the tip of which falls between the haunches touching the croup.  A tail curved to one side of the body is tolerated.


FOREQUARTERS : On the whole they are close to the body, the legs standing straight and parallel.
Shoulder : Its length represents 1/3 of the height of the withers and its obliqueness below the horizontal is of 60° to 65°.
In relation to the median plane of the body nearly vertical.
Upper arm : Longer than the shoulder, measures 40 to 45% of the height at the withers, the obliqueness below the horizontal is of 70°.  Well joined to the body in its top 2/3, and its longitudinal direction is almost parallel to the median plane of the body.
Elbows : Parallel to the median plane of the body.
Forearm : Lean with few visible muscles, but with a rather sturdy bone structure in relation to the size of the breed.
Pastern joint : In the vertical line of the forearm, mobile; should not be knotty; covered with a fine skin.
Pastern : Has the same characteristics as the carpus and, because of its short length, is vertical.
Forefeet : Round, toes closed and arched; communal and digital pads should be black, the nails should be also black or at least of a dark colour.

HINDQUARTERS : On the whole, of sturdy bone structure; parallel and, seen from GO BACK TO LIST, vertical from the point of the buttock to the ground.
Upper thigh : Hard muscled, hind edge is convex.  Parallel to the median plane of the body, its downward and forward direction is somewhat oblique in relation to the vertical.  Its length is nearly 40% of the height at the withers and its width is a little less than its length.
Lower thigh : With a groove between the tendon and the bone hardly noticeable; its obliqueness below the horizontal is 55°.  It is slightly longer than the thigh.
Hock joint : The forward angulation of the hock is 140°.
Hock : The distance from the ground to the point of the hock is slightly more than 1/3 of the height at the withers.  Its length corresponds to the height of the hock.  It is perfectly upright.
Hind feet : Round as the forefeet, with all the same characteristics.

GAIT/MOVEMENT : Even, skimming the ground, free, with short and very quick steps at the trot.

SKIN : Really tight to all parts of the body, pigmented with dark patches and patches of a reddish wine colour, especially on the back.  The rim of the eyelids, third eyelids and lips are black.


HAIR : Dense, shiny, glossy - falling heavily and of a silky texture, very long on the whole of the body and straight throughout its length without traces of waves or curls.  On the trunk it should be longer than the height at the withers and fall heavily back to the ground like a cape fitting close to the trunk without opening or forming tufts or flocks.  Tufts or flocks are acceptable on the forequarters from the elbow to the foot, and on the hindquarters, from the stifle to the foot.  There is no undercoat.  On the head the coat is very long, as much on the foreface, where it mingles with the beard, also on the skull where it falls eventually mingling with the hair covering the ears.  On the tail, the hairs fall back to one side of the body, i.e. on the flank and on the thigh, of such length as to reach the hock.

COLOUR : Pure white; a pale ivory tinge is permitted.  Traces of pale orange shades are tolerated but not desirable and constitute an imperfection.

Height at the withers :            Males     from     21 to 25 cm.
                                             Females  from     20 to 23 cm.
Weight : 3 to 4 kg.

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.

  • Bilateral strabismus (cross-eyed).
  • Length of body exceeding 43% of the height at the withers.


  • Roman nose.
  • Accentuated undershot mouth, if it spoils the outer appearance of the muzzle.
  • Size in males over 26 cm or below 19 cm.

     Size in bitches above 25 and below 18 cm.


  • Accentuated divergence or convergence of the head planes.
  • Total depigmentation of the nose or nose of other colour than black.
  • Overshot mouth.
  • Wall eye.
  • Total depigmentation of the eyelids.
  • Tail-less, shortened tail, whether congenital or acquired.
  • Frizzy coat.
  • Any colour other than white, with exception of pale ivory.
  • Patches of different colours whatever their extension.

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

Automatic translate from

On the origins of this wonderful race they have been expressed various hypotheses that have divided, and still today divide, the students.
In order to try to make a po of clarity, necessary to leave far away from a lot. In the first place the Maltese belongs to a group of four breeds that the Official Cinofilia catalogues with the Bichon term. Such name derives dal made that, some century makes, these small dogs came calls to you, to dellabbondante cause hair al snout, Barbichon, derived word dal French Barbiche, that it means peak, small beard; therefore Barbichon wants likeably to say Bearded.

From Barbichon Bichon derives. Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882), the famous English naturalist who elabor the theory dellevoluzione, based on studies and ritrovamenti, ago to go back the appearance of dogs of Bichon type to approximately seimila years before Christ.
It seems that gi in the 500 R-avanti.Cristo, has news of the presence of dogs with characteristics similar to those of the Bichon on unisola of the Adriatic sea, situated in pressed of the Dalmatia and the Meleda call.
And lantica Melite or Melita, where they came sends in exile the Roman to you. Aristotle (384-322 a.C.), subdivided the breeds canine in seven categories. T
ra these ve black one said of the Melitensi dogs. Melitensi pu be translate like of Malta, fact that convaliderebbe the theory of who considers lisola of lantica Malta native land of the Maltesi. One of the rare relative news to dogs of Bichon type to Malta that one supplied from the Latin poet Mark Martial Valerio (40-104), than in its epigramma says Devout birichina of the sparrow of Catullo, devout carezzevole of all the children, devout precious of Indian stones, describing with these words Hoists, the small dog white woman of propriet of Publio, that he was governor of Malta.
From questisola, the Robin wrote speaking about the Maltese, it part to the conquest of the world. The famous historian and Greek geographer Strabone (63 a.C.-19 d.C.), speak about a dog of Bichon type, defining it canis melitoeus, from Melita, than the dellisola Latin name of Malta; but Melita seems was also the name of an ancient seafaring center located close Messina, from which it seems exported of the valuable small sturdy dogs from the hair white man and, as we have seen, also the name of dellAdriatico unisola. Here perch a second hypothesis approximately the race, supports that the Maltese name drifts from the Melitensi dogs cited from dallisola Aristotle, but understandings like coming from of Meleda or from the citt of Melita. To this purpose, some students point out that the names Malta, Meleda and Melita, have common unorigine in the storpiatura in Greek of the semitico word malt, that he means shelter testualmente therefore, by extension, be a matter themselves of localit of sea, port.
Various centers and islands dellAdriatico, as daltra lisola part of Malta and the coasts orients them of the Sicily, were colonized from the Greeks and, before still, from the Fenici, that they spoke one language semitica dorigine. And therefore possible that the Melitensi term, with which Aristotle not necessarily describes to small small dogs and from the long hair even if white man, draws the name from the dogs uses you and raises to you in these localit marinare and held in the harbour warehouses in order to drive away the rats that habitually infest them. Studious Lillustre of breeds canine European of lusso: the Houtart baron, wrote that the antichi people of the low Mediterranean have possessed one race dwarf, Melitoeus call. It was original dellisola of Malta or Melita near the Sicily; but I them chiamer with the name of dogs of Melita instead that Maltesi, in order not to confuse them with the Maltesi modern, that they are absolutely different from the antichi.
The Maltese be always the dog dellaristocrazia and of the noble ones. It was the predelight of the matrone roman, like of nineteenth-century medioevali and rinascimentali checkerses and then of the getlteman. Numerous they are the artists who in their ritrassero works dogs of Bichon type, species in the rinascimentale period, when the Maltese was in large voga. In order to only cite of some: Tiziano, Tintoretto, the Veronese, Antonio di Iacopo Benci, saying the Pollaiolo and its brother Piero, Rubens, Goya and many others. All the Bichon are a lot appreciate to you like dogs from company and guard. In Belgium, because of the characteristic toelettatura of some of they, has been calls to you to along dogs lion, and the Dechambre equally speaks us about a Bichon of For, or Mexican, or Alco. The Maltese probably puts into effect them be obtained immettendo in Bichon white men, blood of pagneul dwaries, tramps dwaries and perhaps also dogs of Cayenna.
The Maltese was the dog predelight from historical personages, like the duchessa dAlba, ritratta from Goya with a Maltese next, and of nobilt rinascimentale, but also devout recently from artists and the actors, like Giuseppe Greens (1813-1901), that it adored its splendid Loulou copy, and like Gary Cooper, that it always carried with s its cagnina.
For a sure period lInghilterra the right of patronage of the race has rivendicato, carrying like reasoning the fact that it was original dellisola of Malta and that this, until 1964, be British colony. As we have seen for, the thesis of the maltesi origins not tried, indeed. Therefore, and just, in the reunion of the F.C.I. kept to Interlaken in Switzerland 20 and 21 sttembre 1954, be reconfirmed lappartenenza of the race allItalia. The known and diffused Maltese all over the world, and in America, where reached in 1888, it has collected remarkable happening. In Italy, famous and appreciated for hundred of years and until XIX the century, after one phase of nellimmediato decay following period the Second World war, from second met of years 80 of XX the century the Maltese has begun to interest an always greater number of gets passionate to you, a lot that is passed to you in Italy from the 12 subjects enrolled to the Genealogici Books in 1972 to 1125 of 1997; 1154 of 1998; 1325 of 1999 and 1282 of 2000.




Official standard e.n.c.i.

  • General aspect of the dog

    Of formed small, with log lengthened, covered from hairs many long and white men much elegant one and with fierce portamento of the head.

  • Important proportions

    The length of the log of approximately long devout 38% of the Height. The length of the equal head to the 6/11 of the Height.

  • Behavior and character

    Lively, affectionate, much docile one, has large capacit of understanding.

  • Head

    Its equal total length to the 6/11 of the Height. Rather wide E', a po' beyond met of the total length.

    1. Cranial region

      E' of leggermente advanced length to that one of the snout; the equal to its length and consequently advanced bizigomatica width to met of the total length of the head. In sagittale sense of the ovoidale least shape; the advanced part of the flat skull, with apophysis occipita them marked a lot little; the sopracciliari arched frontal breasts and the a lot elevate to you; sutura the metopica least absent that is emphasized; the sidewalls are somewhat convex.


      Depression nose-facade much marked one with an angle of 90.

    2. Region makes them


      On the same line of the nasal cane, profile approval, the front face is found on the vertical one. Voluminoso, with opened narici, rounded off. Black rigorously pigmented E'.


      The length of the equal snout to the 4/1 1 delta length of the head and therefore a po' inferior to its met. The regions sottorbita them very are cesellate. Its inferior height a po' devout of 20% of its length. The lateral faces are parallels, but the seen snout of forehead, do not have to appear square in how much the front face agree again, with of the curves, to the same lateral faces. The rectilinear nasal cane with very marked rabbets in the part centers them.


      The labbra advanced, forehead sights, to their conjunction have the shape of a semicircle to rope much wide one. Little they are developed in height, with eyelet of the not visible connessura. Labbra advanced the combaciano perfectly with those inferiors, a lot that the inferior profile of the snout given from the jaw. The labiali margins are rigorously pigment you of black.


      Of normal development and light appearance, combaciano perfectly. The jaw has rectilinear branches, in of ahead prominente of not escaping.


      Arched dental the combaciano perfectly and the closing of I recorded to you to scissor. The teeth are complete white men and for development and number.


      Opened, with careful lively expression and, of greater largeness of the normal school, they have palpebral rhyme that stretches to the round one. The eyelids are very adherent to the bulb, never infossato but emerging, rather somewhat sporgente. The eyes are in subfrontale position. Approvals of forehead do not have to leave to catch a glimpse the sclera; they are of loaded ocher color; the palpebral rhymes are black.


      Of shape tending to the triangle and wide approximately a third party of how much they are long. They are inserted high above the zigomatica arched one, hanging and adherent to the sidewalls of the skull, little erected them.

  • Neck

    Although it is covered from abundant hair, the demarcation of the very visible nape. The arch advanced profile. The length approximately the met of the Height. It has portamento erected and lacking in skin lassa.

  • Log

    The length measured from the tip of the bachelor to the tip of the greater buttock of 38% of the Height.

    Advanced line

    Rectilinear until to the insertion of the tail.


    Garrese leggermente elevated on the dorsal profile.


    Along approximately 65% of the Height - the wide thorax, come down beyond the level of the elbows, with coasts a lot you do not try. The thoracic perimeter of 2/3 advanced to the Height.


    Sternale region much long one.


    The rump in prosecuzione of the back-lumbar line. Wide E' much and long one, have an oscillation regarding the horizontal of 10.


    E' inserted on the line of the rump, large to the root and aim in tip. Its length corresponds to the incirca to 60% of the Height. Form an only great curve, whose tip falls back, between also on the rump touching it. Tolerated the tail ricurva on a side of the log.

  • Limbs

    1. Front limbs

      Approvals in the entirety very knit you to the log and well in perpendicularly.


      Long E' 1/3 of the Height and has inclination on the horizontal from 60 to 65. Regarding the median plan of the log it stretches to being vertical.


      Of advanced length to the shoulder, par to the 40/45% of the Height, the inclination regarding the horizontal of 70. E' very knit to the log in the two advanced thirds party, its lengthwise direction nearly parallel to the median plan of the log.


      Parallels to the median plan of the log.


      Dry E' with little muscles, but with skeleton rather strongly in connection with the size of the race. Less long E' of the arm, 33% of the Height. The height, measured from the plant of the feet to the tip of the elbow, par to approximately 55% of the Height.


      It follows the line vertical of the forearm, very mobile, lacking in nodosit, and covered from thin skin.


      It has the same characteristics of the carpo and, for its brevit straight.


      Round, with united and arch fingers, it has uses them of the plantari bearings and digita it pigments them you of black, black parimenti or at least of dark color, they are the nails.

    2. Posterior limbs

      Approvals in with strongly skeleton, are between of they parallels, and, seen give GO BACK TO LIST, vertical from the tip of buttocks until to earth.


      With hard muscles, its convex posterior margin. Parallel to the median plan of the log, its direction from the high low and GO BACK TO LIST in ahead somewhat oblique regarding the vertical one. Long E' nearly 40% of the Height and its width a po' inferior to the length.


      With little obvious rabbet it has a ' inclination regarding the horizontal, of 55. Devout leggermente long E' of the thigh.


      The distance from the plant of the foot to the tip of leggermente advanced the tibiotarsica articulation to 1/3 of the Height. The front angle of the garretto of 140.


      Its length given from the height of the garretto. E' in perfect perpendicularly.


      Round like the front one, of which it has all the characteristics.

  • Sailing point

    Fluid, shaving, melted, with court and fastest struck of the limbs to the trot.

  • Skin

    Very adherent to the every body in its region; pigmented from dark specks, and of red color wine, species on the back, the pigment of the mucosae and the sclerose black.

  • Cape


    Dense, I polish, heavy diamond, of setacea webbing. The longest E' on all the body nonch straight without some shunting line in its axis, for all its length. On the log it must exceed, in length, the Height and fall back heavy to earth, like an adherent mantellina to the same log, of which it follows the shapes without division, ciocche and flocks. Ciocche and the flocks are admitted on the front limbs, from the posterior elbow to the foot and from the ginocchio to the foot. The longest hair does not exist sottopelo - on the head, as well as on the nasal cane where it gets confused with that one of the beard, how much on the skull where it comes down until getting confused with that one of the orecchie. On the tail the hairs fall back on a single side of the log, and cio on a flank and the thigh and have one such length to catch up the garretto.


    Pure white man, admitted the ink ivory pale. They are tolerated, but not wished, and constitute therefore defect, the shadings orange pale, purch give the impression of dirty hairs. Not admitted the decided spots, even if small.

  • Ransom and weight

    Height: in i males from cm. 21 to 25; in the females from cm. 20 to 23. Weight: from 3 to 4 Kg. The males must very have two testicoli of normal aspect and reductions in the scroto.

  • Defects

    Every shunting line from the description of the single voices constitutes a defect, that it must be penalized to second of its spread and gravit, cos like the bilateral strabismus and the length of the advanced log to 43% of the Height.

    1. Eliminatori defects

      Nasal cane decidedly montonina; emphasized prognatismo if deturpa the outer aspect of the snout. Height in the males beyond i 26 cm. and less than 19; in the females beyond the 25 and less than 18.

    2. Defects from disqualification

      Divergence or emphasized convergence of the aces skull-facciali; depigmentation total of the tartufo or various color from the black one. Enognatismo, eye gazzuolo - depigmentation total of the eyelids - anurismo, brachiurismo much congenital that artificial criptorchidismo - monorchidismo - incomplete development of or all and two testicoli - hair ricciuto - any various color from the white man' ivory pale - spots of various color any is their extension.