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Black Maltese Dogs: How Come Mine Is Black?

Black Maltese Dogs: How Come Mine Is Black?

Poodle bottom pooch? With the long fur? It is surely a Maltese… But that poodle bottom?

What is the truth surrounding the mysterious black Maltese Dog? How did it get the disputed black color and what could you have mistaken it for?

Here are the answers to your black Maltese dog’s glorious genetics.

From Maltese Puppy, To Black Maltese You Love

There is this cute little black Maltese puppy, staring at you with an imperative mission – to be adopted. What do you do?

A. You ask the quirky little toy dog if it is purebred.

B. You ask the person who works at the shelter if it is purebred.

C. You instantly like it and take it home running.

Whether you are looking to adopt, buy or you already own a Maltese dog, odds are you want to know more about it. The first thing you see is, of course, the coat. You wonder why it is black when your friend has a winter camo white coat purebred. Yours has to be purebred too, right?

No. Black Maltese dogs are not purebred. As a matter of fact, there are no different colors in purebred Malteses. The standard color for this dog breed is white. Who are we to say that? We point the finger at the American Kennel Club.

Maltese, The Real Deal

Coat Color

adorable little maltese standing in the grass

In theory, the standard is pure white. In reality, the standard is whatever you like or want to achieve with that cute dog.

Slight off-white coloration is possible but still not standard according to the AKC. With only two types of non-standard purebred color – white-lemon and white-tan – it is easy to tell if your dog has that extra layer of extravaganza in itself.

Black marks too are a possible accessory to your purebred Maltese, so don’t stress about beauty marks on its face or paws. The judges at the dog show might give it fewer points but such is the life of a flamboyant character!

The hairdo should be straight and smooth like threads of silk if you are going for maximum points. Purebreds never have a curly coat and it is, oftentimes, a sign of a mixed breed if they do.

Ever saw your little dog jolting around the house and almost mopping the floor for you? If your Maltese’s long hair is close to the floor but far enough to frustrate you that it cannot clean it, worry not, you’ve got a purebred on your hands.


The body of a purebred Maltese should be proportionate and compact with an all-rounded appearance. Be warned, treats galore should be put on a stop if your canine Malta representative exceeds 7 pounds in weight.

The AKC states that the Maltese dog’s gait from the side should look as though it is moving quite fast considering its size – well, zoomies do that to you, don’t they…

Being rather athletic for a small dog, Malteses have strong hind legs that make jumping for toys or food a breeze. Their nose is black, teeth close in a scissor grip and you can forget about those new slippers you left at home – they are done.

Training And Activity

Remember those slippers from a few seconds ago? Yeah, you can lower the chances of that happening by training your Maltese because they are an intelligent and easily trainable dog breed.

With a Maltese, grooming is an activity FOR YOU. Brush, brush, brush every day to keep that silky hair at bay. The results of a properly groomed Maltese are fabulous to say the least. Find the perfect tool that will help you groom your pooch in our list of best brushes for Maltese dogs.

Or just enjoy the dazzling beauty session at the groomers. It is a win-win really.

Their nails grow rather fast and require regular trimming several times a week. Don’t be surprised if you fall asleep in your bedroom but wake up in the basement one day because those nails grow REALLY fast. #savethehardwoodfloors


white maltese dog sitting outdoors

We already said that the Maltese breed is active and athletic for a small dog. Their loyalty is uncanny. They will alert you to what they consider unexpected or unknown. Rest assured, you will feel safer with a Maltese than without one.

Interacting with children is no problem for them as long as they know who the boss is.

They are tolerant of other dogs but keep in mind that it will require effort to achieve high socialization levels.

If you plan on getting or already own a four-legged companion, the best way of going about it would be getting a Maltese puppy to raise around another dog or vice versa.

Health And Lifespan

Maltese dogs are prone to developing tear staining due to excessive tear gland secretion. A Hydrogen Peroxide solution and cotton pad can easily fix this.

The AKC recommends a checkup while your dog is still a puppy. Testing for bile-acid helps rule out congenital liver issues.

Luxating Patella is another condition that should be checked as soon as possible. This is predominantly a congenital condition but can be caused by trauma to the joint.

Physical examination also helps proper limb symmetry and is detectable mostly in young adult dogs aged 3-5 years.

With a high-quality diet, regular vet checkups and mental and physical exercise, your dog will stay by your side through at least one major phase of your life. Long live the Maltese! Uh, actually… Long live the Maltipoo. No, wait…

So, What Is It Then?

black maltese sitting outdoor

Photo from: @brbfurbabies

Your black Maltese or any other color Maltese is most likely an energetic, compact, toy sized furred household hero ready to better your life in every way imaginable (with a side of what the heck moments too).

The other option is your dog is actually a conniving mastermind of mischief plotting to eradicate all the tidiness from your home. It is NOT the Maltese’s fault! It is nobody’s fault really, just the way the cookie crumbles.

You still might be curious as to what kind of concoction your dog actually is. Well, there are plenty of Maltese mixes to look at, and dare we say, they all work amazingly well.

While crossbreeding is mostly a man-made stylistic choice, a Maltese mix breed works well because the traits a purebred Maltese adds to the mix are very desirable with some of the other breeds.

In case you wanted to take your black Maltese to a dog show and strut around with it, you can still do it. Dog shows such as those organized by the Mixed Breed Dog Clubs of America require your dog NOT to be “according to specification”. Fancy that!

Similar organizations that accept mix breeds registration:

American Canine Hybrid Club

International Designer Canine Registry

Maltese Some Of These

By now we know that black Maltese dogs are a cross breed. Where does the black coat come from? Take your pick. There are many possible mix breeds but let us mention some of the main protagonists in the Maltese toy dog universe.

Disclaimer: we did not come up with the names but we would have loved to.

Maltese + Miniature Poodle = Maltipoo

This is your first suspect in the equation resulting in a black Maltese. A miniature poodle is fierce, always on the lookout, loyal to the bone, incredibly intelligent and active.

So it is like a Maltese squared, right? That is almost right. You also get the possibility of a curly fries coat with this combination.

Do not forget your crossword puzzles and daily Wordle to keep your Maltipoo entertained on longer journeys.

This dog breed loves company so put it in with the wallet and keys but do not leave it alone. We warned you.

Maltese + Shih Tzu = Malshi

cute little malshipoo

Photo from: @malshilovers

The epitome of a toy dog. The ultimate self-imagined brand companion. A chill and likable demeanor to heat your lap wherever you are. Fits comfortably in a bag and can even be trained to hand you whatever you need from it. A truly fitting high-brow assistant – this is how we can describe a combination of Maltese with Shih Tzu.

Shih Tzu’s ooze that miniature stoicism. Combined with the intelligence and alert nature of the Maltese dog breed you do get the best of both worlds.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the comedy nights this mix breed provides while you rest on your couch.

The Shi in Malshi makes up for the Maltese’s lesser tolerance for kids and other dogs so things are pretty balanced with a Malshi.

Maltese + Pomeranian = Maltipom

A white Maltipom

Maltiwho? Well, here is the deal. These are a ball of character and zest. They like to voice their opinion more often than not.

Their appetite is larger than their size so bolt shut the lid on the food bowl. Try to keep them active to dissipate that sparky energy.

They like being the center of attention, making other dogs and children compete for your focus.

Grooming is a major chore with Maltese + Pomeranian mixes and a good way to keep your children busy while building a good relationship with this mix breed.

Maltese + Yorkie (Yorkshire Terrier) = Morkie

Morkie dog outdoor

Why are there no Morkies in the wild? Because they move so fast you cannot see them. Built for lightning fast zoomies and with very few health issues, the Morkies are ideal for people who live an active lifestyle or have a large yard but want a small dog.

They are quite tolerable of both children and dogs and are fast learners. No excessive barking, affectionate with their family and eager to play – the Westworld mix breed. The future is here.

Like other breeds of similar energy levels, separation anxiety is present in Morkies too. Being an amazing companion requires reciprocity.

Maltese + Teacup Yorkie = Teacup Morkie

Teacup Morkie on the grass

You thought the other toy dogs were too big for your shirt pocket or clutch? Here is a shrunk version of the Morkie. We like to call them Malteakies but it is what it is.

Will it fit in a cup? Probably. It is an ideal addition to your morning granola cereal mix.

They are basically Morkies for people with more fashionable bags and pockets. Beware of separation anxiety though – the smaller they are, the harder separation affects them.

Goes incredibly well with an iPhone mini.

Maltese + Chihuahua = Malchi

Malchi dog sleeping

The savings are crazy with a Malchi! Less grooming than you ever thought a Maltese mix would need! Almost no exercise required!

The hair is shorter, yes, but the temper is too if you do not socialize adequately. This mix breed loves their owner and is possessive if not taught ground rules.

Keep tabs on how many quesadillas your Malchi eats because weight gain is all but familiar to them.

Separation anxiety is a risk with Malchis, and their dog and children tolerance is below average.

For those living in colder regions with freezing temperatures during winter – make sure your dog wears warm garments and go crazy with the outfit.

Maltese + Cocker Spaniel = Silky Cocker

woman holding silky cocker dog on her shoulder

Photo from:

Hey, do not judge a book by its name. The Spaniel and Maltese are a Mediterranean powerhouse.

This mix breed takes activity to a whole new level. If you watched Sherlock Holmes then you know what kind of company you will have with a Silky Cocker. Always wanting to solve the next puzzle and run chasing clues.

The name gives it away – they are smooth and gracious, highly trainable, have few health issues and are excellent with children and other dogs.

Clearly it is a tough breed but it also does well in colder weather and easily gets used to apartment life.

Owners beware: if you have a small animal as a pet (hamster or something similar sized), the Silky Cocker will become a Silky Chaser. Lots of outdoor exercising and interaction with new challenges can satiate their prey drive.

Maltese + Bichon Frise = Maltichon

Maltichon dog at sunset

Friends and family will compliment you on your choice of small dog. The mix breed is very friendly towards strangers, children, other dogs, aliens and the likes.

Highly intelligent – classic Maltese mix breed! Loves hanging out and playing, appreciates closeness with its family with a watchful eye. It is a high energy dog with average exercise needs – bravo Maltichon!

The breed does not suffer from any specific health issues as long as the diet is in check.

You might want to invest in a couple of spare remotes – the chew potential is medium.

Last But Not Least

Are you still in doubt over getting a Maltese or black Maltese mix breed? Here is one last bit of information to tip you over the edge.

The year is 1844. Sir Edwin Landseer sits in front of two dogs and a mouse. A giant St Bernard dog rests his head on a table while the mouse is eating a piece of bread used as an eraser.

The centerpiece of the painting is a white, long-haired small dog. That same dog has his right paw on the several times larger dog’s nose. The St Bernard dog does not move or disapprove.

You might be curious as to why. Because the dog is a Maltese. The story does not end there. The assertiveness of the Maltese Lion Dog of Malta speaks of the nature of the dog.

The temper suggests high-class, self-assuredness, a place in its mind that commands respect. This is no coincidence. The owner of this imposing toy dog was the Duchess of Kent. This woman was the mother of Queen Victoria who had an entire period of history named after her.

Picture another breed with such a rich and royal history. Now add a Maltese to the mix and be surprised by the incredible legacy left by the historically depicted breeds.

The short list of most popular crossbreeds you read earlier can only inspire you to experience what it was like to be a member of the royal family. Don’t miss out on the opportunity.

Read Next: What Were Maltese Bred For? Lap Dogs Or Watchdogs?