Teacup Maltese: Surprising Little Known Facts

We are in a day and age where designer doggies are more popular than ever before. Teacup pooches in particular have taken the dog lovers community by storm with their heart-melting adorableness.

They combine all the personality traits that have made standard Malteses so popular with the adorable aesthetic of tiny doggies for what is probably one of the most amazing breed varieties you can get.

But what exactly is a Teacup Maltese in the first place?

Teacup Malteses are characterized by their small build that should not exceed 7 inches in length and 2 to 5 pounds in weight. They sometimes occur spontaneously as runts in litters from standard-sized Malteses. They may also be intentionally bred from these runts.

You know that these doggies are crazy cute. But did you know that they are not very good at climbing stairs? Here is a bit more about these doggies that you may not know but definitely need to.

What Is A Teacup Maltese?

Image from Instagram:@bbo_gry

Maltese dogs are already quite small and are considered toy dog breeds. They usually weigh about 2 to 8 pounds and measure 8 to 10 inches. Teacup Malteses are much smaller than this with most falling into the under-2 pound category and not growing past 7 inches.

While this is the 2 pound mark is the cutoff for most Teacup Malteses, it is possible to find one growing as large as 5 pounds.

More often than not, this is as a result of being overweight or straight up obese. And as you will see shortly, small dog breeds including this teacup pooch are prone to the condition.

Contrary to popular beliefs, the Teacup Maltese is actually not considered a separate breed from the standard Maltese.

Instead, it is a size variation that is often bred from incredibly small Malteses born to normal mothers. As a result of the general similarity with the main breed, you can pretty much expect the same personality traits with a Teacup Maltese as you would from the normal Maltese.

Something else that may come as a bit of a shock is that teacup Malteses have been a hit for a very long time. Toy and teacup Malteses were kept by royals as accessory and companion lap dogs. They maintain the same status today being particularly popular among celebrities.

They are also very popular as family pets for their sweet, docile personalities and how well they get along with young children as well as with other pets.

How Long Does A Teacup Maltese Live? Are Teacup Maltese Dogs Healthy?

Image from Instagram:@iloveqq

A Teacup Maltese has a lifespan of 10 to 15 years.

This is in contrast to the regular Malteses that live for 12 to 15 years or more.

While they are pretty much the same breed in different sizes, Teacups are prone to more serious health issues that shorten their life span and reduce their quality of life. Here are some of the main health problems that Teacup Malteses have.


This is one of the most serious issues that affects Teacup Malteses. These doggies may be small but they have very big appetites. They are also not very active especially compared to their larger counterparts. This is largely due to their weak joints.

The result is a high risk of developing obesity and its complications including diabetes and heart disease. While these doggies may not be the most athletic, it is important to invest in play time while also watching their portions in order to avoid these issues.


This might seem a bit paradoxical given the obesity point we just covered. Hypoglycemia is when excess burning of calories results in low blood sugar levels. This causes issues like tremors, weakness, altered sensations, and even loss of consciousness.

The reason why both this and obesity can happen is the fact that obesity is more of a long term consequence while hypoglycemia is a short term consequence and requires more immediate response.


If you havenโ€™t ever handled a teacup dog, take it from us when we say that these doggies are super small and super frail. The same is the case with Teacup Maltese dogs. This leaves them vulnerable to serious injuries or even death from freak accidents.

The most common are traffic accidents especially as the little pooches may be hard to spot on the road or even when pulling out of a driveway.

How Do You Take Care Of A Teacup Maltese?

We wonโ€™t sugar coat it here. Teacup Malteses are actually very high maintenance. They are frail little doggies that need as much tender love and care as you can spare. To help you give your pooch a safe and happy home and a long, healthy life, here are the most important care tips.

Ensure They Get Enough Exercise

Your Teacup Maltese should get at least 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise every day. This helps them keep strong and healthy. However, make sure they are well fed and do not push too hard in order to avoid hypoglycemia.

Doggy Proof Your Home

Teacup Malteses are prone to accidents including falling down stairs, getting stuck in odd spots, or even getting accidentally run over. Invest in doggy gates or even a playpen to restrict their movement to places they may end up getting hurt.

Get Your Pooch On The Right Diet

Diet is everything with these dogs. It helps them grow strong, fight off infections, and keep up with their energy demands. You therefore need to watch what your Teacup doggy eats in terms of quality to ensure they are getting the best balance of nutrients for a healthy life. The portions are also very important to consider giving this breed variationโ€™s likelihood of developing obesity.

All factors considered, Pet Plateย is the best to meet all your little poochโ€™s health needs. They use high quality ingredients, balanced recipes, and individualized plans for your dogโ€™s sake.

Supplement The Main Diet With Supplements

You should also seriously consider supplementing the dogโ€™s diet with multivitamins and other important compounds to make up for anything missing in the main diet. These come in different forms from bone and joint compounds to immunity multivitamins.

15 of the ABSOLUTE BEST multivitamin supplements you should get for your dogs. Take a look here!

Temperaments Of A Teacup Maltese

Teacup Malteses are the ideal companion dog whether you live alone and want your first dog or you want to add a furry best friend to your big family. This is because of this dogโ€™s beautiful and loveable personalities. Let us take a look at some of the main traits that make them so special.

Incredibly Playful

Teacup Maltese puppies are known to playfully bite at their human companions when excited. This is just one of the many awesome quirks you have to look forward to with this super playful dog. You can rest assured there will never be a dull moment in your home.

Affectionate And Clingy

These doggies embody the lap dog persona in every way including their very affectionate nature. They love to cuddle with their best human friends and will always find a way to be near you. Some even develop Velcro personalities and will follow you pretty much anywhere they have access to.


Teacup Malteses are actually quite intelligent and eager to learn. This definitely makes teaching them new skills and tricks quite a lot of fun. However, as you will soon see it is not always that easy.

Easily Distracted

While Teacup Malteses are smart and quick to pick up on training, they are very easily distracted. It is therefore best to keep their training sessions short. You could also use a reward system with lots of treats to keep their attention.


Image from Instagram:@unipaw_grooming

Teacup Malteses are very calm dogs. They have their bursts of goofy energy but are generally very laid back. When they are not cuddling with you or playing with their toys, you will find them just lounging quietly in their favorite spot.

Very Vocal

Where Teacup Malteses lack in size they more than make up for with their vocal cords. These doggies can be very loud and therefore need early obedience training to curb the habit.

Do Teacup Maltese Dogs Shed? Grooming Tips Of A Teacup Maltese

Like their standard-sized counterparts, Teacup Maltese dogs are hypoallergenic and have long, thick, coats that do not shed much. This makes them easy to maintain for the most part. To give you an idea of exactly what it is you are getting yourself into, here are some of the key grooming tips when caring for a Teacup Maltese.

Brush To Detangle

You still have to brush the Teacup poochโ€™s fur at least once a week. This helps to detangle any matting in their long, beautiful coats. It also helps get rid of any loose fur that may be shed later on.

It is crucial that you work with the right tools to get through their thick coats. We recommend the FURminator Deshedding Tool for its strong bristles and ergonomic handle that make grooming super easy. 

FURminator deShedding Tool for Dogs, Large, Long Hair - 101008
  • Stainless steel deShedding edge reaches through topcoat to safely and easily remove loose hair and undercoat
  • FURejector button releases hair with ease
  • Ergonomic handle for comfort and easy use

Wash The Teacup Maltese Once Every 4 To 6 Weeks

You should bathe your Teacup Maltese once every 4 to 6 weeks. This helps keep their coats healthy and is especially important if the doggy is suffering from skin irritations. Check out Pro Pet Works Oatmeal Puppy Shampoo for effective and puppy-friendly grooming. The formula contains oatmeal proteins that have a soothing and healing effect on irritated skin. The proteins also help restore damaged skin or fur for a healthy coat.

Organic 5 in 1 Oatmeal Dog Shampoo & Conditioner - Defense Against Dandruff, Allergies, & Itchy,...
  • โœ…THE ULTIMATE FORMULA: Featuring ingredients like Aloe Vera Gel, Organic Almond Oil, Oatmeal, and Vitamins A, D, E,...
  • โœ…PREMIUM QUALITY: Made using only the finest ingredients available, our formulation is paraben-free, cruelty-free,...
  • โœ…MULTIPET USE: Our one-of-a-kind, 5-in-1 oatmeal shampoo and conditioner is not just great for dogs - use our blend on...

Invest In Chew Toys For Dental Hygiene

Teacup Maltese dogs do not have the best breath and need as much help as possible with oral hygiene. Fortunately, chew toys may be all you need to get the job done. Just make sure to invest in something soft enough for their weak jaws. In this case, non-toxic silicone or rubber are the best materials to work with.

Can Teacup Maltese Have Babies? Teacup Maltese can actually have babies but this does not mean that they should. Due to their very small build, carrying a pregnancy to term and delivering puppies can be life-threatening for both the Maltese and their unborn puppies. It is also unethical as the resulting teacup pups are usually very frail and unhealthy and may have very miserable lives.

Where Can I Get Teacup Maltese Puppies For Free? You can actually get teacup Malteses for free from shelters or adoptions from individuals through online forums and advertisements. This will save you a lot as purchasing from a breeder could cost you between $700 and $2,200 per puppy or even more depending on where exactly you get yours.

Are There Any Teacup Maltese Breeders? While teacup-size Maltese dogs sometimes occur spontaneously, they are usually developed by breeders. There are many breeders around the country that produce these doggies despite the controversy surrounding teacup breeds and their numerous health issues. If you want to go this route to get your teacup Maltese pooch, you just have to do a quick search in your area, city, or state and something should pop up.

Default image
Pete Decker