Maltese are extremely lively, playful, affectionate, fearless, gentle, intelligent and sweet-tempered. They adore humans, and always prefer to stay near them. So much love in such a small body! Maltese are toy dogs weighing less than seven pounds, covered by a long, silky coat. Beneath that all-white mantle is a compact body moving with a smooth, effortless gait. The overall picture depicts free-flowing elegance and balance. The Maltese face—with its big, dark eyes and black gumdrop nose—has been enchanting owners since the Bible was a work in progress. Don’t let the showy looks fool you: These are hearty, adaptable pets. It takes a whole lot of dog to survive three millennia.