Breed standards are a set of guidelines commonly used to ensure that dogs measure up to certain characteristics typical of the breed. Breed standards are used to judge dogs in competitions and are considered to be the hypothetical ideal of the breed.
If you want to compete with your Maltese and are concerned about following these requirements to the letter it might also be helpful to take into account that these ideal specifications can vary in different countries. These are the standards from the American Kennel Club
So you must be wondering.. how does your Maltese measure up to the official ‘conformation’ points? Keep in mind that these refer to the ideal dog and variations in your own Maltese are not in any way a poor reflection on your pet. Unless you want to compete that is…The following is adapted from the American Kennel Club Maltese Breed Standard guidelines which have been in effect since 1984.
The Maltese is a gentle-mannered and loving toy dog. Covered from head to foot with smooth, silky hair. Despite the dogs size it should be eager and energetic.
The head must be in proportion...