Chihuahua vs Maltese

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
14 to 16 years
Size:

Extra Small

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

Low

Best For

Chihuahuas are best for households with no small children or other dominant pets, and retirees or work-from-home parents who can provide lots of attention.

Chihuahua Temperament

Chihuahuas are charming little scamps with an eye for mischief and a sense of bravery that outsizes their physicality. They’re playful pups who enjoy a good romp or game, even though it may not last long (depending on their energy level). And they love to snooze on laps an...

Chihuahuas are charming little scamps with an eye for mischief and a sense of bravery that outsizes their physicality. They’re playful pups who enjoy a good romp or game, even though it may not last long (depending on their energy level). And they love to snooze on laps and cuddle—that is, after all, what they’re bred to do.

They like a lot of attention and are quite portable. But even though they’re easily carried, they do still need to learn how to walk on their own and be able to engage in normal dog behaviors, like sniffing, exploring and playing. In other words, don’t pop them in a purse or a stroller and tote them everywhere—unless, of course, it’s somewhere risky with lots of feet that could hurt a tiny paw, like an airport or street festival.

The Chihuahua dog breed is said to resemble a terrier with their demeanor and can become quite feisty, especially if they feel threatened. Some sites report that the Chihuahua bite force is 3,900 pounds per square inch (psi), but those so-called Chihuahua facts are wildly inaccurate, when a lion is only at 600 psi. (In truth, they usually inflict no more than a Level 1-3 bite, with no puncture deeper than half the length of one of their canine teeth.)

To help your Chihuahua puppy overcome a nipping or protective tendency, socialize them by safely and slowly introducing them to new people and places from the get-go and start training when they are young. Early training will also help this smallest of dog breeds become wonderfully friendly and receptive to all members of the family, including other pets.

Chihuahua Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 15 years
Size:

Extra Small

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

Low

Best For

The Maltese breed can thrive in small or large homes as long as they have a lap to snuggle in. New and experienced pet parents will love this easy-going breed who gets along with people...

The Maltese breed can thrive in small or large homes as long as they have a lap to snuggle in. New and experienced pet parents will love this easy-going breed who gets along with people and even cats. However, take care around young children or bigger pets who might accidentally hurt the sweet, tiny dog.

Maltese Temperament

From deep in their history, Maltese dogs have a love for laps and their people. Truly, their favorite place is to be wherever you are. Their intense love for their family means they may feel anxious if they’re alone for too long, leading them to bark if they get...

From deep in their history, Maltese dogs have a love for laps and their people. Truly, their favorite place is to be wherever you are. Their intense love for their family means they may feel anxious if they’re alone for too long, leading them to bark if they get bored or worried.

If you live in an apartment, be warned: This tiny dog can carry a persistent bark that some neighbors won’t appreciate. Training and socialization are important to help your pup be at ease with the noises that come with apartment life and lessen their need to bark.

These friendly, social butterflies love people and other pets, including cats. Because they’re about the same size as a cat, the two can get along surprisingly well. But even though they’re fearless, their small weight and height make them fragile. So, they should always be supervised around very young children and babies to make sure the pup isn’t injured or overwhelmed by rough play.

The tiny Maltese has a sweet personality that makes them great therapy dogs. But more than anything else, they just want a chance to sit in your lap and be close to you.

Maltese Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents
Viewing 1 / 2