Skip to Content

Are Maltese Dogs Always White? (Maltese Colors Explained)

Maltese are friendly and gentle breed dogs. They are tiny toy dogs with long and silky white hair all over their bodies. Maltese dogs love to be with people. You might find them playful and energetic. Their elegant look will steal your heart.

Owning a Maltese dog can be significant. But you might be confused about their color. You may have seen most of the Maltese in white color. 

But you might be confused whether Maltese can be other colors or not. In this article, we will tell you about how many colors can be possible in Maltese dogs.

Are Maltese dogs always white?

Generally, Maltese dogs are white these days. But in ancient times, Maltese dogs were in different colors. After 1950’s, white became the universal color of Maltese. Still, some secondary colors can be found in specific areas of the body. With white, lemon, and tan, a combination is found.

Pure white Maltese are popular all over the world. But three color combinations can be possible in Maltese. White, while and lemon and, white and tan, etc., can be the accepted color of Maltese.

Moreover, for some Maltese, discoloration can occur. This discoloration is not because of genetics. With age, Maltese dog’s coat can discolor. So, you might see the Maltese in pure white, but other secondary colors are possible.

What color do Maltese dogs come in?

Basically, Maltese dogs come in white color. A purebred Maltese dog should have pure white color. Besides, they can have lemon, tan, cream, pale colors with white. It can be possible that these colors linger from Maltese dogs’ history.

In the past, many color variations were common in Maltese dogs. But over time. White color became a universal and more demanded color for Maltese. However, Maltese come in white color in combination with other colors today.

The color combination can be white and tan, white and lemon, white and cream, white and pale, etc. In the dog shows, the criteria of Maltese dogs’ color can be different. So, you might not see the colored Maltese in general. But you can find them in the dog shows.

Are Maltese dogs only white?

No, Maltese dogs are not always white. They can have a touch of colors. These combinations are secondary colors, like tan, pale, lemon, etc.

Recently, white Maltese is the most demandable one. But in the dog show, you might find Maltese with a combination of colors. However, a purebred Maltese should be white.

Do Maltese come in different colors?

Yes, Maltese can come in different colors. A number of colors and shades can be possible in Maltese, like tan, pale, brown, etc.

Especially in Maltese puppies, you might find white and brown color combinations. Moreover, the color combination also depends on which breed you choose for your preferred Maltese.

Can a Maltese be black and white?

Yes, Maltese can be black and white. Generally, Maltese dogs are pure white. But other color combinations are possible. In fact, black and white Maltese can be possible with breeding.

The color of a Maltese also depends on the dog breed you choose to mix with your dog. If the breed dog is black in color, the born puppy will be a mixture of black and white.

How do I know if my Maltese is purebred?

To know whether your Maltese dog is purebred or not, you have to notice some characteristics of the Maltese. Purebred Maltese dogs have some common standards and features. From these features, you can be sure about your dog is a purebred Maltese. Let’s see some standard of purebred Maltese you can notice.

Body Structure:

The purebred Maltese dogs have a compact body structure. Their chests are slightly deep, and their necks should hold the head in the correct position. They have curled and plumed tails. So, to know your Maltese dog is purebred or not, you can check your Maltese these characteristics.

Color and Appearance:

Purebred Maltese dogs are white. But their ears can be cream, tan, or lemon colors. These colors are very light in purebred. Their hairs are silky and thin. From these appearances, you can find a purebred Maltese dog.


A purebred Maltese dog has black or brown eyes. The skin around the eyes is also black. He also has a black nose. The face is in round shape on the top. These are the face features a purebred Maltese dog has. 

What color is purebred Maltese?

A purebred Maltese has a white coat. White is a more desirable color in purebred Maltese dogs. Besides white, purebred Maltese dogs can have a tan or lemon color combination with white. They also can have some black spots in eye rims, paws, nose, and lips.  

Generally, the most expected color of a purebred Maltese dog is “pure white”. Other colors and discoloration can also happen in purebred Maltese. Your Maltese dog can get discoloration from staining via dirt and other elements. But this doesn’t mean that your dog isn’t purebred.

So, purebred Maltese dogs can have other light color combinations also. They also can have black spot markings. But in general, white and a combination of white is a must for purebred Maltese dogs.

Why is my Maltese not white?

If your Maltese dog is a breed dog of other color dogs, the Maltese will bear a mixture of colors. But if he is white by born and getting other colors gradually, there can be some factors. Discoloration and light color combination can change the color of your Maltese dog.

Discoloration can happen from staining via dirt and other elements. Besides, if your Maltese drinks water from tap water, it can cause discoloration. In tap water, copper and lead are the two elements that can affect the white color.

Do Maltese puppies change color?

While growing from puppy to adult, Maltese dogs can change color. Maltese dogs are generally pure white. Sometimes, they have tan or lemon color ears when they are puppies. Gradually, these colors can shade away.

After one year old, Maltese puppies start to shade away from the combination colors. Their ears become whiter over time. When the puppy gets older, you might notice the color changing over time. The change may not be noticeable perfectly. But if you compare photos of the Maltese puppy and his adult age photos, you will notice the color change.

Does Maltese Shih Tzu change colors?

Yes, Maltese Shih Tzu changes colors with age. Maltese Shih Tzu is a combination breed dog of Maltese and Shih Tzu. Maltese Shih Tzu dogs often have white and brown combination colors. This color can change when they grow up.

Shih Tzu dogs have a common characteristic of changing colors. The changes occur the most between the time of their born and maturity.

Maltese Shih Tzu dogs are the breed dogs of Shih Tzu. So, it’s expected that Maltese Shih Tzu dogs also have the same characteristic to change color.

How do I keep my Maltese white?

Maltese dog’s coats can discolor from many factors. But if you want your Maltese dog to be pure white color, you should follow some cleaning processes. These processes might help your dog’s coat remain white and shiny.

  • You can use a daily wipe and tear remover to keep the face white.
  • Wipe the body of Maltese daily to clean dirt and environmental elements.
  • Brush the hair every day to remove fine particles of dirt, debris, dust, etc.
  • Use shampoo while bathing the Maltese to boost the white color.
  • Control the Maltese exposure to environmental elements.

What causes tear stains in Maltese?

Maltese are one of the most excessive tear-producing dogs. Teardrops cause tear stains. The stains are more noticeable for their white color.

Some other reasons for developing tear stains in Maltese dogs are inferior food, tap water, wet hairs, lack of daily wipes, plastic bowls, health issues, etc.

Teardrops can make the hair discolored around the eyes. These hairs can get pink or brown color. Teardrops and discoloration also sign of bacteria and can cause a problem with sight.

How to whiten Maltese tear stains?

Tear stains are common in Maltese dogs. These stains are more noticeable for their white color. Moreover, tear stains can lead to an attack of bacteria and sight problems. So, removing stains and whitening is necessary. You can follow the processes below to whiten Maltese tear stains.

  • Use a tear stain remover to remove the stains and dirt.
  • Use a daily canine eye wipe to clean the areas around the eyes.
  • Eliminate the reasons behind tear stains. 

How do I stop my Maltese from getting eye stains?

For stopping your Maltese from getting eye stains, you have to eliminate the reasons behind tear stains. Let’s see what you can do to eliminate the causes.

  • You can eliminate bad food or low-quality food to keep your Maltese healthy and tear-free.
  • Stop your Maltese to drink tap water containing lead and copper.
  • Wipe the hairs dry to remove excess water around the eyes.
  • Stop using plastic bowls for your Maltese
  • Lastly, clean the hair around the eyes every day.

Maltese are shiny white playful dogs. Despite their intelligence and playfulness, they have an exquisite appearance for their coat color.

However, they can have a combination of colors. But white Maltese is the most demandable. So, for keeping your Maltese’s white color right, you should take care of him and clean him regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why does my Maltese have brown spots?

Why Maltese dogs are expensive?

What were Maltese dogs originally bred for?

Are Maltese good dogs?

How big do Maltese get?

Do Maltese have hair or fur?