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Yorkie vs. Maltese - Which Breed is Right for You?

By mawoo · 12 Apr · 5-10 mins read
Yorkie vs. Maltese - Which Breed is Right for You?

Yorkie vs. Maltese

Each breed is gifted with its own unique charm and charisma, but how do they measure up when compared directly, and what distinguishes each? Whether you're considering adding a new furry friend to your family or simply wish to deepen your understanding of these enchanting breeds, this investigation into the Yorkie versus Maltese topic is sure to entice. We dig into the roots of these breeds, discuss their physical characteristics, compare their temperaments, deliberate on their potential health issues, and finally, address their grooming needs. So, fasten your seatbelts, dog aficionados, as we dive into the exciting world of Yorkie and Maltese!

Understanding the Breeds

A Quick Overview of Yorkie Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier, affectionately known as the Yorkie, is a small toy dog native to England. Weighing approximately 5-7 lbs and standing 7-8 inches tall, these little darlings feature a distinctive long, silky coat that's typically black and tan, or blue and gold. Yorkies have bold, feisty personalities and make very affectionate and protective companions. While they may require early training and socialization to manage some slight obstinacy and excessive barking tendencies, you'll find their loyalty and charm hard to resist. 

From their inception as ratters in the 19th-century factories and mines of England, Yorkies have successfully transitioned into beloved household pets, perfect for apartments due to their small size and hypoallergenic coats. Be aware, though, that their delicate structure requires you to handle them with care. Vets have diagnosed some with health concerns such as a collapsing trachea and luxating patellas. Their long, beautiful coats deserve regular grooming, but the end result - a clean, fluffy, and happy pup - is worth it! So, if you're looking for an energetic, human-loving, and small-sized companion, the Yorkshire Terrier could be the perfect choice for you.

A Quick Overview of Maltese

The Maltese is a small, elegant toy dog breed known for its distinctive long, silky white coat. This intelligent, playful, and affectionate breed can be stubborn at times, but their eagerness to please makes them relatively easy to train. Despite their size, they are full of energy and adapt well to small living spaces, making them excellent choices for those living in apartments. One notable feature of the Maltese is their hypoallergenic coat, which requires consistent grooming to prevent matting and staining. Potential owners should be aware that the Maltese can be susceptible to specific health issues, but with good care, their life expectancy averages 12-15 years. This breed is well-loved for its loyalty and distinctive appearance, and is, therefore, a popular choice among dog enthusiasts.

Yorkie and Maltese Similarities

Size and Physical Appearance 

Both Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies) and Maltese are classified as small, toy-sized breeds. Typically, Yorkies weigh in between 5-7 lbs and have a height of 7-8 inches, while Maltese dogs usually weigh around 4-7 lbs and stand tall at 7-9 inches. Their strikingly beautiful long, silky coats are another common feature. Yorkies are famous for their black and tan coats, while Maltese stand out with their distinctive, all-white coats. 

Hypoallergenic Coats and Temperament 

Both Yorkies and Maltese are hypoallergenic dog breeds. Their single-layer coats, which shed minimally, add to the hypoallergenic attribute. Speaking of their temperaments, both these breeds are bound to shower you with love! Affectionate, playful, and loyal, both Yorkies and Maltese make for great family companions and they absolutely thrive on human interaction.

Exercise Needs and Potential Health Issues

If you are a fitness enthusiast, you need not worry about their exercise needs! While both breeds are quite energetic, their moderate exercise requirements can be easily met with daily walks and indoor play activities. This also makes them well-suited for apartment living. Also, keep in mind that both these breeds may encounter health issues, such as patellar luxation and collapsed trachea, due to their small size. 

Overall Similarities 

To wrap it all up, the Yorkshire Terrier and Maltese share a lot of similarities both in physical traits and temperament. Their small, hypoallergenic attributes couple with affectionate personalities to make them the top choices for prospective dog owners. Oh, and let's not forget their demanding grooming needs. 

Yorkie and Maltese Differences

Origins and History 

Maltese is an ancient breed from about 500 BC while Yorkies were bred in the 1800s in England. Maltese were bred as companion dogs for the high-class, and Yorkies were developed by factory workers to catch rats. 


Maltese are known for their long, straight, silky white coat, while Yorkies showcase a black and tan coat. The Maltese breed features a rounded, "baby doll" facial structure and Yorkies, on the other hand, have a more pointed, terrier-like face. 


Maltese are characterized as gentle, affectionate, and playful companions. Yorkies have a more feisty, confident, and vocal temperament, often displaying territorial behavior. 


The health concerns for these breeds also vary. Maltese generally tend to have fewer health issues than Yorkies who are more prone to problems like knee and liver disorders. 


From a grooming perspective, Maltese require more extensive grooming due to their long, silky coats. In contrast, Yorkies have a less demanding coat that is easier to maintain. 

In essence, both Yorkies and Maltese are small, affectionate toy breeds, but they significantly differ - from their origins and physical appearances to temperaments and health/grooming requirements. Understanding these differences is crucial for prospective owners when choosing the breed that best fits their lifestyle.


In brief, the Yorkshire Terrier, or 'Yorkie,' is a small, brave breed originally from England and Scotland, noted for its vermin hunting skills and independence. This breed is characterized by a long, hypoallergenic, blue and tan coat. On the flip side, the Maltese, known for its loyalty, companionship, and charming temperament, is highlighted by its silky white coat. Both breed owners should be aware of potential inherited health issues. The choice between a Yorkie and a Maltese rests on aligning the breed's characteristics with the prospective owner's lifestyle. Both breeds bring immense joy, offering fulfilling companionship when cared for properly.


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