Black Maltese: The Ultimate Guide to This Lovable Black Canine

Black Maltese mix on white background

Famous for their silky, floor-length hair, the Maltese breed has always been known to have gorgeous white coats. But have you ever imagined a black Maltese? Have you ever wondered if they actually exist?

In this article, I’m going to answer and clarify all your curiosities regarding this uncommon Maltese color. Who knows? You’ll probably fall in love and decide to keep one as a pet.

So let’s begin knowing more about the black Maltese, shall we?

Are There Black Maltese Dogs?

Adorable black Maltese mix dog sitting by the Christmas tree

Yes, black Malteses do exist. However, they are not purebred Malteses. A black Maltese is only achieved by mixing a Maltese with other small, dark-colored breeds. A purebred Maltese should ideally have only white fur as set by the American Kennel Club standards.

Although it is possible for purebred Malteses to have tan or lemon-colored spots on their ears, they can never have dark streaks, let alone a full black coat color.

They may also have black markings on the lips, nose, around the eyes, and paw pads, but these are undesirable.

If you ever encounter online advertisements selling black Malteses, then there’s a high chance that they are promoting a Maltese mix dog breed.

Are Black Maltese Purebred?

As established, black Maltese pups are not purebreds. They are designer breeds usually produced from combining a Maltese breed with darker-colored breeds like Poodles, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus, and many more.

A true purebred Maltese only comes in one color and according to AKC, it is white.

There are quite a handful of possible combinations of the black Maltese, each bearing unique qualities and of course, the unusual pure black coat or a blend of black and white fur.

As designer breeds, they cannot be registered to join dog shows or events. However, owners can still enlist them in other organizations such as the International Designer Canine Registry and American Canine Hybrid Club even though they are not a purebred Maltese.

Black Maltese Appearance: What Does a Black Maltese Look Like?

There is no standard appearance for a black Maltese. Their features will all depend on the genes of the Maltese parent and the other dog who was crossbred with it.

You can have a full black Maltese, a black and white Maltese, or even a black teacup Maltese. Their fur will also appear different as well as their size.

Nevertheless, you can assume that these dogs will be on a smaller scale of dog sizes. They also won’t be able to join a dog show because of their black coloring.

If you’ve never seen a black Maltese before, this section will let you take a look at some of the different black Maltese mixes.

Black Maltipoo

Cute black Maltese Poodle mix Maltipoo standing up
Photo from @rocco4ky (IG)

A black Maltipoo or black Maltese Poodle is an adorable mix between a Maltese and a toy or miniature Poodle. Their coat has a soft, fluffy, wool-like texture that is normally low-shedding and low-dander. 

Although the most common colors for Maltipoos are cream and white, they can sometimes have an ink-black coat. They can also have a touch of blue, silver, or white guard hairs.

Black Malchi

Black Maltese Poodle mix Malchi wearing a red shirt
Photo from @melinszoo (IG)

A black Malchi is a hybrid produced from mixing a Maltese and a Chihuahua. The coat of a Malchi may be short or long, depending on the dominant parent gene.

Having a black coat is very common and you can expect them to have white or cream markings on the face, undersides, and legs.

Aside from their coat color, Malchis have an interesting quirk. They can either inherit the Chihuahua’s upright ears or the Maltese’s flapped ears. In any case, they are true charmers.

Black Malshi

The combination of a Maltese and a Shih Tzu can produce a black Malshi. You can expect their coats to be long and silky with somewhat wavy hair like their parents’.

With regards to grooming, owners need to do regular brushing to prevent tangles and mats. They can also choose to keep their coats short for easier management.

Trimming needs to be done every six weeks. It’s also advised to bathe them every two to four weeks.

Black Morkie

To have a black Morkie, a Maltese and a dark-colored Yorkshire Terrier should be crossbred. This cross is known to change their coat colors as they age so you can expect a black Morkie to have a faded color in adulthood.

They are a non-shedding breed that also needs frequent brushing to remove hair knots. Most owners also keep their coats short for easier maintenance.

Another notable thing about black Morkies is that they can also produce black teacup Maltese pups. This is because they can weigh only around 4 to 8 pounds and stand at 6 to 8 inches tall when full-grown.

Black Maltipom

A black Maltipom is another cross that is a 50/50 mix of a purebred Maltese and a purebred Pomeranian. Black is a common color for Maltipoms although the appearance of their coats varies depending on their breeding.

Generally, a Maltipom has a long, flowy coat with soft, straight hair which doesn’t shed. However, they can also have a variation of curly or wavy hair.

Are Black Malteses Rare?

The reason why black Malteses are considered rare is that they are produced through special breeding practices and they aren’t recognized by the AKC. Unlike purebreds, there is a lower chance of finding a breeder that sells solely black Maltese dogs.

Designer dog breeders need to select a pup that carries a dominant black gene to mate with the purebred white Maltese. However, there are cases when breeding this combination is unsuccessful in producing a full black dog breed. 

Instead, you can have a litter of puppies with a mix of different colors. In the end, having a black Maltese puppy is still a game of luck and probability.

Black Maltese Coat Color Genetics: What Makes a Maltese Black?

Like humans, the appearance of a certain dog breed has everything to do with genetics. If you are curious to know how a Maltese mix’s coat becomes black instead of various colors, this section will explain it all. Hopefully, I can do it without having to get too technical.

In dogs, the default eumelanin pigment is black. They can either have a solid black coat or a dominantly black coat with tan or red markings. This will be determined by the K locus which is responsible for black and red pigment switching in the gene pool.

When a white Maltese is crossed with a black toy Poodle, for instance, the puppy can have one of the following genotypes in its K locus: dominant black gene (Kb), brindle (Kbr), or recessive non-black (Ky).

A puppy can have a full black coat even if it just inherits one dominant black gene. This is also possible in these possible breeding scenarios: having a dominant and recessive gene (KbKy) or inheriting two dominant genes (KbKb). If the pooch has two recessive genes (KyKy), it will only have some black color in its coat.

Do Black Maltese Puppies Change Color as They Grow?

There are many cases where owners observe that their puppies change their coat color as they grow older. Is this the same for black Maltese puppies? Let’s find out.

As mixed breeds, there can be no generalized answer for this question. If you own a black Maltipoo puppy, there is a high probability that their coat will lighten as they reach maturity or undergo discoloration. This process is better known as ‘clearing.’

This normally happens when they reach 6 to 8 months old. The same can be said for black Morkie, Malshi, and Maltipom puppies.

For black Malchis, the discoloration can be very subtle and not noticeable at all. There are also instances when they ‘hold’ their coat color from birth to adulthood. 

Do Kennel Clubs Recognize the Black Maltese?

Black Maltese playing its toy on the grass

Having your dog registered is one of the most important steps in dog ownership. If they have registration papers, your pup has valid identification and proof that they are from a particular breed.

Most kennel clubs in the United States only recognize purebred dogs so it won’t be possible to register your black Maltese in the American Kennel Club (AKC) or the United Kennel Club (UKC).

Luckily, there are registries for designer breeds including the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR) and American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHClub).

The IDCR recognizes most Maltese mixes including Malshis, Malchis, Maltipoms, and Maltipoos. You can easily enroll your black Maltese through online registration. A similar process is done if you choose to register your pooch at ACHClub. 

By registering them to these organizations, your black Maltese will be able to join dog sports and other dog competitions. However, they cannot participate in any dog show meant for purebreds.

Black Maltese Temperament: Are Black Malteses Good Family Companions?

A dog’s coat color doesn’t directly influence its behavior, especially towards members of the family. For a black Maltese mix, the biggest factor in determining their temperament is in fact their parents.

Malteses are known to be extremely trusting and affectionate dogs with a gentle disposition.

As a family pet, they are quite vigorous, playful, and smart. They enjoy learning new tricks but can sometimes show independence and indifference.

When they feel endangered, especially by small kids, they can resort to barking, growling, and biting. That’s why they are not recommended for families with very young children. Early socialization is also advised.

The question now is whether your black Maltese will inherit this temperament or take on its other parent’s behavior.

Oftentimes, it can even be a mix of both. For example, a Maltipoo can grow very attached to its owners, making them prone to suffer separation anxiety.

They are at their best when a family member is available at home all the time. This makes them ideal pets for seniors and those who work from home. The same behavior can be displayed by Malshis and Maltipoms.

Malchis, on the other hand, are known to be more feisty and protective. However, they generally lack tolerance for children and usually stand up for themselves when threatened.

Black Maltese Lifespan and Health Issues: Are Black Malteses Healthy Dogs?

The life expectancy of black Maltese dogs is around 10 to 15 years. This is quite a long time but unfortunately, certain illnesses and conditions can shorten their lifespan just like other Maltese colors.

Being crossbreeds, black Maltese mixes are susceptible to health conditions common to their parents.

Here are some of the health issues owners should watch out for:

  • Patellar Luxation: For small designer breeds, patellar luxation or dislocation of the kneecap is very common. Owners should watch out for occasional limping or any signs of difficulty in carrying weight on one leg.
  • Shaker Syndrome: Dogs affected with this condition experience repetitive and involuntary tremors in one area or even the entire body.
  • Glaucoma: This is an eye disease marked by increased pressure within the eye due to the inadequate drainage of aqueous fluid. Some typical signs of glaucoma include localized pain, watery discharge, bulging of the eyeball, and blindness.
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: Also known as aseptic necrosis, this condition is characterized by the gradual degeneration of a dog’s femur or the ‘ball’ in the joint that forms the hip. It is commonly observed in small dogs marked by pain in the affected leg and limping.

How Much Does a Black Maltese Cost? Are Black Malteses More Expensive?

Designer dogs like black Malteses tend to be more expensive than purebreds.

This is because the breeder’s goal is to breed small dogs that usually give birth to a few puppies per litter. This makes the breeding process more tedious.

If you are interested in having a black Maltese puppy, you need to prepare an amount between $300 and $4,000, depending on whether you choose to adopt or purchase from a breeder. 

For Maltipoos, the breeder price can range from $1,000 to $4,000. Malshis are priced at around $1,300 to $1,600.

On the other hand, Maltipoms can cost a bit lower and start at $600 to $1,500. Malchis can also be bought for a much cheaper price starting at $500 to $1,000.

Of course, this is excluding initial expenses like food, crate, carrier, leash, and microchipping.

Medical expenses such as checkups, vaccine shots, deworming, and blood tests should also be considered. This can cost you another $360 to $500.

Places to Find Black Maltese Puppies for Sale and Adoption

Finding a black Maltese puppy can be challenging, especially since there are many people after them. But don’t fret! I’ve got you covered.

I’ve compiled some breeders and rescue organizations to help you find the perfect black Maltese puppy.

Whether you adopt or buy a dog, make sure always to check if the breeder or rescue can provide health certificates and a guarantee.

Here are some reputable breeders that can offer black Maltese dogs:

  • Princess Puppies – This family-owned kennel in Louisiana focuses on producing toy breeds and Maltese mixes such as Maltipoos and Malshis. They provide a 10-year health guarantee for each puppy. They offer shipping or drop-off by a personal puppy nanny.
  • Florida Poodles, Maltipoos and Shihpoos – Being in the breeding business for 13 years, the owner takes pride in raising purebred Poodles and mixes like Maltipoos. They provide genetic testing on all of their available puppies. 
  • Timber Creek Puppies – This breeder from Iowa specializes in designer breeds, including Maltipoos and Malshis. All of their puppies are checked by a vet and free from any genetic defects.
  • Five Star Kennels – This is another breeder from Missouri that strictly produces first-generation Maltipoo pups. They provide buyers with a one-year guarantee against genetic defects.

RELATED: 9 Places to Find Maltese Puppies for Sale – Best to Worst

To find a black Maltese breed available for adoption and avoid puppy mills, you can look into this list of rescue organizations:

  • Southern Comfort Maltese Rescue – To adopt a dog from this rescue, applicants need to accomplish an online form on their website. Volunteers will then perform a reference check, home visit, and collect the necessary adoption fee. All of their rescued dogs are treated for any illnesses and given updated vaccinations.
  • Lil’ Paws Maltese Rescue – This rescue aims to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome Malteses, mixes, and other small breeds. They don’t operate on a first-come, first-serve basis but instead follow a thorough screening process to select the new dog owners carefully.
  • Metropolitan Maltese Rescue – Founded in 1998, this Maltese rescue located in New York is dedicated to rehoming stray and surrendered Maltese and Maltese mixes. Their adoption fees are fixed and non-negotiable.

RELATED: 10 Best Maltese Rescues for Adoption (2021): Our Top 10 Picks!

Frequently Asked Questions

Black Maltese dog in snow

Are Purebred Malteses Pure White?

Ideally, purebred Malteses should only be pure white according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) standards.

They may have light tan colorations on their ears but other solid colors are not acceptable. They can also only have black markings on their paws, eye rims, nose, and lips.

Aside from having a pure white coat, their hair should hang straight and long without any hint of curls or waviness.

Are Black Malteses High Maintenance?

Black Malteses are considered high-maintenance dogs due to their coats. If your puppy inherits the long, silky hair of its Maltese parent, then you will need a regular maintenance routine. 

Their hair should be brushed every other day and a trip to the grooming salon once a month. Baths should also be given once a month and teeth should be brushed daily.

If your pup has more wavy or curly hair, you may need to do daily brushing to avoid tangles and knots.

Final Thoughts

Black Malteses are designer dog breeds that make great family companions. If you are looking for a highly energetic and people-oriented pet, a black Maltese might just be the right canine friend for you.

When buying a puppy online, make sure that you are dealing with a registered breeder that only produces healthy and high-quality mixed breeds.

They should also be honest that they are not selling a purebred Maltese. If they do tell you that they have a purebred Maltese, they are probably one of those unethical puppy mills.

You also need to remind yourself that having a black-colored dog won’t affect personality, health, and other aspects. Their unique color is just a beautiful manifestation of how genetics work.

John Carter

My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I've got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.

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