Maltalier Basic Information
The Maltalier is sometimes called a Cav-a-malt, Maltaleer or Cavamalt.
The Maltalier is a hybrid of the Maltese and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, best suited to families with young children and less active older people who are looking for a small companion dog.
Maltalier Parent Breeds
The Maltese is one of the parents of the Maltalier. Over the years the little white Maltese has been called by many names, including “Canis Melitaeus” in Latin, and the “Maltese Lion Dog” and “Ancient Dog of Malta” in English. Maltese belong to the Toy Group of dogs, and do not exceed 25cm (10 inches) in height and generally weigh between 3 – 5kg. They always have pure white, long coats, and the body is compact and proportionate. The Maltese are adorable, playful, and affectionate lapdogs that are relatively intelligent. They are also fragile due to their size, and they may suffer house-breaking difficulties and separation anxiety.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The other parent to the Maltalier breed is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Like the Maltese, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is also a toy breed of dog, although they are slightly larger. While the Maltese is on the smaller end of the scale when it comes to toy breeds, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is on the larger end of the toy breed spectrum. They sport a moderately long silky coat and come in several different colors. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels love to please their owners and they are polite with strangers and slightly active. They may suffer separation anxiety like the Maltese and they may also be shy or timid at times, but are one of the most affectionate and gentle breeds of dog
What does a Maltalier look like?
Maltaliers can very slightly in appearance. They can have any combination of characteristics from the Maltese and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. This means that some may resemble one parent more than the other or simply have a different mixture of individual features. Being familiar with the appearance of both parent breeds helps to understand the physical possibilities of the Maltalier. While some people see this as a drawback, it does enable people to select the dog they find most appealing, giving them more options.
As both the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Maltese are toy breeds, the Maltalier is guaranteed to be small breed of dog. Their size and weight can vary much like their features, but in general they will have a height of 22-30cm and a weight of between 4 – 8kg. Many Maltaliers will have the ears and eyebrows of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The Maltese has ears that are much shorter than the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and often times puppies produced from the two will have ears somewhere between them. Generally the coat of the Maltalier will be relatively long with the fluffy coat characteristic to the Maltese.
The eyes of this mix have been described as soulful. Because the Maltese is white and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel comes in several different colors, the Maltalier can appear faded if it comes in one of the colours of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They may also, of course, be white. Since the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the only source of color for the Maltalier they may appear in any of the colours that are present on Cavaliers, including ruby, blenheim, black and tan, tricolor, white, tan, and black.
What is a Maltalier’s personality like?
The combination between the Maltese and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel parents generally makes for a good temperament in a dog. Maltese in general are bright, curious, clever, and overall tend to be peaceful. On the downside, however, the Maltese has been known to be a little sensitive and sometimes even snappy. Maltaliers can also be difficult to housebreak. They may suffer from separation anxiety and destructive behaviors if left alone. Many breeders use the calmer temperament of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to mellow out some of these more negative characteristics of the Maltese. The Cavalier is gentle, playful, and in general incredibly sweet-tempered. They love to please their owners and are often polite and calm around everyone. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, too, may suffer separation anxiety and they may be shy or timid if not properly socialised.
Ideally a Maltalier will not be as shy or timid as the Cavalier, nor as sensitive or touchy as the Maltese, but strike a great balance between the two. Of course, this is not always the case. Some dogs may get the more negative traits from their parents, but through finding a good breeder who used good, well-behaved, and friendly parents, a new owner can find a good Maltalier. Maltaliers are often described as being happy, outgoing, affectionate, attentive, reasonable, playful, intelligent, eager to please, and well-behaved. Many dogs of this breed do great in agility and obedience competitions.
They may bark a moderate amount, and a lot of this depends on each individual dog and which parent influences it most in this area. Some Maltaliers may inherit the strong chasing instincts of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They do well in families but as with any small dog they should be watched around children. They get along best with children and other animals they were raised with. Through early socialization and training, however, many potential negative qualities in the Maltalier can often be avoided. If separation anxiety or other problems are addressed early they can be curbed much easier.
Are Maltaliers a healthy breed?
When two purebreds produce offspring the new breed, in this case the Maltalier, will often experience “hybrid vigor” in which the dog has the positive qualities of its parents without the negative health problems. This is never a guarantee, however. Some problems Maltaliers may experience are patella luxation, mitral valve disease, epilepsy, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and diabetes.
How long do Maltaliers live for?
Maltaliers live to 12-15 years.
How much grooming do Maltaliers need?
Although the Maltese doesn’t shed very much the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel does. Maltaliers will shed some hair and are not generally a non-shed dog breed. Ideally a Maltalier will take more after the Maltese, but this is never certain and many fall in between the two with some grooming required to reduce the amount of hair shed. Both parent dogs have beautiful coats and Maltaliers will need to be groomed periodically.
How much exercise does a Maltalier need?
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are generally fairly active, and Maltese can also be active dogs. Maltaliers are small dogs so they do not need a large space for vigorous activities but it is important to play with them and walk them regularly to give them the mental stimulation that they need.