Maltese are amazing toy dogs known for their elegant look and affectionate disposition. They are famous for their perfect white, lustrous coats, but can these dogs also have brown hair?
To put it simply, there are brown Maltese, but they are not what you think they are! Despite not being as well-known as their white-haired siblings, brown Maltese are equally as charming.
If you are curious about all things related to brown Maltese, you have come to the right place! In this guide, you will find FAQs, pictures, places to buy brown Maltese, and more.
Can Maltese Dogs Be Brown?
The answer to this question is a bit tricky, so let’s break it down a bit. Can purebred Maltese dogs be brown? No, purebred Maltese dogs cannot be brown.
While some purebred Maltese have hints of tan or lemon, their main coat color is always white. There is no such thing as purebred brown Maltese. Brown Maltese puppies can only be produced by crossing a purebred Maltese with other dog breeds with brown coats.
If a brown version of a Maltese puppy is what you are looking for, then the only way to have one is by crossbreeding a Maltese with other dogs, such as a Poodle, Chihuahua, or Pomeranian.
It is only from these combinations that a Maltese-looking puppy can have brown hair.
So, can there be brown-haired dogs that look like Maltese? Certainly! They go by many names, such as Maltipoo, Malchi, Malshi, and many more.
Are Brown Maltese Purebred?
The straightforward answer to this question is no; brown Maltese are not purebred dogs. Instead, they are hybrid dogs born from the cross between a Maltese and a different dog breed.
The most common dogs Maltese are crossed with to produce “brown Maltese” puppies are the Poodle, Shih Tzu, Chihuahua, Yorkshire Terrier, Pug, and Pomeranian.
If you refer to the American Kennel Club breed standards (AKC), the only recognized colors for the Maltese breed are white, white & lemon, and white & tan. There are no mentions of brown Maltese.
The AKC even states that light tan or lemon hair is undesirable for Maltese.
Are Brown Maltese Rare?
Brown Maltese are not considered rare. There are literally a handful of brown Maltese variants you can choose from. However, some brown Maltese hybrids can be more difficult to find than other mixes.
Although the population of brown Maltese might pale in comparison to the purebred white Maltese, these dogs are not at all difficult to find in general.
What Does a Brown Maltese Look Like?
Brown Maltese are hybrid dogs, which means their appearance will vary depending on their parent breeds.
Despite having hundreds of possible Maltese hybrids, there are a few notable ones that result in these brown-haired Maltese-looking puppies.
Take a look at some of the most common variations of the brown Maltese:
The adorable pooch in the photo above is a Maltipoo, a mix between a Maltese and a Poodle. This brown Maltese variant is a hypoallergenic and low-shedding dog.
They are not necessarily high-maintenance dogs, but they do require regular brushing.
The Maltipoo, much like purebred Maltese, is a relatively small pooch. The texture of their coats is often in between the silky hair of the Maltese and the wavy hair of the Poodle.
In terms of size, Maltipoos may range from the size of a toy Poodle to the size of a miniature Poodle.
The Malchi is another variant of the brown Maltese. It is the cross between a Maltese and Chihuahua. Malchis do not always come with brown coats. Others are purely white, and some are tan.
Malchis share most of their facial features with their Chihuahua parents. These include their triangular ears, big eyes, and slightly pointed muzzle. In most cases, these dogs also do not inherit the silky hair of the Maltese.
The Malshi is a hybrid of the Maltese and Shih Tzu. These dogs may come in white with brown markings, pure white, or pure tan.
If you are looking to get a brown-haired Maltese-looking pooch, a tan-haired Malshi is a good option to consider. At around eight pounds to 16 pounds, these dogs are relatively small.
They project the appearance of lovable and cuddly dogs. Malshis are also known for adopting hypoallergenic traits from their Shih Tzu and Maltese parents.
The photogenic puppy in the picture above is a Maltipom. They are the cross between a Maltese and a Pomeranian. They are irresistible pooches that come in a few colors: white, black, chocolate, and light brown.
The light brown-haired Maltipom should be on the top of your list if you are looking to get a brown Maltese. However, be sure to brush your Maltipom’s coat regularly to keep it looking fresh and clean!
The Morkie is another brown Maltese variant that will surely steal your heart! If you can’t spot it yet, Morkies are the hybrid between a Maltese and a Yorkshire Terrier.
These dogs are the offspring of two breeds with arguably the silkiest and most luxurious coats.
Morkies adopt most of their facial features from the Yorkie. This includes their eyes, snout, and nose. These dogs also come in other coat colors, such as black, white, brown, and a mix of all three.
The cute pooch in the photo above is a Maltipug, a hybrid of a Maltese and a Pug.
Maltipugs, also known as Pug Maltese or Malti-Pug, typically inherit their coat length from the Maltese. However, they usually adopt their short-faced appearance from Pugs.
Maltipugs have compact bodies and slightly rounded heads. Most of the time, these dogs will have brown eyes and black noses. Maltipugs also come in white, black, and brown coat colors.
Brown Maltese Coat Color Genetics
There is a complicated science behind canine color genetics; however, you do not need to dive into it to understand what makes a Maltese brown. You just need to know a few important things.
Firstly, all dog coat colors start with two main colors — eumelanin (black) and pheomelanin (red). All other coat colors are the result of different genes interfering with the production of eumelanin and pheomelanin.
For brown dogs such as brown Maltese, it is the TYRP1 gene that is responsible for their coat color. The same is true for dogs with chocolate-colored or liver-colored coats.
The TYRP1 gene is also known as the Tyrosinase-Related Protein 1 or the Brown Locus gene. In theory, a brown-haired dog can only be born if it inherits two recessive brown genes from its parents.
However, as with the case of brown Maltese, it is possible to get brown-haired puppies with one of the parent dogs having a white coat. This is usually achieved when the other parent has a brown coat.
Do Brown Maltese Puppies Change Color as They Grow?
Changing color is not common in purebred Maltese. For these pooches, changing coat color is oftentimes a result of dirt build-up rather than natural causes. However, this does not hold true for brown Maltese.
Because of the hybrid nature of brown Maltese, their coat genetics are a bit more complicated compared to purebreds.
Breeds crossed with Maltese to produce brown Maltese puppies will likely affect the development of the coat pigmentation of their offspring.
For example, since Poodles are known to change color from a dark coat to a lighter coat as they grow, Maltipoos will likely exhibit the same characteristic.
Similarly, Yorkies are also known to change colors. As a result, Morkies might manifest a similar change.
Simply put, it is not surprising to see brown Maltese changing color as they grow. Although this change will vary for every brown Maltese. The biggest factor affecting this change would be the breed of the other parent dog.
Do Kennel Clubs Recognize the Brown Maltese?
The brown Maltese does not appear as a recognized breed in the American Kennel Club (AKC). The brown coloration is not written on the AKC breed standard for Maltese.
There are also no mentions of a brown variant of a purebred Maltese in other kennel clubs such as the United Kennel Club (UKC), Continental Kennel Club (CKC), and Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI).
As per the above-mentioned kennel clubs, the only “standard” color of the Maltese is white. A few hints of tan and lemon are acceptable but not desirable.
Brown Maltese Temperament and Personality
Due to their hybrid nature, brown Maltese do not have a certain fixed disposition. This makes their temperament a bit harder to assess and predict compared to purebred Maltese.
The behavior of these pups is a product of many factors, especially the breed of their parents.
For example, a brown Maltese with a Chihuahua parent might adopt the aggressive nature of the Chihuahua. Similarly, a brown Maltese born from a Poodle and Maltese cross might inherit the Poodle’s wits.
Moreover, there is a possibility that Maltipoms, another variant of the brown Maltese, will adopt the talkative nature of its Pomeranian parent.
That said, the only way to narrow down your expectations regarding your pet’s temperament is by determining which particular brown Maltese you will get.
For the most part, brown Maltese will always be tamable family pets. With early training, they will not cause a lot of trouble to your household.
Plus, if you know a thing or two about the temperament of your pooch’s parents, you should be able to anticipate your pet’s behavior.
Brown Maltese Lifespan and Health Issues
The lifespan of your brown Maltese will vary slightly depending on what hybrid you get. In general, brown Maltese live anywhere between 11 and 15 years — they are usually healthy dogs.
As for the common health issues of brown Maltese, variations will also be present depending on what hybrid you get. However, a few health concerns are common to all brown Maltese.
Below are some common health issues of brown Maltese:
- Reverse Sneezing: Reverse sneezing, also known as paroxysmal respiration, is a condition in which a dog abruptly inhales air through its nose. Although it is not a harmful condition, it is oftentimes worrisome to see a brown Maltese reverse sneezing. One way to avert this is by gently stroking your pet’s neck.
- Luxating Patella: Small dogs such as brown Maltese are prone to luxating patella. This health condition is characterized by a misalignment of the femur and the kneecap. A dog with this health issue will experience pain when moving.
- Collapsed Trachea: Collapsed trachea or tracheal collapse is an alarming health issue in small dog breeds. It prevents normal breathing for the dog and is oftentimes accompanied by a persistent dry cough. Tracheal collapse is commonly diagnosed in Chihuahuas, Shih Tzus, Pomeranians, and Toy Poodles.
Prevention is better than cure. Always be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms of the listed health issues to avoid further complications and hefty medical expenses.
How Much Does a Brown Maltese Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses
The price range for brown Maltese puppies may vary quite a bit depending on which hybrid you get and the breeder’s reputation. Similarly, if you plan to adopt, you should expect adoption fees to differ based on several factors.
For starters, most types of brown Maltese, such as the Maltipoo, Malchi, Morkie, and Maltipug, will range from $500 to $4,000.
On top of the price of the actual brown Maltese puppy, you also need to shell out extra for some essentials.
The following is a list of all the things you need to buy for a brown Maltese puppy:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Food and Treats||$30 – $80|
|Bowls||$10 – $30|
|Toys||$20 – $30|
|Beds||$30 – $200|
|Collars and Leashes||$15 – $50|
|Crates and Carriers||$30 – $200|
|Grooming Essentials||$50 – $150|
|Initial Vet Visits||$100 – $500|
|Initial Vaccine Shots||$50 – $300|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$40 – $300|
|Neutering or Spaying||$50 – $500|
|Microchipping||$40 – $60|
|Dog License||$10 – $20|
|Other Essentials||$20 – $50|
|Total Initial Cost||$495 – $2,470|
As you can see, you will need to shell out around $495 to $2,470 to buy your pup’s essential needs.
That said, you might be able to save a bit from these initial expenses if you already have some of these items at home.
Places to Find Brown Maltese Puppies for Sale and Adoption
If you have already decided to get a brown Maltese, you will be delighted to know that there are plenty of sources for these puppies!
You just need to figure out which hybrid suits you the best, and from there, you can begin checking out the different sources listed below.
Below are some breeders and places where you can find brown Maltese puppies for sale:
- Bear Creek Maltipoo – Bear Creek Maltipoo is an Arkansas-based Maltipoo breeder that has been breeding healthy pups for almost two decades. Their Maltipoo puppies’ prices range from $2,300 and up.
- Premier Pups – This Ohio-based breeder specializes in breeding Maltipoms and brown teacup Maltese. They offer nationwide pet shipping, and they also accept financing. Their puppy package also includes a health guarantee.
- PuppyFinder – PuppyFinder is an online service where aspiring pet owners can search for their desired pooches. They have a wide selection of Malchi, Maltipoo, and Morkie puppies for sale.
Meanwhile, here are some places where you can find brown Maltese puppies for adoption:
- Adopt-a-Pet – Adopt-a-Pet is an adoption website where aspiring pet owners can browse a selection of pets. This site allows users to find adoptable pets, such as brown Maltese easily. Make sure to check them out to see if they have adoptable brown Maltese.
- Petfinder – Petfinder is another online adoption website. This service has all kinds of pets, from cats and dogs to bunnies and even birds! However, when using the Petfinder website, you should search for your desired brown Maltese hybrid rather than using the term “brown Maltese.”
- Metropolitan Maltese Rescue – This non-profit organization is dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating Maltese and their mixes, such as the various brown Maltese hybrids. Their adoption fee ranges from $300 to $500, depending on age.
If this is your first time adopting, make sure that you understand the steps and requirements involved in the adoption process. This is so you don’t waste your time, and at the same time, you get to bring home a new pet.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Color Does Maltese Come In?
Purebred Maltese only come in white and some variants of white. According to the AKC, there are only three recognized Maltese colors: white, white & lemon, and white & tan.
However, Maltese crossed with other breeds may result in brown-haired Maltese-looking puppies.
What Is the Rarest Maltese Color?
Many dog fanatics would say that the “black Maltese” is the rarest Maltese color.
However, black Maltese are not purebred dogs. In reality, since Maltese only come in a few variants of white, there is no particular “rare” color.
That said, it is worth mentioning that the most desirable Maltese is a pure white Maltese. These are dogs without hints of other colors, such as lemon and tan.
Do Brown Maltese Shed?
The shedding rate of brown Maltese will depend on their parent breeds. Nonetheless, most brown Maltese hybrids shed very minimally.
The Maltese breed is not known to shed much. Fortunately, the other breeds usually mixed with Maltese to produce brown pups do not shed heavily as well.
One can think of the brown Maltese as a family of Maltese hybrids with brown-colored coats. Since these dogs aren’t purebred, temperament and health might differ depending on which hybrid you get.
That said, you can expect any brown Maltese puppy to be trainable and healthy for the most part. At the end of the day, you will surely enjoy the company of a brown Maltese.
So, which brown Maltese variant do you think best suits your lifestyle and preference? Let us know in the comment section below!