A toy dog covered from head to toe with a mantle of long, silky white hair, the Maltese is gentle-mannered and affectionate, known for being lively, playful and fearless despite its small size. Maltese are intelligent little dogs that are very fast learners if they feel sufficiently rewarded. Today, their refinement, cleanliness and portability make them a popular choice as a companion dog. Even though the Maltese is a very small dog, they tend to be brave and without fear. They are one of the most gentle mannered of all little dogs, but are also full of energy and very playful, making them great family dogs. Maltese should be brushed daily, and groomed often to prevent mats from forming in their long, white coat.