Maltese vs Fell Terrier - Breed Comparison | MyDogBreeds

Maltese vs Fell Terrier - Breed ComparisonMaltese is originated from Italy but Fell Terrier is originated from United Kingdom. Maltese may grow 13 cm / 5 inches shorter than Fell Terrier. Both Maltese and Fell Terrier are having almost same weight. Both Maltese and Fell Terrier has almost same life span. Maltese may have less litter size than Fell Terrier. Both Maltese and Fell Terrier requires Moderate maintenance.


maltese - historyThe Maltese dog hardly needs any introduction as this is an ancient breed which is still as popular as ever. Some people refer to it as the "Maltese Lion Dog," or "Melita" which was Malta’s previous name.

It was in the 19th century, that the Kennel Club settled on the name of Maltese for the dog breed. The dog has been selectively bred to keep its small size. The exact origin of the dog is unknown and there are various stories surrounding where its origins are, thought to be Italy.

It is believed that dogs such as spaniels and poodles have been used to bring about the Maltese. The American Kennel Club, a registry for pure bred dogs, recognized the breed in 1888.

fell terrier - historyFell terriers, known by other names such as Lakeland-, Patterdale-, Red Fell or Black Fell Terrier are small working terriers, hailing from the fell or hilly country of northern England.

Several breeds have been developed from the Fell terrier, of which the Patterdale Terrier, Lakeland are some as well as other locally developed breeds. All these particular breeds are sometimes referred to as the Fell Terrier, and in fact the National Terriers Club LLC has published a Fell Terrier standard.

It is also believed that the long legged Fell Terriers may have descended from an old type of terrier referred to as the rough-coated Black and Tan. The Black and Tan Terrier is now extinct but was drawn into The Kennel Club as the Welsh Terrier.

Basic Information

Toy dog
Terrier dog
United Kingdom
Height Male:
20 - 25 cm
7 - 10 inches
31 - 38 cm
12 - 15 inches
Height Female:
20 - 25 cm
7 - 10 inches
31 - 38 cm
12 - 15 inches
Weight Male:
1 - 5 kg
2 - 12 pounds
6 - 9 kg
13 - 20 pounds
Weight Female:
1 - 5 kg
2 - 12 pounds
6 - 9 kg
13 - 20 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 15 Years
11 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
1 - 3
2 - 6
Small dog
Small dog
Other Names:
Melita, Maltese Lion Dog
Black Fell, Patterdale Terrier, Red Fell
Colors Available:
black and tan, White, chocolate, black, red, bronze
Long and silky
Short or longer - coarse
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Sweet, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Moderate maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


maltese puppy - descriptionThe Maltese is looked upon as a toy dog. Both male and female stand roughly between 20-25cm in height and weigh between 1 and 4kg.

He is as cute as a button with a rounded skull, a pitch black nose, brown eyes and medium length floppy ears. The tail is feathery and is curled. He has a long, silky coat without an undercoat.

The color of his coat is pure white, and because he doesn’t shed he is looked upon as being hypoallergenic. Most people who own a Maltese like having the coat short to one length all round.


These little dogs have been bred to be companion dogs. They may be little, but it is a good idea to have him trained and socialized as they are inclined to be a bit snappy, especially with children.

He is intelligent, so training him won’t be difficult. Brought up the right way though, he can be good with children as well as pets in the home. They love their human families and want to be constantly with them. He is an energetic little dog too, and will just love ball games both inside and outside.

His very temperament and smallness make it that he fits perfectly into life in the city or the countryside. He is sweet and gentle but he makes a good watchdog, alerting you with his barking to strangers coming close by. Don’t leave him for long period of time as he hates being on his own and then he may start barking from sheer boredom and frustration.

fell terrier puppy - descriptionSmall and feisty, the Fell Terrier is a working dog used for hunting purposes. He stands at roughly 31cm to 38cm in height and ways between 6 to 9kg.

The dogs were sought after for their hunting skills as being the small dog they were, and with their narrow chests, they were able to move around in small, narrow underground tunnels.

The Fell has long legs, and his coat is shortish but with a rough texture to it. The coat is found in different colors such as white, black and tan, chocolate, red, black and bronze. The ears are medium length and floppy while the tail of the dog is traditionally docked, but these days the tail is often left long, and then he becomes less distinctive.


Used to having hunted in packs, the Fell Terrier has always been used to getting along well with other dogs. He makes a fantastic family pet and will get on well with children who have been been taught to respect animals. He is an independent, strong-willed dog and will certainly need socialization and training to turn him into an obedient dog.

He is energetic, fearless, strong-willed, determined and always ready for a game or some form of action.


maltese dog - characteristicsThe Maltese is a popular dog no doubt, and his smallness is a draw-card as he adapts easily to life in the city or the countryside.

He is loving, loyal, intelligent and responsive, making him a good family dog and being an excellent playmate for children. Teach your children how to respect animals because raucous, disrespectful kids might produce a nip from an agitated Maltese.

Being a light shedder is another draw-card, with him being looked upon as a hypoallergenic breed. He has got so many good things going for him that he is guaranteed to make you an ideal pet.

fell terrier dog - characteristicsThe Fell Terrier still has dreams of the hunt in him and with his strong prey instincts, he isn’t really suited to city living, but will fit ideally into life in the country.

He is a high spirited, working dog with an endless amount of energy. He bonds closely with his human family, and for all his robust, larger-than-life attitude and boldness, when he is with his human family he can be gentle, calm and loving, just thriving on the love he receives.

Your Fell Terrier is just waiting to be your best friend and a never ending source of unconditional love.

Health Problems

maltese puppies - health problemsYour Maltese is a feisty little thing who, with good care, can live for a good few years – up to 15 or even longer. As with any other dog, he can become ill. One or two illnesses to look out for include -

Skin Problems:

Sebaceous adenitis is caused by inflammation of the sebaceous glands and is an uncommon skin disease found in some breeds of dog.

There are two types - one for long coated breeds and one for short coated breeds. For long or double-coated dogs, you’ll notice a white/silvery kind of dandruff on the coat as well as hair loss. There can also be skin lesions along the back and ears. It can make your pet miserable and he will need to see a vet.

Thyroid Problems:

A common hormonal problem is canine hypothyroidism, brought on by inadequate levels of thyroid hormones. Symptoms include hair loss, weight gain, coldness and a weakened immune system.

fell terrier puppies - health problemsCaring for your Fell Terrier requires knowing what do do with him when he develops certain common dog illnesses. He is a robust dog and is not likely to get any serious illnesses, but still you want to know about some of the more common ones.

If you suspect an illness, get your pet to the vet who can provide you with a treatment plan for your dog.

Dental Disease:

Your Fell Terrier can easily fall prey to dental disease if you don't brush his teeth at least 2 or 3 times a week. Unfortunately bad teeth isn't just a case of losing a tooth or two, bad teeth can cause serious diseases such as kidney disease. Tarter build-up progresses to infection of the gums as well as roots of the teeth. So serious is dental disease that your dog can actually have his life shortened.


Your Fell Terrier is a small dog and obesity can easily creep up if you don't control your pet's diet. Obesity is a serious illness that can increase problems with the joints and digestion.

Caring The Pet


maltese dogs - caringYour Maltese is going to require quality food, water, exercise and shelter to enjoy a good life. The type of food you feed any dog has a direct impact on his health.

You need to provide him with quality food, and if its commercially manufactured food, you need to read the labels carefully so that the food is appropriate to your Maltese. For instance, you can’t mistakenly pull a ‘large-breed’ packet of food off the shelves and expect your Maltese to be able to stomach it.

If you do buy him this kibble, make sure the ingredients are wholesome. To break the monotony of eating kibble every day, give him some boiled chicken, brown rice and some raw or cooked vegetables chopped up finely into his kibble. He will love you for this as it makes a tasty meal for him and will keep him healthy.

Try to keep his diet nice and simple to avoid digestive problems.

Make sure he has constant access to fresh, cool water.

General Care:

Make sure your Maltese dog has a nice warm, dry place to sleep.

Get him to the vet if you notice that he is ill.

Brush his hair twice a week and take him to have it professionally cut if you prefer.

Clip his nails when they become too long and check around his eyes and inside his ears for any kind of infection.

These little dogs are prone to dental problems and he will need to have his teeth brushed 2 or 3 times a week.


fell terrier dogs - caringYour Fell Terrier is an active dog who won’t thrive if he is cooped up and ignored. He thrives on action and will need to be taken on walks with you and involved in all your games and sports, such as when you go jogging, swimming or cycling.


Feed your Fell Terrier the best quality commercially manufactured foods if you opt to feed your pet this way. Include cooked brown rice, vegetables and chicken into his kibble from time to time and always ensure there is cool, fresh drinking water available to him.


It depends on whether your Fell Terrier has a short, smooth coat, or the longer-haired coarse coat. He will certainly need brushing twice a week and sometimes, with the longer coats, he may require professional trimming or stripping.

Always check nails, in and outside the ears and remember to brush his teeth with canine toothpaste and toothbrush twice a week at least.

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