A Maltese litter typically varies in size from two to five puppies, with four being the average. Occasionally, a whelping produces only one puppy, although this is rare.
At four weeks along in a Maltese's pregnancy, it is possible for a veterinarian to perform an X-ray to confirm the number of puppies.
The Maltese is a toy breed that originated Malta and was introduced to the U.S. towards the end of the 19th century. In appearance, the Maltese is small, generally less than 7 pounds, with a long, white coat, which the American Kennel Club's breed standard suggests should be smooth and flowing. The Maltese requires regular grooming and exercise. This breed is fearless in temperament with a gentle disposition, making it an ideal pet, especially for families with children.