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The coat is dense, glossy, silky and shiny, falling heavily along the body without curls or an undercoat. The colour is pure white; however a pale ivory tinge is permitted. Adult weight is usually 3–4 kg (7–9 lb). Bitches are about 20–23 cm (8–9 in) tall, dogs slightly more. The Maltese does not shed. Like other white dogs, it may show tear-stains. The Maltese is kept for companionship, for ornament, or for competitive exhibition.