The Maltese - small but lively dog breed
Maltese are among the most popular dog breeds today because of their rich history, size, and character. The Maltese is a gentle, playful and charming dog that is sometimes overly sensitive. This elegant toy breed is most famous for its silky white hair.
FUN FACT: One legend says that apostle Saint Paul suffered a shipwreck on Malta and there he healed a Roman governor’s father. As a sign of gratitude, the governor gave a Maltese dog to Paul as a gift.
The Maltese - history
The Maltese is one of the most ancient toy breeds from Europe. The Maltese dogs were mentioned by the poets and writers in Greece, Rome, and Egypt. They were also mentioned by Aristotle. But with all the history the exact origin remains uncertain. Many people believe that the breed was developed in the Isle of Malta from spitz or spaniel type of dogs while others believe it was developed in Italy or even in Asia. By the 15th century, Maltese dogs were loved by the French aristocrats. Later in the 16th century, the Maltese become a favorite dog for royal and noble ladies. The breed was nearly destroyed in the 17th century because they tried to make these dogs the size of a squirrel, luckily, the experiment failed. The Maltese as we know it today was developed by the English breeders. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1888.
FUN FACT: Greeks and Egyptians worshipped Maltese dogs. Statues of the Maltese dog were found in Egypt, while the Greeks built tombs for them.
The Maltese - breed
The Maltese is a lap dog with a height of 17 to 22 centimeters. Maltese dogs weigh under 3 kilograms.
The Maltese - upkeep and shedding
The Maltese have a stunning pure white and silky coat that doesn't shed much. They don't have a typical undercoat like many other breeds. The bad thing is that the Maltese coat mats easily and becomes dirty. To prevent tangles and mats the Maltese coat requires daily brushing. If your Maltese become matted you will probably need to trim its coat because it would be too painful for the dog to comb or brush out the mats. During the brushing, you can use a coat conditioner to help you solve the mats. Never pull the entire mat out at once with the brush. Also, make sure that you removed all the mats before a bath because mats have tendencies to get tighter when wet. The Maltese require regular baths, but with all the gentle pet shampoos, you can bathe him more often without harming the Maltese coat. The rest is basic care, trim the nails when needed and brush the dogs teeth to secure healthy teeth and fresh breath.
The Maltese - exercise
The Maltese don't require much exercise. Regular walks or indoor games will be enough for this breed to remain in good shape. Never walk your Maltese puppy for too long before it is 8 months old because you could hurt his bones as they are still developing. The best thing is to let Maltese play at his own pace when it is young.
The Maltese - intelligence
Because they are very intelligent and they have been human companions for centuries they have learned to listen to their people. Training must be consistent because they can be stubborn. They respond well to positive reinforcements. They are also very good at dog sports such as agility or obedience.
FUN FACT: Maltese was a favorite dog of Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria and Mary Queen of Scots.
The Maltese - temperament
The Maltese dogs are gentle, affectionate and good family dogs. Its temperament is affected by many different factors such as socialization, training, hereditary, etc. Like all other breeds, they require early socialization – expose your Maltese dog to many different sights, sounds, and people while it is young. Maltese dogs are known as good watchdogs and they can become overprotective, bark or even bite if it perceives other animals or people as a threat to its family.
The Maltese and children
Maltese dogs are not a good choice if you have a small child in your family and many breeders will not sell a dog if a family has a young child. That is because children can easily hurt a tiny Maltese. He is best suited for families with older kids who will know how to treat the dog. They go along well with other dogs and animals if raised properly.
The Maltese - health issues
The Maltese are generally healthy dogs with life expectancy from 12-14 years but like all breeds they re prone to some health issues. These issues are patellar luxation, hypothyroidism, deafness, portosystemic liver shunt, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), hypoglycemia (caused by low blood sugar), white dog shaker syndrome, collapsed trachea (the trachea that carries air to the lungs, tends to collapse easily), reverse sneezing, etc. There are a few recommended health tests you should perform to ensure the dog is healthy: cardiac exam and patella evaluation.
The Maltese - puppies for sale
If you thinking about buying a Maltese dog always find a good and responsible breeder who will show you all the certificates of puppies and both parents. Like we already said, to ensure that you end up with the well-rounded dog you need to start with socialization and training early. Many breeders will help you and answer all the questions you have about puppies and their development. They also want their puppies to go to a good home with people who will take good care of them.
World Dog Finder team