!This beautiful little dog can be seen in art objects dating back as far as 3,000 years! The Maltese dog breed’s exact origins are uncertain – they may have obtained their name from the Island of Malta, or from the Italian town of Melita.
Maltese dog fanciers were widespread throughout most of continental Europe, and Maltese dogs were especially popular in Britain during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603), having been brought to Britain at the time of the Roman invasion or by returning Crusaders.
The Maltese dog was one of the first of the purebreds to be exhibited at dog shows in North America.
The Maltese dog is affectionate, intelligent and sturdy, and loves to romp and play – especially with children. This tiny breed measures up to 10 inches at the shoulder and weighs up to seven pounds maximum.
The Maltese dog has a gorgeous, long, pure-white, silky coat that hangs straight to the ground from a center part running from nose to tip of tail. It’s expressive dark eyes and dark nose, lips and eye rims enhance the Maltese dog’s exquisite face.
Grooming requirements for the Maltese are fairly intensive – the coat needs daily brushing to stay tangle-free and frequent bathing to keep it sparkling white, even if you choose to give it a shorter ‘pet’ trim.
The Maltese dog is a great choice for elderly or disabled people, since it’s exercise needs are minimal. A wonderful choice for apartment dwellers too!
Maltese Breed History:
The Maltese dog is believed to be the oldest European Toy breed. Art objects dating back 3,000 years bear likenesses of the dainty little dogs. The Maltese dog was described in writings of 200 BC under the Latin name of Canis Melitaeus, which may refer to the island of Malta or to the Sicilian town of Melita.
From early times, the Maltese dog breed appears to have been known and admired throughout Europe and often had its portrait painted as it lounged on the laps of aristocratic ladies.
It was also well known in Britain at the time of Elizabeth I (1558-1603). Some historians claim the Maltese dog breed was brought by Roman invaders while others theorize returning Crusaders brought the small charmers back as gifts for their ladies.
Maltese Breed Description:
Height/Weight: The Maltese dog should weigh under 7 lb (3 kg) with 4-6 lb (2-3 kg) being considered ideal. Height may be up to 10 in (25 cm) at the shoulder.
Coat: The Maltese single coat (no undercoat) is flat, silky and hangs straight to the ground from a centre part running from nose to tip of tail.
Color: The glamorous Maltese coat is white. Dark, luminous eyes and pigmentation of nose, lips and eye rims enhance the breed’s beautiful expression.
Maltese Breed Temperament:
The Maltese dog is said to be among the gentlest mannered of all little dogs. The breed is intelligent, affectionate and seemingly fearless.
Maltese Breed Exercise Requirements:
A vigorous canine, the Maltese is always ready for a romp. Its small size makes the Maltese a fine dog for limited accommodations. His exercise needs are minimal.
Maltese Breed Grooming Requirements:
That lovely Maltese coat needs daily brushing to stay tangle-free and frequent bathing to keep it sparkling white.
Life Expectancy: 15 to 18 Years
Good with Children: Yes
Dog Breed Group: Toy Dogs Group
Size Group: Small