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Maltese Dog

Very discreet (other names: Bichon Maltais, Maltese Terrier)

Maltese Dog
origin:Malta
date origin:Antiquity
life expectancy:14 years
classification:Toy
height:25 to 25 cm
weight:3 to 4 kg
exercise: Undemandingtraining: Reasonableclimate: Temperatein/out: Indoorgrooming: Needs groomingfeeding: Undemandingsize: Small
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History [ edit ]

This is probably the most ancient Toy breed existing today and it had many names throughout the thousands years. Bred in Malta, a Mediterranean island, the dog was worshiped by it´s habitants and it´s said that they built tombs in their honor. Publius, the Roman governor of Malta at that time, had a Maltese dog named Issa, about whom a poem was written and a painting made. But it wasn´t just in Maltese Art that this dogs were venerated. In Egipt, Rome and Greece´s culture, we can see references to this dog, which indicates it´s importance.

However, some defend that Malta isn´t the birth place of it´s origins but that these dogs were taken there by the Phoenicians, traders in the Mediterranean. According to this theory, the Maltese is descendent from the Spitz from South and Central Europe. 

Nonetheless, the first records of the breed date from the Greek period and it was first known as “Melitaie” dog, ancient word for Malta. In Italy it’s likely that the breed was mixed with the Miniature Spaniel and the Poodle. It is probably that the isolation of the island of Malta, where you could find the main breeders, assured the maintenance of the breed´s appearance throughout the centuries. Yet, it is thought that this dog had at that period many colors. The fact that today white is the only allowed one is the result of recently selective breeding.

In the 14th century, the crusaders returned to England bringing little dogs that immediately caught the aristocratic eyes. They named the breed “Maltese Terrier”.

The only known use for Maltese is companionship. Because of his small size, it was easy to put him on the lap and eventually the Maltese became known as “the comforter”.  
editing: History [ close ]
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Temperament [ edit ]

Gentle, lively and very good with children, the Maltese is a perfect companion for the owner that likes to pamper his dog. However, children might injure the Maltese, due to his small size.

They make very good watchdogs, but aren´t suited to be guard dogs. 

The Maltese is dedicated to their family, loves attention and rewards the owners with lots of affection. This is a very sociable dog, goes well with other animals since properly socialized.

Intelligent, training them isn’t too difficult. Like many small breeds, they are a bit stubborn and may be picky with food, so the owner needs their share of patience.

Don´t be mistaken by his need for lap. He is a bold little dog that isn´t afraid to tease larger breeds.

The Maltese are indoor dogs, but they love to play outside and often need bath because their long hair is close to the ground and picks up debris as he walks.  This breed doens´t need much more than a daily walk. They are very active dogs around the house but don´t need a yard. 
editing: Temperament [ close ]
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General appearance [ edit ]

The Maltese is a Toy dog that should never grow taller then 25 cm, which means it should weight between 2 and 3 kg.

This breed is known for their pure white, long and silky coat. The hair is flat and almost touches the ground. The Maltese´s coat is also long in the head, which may cover his eyes, so it´s usual to tie it up in a topknot. Besides the pure white color, it is also allowed light tan or lemon on the ears, although not desirable. When the Maltese is moving, the long coat gives the impression that he is floating.

The Maltese has a compact and squared body. The ears and tail are heavily feathered. This last one bends to the side due to the heavy weight of the hair. The eyes and the nose are the only dark spots on this breed´s body.  
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Health [ edit ]

The Maltese are a very healthy breed. In average they can live up to 14 years, but it´s not that unusual for them to live longer, if well treated.

The coat of the Maltese needs to be thoroughly combed and brushed on daily basis. They shed little to nothing and the grooming is necessary to prevent matting. They need to be bathed frequently, once a week or tow, but need to be kept worn, because they can be sensitive to hot, humid or cold weather. So, a dry shampoo is advisable. Beware of the weather when you take this dog for a walk.

The eyes and the beard need to be cleaned regularly to prevent the staining of the hair.  
editing: Health [ close ]
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Dog Trivia [ edit ]

Roman Emperor Claudius and Publius, Roman governor of Malta, had an exemplar of this breed.

British royalty also appreciated the Maltese´s. Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots were amongst the Maltese owners. 
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Comments (1)add comment
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14.10
Dogfan22 said:
i like this small dog :)
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