Maltese Dog Breed Information

The Maltese dog breed, also known as the Maltese bichon, originated in the Mediterranean basin. Although by its name, it may seem that its origin is in Malta, it is actually considered to be a breed from Italy. Since its appearance, the Maltese dog breed has been one of the most appreciated, especially by high society.

His beauty and gentleness make the Maltese a perfect dog that adapts to any lifestyle and home, and don't let his small size and his eternal puppy look fool you! He is a strong and playful dog who enjoys playing a lot. He is almost tireless!

No doubt, the Maltese dog breed is really special. Do you want to know everything about these dogs? Read on!

Maltese Dog Breed Information

History of maltese dog breed

The Maltese dog breed has a somewhat confusing origin: the theory that it comes from Italy has been accepted as official; however, some also believe that they could have been brought there by the Phoenicians from Egypt more than 2,000 years ago. But what is clear, and what the FCI corroborates, is that despite its confusing name, it does not come from the island of Malta. The name "Maltese", on the contrary, derives from the word "malat", which means port or refuge; that same root was taken when establishing the names of places such as the island of Meleda, the Sicilian city of Melita, or Malta itself. Therefore, we are saying that the Maltese dog breed was typical of coastal cities. There, in the ports, they hunted rats and mice.

Maltese dogs were already popular in ancient Rome! And did you know that the first person to refer to a Maltese dog in his writings was Aristotle? This brilliant philosopher bought one of these dogs and referred to it as Melitaei Catelli.

The Maltese breed gained popularity over the centuries, and it was from the 17th century onwards that dogs began to be crossed and bred in order to make them smaller. So many combinations were made that there were Maltese of different colors! Much later, well into the 20th century, the pure white Maltese breed dog was approved as an official dog.

The Maltese dog breed was officially recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in 1954, establishing Italy as the leading developing and breeding country.

Maltese dog breed characteristics

Maltese dog breed information

The Maltese breed dog is small in size, weighing between 7 and 9 lbs as an adult. Its height at the withers does not exceed 10 inches.

Its head is round, with characteristic black eyes and a black nose. It has low ears covered with hair, which blend in with the rest of the head, especially when the dog has long hair.

The long, straight, silky white coat is the most noticeable characteristic of the Maltese dog breed. It is abundant, but has no undercoat, as is the case with other breeds - if left to grow, it can reach all the way to the ground! But really, this is only usually done with show dogs. Pet Maltese (which is the life they really like), usually have somewhat shorter hair, for everyone's convenience. Also, despite having long hair, it doesn't shed! If you're looking for a pet but wouldn't want to see your house full of hair, the Maltese is a good option to consider. Check out this article about small dogs that don't shed.

Although he is small, he is sturdy and strong! His legs are short (he is a very short dog), but the Maltese is agile and sturdy. He loves to run and play! His tail is long and pointed, all covered with hair.

Maltese dog breed character

If you want a Maltese breed dog, get ready to play! It is very cheerful and active, as well as affectionate and very faithful. He is also very intelligent and quite obedient, so you can teach him everything you want: rules of conduct, games, tricks, etc. The Maltese is, in every way, a very funny and curious dog. He loves to walk around, sniffing every corner, sniffing everything he finds.

His character is excellent; he is affectionate, loyal, sweet... He can adapt to living with any kind of person and in any place. In addition, he is a good choice for those who are looking for their first pet and also for families with children, as he loves to be cuddled! He also gets along well with other dogs and pets.

Treating him as a lap dog would be a mistake... A Maltese can become somewhat capricious if they are used to eating leftovers or if they are allowed to develop the so-called "small dog syndrome," that is, allowing the dog to take control over the owner. If this happens, it makes their education very difficult.

Maltese breed dogs are always very alert and often bark at stimuli such as street noises or the doorbell. It is fine if they only do it as a warning, but be careful. If it becomes a habit, it can be annoying. In addition, they can be somewhat jealous when people from outside the family enter the house.

The Maltese dog breed is considered one of the most intelligent, but this does not mean that training should be neglected. The Maltese, just like any other dog, needs education to become a perfect pet.

Health of the Maltese dog breed

Maltese dog breed character

Maltese dogs are generally quite healthy. In fact, it is a very long-lived breed. These dogs even exceed 15 years of age on many occasions. But like all dogs, there are certain diseases and problems that can affect them:

  • Their skin is delicate, so even if it is covered with hair, you have to be careful about sunburn. The exposed areas are above all, the hairline and the belly, in case he lies down.
  • Eye problems are frequent, as well as irritations due to hair contact. As they are quite protruding, they can also be hit or rubbed and get ulcers. Learn how to remove eye stains from your dog's eyes.
  • Some Maltese tend to lick themselves. When done excessively, this can lead to irritation or even localized hair loss. Why do dogs lick their paws?
  • Limb problems, such as patellar luxation, are common in Maltese breed dogs and, in general, in all small dogs.
  • Bladder stones are more common in small dogs than in large dogs, so they can also affect the Maltese, although this is not the most common.
  • It is important to take good care of your dog's teeth, as some Maltese tend to lose them.
  • Ear infections, in which they usually secrete a dark and foul-smelling liquid.

How to care for a Maltese dog

The Maltese dog breed requires some special care to grow up healthy and happy. It will need at least a couple of daily walks to relieve itself and exercise. It is not necessary that the exercise be very intense, but neither should we make our Maltese a sedentary dog.

The coat needs regular combing to keep it healthy and free of knots. The Maltese's eyes should also be cleaned, preferably on a daily basis, as they tend to secrete quite a lot of doggy eye-mites. The ears should be cleaned frequently and any hairs growing inside the ear should be plucked out.

We promise that if you give your Maltese dog everything he needs to be happy, he will give it back to you in spades. Besides, as it does not shed hair, it is perfect for allergy sufferers. If you decide to share your life with a Maltese dog, you won't regret it!

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