is a small breed of white dog that does not shed its hair.
The Maltese is a dog belonging to the toy group that is covered from head to
foot with a mantle of long, silky, white hair. Adult Maltese range from roughly
3 to 10 lb (1.4 to 4.5 kg), though breed standards, as a whole, call for weights
between 4 and 8 lb (1.8 to 3.7 kg). There are variations depending on which
standard is being used; many, like the American Kennel Club, call for a weight
that is ideally between 4 and 6 lb (1.8 to 2.7 kg), and no more than 7 lb (3.2
kg). The coat is long and silky and lacks an undercoat. The colour is pure white
and although cream or light lemon ears are permissible, they are not desirable.
Some individuals may have curly or woolly hair, but this is outside the
Two Maltese dogs get to see Yellowstone Park
Socialize this page
Characteristics include slightly rounded skulls, with a one (1) finger
width dome. Also, a black nose that is two (2) finger width long.The drop ears
with long hair and very dark eyes, surrounded by darker skin pigmentation that
is called a "halo", giving Maltese their expressive look. The body is compact
with the length equaling the height. Their noses can fade and become pink or
light brown in colour. This is often referred to as a "winter nose" and many
times will become black again with increased exposure to the sun.
Maltese can be very energetic and are known for their occasional wild
outbursts of physical activity, running around in circles chasing their tail,
and bolting at top speed with amazing agility; given this, they still do well
for apartment dwellers. They are relatively easy to train and enjoy a playful
game of fetch. These intelligent dogs learn quickly, and pick up new tricks and
behaviours easily. Since they were bred specifically for companionship, they do
not do well being left alone for long hours.
The breed has a reputation for being good-natured, but may be intolerant of
small children or other dogs. They can be protective of their owner and will
bark or may bite if animals or people infringe on their territory or are
perceived as a threat.
Picture of Jessie sent in by Kristen - Many thanks
This is Jessie. She is
a 16 year old Maltese and very much loved, Maltese is a very sweet
breed, and loyal. Kristen
For all their diminutive size, Maltese seem to be without fear. In fact, many
Maltese seem relatively indifferent to creatures/objects larger than themselves
(unless of course it is the owner). They are among the gentlest mannered of all
little dogs, yet they are lively and playful as well as vigorous. Because of
their size, Maltese dogs are not a good choice for families with small children
because they can be easily injured.
The Maltese is commonly bred with other breeds to further express its
temperament and intelligence.
Maltese have hair, not fur and have little to no shedding if cared for
properly. Like their relatives Poodles and Bichon Frisť, they are considered to
be largely hypoallergenic and many people who are allergic to dogs may not be
allergic to the Maltese (See list of Hypoallergenic dog breeds). Regular
grooming is required to prevent their coats from matting. Many owners will keep
their Maltese clipped in a "puppy cut," a 1 - 2" all over trim that makes the
dog resemble a puppy. Some owners, especially those who show Maltese in the
sport of conformation, prefer to wrap the long hair to keep it from matting and
breaking off. Dark staining in the hair around the eyes ("tear staining") can be
a problem in this breed, and is mostly a function of how much the individual
dog's eyes water and the size of the tear ducts. If the face is kept dry and
cleaned daily, the staining can be minimized. Many veterinarians recommend
avoiding foods treated with food coloring and serving distilled water to reduce
The Maltese is generally a healthy breed with few inherent problems. Some
problems seen are luxating patella, portosystemic liver shunt, and progressive
retinal atrophy (PRA). The average life span is 12-15 years.
As an aristocrat of the canine world, this ancient breed has been known by a
variety of names throughout the centuries. Originally called the Melitaie
Dog, he has also been known as "Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta", the
Roman Ladies' Dog, the Comforter Dog, the Spaniel Gentle, the
Bichon, the Shock Dog, the Maltese Lion Dog and the
Maltese Terrier. Sometime within the past century, he has come to simply be
known as the Maltese. The breed's history can be traced back many
centuries. Some have placed its origin at two or three thousand years ago and
Darwin himself placed the origin of the breed at 6000 BC.1
The Maltese is thought to have been descended from a Spitz type dog found
among the Swiss Lake dwellers and bred down to obtain its small size. Although
there is also some evidence that the breed originated in Asia and is related to
the Tibetan Terrier, the exact origin is unknown 2. Maltese are
generally associated with the island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. The dogs
probably made their way to Europe through the Middle East with the migration of
nomadic tribes. Some writers believe these proto-Maltese were used for rodent
control before the cuteness factor was locked in. The Isle of Malta (or Melitae
as it was then known) was a geographic center of early trade, and explorers
undoubtedly found ancestors of the tiny, white dogs left there as barter for
necessities and supplies. The dogs were favored by the wealthy and royalty alike
and were bred over time to specifically be a companion animal. Some royals that
purportedly owned Maltese were Mary Queen of Scots, Queen Elizabeth I, Queen
Victoria, Josephine Bonaparte and Marie Antoinette.
At the time of the Apostle Paul, Publius, the Roman governor of Malta, had a
Maltese named Issa of which he was very fond. In this connection the poet Marcus
Valerius Martialis (Martial), born in A.D. 38 at Bilbilis in Spain, made this
attachment famous in one of his celebrated epigrams:
- "Issa is more frolicsome than Catulla's sparrow.
- Issa is purer than a dove's kiss.
- Issa is gentler than a maiden.
- Issa is more precious than Indian gems...
- Lest the last days that she sees light
- should snatch her from him forever,
- Publius has had her picture painted."
It is said that the picture of the dog is so life-like, one cannot tell the
dog from the picture.
Another interesting fact is that the word "ISSA" is still a very common word
in the Maltese Language, which translates to the word "NOW" in English.
During the Renaissance, the poet Ludovico Ariosto in a few lines of his
literary masterpiece, Orlando Furioso, describes a dog that can surely
only be a Maltese.
- "The tiniest dog Nature has ever produced --
- Her coat of long hair, whiter than ermine,
- Her movements exquisitely graceful and
- Matchless elegance of appearance."
- (Vol.II Canto 43) 3
- Child actress Skye McCole Bartusiak (Boogeyman) owns one named Pippa, who
was named after the dog in 1999 film Storm of the Century.
- Tony award winning actress and singer, Kristin Chenoweth owns a Maltese
- Entertainment mogul Sean Combs owns a Maltese named Sophie.
- Jessica Simpson, star of the MTV reality television show, Newlyweds, owns a
Maltepoo (Maltese-poodle mix) named Daisy.
- Dame Elizabeth Taylor owns a Maltese called Sugar.
- Torrie Wilson, a WWE Diva, has a Maltese named Chloe, whom she brings with
her at ringside.
Pictures of your dog wanted
Send a picture of your dog attached to this
tell us a little about him or her and we will show it here.
i just adopted a lil boy maltese earlier today and I'm already in love with him
he has got to be the best lil dog ever.
i have a maltese he is 5 year old an i love him to death my boyfriend got him
for me his name is Bobo
my maltese is named cometa, is like my little daughter, so
hey, i have a Maltese dog and he is 4 years now... i really love this breed of
dog because they are extremely alert, have deep emotions, and even though they
tiny, their bark is loud enough to scare thieves away and therefore thy are
really functional dogs!!! from Richa
|I rescued a little Maltese, right out of the street, during a
snow storm. That was nearly 2 years ago. We've named him Peanut. We
keep him "puppy" trimmed, and he is such a joy! We believe he was
abandoned, due to his congestive heart failure, by someone running a
puppy mill. We now have him on meds
for his heart, he only weighs 3 pounds, but he loves to play with me
(mom). He is very loving, extremely loyal and attached to me. I call
him "my little white shadow". He tolerates kids and other animals,
but you can tell he'd prefer to be the only one, just him and me,
and dad's ok too. We will keep him until his time is up, when ever
that maybe, and he will go knowing he was greatly loved. I wouldn't
trade him for the world.
My maltese name is Angel Renee' and she is so smart. I love
her so much. She is now 2 in other years (14 dog years)
my cousin has a Maltese and i luv em!
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