The Maltese is a small, ancient Toy breed whose origins have been traced as far back as 8,000BC. Although there is some evidence that the breed originated from Asia, their exact origin is unknown, though they are thought to have originated from the Isle of Melita (now known as Malta). There are also many historic references to the Maltese in both ancient Egypt and Greece.
The Maltese is a small, smart, lively and alert little dog with a long flowing white coat.
Grooming and Physical Needs
- Grooming Needs: Maltese in a pet trim (i.e. hair clipped short for easy maintenance) will need to see a groomer every 6 to 8 weeks for a trim and will need to be both brushed and bathed in between trims.
- Coat Type: Pure white, silky and straight reaching all the way to the ground and they can mat easily and become dirty.
- Moulting: They are a low shedding breed.
- Exercise Needs: The Maltese requires relatively little exercise, but mostly will need to be an integral part of your family.
- Average Life Span: 12 to 15 years.
- Family: As a small companion dog they do best when they are able to be involved with you and your life, they would suit a range of families from retirees to active young families.
- Temperament: Maltese are intelligent little dogs, gentle mannered, sweet and affectionate, but also known for being lively and playful.
- Trainability: Maltese , being very intelligent dogs, are generally considered easy to train.
- Sociability (Other Pets): Maltese are generally social with other pets, but this of course comes down to socialisation of your pet.
- Barking: High tendency to bark if not trained well.
Maltese pack a lot of love into their tiny bodies, and are never happier than when cuddling in their owners’ laps. That doesn’t mean these dogs don’t need exercise and training. Resist the impulse to simply carry them everywhere and pluck them out of trouble, and let your dog be a dog. In particular, the Maltese excels at learning tricks and loves to show off.
Some Maltese have delicate digestive systems and may be picky eaters. Eating problems can occur if your Maltese has teeth or gum problems as well. If your Maltese is showing discomfort when eating or after eating, take him to the vet for a checkup.