MALTESE BREED PROFILE
The Maltese is a very old breed, mentioned in ancient Greek writings and
portrayed in ancient Egyptian statuary. The breed was probably named for the
Mediterranean island of Malta. It is thought that these lively little dogs were
first brought to England by Crusaders returning home from the Mediterranean. The
breed became particularly popular with women, who often carried them in their
sleeves and even to their beds. The dog was not only popular with women, though.
Publius, the Roman governor of Malta, prized his Maltese enough to commission a
portrait of "Issa" and even have poetry written about her. The glamorous Maltese
today is an adored pet and sought-after show dog.
A hardy little companion dog with a luxurious silky white coat hanging straight
to the ground on each side of a center part line. The coat is single, with no
undercoat and should not be wavy, curly or kinky. The long pendant ears and tail
are thickly covered with hair, and the tail drapes over the back. The round eyes
are dark with dark rims, and the nose is black. The muzzle tapers slightly. The
body is slightly longer than tall, with a level topline. The Maltese is
fine-boned, but sturdy. A properly built Maltese seems to float along the ground
under his cloud of white hair.
The long straight coat requires daily attention and elaborate show preparation.
Must be bathed frequently. Can be snappish with inconsiderate children. May be
difficult to housebreak. Sometimes a picky eater. Include small dog biscuits and
dry dog food in this breed's regular diet to help the teeth stay strong and
healthy. Does well with other animals. Prone to skin, respiratory, eye and tooth
problems, and slipped stifle. Do not over-pamper or overprotect these little
dogs; some become neurotic.
Spirited, lively and playful. Gentle, loving and trusting. Highly intelligent-
good at learning tricks if he feels sufficiently rewarded. Bold. Quick to sound
the alarm in case of suspicious noises.
Children: Best with older, considerate children.
Friendliness: Reserved with strangers.
Trainability: Easy to train.
Independence: Needs people a lot.
Dominance: Very low.
Other Pets: Generally good with other pets.
Combativeness: Friendly with other dogs.
Noise: Likes to bark.
Grooming and Physical Needs:
Grooming: Daily grooming is best.
Trimming & Stripping: No trimming or stripping needed.
Coat: Long coat.
Shedding: Very light.
Exercise: Very little exercise needed.
Jogging: A fair jogging companion.
Indoors: Very active indoors.
Apartments: Good for apartment living.
Outdoor Space: Does all right without a yard.
Climate: Does well in most climates.
Owner: Good for novice owners.
Longevity: Long (15 or more years).
watchdog, competitive obedience, and performing tricks.