Maltese Dog Breed
The Maltese dog is a pure white, dainty and elegant breed. However, don’t be mistaken, this breed are adjustable, hardy and make great watchdogs. They are comfortable curled up on a warm lap or hurdling through an assault course.
This ancient breed goes back 8,000 years. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that the breed originated from Malta, but there is no evidence to back up this theory. Others believe that the first Maltese came from Italy or Asia.
Their stately gait and silky fur made these dogs into status symbols, prized by both the rich and royalty.
Aristocrats loved this small breed and believed them to have medicinal powers. They would place the dog on a sore chest or stomach to soothe pain and give comfort.
During the 16th century the Maltese came to Great Britain. Famous owners were Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Queen Of Scots and Queen Victoria.
In the 1800s the breed were introduced to America and slowly gained popularity in the Toy dog section of dog shows.
The coat of a Maltese is very low shedding and perfect for allergy sufferers. It is a single coat which falls perfectly straight and sweeps the floor gracefully as the dog moves. Regular grooming is required and this breed is prone to tear staining under the eyes. As with all white haired dogs, care should be given to prevent sunburn in hot temperatures.
This small breed weighs less than seven pounds.. Females grow to around nine inches tall with males a little taller.
The Maltese were bred originally to be companion or lap dogs. They have a kind, gentle nature but don’t fear easily. They are playful and lively and easily adapt to city or country living. Small children could accidently hurt such a small dog so a home with older children is preferred.
Maltese dogs love to learn tricks and training is great fun. They respond best to gentle coaxing with plenty of tasty treats and consistent techniques.
Make sure that your breeder has carried out all relevant screening for hereditary conditions.
Maltese are generally a healthy breed. Some of the following conditions are common in all small breeds and are not specific to Maltese
However they are susceptible to the following:-
Weak cartilage in the trachea (or windpipe) can lead to respiratory distress and coughing.
A condition in which the body doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone.
This is a kneecap problem seen in small dogs. The kneecap bones are not formed correctly and can slip out of place. This is an inherited condition and can need surgery to correct it.
Another common problem with toy dogs. Read more about dental health here.
There is a post about this condition which can be found here.
This breed are known to have a long lifespan and often live to be fifteen years old.
The Maltese breed is known to be loyal, obedient, eager to please and extremely devoted to their owner.
As mentioned before, their role as companion dogs can lead to separation anxiety, if they are left for long periods. Here is more information about separation anxiety.
Personal Experience Of Maltese
In the past I fostered a pair of Maltese dogs. They were an absolute delight to care for and adored by the family. It was essential to brush them everyday, wipe under their eyes to prevent tear staining and provide interactive toys .They were really happy dogs, despite a rough start, and soon settled in. On walks we got stopped by admirers and they were polite and gentle with both people and other dogs. The dogs were soon adopted as a pair and went on to a great forever home.
Interactive Dog Toys
Disadvantages Of The Maltese Breed
- Small breeds can easily be injured so extra caution is needed, especially with children and larger dogs.
- Grooming can be time consuming and trips to the puppy parlour expensive.
- Separation anxiety can be a problem if the owner spends time away from home.
- With many small dog breeds, house training can be a slow process.
- A gentle warm hearted, happy dog .
- Low shedding but needs daily grooming.
- Needs someone at home for most of the time.
- Easy to train and eager to please.
- A tendency to bark, but make great watchdogs.
- Suitable for apartment living, with twenty minute daily walks
- Great with older children and gentle natured dogs.
- Excellent companion dogs.
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