Maltese breed information

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The Maltese is a fine-boned, but sturdy, hardy little companion dog with a luxurious silky white coat hanging straight to the ground on each side of a center part line. It is a member of the Bichon family and is one of the oldest European breeds. This breed is mild-mannered and affectionate, yet playful and full of animation. Despite its size, posses the vigor needed for an excellent companion. This breed is intelligent and easy to train but is very strong-willed. It enjoys being groomed, petted and fondled. The Maltese is gentle, loving, trusting and devoted to its master. It is spirited, lively and playful. This breed is highly intelligent, good at learning tricks if it feels sufficiently rewarded. It makes an excellent companion dog; graceful and lovable. The Maltese loves to play outdoors but has a penchant for jumping in puddles; a bath must follow. This dog can be snappish with inconsiderate children and may be difficult to housebreak. Sometimes it is a picky eater. It does well with other pets. Do not over-pamper or overprotect this dog, for it may become unstable and jealous of visitors. It enjoys a regular walk or session of frolicking in the park and it remains playful well into old age. Little effort is needed to keep this dog well exercised, because it is very active indoors. It makes a very good watchdog.



Life expectancy: 9 - 11 years
Color: white
Eyes: not far apart, very dark, round, with black rims
Coat type: Long, straight coat, silky texture
Size: 4-6 pounds
Health issues: Generally very healthy. Subject to genetic eye disorders
Living conditions: An apartment is fine as they are a small and fairly quiet dog. They make an excellent dog for the elderly if the owner can socialize and take time to groom and play with them
The Maltese is a breed of toy dog known for its snowy white, luxuriantly long and silky coat, which owners often festoon with tiny bows or ribbon. It is named for the island of Malta, where it may have originated about 2,800 years ago. On the island of Malta this breed was a household pet of wealth, cultured families. This probably accounts for their refinement, fidelity and cleanliness. This breed is one of the oldest European breeds. Around 25AD, the Greek historian Strabo reported that "There is a town in Sicily called Melita whence are exported beautiful dogs called Canis Meliteri". This raises the possibility of an Italian origin for the breed. It is delicate in appearance but usually vigorous, healthy, affectionate, and lively. It has a long, silky, pure-white coat, long, heavily feathered and hanging ears, a compact body, and a plumed tail that curves over its back. It is often groomed in such a way as to blend with the rest of the coat. Its eyes are large, round, and very dark black. Although they have a reputation for being glamorous show dogs, they are also sturdy and vigorously playful.

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