The Maltese originates from Malta, and enjoys a long history. The name of the breed comes from the European island it originates from and once a it was a favorite breed with nobility and the wealth. The Maltese breed was introduced to America in 1877 and was registered with the AKC in 1888.
The Maltese is a popular toy dog, ranking fairly high on the AKC popularity list.
Size and Weight
Adult male Maltese can reach 8 to 10 inches and the adult female up to 9 inches. Regularly they weight from 3 to 6 lbs.
All the Maltese breed standards refer to a single, silky, heavy, shiny, flat coat that contours the outline and hangs to the floor in an adult Maltese. Maltese adults have: undercoat or a double coat; a frizzy, kinky or crimped coat (cf. crinkle cut chips or tight zigzag movement in the coat); and, a woolly coat. The color of the coat is predominantly white (and there are many shades of white). Young puppies under 12 months are allowed to have light lemon or champagne markings on the ears.
Health and Diet
The Maltese is basically a very healthy breed with few medical problems. With good care and regular veterinary check-ups you should expect your Maltese to live well into his teenage years. Like in other small dogs breed, Maltese need small regular meals and must always have a boll of fresh water.
Young puppies need relatively more nutrients than adults do; moderately active adults need more nutrients than sedentary ones; and malnourished or sick Maltese need more nutrients to regain health.
Owners need to brush the beautiful coat of the Maltese on a daily basis in order to keep it looking good. Clipping may be required every couple of months. Also check that the eyes are clean, and trim the hair around the bottom for hygiene reasons. To reduce the risk of infection you should ensure that his ears are clean and dry. When properly groomed the Maltese is a low shedder, and can therefore prove suitable for those with allergies.
The intelligence, alertness, and high learning rate helps to make training easier makes the Maltese a fine companion dog and a good family pet. The Maltese has plenty of energy and spirit, and loves to play, yet is Mild mannered, affectionate, and loving. He has an inquisitive and curious nature, and for a small dog can be quite confident when well socialized.
The Maltese makes an effective watchdog, as he will bark to raise an alarm or to announce visitors. This breed will be fine with apartment living, but needs regular leashed walks or a safe, securely fenced area to exercise and play.
The life expectancy of the Maltese is around 12-15 years.