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Maltese Dog Breed

by Long Nguyễn
Maltese Dog Breed

Maltese Alternate Names

Bichon Maltaise
Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta

Maltese Appearance

Body: Square and compact with a level back, deep chest, well-muscled loins, rounded, well-sprung ribs, and long neck.

Coat: Long (floor-length), silky, and non-shedding, with no undercoat.

Color: White

Ears: Well-feathered with long hair and low set.

Eyes: Large, round, and dark with black rims; slightly protruding and expressively alert.

Feet: Round with tight, arched toes and black pads.

Head: Proportionate to the body, slightly rounded skull, well-spaced between the ears, moderate stop, somewhat tapered muzzle, and big black nose.

Legs: Forelegs are short, straight, and fine-boned. Hindquarters are muscular, hind legs strong, hocks well balanced.

Neck: Long

Weight: 4 – 10 pounds
Height: 8 – 10 inches

Tail: Graceful and fully feathered; well set, tapers to the tip, and curves to one side.

Maltese Puppy
Maltese Puppy

Maltese Behavior

Recommended for novice dog handlers
Difficult to housetrain
Can be constant barkers
Can be territorial

Considered one of the smartest and most gentle of the toy breeds, the tiny Maltese is a very sweet, good-natured dog with a ton of energy and a passion for playing and running. He’s almost cat-like in his curiosity and the way he uses his paws to play with toys.

He is highly intelligent and will learn quickly but, as with most intelligent dogs, he will become bored if left alone for extended periods of time and may become destructive.

Maltese are generally good with children but his tiny body can be easily injured. Supervision is recommended if you have toddlers or young children who may play too hard. He can also be injured by jumping off of high furniture and beds, or if he is unintentionally dropped.

Maltese Breed Type

AKC Group: Toy Group

Popular among royalty and people of wealth.

Maltese Dog
Maltese Dog

Maltese Care and Grooming

Exercise: Daily walks and playtime in the yard will be sufficient. Be sure to keep him on a leash or in an enclosed area or he may fall prey to larger dogs or even hawks. A small dog, in a park in St. Petersburg, Florida, was scooped up by a hawk while out for a walk with his owner; breaking the heart of the owner who had no chance of saving him.

Grooming: Must be brushed daily to maintain his long silky coat and prevent matting. Trimming should be done monthly or every four to six weeks, as necessary. Keep his ear canals clean and dry.

Maltese Health

Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 Years

Possible Problems:
Low Blood Sugar
Low Thyroid
Luxating Patella dislocated knee
Portosystemic Liver Shunt – blood bypasses the liver and goes straight to the systemic vascular system
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – can cause blindness
White Shaker Dog Syndrome – dog trembles when under stress or overly excited

Maltese have been known to faint from low blood sugar possibly brought on by teething. The International Encyclopedia of Dogs says rubbing honey into the gums will help to bring them around again.

They may have negative reactions to drugs such as anesthesia, vaccines, and flea and tick controlling medications. Check with your veterinarian before treating him with any type of drug-like chemicals.

Maltese Country of Origin

Mediterranean region – According to the American Kennel Club, “The Maltese, the ancient dog of Malta, has been known as an aristocrat of the canine world for more than 28 centuries.”

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