About Breed

Maltese


Available Pets

Weight: 4–7 pounds

Height: 9–10 inches

Group

Toy

Heritage

The origin of the Maltese is unknown, but references to this breed have been found in Ancient Greek and Roman literatures dating back to 500 BC. It is believed this breed was brought to England with the Crusaders returning home from the Mediterranean. The Maltese we know today is likely a crossbreed of the Poodle and Miniature Spaniel.

Personality

The Maltese is a friendly, sweet, playful, trusting and devoted to the family. Loving and lovable, your Maltese is highly intelligent and will be eager to learn from you. You need to be a calm, knowledgeable, and humane owner giving consistent and committed leadership to your Maltese using only motivational training methods.

Exercise/Energy Level

The Maltese is a playful breed, and requires a daily walk and off-leash play and running in a safe, fenced area. They also need mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destruction, so be sure to provide your Maltese with plenty of interactive toys that challenge their problem-solving skills.

General Appearance

The Maltese is a toy dog covered from head to foot with a mantle of long, silky, white hair. He is gentle-mannered and affectionate, eager and sprightly in action, and, despite his size, possessed of the vigor needed for the satisfactory companion.

Size, Proportion, Substance

Weight under 7 pounds, with from 4 to 6 pounds preferred. Overall quality is to be favored over size.

Head

Of medium length and in proportion to the size of the dog. The skull is slightly rounded on top, the stop moderate. The drop ears are rather low set and heavily feathered with long hair that hangs close to the head. Eyes are set not too far apart; they are very dark and round, their black rims enhancing the gentle yet alert expression. The muzzle is of medium length, fine and tapered but not snipy.The nose is black. The teeth meet in an even, edge-to-edge bite, or in a scissors bite.

Neck, Topline, Body

Sufficient length of neck is desirable as promoting a high carriage of the head.

Body--Compact, the height from the withers to the ground equaling the length from the withers to the root of the tail. Shoulder blades are sloping, the elbows well knit and held close to the body. The back is level in topline, the ribs well sprung. The chest is fairly deep, the loins taut, strong, and just slightly tucked up underneath.

Leg and Feet

Legs are fine-boned and nicely feathered. Forelegs are straight, their pastern joints well knit and devoid of appreciable bend

Forequarters

Legs are fine-boned and nicely feathered. Forelegs are straight, their pastern joints well knit and devoid of appreciable bend

Hindquarters

Hind legs are strong and moderately angulated at stifles and hocks. The feet are small and round, with toe pads black. Scraggly hairs on the feet may be trimmed to give a neater appearance.

Coast and Color

The coat is single, that is, without undercoat. It hangs long, flat, and silky over the sides of the body almost, if not quite, to the ground. The long head-hair may be tied up in a topknot or it may be left hanging. Any suggestion of kinkiness, curliness, or woolly texture is objectionable. Color, pure white. Light tan or lemon on the ears is permissible, but not desirable.

Coat

The coat is single, that is, without undercoat. It hangs long, flat, and silky over the sides of the body almost, if not quite, to the ground. The long head-hair may be tied up in a topknot or it may be left hanging. Any suggestion of kinkiness, curliness, or woolly texture is objectionable

Gait

The Maltese moves with a jaunty, smooth, flowing gait. Viewed from the side, he gives an impression of rapid movement, size considered. In the stride, the forelegs reach straight and free from the shoulders, with elbows close. Hind legs to move in a straight line. Cowhocks or any suggestion of hind leg toeing in or out are faults.

Temperament

For all his diminutive size, the Maltese seems to be without fear. His trust and affectionate responsiveness are very appealing. He is among the gentlest mannered of all little dogs, yet he is lively and playful as well as vigorous.

Interesting To Know

  • The Maltese has been known as "Canis Melitaeus", the "ancient dog of Malta", the "Roman ladies' dog", and the "Maltese lion dog"
  • The Greeks erected monuments to the Maltese
  • The Roman governor of Malta, Publius, had a Maltese named Issa during the time of the Apostle Paul