Read the basic facts you need to know about the Maltese on this page – or click here to watch a video profile.
The Maltese (sometimes called the “Roman Ladies Dog”, “Comforter Dog” or “Maltese Lion Dog”) is an ancient breed from the Isle of Malta. They feature a silky white coat and a highly energetic and playful temperament. Their playfulness, high level of energy, need for attention and non-shedding coat make the Maltese a suitable dog for allergy sufferers, apartment dwellers and anyone who has a lot of time for a dog.
Origins Of The Maltese
The origin of the Maltese is largely a mystery but is thought to have come from the Isle of Malta in the Central Mediterranean and features in Ancient Greek and Roman art dating as far back as 500BC. Their ancestors are believed to have originally been used for controlling rats but when the breed gained importance they were traded as an exotic item by nomadic tribes who distributed the dogs throughout the world.
Average Size Of The Maltese
Malteses are classed as a tiny-sized breed of dog. The recommended standard size for the Maltese male and female is 9-10 inches high from paw to shoulder and a weight of 4-6 pounds.
Temperament Of The Maltese
The Maltese is legendary for their gentle and playful disposition while being fearless for their size. They are usually friendly with strangers once they get to know them, which along with their small size can make them unsuitable as a guard dog.
The Maltese is also accepted to be moderately intelligent – ranking equal 59th compared to other dogs when considering their capacity to be trained obedience directives.
They are also renowned to be too fragile for rough kids – which means they’re not the best choice as a family pet. The Maltese is usually very companionable with other animals such as other dogs, cats and smaller animals.
Living Requirements Of The Maltese
The Maltese doesn’t need a large yard to give them space to roam around in, so they can be highly suitable for apartment life provided they are given adequate exercise.
Health & Life Expectancy Of The Maltese
As with the majority of small-sized dogs, the Maltese is commonly long-lived having a life expectancy of 12-15 years. The main health problem for Malteses is frequently proven to be teeth problems – which can be prevented by feeding them regular dog biscuits. They are also prone to conditions that include sensitive skin, eye issues, respiratory problems and sensitivity to hot and cold weather.
Exercise Needs Of The Maltese
The Maltese takes pleasure in pastimes such as play sessions and runs around the house or yard late into their life. They possess a high degree of energy and have a need for exercise every day in the manner of average-length walks to prevent behavior problems.