The Maltese is an active companion breed that requires regular grooming. A good pet for allergy sufferers, the Maltese’s single coat makes them nearly hypoallergenic.
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Finding a Maltese
- Coat: Long, white hair; may have tan or lemon markings on ears
- Feathered, drop ears
- Tail curves to side
- Large dark, round eyes that protrude slightly
- Black nose
- Height: 8-10 inches
- Weight: 4-7 pounds
- Average lifespan: 14 years
- Brave, loving, energetic, gentle, polite, sweet-tempered, playful, trusting, responsive, eager to please.
- Interaction with people: Excellent family dog. Reserved with strangers.
- Bark: Can be vocal with strangers
- Liver shunt
- Meningoencephalitis and Hydrocephalus (neurologic diseases)
- Ophthalmic disorders (including entropion and distichiasis)
- Patellar luxation
- Periodontal disease
While the listed ailments may be common in this breed, not all members of the breed suffer from these conditions. Responsible breeders screen for orthopedic and genetic diseases.
- Likes quiet activities indoors, as well as active outdoor recreation
- Needs daily walk
- Nonshedder; good breed for allergy sufferers
- Daily brushing needed
- Needs weekly bath and brushing to prevent the coat from matting
- A ribbon at top of the head allows for uninhibited vision
- May trim coat overall to create a "pajama" or "puppy" cut
- The Maltese was known as "Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta"
- An intricate model of the Maltese was unearthed in the Fayum tomb in Egypt, signifying that the Egyptians may have worshiped this breed
- Companions to the Queen Elizabeth I's ladies of the royal court
- Known as a canine aristocrat for 2,800 years
- Most likely brought to Malta by the Phoenicians more than 2,000 years ago
- Documented throughout ancient texts and artwork as creatures of beauty
- Paintings and ceramics of the Maltese date back to the 5th century; the Greeks erected tombs in honor of this bred