Maltese

Maltese dogs are tiny bundles of energy that make the 'pawfect' human companion and lap warmer.

They are intelligent and love to learn new tricks and loving, wanting to be around their owner, and though their small stature might suggest otherwise, they make for good guard dogs as they are quick to sound the alarm at suspicious noises. They are a small, hardy dog with silky hair that grows quite long if you let it, making them a beautiful, dignified show dog. If you don't plan for your Maltese to win best in show, most owners keep their hair cut short.

The Maltese's body is compact and fine-boned, but sturdy and slightly longer than it is tall. They have deep chests and the skull is slightly rounded on the top, with a medium-length muzzle which does tapers but not to a point.

They have pendant, low-set ears which are set close to the head and heavily feathered. Depending on your grooming habits you may not even be able to see that there ARE ears under all that hair!

They have large, round black eyes and a black nose which are in complete contrast to their often snow white fur. Speaking of fur, Maltese have a silky, single layer coat that is white or light ivory. When kept long and groomed like a show dog, it hangs flat - it's not wavy, curly or kinky - and long over the sides of the body almost to the ground, about 22cm hanging on each side of a centre part line.

Other Names
Comforter Dog, Maltese Lion Dog
Country of Origin
Italy
Colour
White, or light ivory in colour. Which, really, is still another shade of white.
Size
Small
Height / Weight
The average height of these pint-sized pups is a mere 21 - 25cms, with bitches being even shorter, at 20 - 23cms. Maltese are easy to pick up and carry around, weighing only between 3kg and 4kg.
Health
Can be prone to sunburn along the hair parting; skin, eye, and respiratory issues, and slipped stifle. Some may be prone to hypothyroidism and gastrointestinal issues and they are also prone to teeth problems so be sure to be vigilant about regular health check ups with the vet.
Life Span
13 -15 years
Intelligence
Training these dogs is relatively easy because they have some heavy duty brainpower and like doing activities. They are very sensitive to harsh words though, so be careful not to get too angry if they misunderstand commands or get things wrong, as a hard approach to training could make them anxious or timid dogs very easily.
Exercise
Medium
Suitability (Children)
Low
Feeding

Maltese cost very little to feed as they are not big eaters, preferring to pick regularly rather than sit down to a set meal, so make sure to leave food out for them for extended periods of the day - in areas of the house that other animals won't eat it for them!

Feeding Cost
Up to $5 p/w
Other Cost
After the normal costs for caring for you puppy, remember that there may be professional grooming expenditure every six weeks.
Excercise
Maltese may have little legs but they do need a daily walk. They will also enjoy a good run and play in a safe open area off lead, such as a large fenced in yard.
Ailments
Can be prone to sunburn along the hair parting; skin, eye, and respiratory issues, and slipped stifle. Some may be prone to hypothyroidism and gastrointestinal issues and they are also prone to teeth problems so be sure to be vigilant about regular health check ups with the vet.
Hair Shed
Little
Grooming

Maltese may be small but their grooming requirements are giant, including daily brushing and combing and regular washing to keep their long coats silky smooth. There is a special lotion to remove the ugly "tear" stains that Maltese can get, and make sure to look out for hairs that can grow in the corner of the eyes which cause irritation.

You will need to flip their furry ears inside out and clean the ears and their eyes should be checked regularly and cleaned if necessary. Lots of owners regularly tie the hair on the top of their Maltese's head in a topknot to keep it out of their eyes.

 

Grooming Frequency
Daily
Trimming
Little
It may surprise you to know that the Maltese breed was actually developed in Italy. They were first recognised as a breed in Malta, though, which is how they received their name. They were once even known as 'Ye ancient dogge of Malta', so they've had the name a long time - as a matter of fact, they have been owned by royalty all over the world, carried in the sleeves of and sleeping beside noble women since before Jesus Christ was even a household name, so they have many, MANY years experience being lap dogs of luxury. It is said that Maltese have miniature spaniel and poodle blood.


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