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A Comprehensive Guide to the Maltese Dog Breed

maltese dog breed

The Majestic Maltese: A Comprehensive Guide to the Maltese Dog Breed

 

The Maltese Dog Breed is not just another canine; it’s a celestial cuddle of fluffy fur, an exemplary blend of friendship, loyalty, and vivacious personality.

When you choose to welcome a Maltese into your home, you’re not just getting a pet—you’re getting a companion who’ll stand by you, in all of life’s ebb and flow.


The History of the Maltese Breed: Tracing the Paw Prints

The Maltese Dog Breed, a captivating ensemble of elegance, loyalty, and charisma, has been winning hearts across civilizations for millennia.

From ancient cultures to the modern day, let’s tread the path of history, exploring the fascinating journey of this remarkable breed.

maltese dog breed

Origin and Ancestry of the Maltese Breed

To unravel the roots of the Maltese, we must journey back to the dawn of ancient civilizations, where the first echoes of this breed began to resonate.

The Dawn of a Breed: Spitz-type Ancestors

The progenitors of today’s Maltese are believed to have been Spitz-type dogs utilized by Paleolithic hunters. These rugged ancestors bore the robustness of Spitz dogs, adapted for the harsh, cold climates, laying the foundation for the refined Maltese we know today.

Maltese: The Mediterranean Marvel

From their Spitz-type ancestors, the breed gradually evolved, flourishing around the Mediterranean Sea, particularly in Malta, earning them the name, Maltese.

These dogs became companions to the nobility, known for their charming personalities and striking looks.

The Maltese Breed in Ancient Civilizations

Moving forward in history, the Maltese started leaving its pawprints across different cultures and societies.

In the Annals of Greek History

It was the ancient Greeks who first documented Maltese-like dogs, revealing their admiration for the breed.

Intricate ceramic art dating back to 500 B.C., unearthed from the tombs of Greek citizens, portrays small dogs bearing a strong resemblance to the modern Maltese.

The Maltese and the Romans

The Romans held a special affection for the Maltese. Aristocratic Roman ladies considered these dogs as their esteemed companions.

The Maltese even earned mentions in the works of many Roman philosophers, further cementing their popularity during the Roman era.

Maltese and the Egyptian Influence

Evidence also suggests the Maltese breed had a significant place in ancient Egyptian societies. It is believed that the Egyptians revered the Maltese, with artifacts representing Maltese-like dogs discovered in Egyptian archaeological sites.

From Middle Ages to Modern Times

As centuries passed, the Maltese breed continued to grace the laps of nobility and warm the hearts of dog lovers across the globe.

Maltese in the Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, the Maltese breed was a favorite among noblewomen, often appearing in portraits, literature, and folklore.

Their charm and elegance enchanted royal courts across Europe, escalating their status to one of the most prized pets of nobility.

Maltese: The Modern-Day Lap Dog

Today, the Maltese stands as one of the most beloved toy breeds worldwide. With their refined elegance, contagious cheerfulness, and unwavering loyalty, the Maltese breed continues to be a favorite choice for families and dog lovers alike.


Appearance

The Maltese Dog is a small breed that belongs to the Toy Group.

maltese dog breed

It is covered in a silky white coat that does not shed much. Its unique appearance may be related to its heritage of being associated with the island of Malta.

In fact, some breeds have been associated with the island for centuries. Maltese dogs were popular with the Romans and the Greeks during the first century BCE.

A Roman governor of Malta wrote of them as frolicsome, precious, and gentle. Later on, the dogs became popular as lapdogs and were favored by the wealthy.

Several historical figures, including Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I, were said to have had Maltese dogs. They were even featured in Greek ceramic art.

Some Maltese dogs may be prone to respiratory problems, including a collapsed trachea. While this condition is harmless, it can cause your dog to cough and sneeze.

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A harness can help protect your dog’s trachea and help avoid pulling on its collar. In addition, white dog shaker syndrome causes tremors in Maltese dogs.

These tremors can worsen if your Maltese is overly excited, but will disappear after the dog relaxes. Prednisone treatment is available for this condition and should be tried at the first sign of tremors.


Temperament

The Maltese dog is a breed of small toy dog. This breed is closely related to the Havanese, Bichon, and Bolognese breeds.

It is a great choice for people who like a fun, friendly, and energetic dog. Known as one of the cutest little dogs around, this breed is a great addition to any family.

However, its small size makes it prone to separation anxiety. The temperament of Maltese Dogs can vary based on age and training.

Maltese are gentle around children, but they should be handled carefully. Smaller Maltese are best suited for children older than five years old.

They can be easily injured if they are not handled properly. Maltese are prone to tear staining, so they need to be groomed frequently.

If staining becomes excessive, you can take your dog to the vet to correct the issue. Maltese also need to have regular dental checkups.

It is important to check your Maltese’s teeth and gums on a weekly basis. Maltese are extremely needy companions. They will often whine or cry when they are in need of attention.

Try to begin by giving a big hug or playing a quick game. They are not likely to attack you unless they are frightened or provoked.


Diet & Nutritional Requirement

The ideal diet for a Maltese dog should consist of a high-quality diet of meats and vegetables.

It should also include small amounts of carbohydrates and fats. The Maltese should get around 50 percent of its daily food from animal proteins.

These include meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. The most important food for a Maltese dog is meat. You should rotate the type of meat your dog eats to give it the right balance of nutrients.

A good source of protein is chicken. You should choose a brand that includes chicken in its food. It contains a high level of protein. However, make sure to check the label to see if it is grain-free.

Another good brand of food is Wellness Complete For Small Breeds. This formula contains chicken and turkey as the base ingredients. It also contains fiber and vitamins.

Another important part of a Maltese’s diet is a balanced diet of vegetables. Although the breed was used to eating only meat, it is still able to eat vegetables.

Vegetables like carrots and peas, leafy greens, white potatoes, and even occasional pieces of fruit are good for your Maltese.

However, if your dog has food allergies or is not accustomed to eating grains, you should try some grain-free or low-gluten grains.


Coats

Maltese dogs’ coats are soft, supple, and hypoallergenic.

They shed very little if they are well-cared for. However, if their coats are not well cared for, they can become discolored and stained. Fortunately, this problem is simple to treat and prevent.

While the average Maltese dog is pure white, some breeds may have subtle lemon and tan markings. While such markings are not necessarily undesirable, owners should consider them when buying a Maltese.

Although Maltese are white, their ears are usually biscuit colored. These markings will fade when they reach adulthood, which is typically around 2 years old.

The Maltese originated in Malta, where it was used as a companion to royalty. The breed was first registered in 1888 and now belongs to the AKC Toy Group.

The breed is sometimes also known as the Melitae dog or the Maltese terrier. Maltese dogs should be regularly groomed to prevent matting.

While there are several ways to trim your Maltese’s coat, the best choice is a pin brush. However, you must make sure to choose a pin brush with bubble-ended pins to protect your dog’s skin.


Socialization

If you plan to socialize with your Maltese, there are some things you should know.

These dogs have many quirks, including jumping high and being very picky. While these traits may make them desirable for certain environments, they may not be appropriate for others.

Fortunately, there are many ways to socialize with your Maltese. Maltese dogs make excellent family pets, but they can be snappy around younger children.

To avoid this, you should socialize them early and expose them to small children. This will help them become more accustomed to children and other household pets.

Despite their small size, these dogs are easy to train. They are also often very alert and may react to new sounds by barking.

Maltese dogs do not tend to be aggressive when properly socialized, but they can be scared of larger dogs. By introducing your Maltese to other dogs as a puppy, it will not be as fearful of bigger dogs.

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However, make sure that you supervise the play and remain ready to step in if your Maltese becomes aggressive. Maltese dogs are excellent family pets and can adapt well to various living situations.

They are also extremely intelligent and responsive to positive reinforcement. They make great therapy dogs and excel at agility training. They are also very protective of their humans, so it is important to socialize them with kids from an early age.


Weight & Height

Knowing the exact weight and height of your new Maltese puppy can help you make the right choice in size.

You should note that the males are often a little bit taller than the females. The size of a Maltese puppy depends on genetics. However, there are other factors involved in determining the correct size.

The Maltese is a small breed and, as such, can easily become overweight or underweight. As such, it is important to carefully consider their diet and make sure they consume a nutritious diet.

It is best to feed a Maltese puppy at least twice a day, but you can adjust this schedule as your Maltese grows older.

The weight and height of a Maltese puppy depend on genetics, but it can vary. When they are fully grown, a Maltese puppy can weigh around seven pounds.

During the first eight months, their weight can increase up to one pound a month, although this can vary a lot among identical-age Maltese puppies.

Although the Maltese doesn’t need much exercise, you should consider taking your dog for a daily walk. Although you can fulfill their exercise needs through play, walking your dog has its own benefits.

It is important to exercise your dog regularly, as it is a primal instinct to do so. Without regular exercise, your dog can develop behavioral problems.


Life Expectancy

A Maltese dog is an ancient variety of dwarf canine that is associated with the island of Malta.

Today, this breed belongs to the toy group and is closely related to the Bichon, Bolognese, and Havanese breeds. Its life expectancy varies but is generally about 12 years.

Maltese dogs are susceptible to a variety of health issues, but heart problems are a major cause of death in this breed. If a heart defect is diagnosed at an early age, it can be treated successfully through dietary changes, medication, or surgery.

Another major health concern is liver disease, which can cause abnormal heartbeats and breathing problems in the dog. A yearly liver screening can help prevent any damage to the liver and prevent heart failure.

The lifespan of Maltese dogs is longer than some other dog breeds. Larger dog breeds are prone to more serious health problems than Maltese dogs, and their lifespan is shorter as well.


Information On A Maltese

A Maltese dog is a miniature, canine breed.

Although it’s ancient and associated with the island of Malta, the Maltese today is a contemporary toy breed. It is closely related to the Bolognese, Havanese, and Bichon breeds.

If you’re thinking of adopting a Maltese dog, you’ll want to learn more about them first. Whether you decide to adopt a Maltese puppy or buy an existing one, you’ll need to know their age, weight, and breed standard.

Maltese are small dogs, averaging about nine inches at the shoulder. The AKC lists the standard weight as less than seven pounds, but this number may be too low for many of them.

However, a healthy weight for an adult Maltese is eight pounds, although some are heavier, depending on their bone structure. If you choose to adopt a Maltese puppy, make sure to know that it’s prone to certain diseases, like inherited deafness.

While your pet may seem fine until it suffers an injury or undergoes a surgical procedure, a thorough examination will help determine the cause.

Your veterinarian may also recommend brainwave analysis for hearing loss. If you suspect your Maltese is suffering from hearing loss, make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.


Care

It is essential to properly clean your Maltese’s eyes, which tend to stain easily.

Since Maltese have large, hanging triangle-shaped ears, this breed has a tendency to develop ear infections. The good news is that these infections are often treatable with a moist cloth and a close-tooth comb.

If you do find your Maltese exhibiting excessive eye stains, contact your breeder or veterinarian. Taking care of Maltese requires particular knowledge and understanding. Care of Maltese includes annual physical exams, vaccinations, and heartworm testing.

Likewise, the care of Maltese should be consistent throughout the year. Fortunately, the internet is a great source of information about this breed.

However, you should be careful in selecting your source as not all websites are reliable. Fortunately, there are many excellent sources available.

Listed below are a few of the most helpful tips for Maltese owners. The Maltese needs a high-quality diet. It needs a minimum of eight percent fat.

Fat is necessary for energy and the absorption of vitamins. It also helps the immune system grow. Flaxseeds and fish oils can be helpful to nourish skin and coat.

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You can also supplement your Maltese’s food with vitamins and minerals. When it comes to nutrition, the Maltese is an excellent choice for many pet owners.


Grooming For A Maltese

The Maltese is a low-maintenance breed and requires minimal grooming. They only need a daily walk, or active play session, to maintain a healthy coat and skin.

Though they do not require large amounts of yard space, the breed does require regular grooming, such as brushing and combing. Maltese are also quite active indoors, so they may require dog-proof furniture.

As with any breed, Malteses are prone to certain health problems. While routine checkups and care can prevent most of these illnesses, you can’t avoid all of them.

It is always best to purchase a Maltese from a reputable breeder, as you can be sure that the dog will be healthy and have not suffered from any genetic diseases.

If you purchase a dog from a shelter, make sure that the breeder has a health history and that all health records are current.

The nails of a Maltese dog should be clipped regularly to avoid ingrown nails and infections. If you don’t trim them regularly, they may develop curly coats.

Maltese owners should make sure to groom their dogs frequently and check their teeth for staining. Also, remember to check your dog’s eyes for staining regularly. Maltese grooming is a good investment for both of you.


Care For A Maltese After It Is Born

During pregnancy, the Maltese should be kept in a stress-free environment.

While most Maltese pregnancies will produce two or three puppies, larger litters can be problematic. More than one puppy will fight for its nutrition, resulting in more problems.

To avoid these complications, you should follow some general advice for caring for a Maltese after it is born. Once you’ve chosen a litter, take time to train your Maltese to be gentle with the puppies.

First, make sure your Maltese puppy is warm. Puppies are born at whelping, so be sure you’re ready to raise them. Consult a vet for advice before allowing your Maltese puppy to mate.

If possible, separate the mother and the litter so you can take care of them separately. Once the puppies are born, you should keep the mother warm and away from the father.

As with all dogs, Maltese puppies need regular brushing and bathing. To keep their coats healthy and shiny, you may want to invest in a quality conditioner for their fur.

A good Maltese will also be spayed, microchipped, and tested for bile acid. Fortunately, Malteses are generally healthy dogs. Make sure you find a breeder who tests for diseases such as bile acid and PDA to avoid potential problems with your new pet.


Care For A Maltese After It Is Adopted

Once your dog has been adopted, you may wonder how to care for it after it’s arrived home.

A Maltese needs socialization, and you can help it develop these skills by attending a puppy playgroup or group training class. Look for a group geared towards smaller breeds, or a small-sized one.

If possible, request a preview class before signing up to see the instructors and other dogs. A Maltese is a purebred dog, meaning that its ancestors are of the same breed as it is.

Although this breed is not known for its working skills, it is known for being a good family pet. It is quiet and affectionate, but not frivolous.

The small, elongated body of a Maltese weighs between three and four kilograms. Dry skin is another common issue, despite their furless appearance.

As a senior, your Maltese is even more susceptible. The top layer of skin is thinner and less water is produced, so your dog may suffer from itching, rashes, and cracked skin.

Fortunately, prevention is easier than treatment. You can prevent skin dryness in Maltese by bathing it regularly.

For example, every three weeks, you can give your Maltese a bath to get rid of accumulated minuscule dead skin and revive its skin.


Questions People Also Ask: (FAQs)

 

Are Maltese dogs hypoallergenic?

While no dog breed is entirely hypoallergenic, the Maltese breed is considered good for allergy sufferers. Their long, silky hair sheds very little, reducing dander in the environment.

 

Do Maltese dogs bark a lot?

Maltese dogs can be vocal and may bark to alert their owners of any unusual happenings. Proper training can help manage excessive barking.

 

Are Maltese dogs good with kids?

While Maltese are generally friendly and sociable, their small size can make them delicate. They are best suited to families with older children who can handle them gently.

 

How long do Maltese dogs live?

The average lifespan of a Maltese is between 12 to 15 years. With good care, regular vet check-ups, and a healthy diet, some may even live longer.

 

What do Maltese dogs eat?

Maltese dogs thrive on a balanced diet of high-quality dog food, tailored to their age, size, and health. Always consult with your vet for specific dietary advice.

 

How big do Maltese dogs get?

As a toy breed, Maltese are small dogs. Adult Maltese typically weigh between 4 to 7 pounds and stand about 7 to 9 inches tall at the shoulder.

 

Are Maltese easy to train?

Maltese are intelligent and eager to please their owners, which can make them relatively easy to train. Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key to training a Maltese.


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