Portrait of cute maltese dog in the backyard

Maltese Dogs: May Be The Oldest Toy Dog Breed

Maltese Dog Puppy
Height: 7-9 inches; Weight: under 7 pounds; Lifespan: 12-15 years; Country: Malta

The Maltese dog breed has existed for a very long time. References to these dogs can be found in writings from as far back as 300 B.C. From the fifth century, Maltese can be seen in Greek art. This dog breed is likely the oldest of all European Toy dog breeds.  Despite its name, this breed may originate from the island of Malta but is associated with that country today.

This toy dog is closely related to the Bichon and Havanese.

Many regions of Asia and Europe received Maltese dogs as exports. After traveling to so many different parts of the world, most of the original Maltese continued living in a remote environment, far from other canines. Because of this, pure breeding has preserved this small dog’s distinctive and noble appearance over many years.

Although the Maltese of today are white, they have historically been found in various hues as well. These dogs never lost their stunning, long, silky coats that dazzle the eye, regardless of color changes.

Maltese dog
Maltese dogs are famous for long, silky hair that needs a grooming salon.

By the beginning of the 14th century, Maltese dogs had been introduced to England. The upper class in this area essentially began to adore them. Maltese dogs were favored by wealthy households as pets to display their affluence. This breed was believed to be on the verge of extinction somewhere in the early 1800s despite being well-liked.

A short while afterward, two Maltese dogs from the Philippines were brought to England as a gift for Queen Victoria. The animals were given to other individuals after failing to reach their objective. These two dogs’ pups were the first of their breed to be displayed in England. Despite having no connection to Terriers, they were called “Maltese Terriers.”

Finally arriving in the country in the late 1800s, perhaps about 1875, was the Maltese dog breed. They were known as “Maltese Lion Dogs” at the time. The Maltese was one of the first dog breeds that the AKC recognized, and it has since grown in popularity.

Personality of the Maltese Dog

The Maltese should be your first choice if you’re looking for a gorgeous lapdog. This dog deserves admiration and pampering and is the ideal pet for someone who appreciates holding and petting their dog frequently. Also, these dogs may be highly aggressive and brave despite their seeming innocence. They frequently engage larger dogs in combat, which makes them excellent watchdogs.

Maintaining Your Maltese

Like any other pet, the Maltese needs some daily activity. These requirements can be readily satisfied with a fast lap of the yard or a brief leash walk. When not exercising outside, it is advisable to keep them indoors because they are not outdoor dogs. They enjoy being cuddled and pampered. Constant brushing is necessary for maintaining a clean and transparent coat. Monthly cutting may also be necessary depending on how long you want the hair to grow.

Healthcare Concerns

Maltese dogs can live up to 15 years, with a typical lifespan of 12 to 13. There are no significant health issues to be concerned about, although minor problems, including portacaval shunt, entropion, patellar luxation, hypoglycemia, open fontanel, distichiasis, hydrocephalus, and dental abnormalities, do occasionally arise.

In 1877, the first Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was held in New York City, when a white dog was displayed as a “Maltese Lion Dog.” From that point on, they were sporadically mixed with poodles, and a stud book was formed in 1901 based on the progeny of two females. This registry contained about 50 dogs by the 1950s. The American Kennel Club recognized the Maltese as a breed in 1888. The AKC parent club for the breed is the American Maltese Association.

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