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Maltese Dog Breed Standard, Price, Size, Types & Special Information

The Maltese dog refers both to an ancient variety of dwarf canines commonly associated with the island of Malta and to a modern breed of dog in the toy group. The contemporary variety is genetically related to the Bichon, Bolognese, and Havanese breeds.

The exact link, if any, between the modern and ancient species is not known. Nicholas Cutillo suggested that dogs may have descended from Spitz-type canines and that the ancient variety was probably similar to later Pomeranian breeds, with their short snouts, pricked ears, and bulbous heads.

These two breeds, according to Stanley Coren, were probably the first dogs designated as human companions.

The modern variety traditionally has a silky, pure-white coat, drooping ears, and a tail that curls over its back, and weighs up to 3–4 kg (7–9 lb). Maltese does not shed. are ke for companionship, for ornament, or for competitive performance.

Maltese Dog Breed Size:

Dog Breed Group:
Companion Dogs
Up to 7 pounds
8 to 10 inches tall at the shoulder
Life Span:
12 to 15 years

Colors: White, White & Lemon, White & Tan

This Dog Breed Standards:

Adaptability: 3 PointsSensitivity Level: 4 pointsDog Friendly: 4 points
Kid-Friendly: 3 PointsAmount Of Shedding: 2 PointsPotential For Weight Gain: 3 Points
Trainability: 3 PointsPhysical Needs: 3 PointsIntelligence: 4 Points
Energy Level: 3 PointsExercise Needs: 2 PointsIntensity: 3 Points

History Of Maltese Dog:

The Maltese dog is one of the oldest toy breeds, with a history of at least two thousand years. Artists, poets, and writers immortalized this little dog in the great civilizations of Greece, Rome, and early Egypt. They were also mentioned by Aristotle.

The Greeks built tombs for their dogs, while representations of Maltese-like dogs on Egyptian artifacts indicate that they were valued by ancient cultures.

The Egyptians and, centuries later, many Europeans thought that the Maltese had the ability to cure disease and would place it on the sick person’s pillow. This inspired one of its names – “The Comforter.” Even before the Christian era, caste was widespread in Mediterranean cultures.

Despite its prominence in history, the exact origin of the Maltese dog is uncertain. Many believe that the breed was developed from a Spitz- or Spaniel-type dog in the Mediterranean island of Malta. Others believe it was developed in Italy, and still, others believe it originated in Asia and played a part in developing many of the smaller Asian dogs.

Maltese flourished where it came from. By the 15th century, it had secured a place in the hands and hearts of the French nobility. During the reign of Henry VIII, the Maltese arrived in the British Isles. By the end of the 16th century, the Dog had become a favorite pet of noble and royal ladies.

The little dog was a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, and Queen Victoria. Numerous painters, including Goya and Sir Joshua Reynolds, included these little dogs in their portraits of beautiful women.

Although it survived the fall of the Roman Empire and the Dark Ages, the Maltese was almost wiped out in the 17th and 18th centuries when attempts were made to make it the size of a squirrel.

After this near-disastrous experiment, breeders interbred poodles, miniature spaniels, and East Asian miniature dogs to save him. This resulted in the Maltese becoming so diverse that many new breeds were created. Many believe that the Maltese are the direct ancestors of the Bichon Fries, Bolognese, and Havanese breeds.

English breeders developed the Maltese as we know it now. Many Dog people in the US today trace their heritage back to English imports. Maltese was first seen in the US in the late 1800s. They were first entered at the Westminster Kennel Club Show in the 1870s.

The number of Maltese dogs registered with the AKC increased very slowly until the 1950s. Since then, the breed has become very popular. The Maltese is one of the most popular breeds among spectators at dog shows and often wins the toy group. He also has an excellent record in the “Best in Show” competition.

Appearance / Look of This Dog Breed:

With its fluffy white fur, adorable black button nose, dark eyes, and lively demeanor, the Maltese puppy is truly the quintessential lap dog. “They’re a little like a stuffed animal,” Dorsey says.

The Maltese has a compact, athletic body, small floppy ears, and a bushy tail that curls over its back. When the Dog reaches its full height of 7-9 inches and weight of 4-6 pounds, its white tresses become silky smooth, requiring daily brushing along with regular bathing to maintain its normal appearance.

Maltese dogs are not overbearing. And while no dog is 100 percent hypoallergenic, some, like the low-shedding Maltese, may have less of an effect on allergy sufferers than other breeds.

While Maltese owners planning to show their dogs allow them to keep their long, flowing locks, most keep Maltese as companions and often opt for trims and short hairstyles to make maintenance easier.

Temperament of Maltese Dog Breed:

Gentle, playful, smart, loving, trainable—Maltese lovers swear these charming pups are among the best out there. “They’re a small dog breed with a good temperament,” Dorsey says. “They’re just playful, they’re energetic, they’re cute, and they’re lovable.”

Dorsey says Maltese are generally agreeable and get along well with children, and adults of all ages, and get along well with cats and other dogs, especially when socialized early.

“For a small dog breed, I think these people are a good option for people and families,” she says. However, as with any dog, parents need to teach their children how to handle the animal and always supervise interactions, especially when both the puppy and child are young.

Personality of This Dog:

The Maltese are natural hams with a lively personality. Because it is very people-oriented, it takes well to train and responds to positive reinforcement such as food rewards, praise, and play.

Fearless, Maltese believe that anyone they meet – human or animal – is a friend. Sweet and cute, they are widely known for always getting their way — even with people who have no intention of spoiling them.

Temperament is influenced by many factors, including genetics, training, and socialization. Good-natured puppies are curious and playful, ready to approach and be with people. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who beats up his peers or hides in the corner.

Always meet at least one of the parents – usually, the mother is the one who is available – to make sure they have a temperament that you are comfortable with. Meeting siblings or other relatives of the parents is also helpful to assess what the puppy will be like when it grows up.

Like all dogs, Maltese need socialization early – when they are young – exposed to many different people, places, sounds, and experiences. Socialization helps ensure that your Maltese puppy becomes a well-rounded dog.

Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Regularly inviting visitors, and taking him on leisurely walks to busy parks, and stores that allow dogs, and to meet neighbors will also help him polish his social skills.

Health About Maltese Dog:

The Maltese are a healthy breed with few health problems and usually live well into the double digits. Responsible breeders screen their stock for health conditions such as luxating patella and heart anomalies such as PDA (patent ductus arteriosus).

Bile-acid testing of Maltese puppies is recommended to rule out congenital liver problems such as liver shunt and microvascular dysplasia (MVD). Cases of Maltese developmental encephalitis (aka GME) have been reported.

Maltese brown

At this time, no screening test is available. The American Maltese Association is working with researchers to come up with answers and possibly genetic testing in the near future.

As with all toy breeds, dental maintenance is important, and Maltese should have their teeth cleaned daily with toothpaste made especially for dogs, as well as regular cleanings at the vet.

Recommended health tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Patella Evaluation
  • Cardiac examination

Common Health Issue for This Breed:

  • Reverse sneezing:
    A reverse sneeze sounds like a snort or honk, and can happen when a Maltese dog is overstimulated or first wakes up. It can also be caused by allergies. It’s not dangerous and usually stops quickly, but it can be bothersome to the dog. You can help your pup relax after a reverse sneezing episode with a warm, loving hug.
  • Narrowed airways:
    This disorder is more problematic than reverse sneezing and requires medical intervention. The most common symptom of a collapsed trachea is a persistent dry and hoarse cough.
  • White Dog Shaker Syndrome:
    This condition can cause tremors, tremors, and loss of coordination when the dog is overstimulated. The name comes from the fact that it mostly affects white dogs. Although it may be worrisome for the dog’s parents, it is not painful for the dog.
  • Luxating Patella:
    Like Chihuahuas and other small breeds, Maltese dogs can develop a problem called luxating patella. This is where the bones that make up the knee do not form properly and allow the knee cap to easily slip out of place. Often it just slips backward, however, in severe cases, surgical intervention may be required.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA):
    This is an inherited degenerative eye condition, which can lead to blindness.

How to Care You’r Maltese Dog?

Maltese enjoy regular walks or playing outside. They often remain playful even in old age. Since they are active indoors and do not require much exercise, it does not take much effort to keep them in good condition.

As a rule of thumb, wait until your Maltese puppy is 8 months old to take him very far, as his bones are still developing.

Let your puppy play at his own pace in your fenced yard until he’s an adult, and then take him to your vet for a checkup before starting a regimented exercise program.

Maltese are definitely house dogs and do not tolerate extreme heat or cold very well. Many people paper train their Maltese so they don’t have to take them outside when the weather is too hot or too cold.

Grooming About This Dog Breed:

The Maltese’s long, white coat is eye-catching and elegant. It needs daily gentle brushing and skin combing to prevent mats and tangles. a Dog should also have regular bathing and coat conditioning to keep its hair looking its best.

They have fast-growing nails that must be trimmed regularly. Check their ears weekly, and remove any excess hair or wax and any accumulated debris. Because Maltese suffer from dental disease as they age, their teeth should be brushed frequently’ ideally every time their coat is brushed.

If a dog has excessive tear-staining around the eyes, a visit to the vet is recommended to determine the possible cause.

How to Training Maltese Dog?

Like all dogs, Maltese require proper training and socialization to be happy and well-adjusted. These dogs can be somewhat strong, and centuries of living closely with people have taught them how to get what they want.

However, they still respond fairly well to training whenever treats and other positive reinforcement are offered.

Aim to start training and socializing when your dog is a puppy. Enroll in puppy obedience classes as soon as your dog meets the age requirement. And reveal it to different people, other animals, and different situations.

Maltese can be protective around strangers and in strange situations, potentially barking or nipping a lot. So it is important to instill comfort and confidence in them along with good manners.

Additionally, many Maltese exhibit separation anxiety if they are left alone for long periods of time. They will bark constantly and may engage in destructive behaviors. Behavioral training can help prevent some anxiety disorders. However, it is best for a Dog to live in a home where someone is home most of the day.

Additionally, as a delicate little dog, the Maltese is not recommended for homes with small children due to the dog’s risk of injury. But it can be a good choice for families with fussy older children.

Facts About Maltese:

  • Maltese dogs are believed to have originated in Malta, a small island nation south of Sicily, Italy. It is also where they get their name.
  • Malta was known for its wealth and sophistication, so this origin story really fits the genre.
  • Maltese dogs have been highly valued throughout time. In fact, it is said that in the 1500s a single Maltese dog was sold for the equivalent of $2,000.
  • Royalty including Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I loved the breed. They both had Maltese dogs in their palaces.
  • They are considered hypoallergenic, like poodles and bacon fries, so they make excellent dogs for people with allergies.
  • Maltese dogs are notorious for being picky eaters. Perhaps this goes back to their silver spoon heritage!
  • They have a beautiful black button nose that can turn pink if the dog doesn’t get enough sun. Maltese dogs can also have pink noses when they are in heat.
  • They make wonderful therapy dogs for many reasons, including their small size and loving personality.

More Dog Breeds & Further Research:

Maltese Puppy Playing:

FAQs About Maltese Dog Breed:

How much is the Maltese dog?

The average Maltese puppy costs about $600 to $2,000. The price depends largely on the pedigree of the puppy and the experience of the breeder. While these dogs don’t really cost much to breed due to their small size, their high demand often drives up the price.

What is the cheapest price for a Maltese puppy?

How much does Maltese cost? While breeders with lower standards may charge as little as $600 for a pet-quality Maltese, you can generally expect to pay around $2,500 for a male and upwards of $3,000 for a female. Show-quality dogs and dogs with breeding rights are often over $4,000.

Are there different types of Maltese?

There may be only one Maltese dog breed, but there are other breeds that are believed to be descended from the Maltese. These include the Bichon Fries, Bolognese, and Havanese varieties. The Bichon Frize is also a small white dog.

What is a Maltese Shih Tzu called?

The Maltese Shih Tzu, also known as Mal-Shi, Maltese Tzu, and Malt-Tzu, is a hybrid or mixed dog breed – a cross between the Maltese and Shih Tzu breeds.

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