Maltese At a Glance
- Itty Bitty
- A Regular Gym-Goer
- The Life of the Party/The Babysitter
- Beauty Queen
- 1st Century A.D. Roman Governor Publius (dog’s name – Issa)
- Queen Elizabeth I (dog’s name unknown)
- Actress Elizabeth Taylor (dog’s name – Sugar)
Before being brought to Malta more than 2,000 years ago by Phoenician traders, the Maltese probably lived in Egypt and Greece where it may have been worshipped. Her stunning elegance and tiny size made her a favorite with members of royalty. During the 18th and 19th century she became something of a fashion accessory and was carried around in the sleeves of her owner’s clothing. It comes as no surprise that her beauty made her one of the first dogs to be used as a show competitor.
The Maltese today remains a tiny dog with a sugary white coat. She stands just 8 to 10 inches tall and weighs a mere 4 to 6 pounds. Her coat grows in long and silky and she does not shed. Her long hair is often tied on top of her head to allow her a clean line of sight. She carries her tail curled over her back and the weight of the long fur causes it to drop to one side. She is still strictly a companion animal.
Personality and the Perfect Owner
Looking for a fashion accessory that can love you back? The Maltese is often prized for her Miss Universe looks, but owners of this little dog know her true worth lies in her sparkling personality and utter lack of fear. She’s a playful little dog with an affectionate nature. The Maltese is equally good with children and adults, but play with children should be closely monitored since her tiny stature makes her easily injured. While the Maltese loves physical activity, she easily adapts to a more quiet life when activity isn’t readily available. Her tiny size, friendly nature, and adaptability make her a great pet for people with small living quarters. However, you should be willing to brush the dog daily; because of the silky nature of her coat and her inability to shed, the Maltese develops mats easily.
Common Health Problems
Before adding a Maltese to your home, ask your breeder about the dog’s health history. Common Maltese ailments are:
· Slipped stifle · Eye infections · Hypoglycemia · Teeth and gum weaknesses