Other names/Nicknames:
  • Bichon Maltaise
  • Melita
Country/Date of origin:
  • Malta
  • 500 BC
  • 5 inches
  • 4 to 6 pounds
  • Sweet and sassy.
  • Gentle mannered and bred for centuries to be a pleasing companion.
  • Very strong-willed and not easily trained.
  • Does not get along well with other pets.
  • Wants to be king of the household.
  • Minimal exercise.

One of the oldest of the toy breeds, the Maltese was the plaything of highborn ladies of ancient Egypt, Greece, and imperial Rome.  It is thought that Phoenician traders brought these dogs to the Isle of Malta in about 1,500 BC, where they flourished.  Maltese are probably the foundation stock for many of the little white dogs such as the Bichon, Havanese, and Bolognese.  It was one of the original breeds shown at American Kennel Club (AKC) sanctioned shows.

Body Type:
  • A toy dog covered from head-to-foot with a cloak of long, white hair.
  • Lively in action.
  • Hanging ears are not altered.
  • Tail is covered with exceptionally long hair and is carried over the back.  It is not altered.
  • Long, silky coat is always straight and should reach the ground.
  • Only allowed color is white.
  • Eyes, eye rims, and nose must be black to contrast with the snowy coat.
  • High maintenance coat tangles easily.
  • Head hair may be tied in a topknot or barrettes, or conversely, may be left hanging.
  • Most show dogs have the hair off the face in the United States.
Health and Wellness:
  • Porto-systemic shunt.
  • Juvenile hypoglycemia.
  • Hydrocephalus.
  • Cryptorchidism.
  • Epiphora.
  • Congenital deafness.
  • Hypertrophic pyloric hypertrophy.
  • Periodontal disease.
  • Patella luxation.
  • Generalized tremor.
  • Collapsing trachea.
  • Cushing’s disease (PDH).
What you should know:
  • Does not like rough play.
  • Tend to be expensive to purchase, especially very small specimens.
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