Originally bred in Malta for hunting vermin, Maltese dogs are a gentle and fearless breed belonging to the Toy Group. They were liked among royalty and aristocrats because of their small size and delicate appearance. Nowadays, they are bred as family companions and show dogs. These dogs love to please their humans and it’s hard not to give them a little affection. They are independent with no need to be overly pampered yet have a cheerful disposition.
Intelligent and small, these dogs are conveniently transportable and with their delicate and exquisite nature, they are also quite satisfying for interior living and the smaller quarters.
If you’re looking for a small dog that can sit on your lap and get along with people, then this is the perfect dog for you. Keep reading to find out more about this diminutive breed.
Here are the Top 10 Maltese Dogs Facts that you need to know before getting one!
1. Maltese Dog Origin and History
The history of Maltese dates back to ancient times. They are among the oldest breeds in existence today as they have been referenced back to about 500 B.C. Rumor has it that these dogs originated on the small island of Malta, which is located in the Mediterranean Sea.
Since then, these dogs have made their way all across the globe, even being part of many royal families and empires. Although they had some changes throughout the course of their history, they are still one of the cutest dog breeds.
Maltese is just one of many nicknames for the breed. Their name has changed over time, but they have been known with different names. Aristotle may have been the first to call the Maltese breed “Canis Melitaeus.” Other names such as ‘Melita’, ‘Pauline’, the Melitaie Dog, the Maltese Terrier, the Spaniel Gentle, were also famous names for these dogs throughout their long history.
A multitude of these canine companions was utilized by the military and guard corps. Later, they were bred for hunting rats and mice on ships.
These dogs can also be found in ancient Greek pottery and have been known to be a prized companion of royalty over the years. Unlike many small breeds, the Maltese were not bred down from larger sizes; they have always been small dogs.
It is believed that Chinese breeders kept Maltese dogs from extinction during Europe’s Dark Ages. The Chinese crossed them with their native breeds and exported a more refined Maltese back to Europe. Maltese dogs were a fixture at dog shows from the beginning due to their immense charm and eye-catching looks. The Maltese Lion Dog was first exhibited in New York City at Westminster Kennel Club’s first dog show in 1877. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1888. Nevertheless, they have remained popular until today.
2. Maltese Dogs Are Fearless
Maltese dogs are known for having amazingly sweet personalities. They are always energetic and eager to meet new people and explore new things. This trait makes the breed utterly fearless so this can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. It is very important to keep a watchful eye on your pup as they have no issue approaching any other creature which can be very dangerous sometimes. Make sure to keep your dog in a fenced-in backyard. It’s even better to stay outside with your dog while they do their business or just explore in the grass.
3. Maltese Dogs, Sometimes, Change Their Nose Color
This isn’t true for every breed but Maltese, who have a fair and lighter tone, their noses can sometimes get various modifications too. The major distinction will be in the color of their nose.
If your Maltese spends the majority of the time indoors, especially during the winter months when there isn’t much sunlight, you may notice that the coloration on their nose will turn paler, or a light brown color. This is often referred to as ‘winter nose’. However, this isn’t permanent since their noses can be reset by exposure to the sun in the summer. Also, Maltese dogs’ noses are usually dark, but when they spend a lot of time outside in the sun, their noses turn lighter in color. This is particularly evident in puppies having a slightly darker nose.
4. Maltese Dogs Are Powerful Jumpers
As we said before, Maltese are fearless and enjoy exploring and finding. They have a great combination of energy and agility that makes them excellent jumpers. Although they seem small and mild-mannered, they can be quite jumpy!
They can jump from surface to surface, jump from higher ledges or other high spaces, and leap out of your reach if they feel like it so you will have to be very careful with them. Make sure to keep your valuables away when they are around.
5. Maltese Dogs Can Easily Get Sunburnt
It may be totally abstract for the majority, but our pets can burn just as easily as humans do during the hot summer months! This is especially prevalent with the Maltese dog breed, as they have fair, pale skin lying beneath their coat of white, shining fur. This is also a problem as the Maltese dogs do not have an undercoat. This makes their coats finer and skin more visible to the sun’s rays thus making them more prone to sunburn. So, if you decide to bring one of these pups into your home, make sure to watch out especially when they are outside for a prolonged period of time.
6. Maltese Dogs Don’t Typically Shed
The long, silky coat of Maltese gives them an almost ornamental appearance. But did you know that they are one of the hypoallergenic dog breeds that do not shed in most cases? This is because the breed does not have an undercoat lying beneath their long white hairs that cover their body, which makes them less likely to shed in general. Yet brushing or combing their fur once a week will help keep their coat looking healthy.
It is also good to bring them into a groomer every once in a while to trim the hair that forms around the face so they can at least see where they are going. If you don’t want to spend time taking your Maltese to a groomer, trimming their hair at home is also pretty easy.
7. Maltese Make Great Therapy Dogs
Maltese are very affectionate, no matter who is in the room. Their gentle, affectionate demeanor is what makes them excellent therapy dogs. In various studies, holding and petting an animal has been shown to relieve stress, anxiety, and to bring better feelings to an individual. This is why Maltese dogs and several other breeds have been used to assist in therapy for many people dealing with anxiety, depression, and other bad situations.
8. Maltese Have Very Charming and Irresistible Appearances
Maltese are glamorous and charming with compact bodies. Their tufted tail is carried gracefully over the back while their neck is elegantly structured. Their recessed ears have long, fluffy fur. Their eyes are dark, the nose is black, and the muzzle is of medium length and well-shaped. Their long, silky coat is stunningly beautiful. Overall, Maltese are bound to turn some heads with their handsome appearance.
9. Maltese Are Great with Children
When it comes to integration with children and other household pets, there is no surprise that Maltese are the best since they have very sweet personalities. They often make good partners, as we have said before, for they are gentle and charming. When they first meet new people, children, or animals they are often full of energy but they will eventually calm down and just enjoy the company of everyone around them. You’ll have no fear leaving your kids or pets with Maltese dogs, that is for sure.
10. Maltese Are Generally a Healthy Breed
With an average lifespan ranging anywhere from twelve to eighteen years, Maltese dogs are generally a healthy breed. Yet as with many small dogs, the breed can be subject to dental and eye problems as well as conditions of the knee. This means it’s important to make sure your dog gets a check-up and gets vaccinated every year. It is also important to always keep a watchful eye on them. With their small stature and size, if they are left outside unattended without supervision, they may lead themselves into a number of negative situations that can trouble you later. So, make sure to give enough attention, love, and care to your adorable pup.
With that said, we come at the end of our list of top 10 Maltese dogs facts you need to learn before you are ready for the commitment that comes while adopting these affectionate little creatures.
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To explore more, here are other articles about the breed that you might be interested in.
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