Cute but fearless, a Maltese is an all-in-one dog breed who does not only award you with tons of dog sports competitions but will also act as a therapy dog. It is a lovable breed who loves to be around its favorite humans. In addition to that, they are incredibly gentle and adapts to any condition.
Being one of the oldest toy dog breeds present on your planet, the origin of the breed is still unknown to the world but is believed that it originated from Central Mediterranean Area. However, people have found some of the proofs of this breed existence in Asia. Some also claim that this breed is directly related to the Tibetan Terrier.
They have different names in different parts of the name. Some of the names are Canis Familiaris Mealitacus, Maltese Lion Puppy, Roman Ladies’ Dog, and the Comforter. Some of the ancient people also believed that this dog breed has special healing abilities which are why they were placed it to the side of an ill person.
The first name given to this breed was Melitaei Catelli which was provided by none other than Aristotle. However, the race is also believed to be originated from the Malta island which gives it the name it has today.
In a century, people started to crossbreed this race with other smaller breeds like Spaniels and Poodles and resulted in nine different types of Maltese. When it comes to their introduction the world, these dogs were migrated to Europe by the nomadic tribes from the Middle East. The United States first witnessed this breed in the late 1800s when the Westminister Kennel Club recognized it.
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The UK and the American Kennel Club has recognized this breed as the toy breed because the average height of a name Maltese is between eight to ten inches whereas the female has an average height of eight to nine inches. The weight of both male and female dogs of this breed varies between 3 – 3.6 kilograms.
Personality and Temperament
Open-hearted and lovable is the best definition of the personality of this breed. They are extremely loyal and obedient who will never disobey the command of their master which is why they are most widely used in the dog sporting competitions.
Talking about its other temperamental characteristics, then this is one of those breeds who does not have a fixed temperament. The behavior of this dog solely depends on its training and its breeding. Sometimes the growing months of the dog also affect its temperament.
Making new friends is something which this dog breed loves the most. When it comes to befriending a human, then this dog will be the first one to approach and start the friendship. So socializing it with strangers or other people will not be an issue. However, if you are planning to adopt this dog as a watchdog, then you might reconsider your thought. This dog is not meant for safeguarding your home; else it will welcome new people to the house and play with them.
The friendship rule of a Maltese is same with other dogs or pets as well. They are always ready to make new friends; be it a dog or cat. No matter the gender or the breed of the dog, they will accept them as their buddy and start playing with them. All you have to do is do a decent introduction, and you are good to go. In addition to that, you need to make sure that the opposite dog does not injure your Maltese. They have tiny size, but a big and playful heart which is open to playing with anyone no matter their size. Big dogs might unintentionally cause injury to your dog. Always supervise the behavior of both the dogs and make sure to keep it away from much bigger dogs.
If you have kids at your home, then you should avoid adopting a Maltese. Though the dog will not hurt you in any way, they are toy dogs who are sensitive. Even a small bump on their body could injure them. Little kids might not be aware of their sensitivity and may cause damage to the dog. It is best that you avoid keeping Maltese and small kids under the same roof. They are best suited for some grown-up kids who are taught about dos and don’ts about this breed.
Maltese live a healthy life with an average lifespan of thirteen years, but a healthy dog with no disease past could live near to fifteen years. Much like other dog breeds, this is also vulnerable to some of the breed specific and genetic disorders.
A pure Maltese will have a white color which makes it vulnerable to white dog shaker syndrome. This disease is commonly found in white dogs, and the symptoms start to show as early as six months of the age. Some common signs of this illness are rapid eye movements, stress, tremors on the body, and lack of coordination. Though this disease does not affect the life or the temperament of the dog, it is still necessary to get it treated as soon as possible.
Small dogs are well-known to catch breathing problems like collapsed trachea where the trachea used to pass air to the lungs gets collapsed. This disease shows early symptoms of a dry cough and rapid breathing. Though it could be easily treated with medication, sometimes surgery may be required.
Bone illnesses like hip dysplasia and patellar luxation are also common in this breed. They are profoundly painful to the breed, but it is not lethal to the life of the dog. It is best that you contact your vet with this disease to decrease the pain of your dog.
Sometimes a Maltese dog could be diagnosed with an eye disease called as progressive retinal atrophy. Unlike other eye diseases, this one shows the results very slowly and can make your dog completely blind. Though this illness is identified years before making your dog, still it is necessary to get your dog checked annually for this disease.
Similar to other toy dogs, this one is also known to have a problem of low blood sugar. The scientific name of this disease is hypoglycemia which shows symptoms including weakness, shaky walk, and confusion.
Some of the dogs are also diagnosed with portosystemic liver shunt where the liver stops to work properly. The blood is not cleansed by the liver which might cause infections to the dog. If you feel like your dog is having any of these diseases, then you should immediately contact the vet to begin the treatment of your Maltese.
Being a small dog, the requirements of this dog is small as well. To keep your dog fit, you do not have to make a strict exercise schedule as regular walking will do the trick. However, do not rush to walk your dog just after bringing home. It is best that you wait till your dog turns eight months, and then start walking it. The reason behind this is that they have weak bones which are still developing until that age. Any rushing towards running or playing might damage their bones which can lead to other serious problems. Before that age, you can leave open your dog in your backyard or at your home so that it can run at its own pace.
After your dog has reached the desired age where you can take to a walk, you need to keep the weather factor in mind. They are not capable of handling too much heat or cold. Make sure that you avoid walks at high temperature or cold temperatures. If your dog is not willing to walk in such situations, then you should listen to it and head back to the home where you can provide it with the suitable conditions.
Tear staining is widespread for Maltese. You can find rust-colored streaks near to the eyes of your dog which is formed by tear fluids. It is necessary to clean the eyes of your dog twice a day to keep it clean. In addition to that, this dog breed is one of those breeds who are prone to plaque buildup. You have to brush its teeth at least twice a week which provides gum infection, and other dental problems. Others are basic dog care tips like nail clipping, early socializing, and ear cleaning which most of the people already know.
The feeding habits solely depend on the size and the age of the dog. However, puppies need to be fed several times a day, but the quantity of the food per meal is less. As your puppy grows, you should decrease the feedings to twice a day and increase the quantity of the food.
Make sure to give your dog a good quality dry food. Most of the dogs prefer wet food over dry food as it is easier for them to eat. Some of the dogs are fussy eaters who can make a mess while eating their food. For those dogs, it is best that you provide them with dry food.
In addition to that, most of the Maltese dogs are very choosy when it comes to their food. They will not eat anything you feed them. It is best that you only feed your dog what is nutritional and liked by your dog.
Toy dogs can catch dental problems, and Maltese is one of those breeds which are known for its dental weaknesses. If you feel that your dog is facing problems while eating its food, then it is time to call the vet and book an appointment.
Maltese is a breed which has a sensitive stomach, and even a small amount of wrong food could upset their stomach. Not every food is made for dogs as it can make them unhealthy. Some of the foods that you should avoid giving to your Maltese are cooked bones, raisins, chocolate, avocados, macadamia nuts, and onions. Due to their small size, it is hazardous for a Maltese to eat these foods. If you believe that your dog has eaten any of these, then you should immediately contact your vet to explain the scenario.
This dog breed is small in size, but maintenance of their coat is something which is very daunting. They have a beautiful looking white-colored coat which may or may not be long. Unlike other breeds, this one does not shed, but their hairs do get stuck within the body which is why daily brushing is necessary. Another thing that you should know about its coat is that it gets tangled very easily which is why brushing is required.
Maltese only come in white color which is known to get dirty. With that thing in mind, you need to give your frequent dog baths. It is advised that you should bath your dog once in a month. Make sure to brush the coat of your dog as it gets tangled very easily. Bathing before brushing will not solve the tangle problem, but will only make the situation worse.
Maltese’s hairs are one of the most highlighting things. Most of the people use this breed to win the most adorable dog prizes. With that thing in mind, you surely do not want to damage the gorgeous hairs of your dog by using poor quality shampoo. Make sure to always use only the certified dog shampoos. In addition to that, it is best that you also give another round with a conditioner.
When it comes to a haircut, then never go with self-grooming as it may damage the coat of your dog. Always consider professional grooming services to keep the coat of your dog in perfect condition.
Maltese is the perfect looking lap dog which will surely grab the attention of everyone who visits your home. They are friendly creatures which can even help you win tons of awards and provide you with a bit of relaxation as well.