/Breed Introduction: Maltese

Dog Breed Introduction: Maltese

This is a breed which is gentle and fearless! The Maltese greets everyone as a friend. It has a glamorous white coat gives him a look of haughty nobility, but looks can be deceiving. This is a sprightly, vigorous dog that excels not only as a companion but also as a therapy dog! It is a challenging competitor in dog sports such as agility, obedience, rally, and tracking. The breed has a rounded skull, black nose, drop ears, dark, alert eyes, short, straight legs, and a graceful tail. It is a sweet, intelligent dog who is devoted to his people. As one of the smallest of the toy breeds, it is well suited to apartment or condo living. Wherever it lives, the maltese is responsive to his environment and makes an effective watchdog.

Breed Origin


The maltese is one of the most ancient of the toy breeds, with a history that can be traced back at least two millennia. Artists, poets, and writers immortalized this small dog in the early great cultures of Greece, Rome, and Egypt. They were even mentioned by Aristotle. The Greeks erected tombs for their Maltese dogs, while representations of Maltese-like dogs on Egyptian artifacts suggest that they were prized by that ancient culture. The Egyptians and, centuries later, many Europeans, thought that the Maltese had the ability to cure people of disease and would place one on the pillow of an ill person.

Many believe the breed was developed in the Isle of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea from Spitz- or Spaniel-type dogs. Others believe he was developed in Italy, and still others believe that he was originally from Asia and had a part in developing many of the smaller Asian dogs. Wherever he came from, the Maltese thrived. By the 15th century, he had found a secure place in the arms and hearts of French aristocrats. During the reign of Henry VIII, Maltese arrived in the British Isles. By the end of the 16th century, the Maltese had become a favorite pet for noble and royal ladies.

Breed Characteristics


Although your Maltese will want to please you, he can be difficult to housetrain. Excessive training is highly suggested.

Maltese are prone to chills, especially if they are damp or walking in damp areas.

If maltese has long hair, it can get sunburned on the skin where the hair is parted on the back.

Because of their small size and delicate structure, maltese generally aren’t recommended for households with toddlers or small children.

Some Maltese have delicate digestive systems and may be picky eaters. Eating problems can occur if your Maltese has teeth or gum problems as well. If Maltese is showing discomfort when eating or after eating, take him to the vet for a checkup.