More About The Maltese Breed.

Pronunciation: Mall-TESE Group: Toy Group
Average Weight 4-7 pounds>
Life Expectancy About 12 - 15 years
Description: A Maltese is a small breed of white dog that does not shed.
Temperament: Maltese can be very energetic and are known for their occasional wild outbursts of physical activity, running around in circles chasing their tail, and bolting at top speed with amazing agility; given this, they still do well for apartment dwellers. They are relatively easy to train and enjoy a playful game of fetch. These intelligent dogs learn quickly, and pick up new tricks and behaviors easily. Since they were bred specifically for companionship, they do not do well being left alone for long hours.

Grooming: Daily combing and brushing of the long coat is important but be gentle, as the coat is very soft. Clean the eyes daily to prevent staining, and clean the beard after meals for the same reason. Bathe or dry shampoo regularly - making sure the animal is thoroughly dry and warm afterward. Clean the ears, and pull out hair growing inside the ear canal.

Origin:
This ancient dog was described by the Greek philosopher Theophrastus as belonging to the "Melita" breed, an archaic name for Malta. It was developed in Italy with the addition of miniature spaniel and poodle blood. It was thought that these lively little dogs were first brought to England by Crusaders returning home from the Mediterranean. The breed became particularly popular with women, who often carried them in their sleeves and even to their beds. The dog was not only popular with women though. Publius, the Roman governor of Malta, prized his Maltese enough to commission a portrait of "Issa" and even have poetry written about her. Today, the glamorous Maltese is an adored pet and sought-after show dog.

AKC Maltese Breed and Traits (Follow this link to learn more about the Maltese Breed via the AKC description.)

General Appearance: The Maltese is a toy dog covered from head to foot with a mantle of long,
silky, white hair. He is gentle-mannered and affectionate, eager and sprightly in action, and,
despite his size, possessed of the vigor needed for the satisfactory companion.
 

Head: Of medium length and in proportion to the size of the dog. The skull is slightly rounded
on top, the stop moderate. The drop ears are rather low set and heavily feathered with long hair
that hangs close to the head. Eyes are set not too far apart; they are very dark and round, their
black rims enhancing the gentle yet alert expression. The muzzle is of medium length, fine and
tapered but not snipy. The nose is black. The teeth meet in an even, edge-to-edge bite, or in a
scissors bite.
 

Neck: Sufficient length of neck is desirable as promoting a high carriage of the head.
Body: Compact, the height from the withers to the ground equaling the length from the withers
to the root of the tail. Shoulder blades are sloping, the elbows well knit and held close to the
body. The back is level in topline, the ribs well sprung. The chest is fairly deep, the loins taut,
strong, and just slightly tucked up underneath.
Tail: A long-haired plume carried gracefully over the back, its tip lying to the side over the
quarter.


Legs and Feet: Legs are fine-boned and nicely feathered. Forelegs are straight, their pastern
joints well knit and devoid of appreciable bend. Hind legs are strong and moderately angulated at
stifles and hocks. The feet are small and round, with toe pads black. Scraggly hairs on the feet
may be trimmed to give a neater appearance.


Coat and Color: The coat is single, that is, without undercoat. It hangs long, flat, and silky over
the sides of the body almost, if not quite, to the ground. The long head-hair may be tied up in a
topknot or it may be left hanging. Any suggestion of kinkiness, curliness, or woolly texture is
objectionable. Color, pure white. Light tan or lemon on the ears is permissible, but not desirable.
 

Size: Weight under 7 pounds, with from 4 to 6 pounds preferred. Overall quality is to be favored
over size.
 

Gait: The Maltese moves with a jaunty, smooth, flowing gait. Viewed from the side, he gives an
impression of rapid movement, size considered. In the stride, the forelegs reach straight and free
from the shoulders, with elbows close. Hind legs to move in a straight line. Cowhocks or any
suggestion of hind leg toeing in or out are faults.
 

Temperament: For all his diminutive size, the Maltese seems to be without fear. His trust and
affectionate responsiveness are very appealing. He is among the gentlest mannered of all little
dogs, yet he is lively and playful as well as vigorous.