Maltese dogs are very particular in choosing who and what they like, mainly where other dogs and foods are concerned. Even so, these puppies and dogs generally make great neighbors. They seem to warm to almost every human they meet in passing. The little girl in our photo, Bella, is the queen of her community, and she has been a therapy dog for years. But don’t even think about entering the home where she lives without permission! This boisterous character trait proves that the Maltese breed equals any alarm system and that in this case, size does not matter.
Quality Breeders will most likely ask the questions, “So why a Maltese? And, have you ever had or know anyone who had one?”
Maltese dogs are the perfect size for sitting on human laps and most travel well beneath airplane seats or in a car with the appropriate security harness. In a car, these little kings and queens usually insist on sitting up front, next to the human driver. Generally, they would prefer to play inside with similar size pal dogs rather than outdoors in the grass and elements – very refined.
Maltese Care Tips:
- The Maltese breed has an irresistible face, with big dark eyes and a little black button nose that will warm the hearts of all who come in contact.
- They are little athletes on the agility course and have boundless energy. Throwing a ball or stuffed toy will keep them occupied for hours.
- Maltese are low on the shedding scale, making them a perfect choice for someone with allergies or “dog’s shedding on furniture” issues.
- These beauties live long up to 12 to 15 years and are always happy to make new friends.
- Maltese can be and may behave stubbornly. On the other hand, they are very smart, inherently eager to please. Reward-based training involving treats can overcome their willful ways.
- Frequent grooming including daily brushing, weekly bathing, and trimmed nails and coat is a must with this breed. These little dogs’ nails tend to grow fast. Additionally, if their hair is too long matting becomes an issue.
Unique Facts about Maltese Dogs:
Maltese dogs are believed to be originally from the island of Malta and were bred to catch rats in Rome. They are the oldest breed of dog on the planet. Images of these dogs are depicted in three-dimensional artwork and on paintings from ancient Greece. These little canines are believed to have been worshipped by Egyptians. The Romans bred all other colors out of the breed except for the white color, which they regarded as sacred.
Interestingly, the coat of a Maltese is hair, not fur (which has dander). This fact alone makes these dogs an excellent choice for humans who deal with allergies to canines.
Maltese make great companions, but good breeders don’t suggest them for families with small children due to their delicate bone structure. As mentioned previously, grooming is essential, and their teeth must be brushed almost every day of the week.
Over-pampering or “spoiling” Maltese puppies is not encouraged, although very easy for their enamored humans to do. They quickly become overly-dependent on human presence and contact and may subsequently make a lot of noise and exhibit other behavioral issues when they are left alone.
Trouble, a Maltese whose claim to fame was “the richest dog in the world” died at age 12. The dog inherited $12 million from Hotel Mogul Leona Helmsley when she passed. However, a judge reduced the original amount to only $2 million – the poor puppy. By the way, the money has since reverted to the Helmsley Charitable Trust.