Breed Organization American Maltese Association Website: http://www.americanmaltese.org Native Country Central Mediterranean Basin - Italy Other Names Straight-Haired Bichon, Maltese Terrier, Maltese Lion Dog, Comforter Dog, Roman Ladies' Dog, Canis Melitaeus Life Expectancy Approximately 13-15 Years Litter Size Average 2-4 Puppies Breed Group AKC Toy
Breed Appearance The breed is famous for its long, cascading snowy white coat, its dark oval eyes with jet-black rims and its gentle yet spirited disposition.
Breed Description Head: Fairly broad. Flat skull. Very pronounced stop. Straight nosebridge. Thin lips. Large nose. Ears: Set on high, pendulous, hanging against the sides of the head. Eyes: Fairly large, dark ocher. Edge of eyelids black. Body: Long. Withers protruding slightly from the topline. Chest well let-down. Straight back. Very broad and long, nearly
level croup. Tail: Thick at the base and thin at the tip. Forming a single large curve with the tip hanging between the hips and touching
the croup. Hair: Very long on the entire body, completely straight, without waves or curls. Silky. Hair on the trunk should be longer
than the height at the withers and fall heavily to the ground. No undercoat. Very long on the head. Hair on the tail hangs
on only one side of the trunk. Coat: Pure white. Pale ivory allowed. Traces of pale orange highlights are tolerated, as long as they resemble soiled hairs,
but they are a flaw. Size: Dog: 21 to 25 cm.Bitch: 20 to 23 cm. Weight: 3 to 4 kg.
History The Maltese is a very old breed with hotly debated origins. This little dog's ancestors hunted pests in the ports and
maritime cities of the central Mediterranean. It is certain that this dog or a similar breed existed in ancient Egypt and
Greece and later in Rome. The ancient Greek geographer Strabon reported that the Sicilian city of Melita exported dogs
called canes meliteris. Even though the Maltese is named after Malta, there is no proof that he is a native of this island.
Prized by nobility, he was a favorite of England's royal court under Queen Elizabeth I.
Behavior Tough and tireless, the Maltese has the liveliness one would expect of a renowned ratter. He is merry, playful, and animated.
Affectionate and very calm, he rarely barks and makes an adorable pet. He needs rigorous training.
Health Prone to sunburn along the hair parting, skin, eye issues, respiratory, and slipped stifle. Some may be difficult to feed with
weak, upset digestion. They may get the chills, and they experience discomfort in hot weather. Maltese should be kept out of damp areas. Also prone
to teeth problems. Feeding dry dog biscuits in addition to their normal food can help the teeth stay clean and healthy.
Advice He can live in an apartment and needs little exercise. He does not like being left alone. He requires daily dematting and brushing,
as well as regular baths and grooming twice a year. His ears and eyes should be checked regularly.