The Maltese is of the AKC Toy Group and is an affectionate, loving, sturdy, small dog with a gorgeous, long, silky white coat. If coats are left long and not trimmed, they are grooming intensive. Delighting in spending time with their owner, they love to go where ever their owners go. The Maltese has a dainty look but don't let that deceive you as they are really a hardy breed. Due to their low exercise needs, these beautiful dogs make fine pets for the elderly and are very adaptable to all kinds of indoor living conditions.
Grooming: Intense daily grooming care. Maltese need daily brushings to prevent matting and tangling. Regular washing and eye care. For pet owners, applying a "pet trim" will help with grooming needs, however, trips to the groomer will be necessary. Many sport a topnot if coats are left long and flowing.
Social Skills: This little dog gets along fine with other dogs and household pets. Socialize early to prevent nippiness with strangers.
Personality: Very devoted, playful, and affectionate and thrive on human companionship. Appearing delicate at first, Maltese are not sissies.
Children: Very good with older respectful children.
Housing: Very adaptable to different living conditions. Ideal pets for the elderly. Not suitable for those not wanting to maintain their daily grooming needs.
Exercise: Low. Very minimal. They do enjoy a romp or short walk for stimulation.
Training: Intelligent. Trains easily and quickly.
Health: Hypoglycemia, deafness, luxating patellas, and dental problems. More information on Maltese inherited health disorders.
History: The Maltese origin is in the Mediterranean area on an island called Malta. These dogs were raised as companions and were a favorite of the Greeks, Romans and Egyptions. The history of the Maltese has been known for 3,000 years as evidenced in an unearthed dig in Egypt. The first "known" recognition of a Maltese-type dog is around 600-300 BC from documentations of a lap dog existing in the Mediterranean area. By the 17th and 18th centuries, they became attractive companions for the ladies. There are several theories about their history. At one point they were considered to be terriers, and now they are considered to be of spaniel heritage according to the AKC.