Facts about Maltese Dog: Personality, Care, Grooming, Feeding, and Health

Maltese is a small, trusting and affectionate dog breed, with a glistering long silky coat.

In the toy breed group, the Maltese is considered one of the most intelligent and gentle of the breeds.

Given their lively personalities, the Maltese make an excellent companion for many families. Moreover, this breed makes an excellent candidate to be featured in dog shows.

The Maltese are a loving breed that desires to be loved back; therefore, with proper training, they can be very charming pets.

History of the Maltese Breed 

Being one of the oldest dog breeds, and with their reputation as “comforter dogs”, the Maltese can be traced back to over a thousand years.

The breed's exact origin remains uncertain, but the majority link the Maltese to have come from the Mediterranean Sea specifically the island of Malta. Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, is said to have first included the breed in his work where he referred to as Canis Melitaeus.

Throughout the breed’s long history, he was figured in art and poetry across Europe and some parts of Asia. Also, he was associated with many royal ladies as well as the wealthy as their favorite companion.

Moreover, in the US, the breed was introduced mainly as imports from the British Isles.

Consequently, in 1888, The American Kennel Club registered the Maltese dog breed for the first time. Since then, his popularity has grown exponentially.

Facts about the Maltese Breed

  • The Maltese breed has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
  • They weigh on average 4 to 7 pounds and can reach 8 to 10 inches in height.
  • This breed is covered by a long silky white straight coat where the Romans are credited for this pure white breed.
  • Their black noses and brown eyes look appealing against the white glistering fur hence good competitors in dog shows.
  • Maltese dog breed belongs to the toy group.
  • They are tiny dogs that make excellent lap and purse dogs.
  • Due to lack of an undercoat, this breed typically does not shed thus a suitable pet for people suffering from allergies.
  • The Maltese breed makes good therapy dogs.
  • They are excellent jumpers.

The personality of the Maltese

The Maltese dog breed is gentle, playful, and affectionate.

Alongside their small size, they are lively dogs, thus typically making excellent family pets. They make great companions for kids. This breed also gets along well with other pets in the family but only if they are well socialized.

They are known to be fearless; thus if not well trained, they might try to take on strange dogs even the larger ones. However, Maltese are generally peaceful and are naturally not aggressive dogs. They are friendly and will win over the stranger’s heart or anyone they come into contact with.

Moreover, their devotion to their masters makes it easy to teach them obedience and commands. Unfortunately, the majority of this breed do not excel in housebreaking. Additionally, they love to play and spend time with people.

The Maltese dog breed is energetic and excels in agility thus compete well in dog events and are powerful jumpers.

How to Care for a Maltese 

The Maltese dog breed is smart and eager to please making them easily trainable. Training should start the time you acquire a puppy and bring her home. Through praises and treats, the dog will impressively respond to training.

Aggressiveness is not an acceptable temperament for this breed, therefore, socializing the dog is vital. Socialize the Maltese with people and other animals right from their young age.

Also, being a lap and sensitive dog, it is essential to teach people how to handle the dog without hurting him, especially the kids.

This breed has moderate energy. Therefore, to avoid energy build-up, it is advisable to involve the dog in exercises such as walks or fun activities at least once in a day, to help them release the extra energy. It also helps the dog to stay physically and mentally stimulated.

Like many affectionate dogs, the Maltese needs attention and love and will reciprocate the same alongside devotion. Moreover, avoid leaving the dog alone for long periods to save them from separation anxiety.

Is the Maltese Breed Good with Kids?

The Maltese breed is gentle, patient, and playful thus create a great bond with children and make such good companions. However, the dog should be first socialized with the children. Also, supervision is imperative when the kids and the dog are together, especially for toddlers.

Even though they are good with kids, their small size makes it easy for them to be injured by careless and rough children as they play. Therefore, it is necessary to teach the children how to handle the delicate Maltese with care, love, and respect.

As a result, both the kid and the dog will mutually benefit from great companionship.

How to Groom the Maltese Dog Breed

Regarding the coat type of the Maltese, they require routine grooming. Their coat should be brushed daily and the hair cut regularly to the size the owner prefers.

The Maltese require a bath every 1 to 2 weeks.  Ensure to brush their fur before bathing to remove dead hair and knots. Use a shampoo and a conditioner during bathing. Once done, make use of a soft towel to dry the Maltese well.

To maintain the dog's good dental hygiene, brush the teeth several times a week.

It is also essential to frequently trim and file their nails as well as clean their ears to prevent infections.

Since this breed is prone to showing tear stains and coloration underneath their eyes, it is recommendable to control the problem with a topical medication with products available in pet stores.

How to Feed a Maltese

Maltese are small in size; thus, they don’t consume a lot of food. However, the dog will do better if fed with a high-quality raw diet.

On average puppies require ¼ of puppy food daily. Therefore, ensure that he takes three meals in a day.

Adult Maltese should be fed according to their size and recommendations from a veterinarian and should receive meals twice a day. However, most Maltese will consume ¼ to ¾ of dog food a day.

Avoid feeding this breed with human food and moderate the treats you give to them. Also, overfeeding the dog can lead to obesity placing them at risk of other health problems.

Health Concerns for the Maltese Breed

The Maltese dog breed experience several health concerns. Like many dog breeds, they are susceptible to developing health conditions and diseases that are genetic.

The common genetic predispositions for Maltese include heart disease, liver problems, glaucoma, cataracts, bleeding disorders, dental abnormalities, knee problems, and hypothyroidism.

The Maltese dog breed does not have an undercoat hence mostly suffers from sun burning. It is likely to occur in summer and particularly affects their nose.

However, proper grooming and feeding of the Maltese save them from significant problems such as dental diseases, obesity, and infections like parvovirus, rabies, and distemper.

Moreover, regular exercise is vital for the mental stimulation of the Maltese. Also, ensure regular checkups from a veterinarian.

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