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Maltese Characteristics: The happy-go-lucky and agile Maltese is a breed of small dog classified as a member of the Toy Dog Group (AKC:1888).

The Maltese, is characterized by its sweet, beautiful appearance with a long, soft, trailing, white silky coat and proud, gentle expression.

Other characteristics include prominent cheeks, a black nose and black-edged lips; dark brown, round, eyes; triangular, drop ears; a puffy tail that curls up and over its back and a smooth gait giving the impression that the Maltese glides along. The temperament of the Maltese can be described as Easygoing, Active, Responsive. The coat type of the Maltese is described as long, silky coat in white coat color. 

Due to its characteristics and qualities, the Maltese demonstrated the desired traits of a Companion and Lapdog and is known by its nick name the "Prized Dog of Malta". The origin of the Maltese dog breed was in Malta where it was developed in the Ancient Times.

Maltese Breed Group and Dog Type - Toy Dog Group (AKC:1888): The Maltese is one of the many breeds of dogs that belong to the Toy Dog Group (AKC:1888).

Other names for the Maltese: The Maltese is known by the nickname of the "Prized Dog of Malta". Other names for this breed of dog include the Bichon Maltiase, Maltese Lion Dog, Melitae Dog, Roman Ladies Dog, the Comforter and Maltese Terrier.

Origin of the name: The origin of the name "Maltese" derives from its country of origin in Malta. The breed was originally known as the 'Bichon Maltese' and was one of the many 'Barbichon' dog breeds, later shortened to 'Bichon' the name that was commonly used describe any "small long-haired dog" before breeds were given specific names such as the Bichon Frise.

Maltese History and Origin: The country of origin of the Maltese breed was in Malta. Its ancestors  were exported from ancient Egypt by Phoenician traders to the Island of Malta and other Mediterranean countries. The Maltese was favored by aristocratic ladies of the Roman Empire, hence its nickname "Roman Ladies Dog".

The enchanting Maltese dogs were kept at the royal courts of Europe as lapdogs and were referred to as "Comforters". The Maltese was first introduced to the English court of King Henry VIII (1491 1547) and became popular with the ladies of the court. In 1526 King Henry VIII had issued a decree called the Eltham Ordinances stating that no dogs were allowed at Court except for "some small spanyells for the ladies" which gave rise to the popularity of lapdogs at the Tudor and Elizabethan courts. (Bichon type dogs were called Spaniels in England). A Maltese became one of the favorite dogs of Queen Elizabeth I (1533 - 1603).

One of the earliest written descriptions of the Maltese was in the book "House Dogs and Sporting Dogs", published in 1861 by John Meyrick, who described the breed as "There is not, in my opinion, a more beautiful and interesting pet as the Maltese Terrier". Merrick also went on to state that "The Maltese was a short time ago thought to be extinct, and the good ones are still very rare. Most of the best specimens are imported from the Mediterranean, or are the descendents of recently imported dogs". The Maltese were exported to the United States in the 1800's and the breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1888.

Maltese Modern History: The modern history of the Maltese moved on and the breed is now used as an exuberant family pet and companion.

Maltese Height: The Maltese breed is classified as a small sized dog. The height to the shoulder of a male dog is 8-10 inches (21-25 cm). The height to the shoulder of a female dog is 8-9 inches (20-23 cm).

Maltese Weight: The weight of the small sized Maltese dog, in a male dog is 6.5-9 pounds (3-4 kg). The weight of the smaller female dog is 6.5-9 pounds (3-4 kg).

Maltese Coat Type: - LOW shedding coat The coat type is described as a long, silky coat. The coat of this dog grows continuously, like human hair growth.

Maltese Coat Colors: This dog breed has a white coat color, although there is occasionally a lemon/tan color on the ears.

Maltese Grooming - HIGH Grooming Needs: The dog grooming needs of the Maltese are categorized as high in order to maintain a healthy coat and reduce the risk of skin infections. The high grooming needs of the Maltese is considered to be high-maintenance and requires almost daily brushing and combing. Dog Grooming Requirements should include bathing your Maltese dog on a monthly basis and making regular inspections of the nails, teeth, eyes and ears.

Maltese Litter Size: The litter size of this dog breed ranges from 3-5 puppies. Maltese puppies for sale can be obtained reputable breeders and from rescue centers. The cost of Maltese puppies varies depending on location, pedigree history and the dog breeder.

Maltese Temperament and personality: The temperament and personality of this popular dog breed is described as Happy-go-lucky, Easygoing, Active, Responsive and Agile.

Maltese Exercise Requirements - LOW Exercise requirements: The exercise requirements of this breed of dog is low. The Maltese requires regular daily exercise consisting of approximately 30 minutes every day. This small dog has a smooth, fluid gait with small strides and only requires a fairly slow speed by the owner to meet the dogs exercise requirements. Remember that it would take a lot of extra steps by your dog to keep up with your normal walking pace.

Maltese Diet: A fully grown Maltese should be fed twice a day. A diet consisting of a premium dog food can be balanced with fresh food eaten by the family. The question is What Can Dogs Eat?. Check out our comprehensive list of what dogs can and what dogs cannot eat.

Maltese Health Problems: Potential health problems of the Maltese breed include Patellar Luxation, Entropion. Resolving health problems can prove to be expensive and it is always wise to obtain pet insurance or dog health insurance when buying a dog. Is the Maltese dog breed said to be Hypoallergenic? Answer: Yes (Refer to Hypoallergenic Dogs).

Maltese Lifespan: The life expectancy of dogs vary according to the size, breed of dog and any serious health problems. The typical lifespan of the Maltese breed is 15-18 years.

Maltese Male Dog Names: Male Dog names are most often chosen to reflect favorite names of the owner or the strength, size, coloring and country of origin of the Maltese breed. To give you some inspiration regarding good male Maltese names our small selection might be of help with naming boy dogs. Out top male dog names are: Anard *** Cikku *** Gwanni *** Giljan *** Bertu *** Ganni *** Spiru *** Mikiel *** Peppi *** Nestu.

Maltese Female Dog Names: Female Dog names tend to be softer, prettier and reflect the temperament of the Maltese girl dog. Our top choice of good female Maltese names are Nina *** Marija *** Lela *** Angel *** Bambi *** Tootsie *** Lora *** Pina *** Cupid *** Heidi.

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