Maltese: A Graceful and Loyal Toy Breed
The Maltese is one of the oldest and most refined of the toy breeds, with a history that can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome. The Maltese was admired by the Greeks for its geometric beauty and artistic elegance, and many breed-specific sculptures and paintings have survived from that era. The Romans considered the Maltese a symbol of status and wealth, and often pampered them with lavish accessories and clothing. The Maltese was also a favorite of royalty and nobility throughout Europe, especially in France, Italy, and England.
The Maltese is a gentle and fearless dog that greets everyone as a friend. He is playful, charming, and adaptable to different situations and environments. He loves to be with his people and enjoys being cuddled and carried around. He is also a vigorous dog who excels not only as a companion but also as a therapy dog and competitor in such dog sports as agility, obedience, rally, and tracking.
The most distinctive feature of the Maltese is his glamorous white coat that covers his entire body. The coat is straight and thick, and falls all the way to the floor. The coat is silky and soft to the touch, and does not shed much. The coat requires regular grooming to keep it clean and tangle-free. Some owners prefer to keep their Maltese in a shorter haircut for easier maintenance.
The Maltese belongs to the Companion Dogs group and the Toy group of the American Kennel Club (AKC). He stands 8 to 10 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs up to 7 pounds. He has a life span of 12 to 15 years. He is generally healthy, but may be prone to some health issues such as eye problems, dental problems, skin allergies, and patellar luxation.