Maltese dogs are perfect for small homes with family members who love to play and give cuddles. If you have a small apartment or limited space at home, then this lap dog would be the perfect pet to have for singles who live on their own. This breed looks like a little royal with their long straight coat but can be quite the energetic pup when given a chance.
Maltese Dogs & Puppies | Dog Breeds
- Fierce and bold
Despite the small size, Maltese dogs can get feisty even when facing bigger dogs. They can also become good watchdogs as they tend to bark at strangers and dogs. Due to this, it may result in excessive barking and some aggression, if not kept in check.
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On the other hand, they love being around people so much that they can train easily. However, their intelligence and self-confidence may push them to act like the pack leader. Make sure to establish a chain of command with you as the leader.
This breed loves being cuddled and pampered, however, spoiling them will only bring more harm than good. So make sure your pup gets the right amount of care and discipline at an early age.
Size & Color
A full grown Maltese should grow to 8 to 10 inches tall for males and 8 to 9 inches for females. Ideal weight should be between 4 to 6 pounds but should not be more than 7 pounds. Although “teacup” pets are all the rage nowadays, do not get fooled with incredibly tiny Maltese dogs. They are more prone to genetic diseases and other health issues.
The Maltese coat is long, silky white hair, giving them an almost royalty-like appearance. People who do not like long hair on dogs may get them groomed and cut short. However, if allowed to grow, the Maltese’s hair can fall to the floor in a silky cascade of white fur.
If cared for properly, you won’t have to worry much about your Maltese pet. However, like other dogs, they can be prone to certain diseases like dental problems, deafness, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), hypothyroidism, and hypoglycemia.
Other diseases you also need to watch out for are:
- White Dog Shaker Syndrome – Primarily affecting white dogs, Maltese dogs with this syndrome often cannot control their bodies. They develop tremors and rapid eye movements that are not usual for canines. However, this should not affect personality. A vet can help you with treatment options for this sickness.
- Patellar luxation – When the kneecaps get dislocated, it causes pain when the dogs walk. Although extreme cases can stop dogs from walking, others have lived relatively normal lives with this disease. Ask your vet about possible treatments for this illness.
- Portosystemic liver shunt – This disease happens when an abnormal vessel does not allow blood to pass through the liver, stopping it from being cleansed.
- Collapsed trachea – This happens when the trachea collapses quickly, making it hard for air to enter the lungs. A symptom of this illness includes a chronic, harsh cough that sounds like a “goose honk.”
If you got your Maltese while it’s still a puppy, make sure to have followed all the needed shots for immunization. If possible, ask for clearance certificates from Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) to rule out hip dysplasia and from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) for eye diseases.
If taken care of properly, a Maltese dog can for 12 to 14 years. Make sure to give your dogs ample time to exercise. If you don’t have a spacious yard, then go on walks or play catch with them. Also, give them the shots they need as well as the right nutrients with their meals.
Food & Diet
Feed your Maltese twice a day with a quarter to a half cup of high-quality dry food. Always have a bowl of water ready for when he gets thirsty. Be careful not to feed your dog too much to avoid them becoming overweight.
- Cleanse eyes daily
- Brush and comb hair daily
- Bathe weekly
- Clean ears every week
- Remove ear hair
- Trim nails once or twice a month
Because of their white hair, Maltese dogs can be prone to tear and face stains. Eye boogers can get accumulate and harden when not cleaned properly. Make sure to cleanse the area around their eyes daily.
Dogs with long hair can get tangled easily. The Maltese’s straight long hair needs to be brushed and combed daily to avoid tangles and matting. If matting does happen, untangle its hair using your fingers and some detangler spray or oil before trying to brush through it. Don’t get them wet as it may cause the tangles to become tighter.
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Bathe your pet weekly as Maltese dogs can get quite dirty. You should also clean their ears every week. Having long hair that covers the ears, an infection may develop in ears if not properly cleaned out. Trim your dog’s nails once or twice a month as well.
Considered as one of the most ancient toy dog breeds in Europe, these dogs have a very colorful history. They were reportedly first discovered in Malta in 1500 BC by Phoenician sailors traveling to the island for business. However, others believe the Maltese came from places like Asia and the Mediterranean. Whatever the truth was, these dogs were able to spread throughout the world.
They were introduced to England in the 1300s and later arrived in the United States in 1877.
The Maltese became a favorite of women in the peerage for their small size and pure white coat, causing the breed to grow in popularity in England in the 1300s. But they have been artist’s favorites from way before that. Depictions of the kind have been seen in ancient art pieces, on Egyptian tombs, since way before the Phoenicians noticed them. Even Aristotle mentioned the breed.
Need more information about Maltese dog breeds? Check this video out.
This popular toy dog breed will look cute on your lap! Although there are some personality issues with the Maltese, they make up for it with their intelligence and playfulness. If you’re particular about your dog’s lineage, then this breed is just right for you.
Will you be getting one as your next pet? Or do you have one already? Share your experience with us in the comments section below!