Maltese history starts its origin in South Sicily region of Malta that is a part of the Mediterranean Sea. Merchants use to trade in these areas of Asia, Europe, and Africa.
Ancient breed going back 5,000 years to 3,000 B.C. are the first times there was documentation of the dog. Writing was dominant and being recorded in Africa, Asia and then Europe in chronological order.
All the countries natives and invaders over thousands of years have shown affection and admiration towards this little dog in those regions.
The origin of this dog is unknown. The breed the dog descends from is also unknown to everyone. Aristotle and other prominent members of society in elite positions mention the Maltese.
Like other little dogs as centuries pass the breeders made them smaller. Being bred with Poodles and Spaniels in the 1600’s and 1700’s.
They are known as “The Ancient Dog of Malta” from people who were alive during that time. One of many dogs to have a name in connection with their geographic area.
Came to America sometime around the 1800’s and have been a member of the AKC since 1888.
Maltese are very popular lap dogs and have worldwide recognition all over the major Kennel Clubs. It is hard to go anywhere in the world and not see a Maltese.
Smaller dogs are getting more popular as more people live in apartment buildings. They’ve been a huge part of the jump from ranch dog to lap dog.
Here are the Kennel Clubs that register Maltese dog breeds
- American Kennel Club (AKC)
- Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC)
- Canadian Kennel Club (CKC)
- Kennel Club United Kingdom (KC)
- New Zealand Kennel Club (NZKC)
- United Kennel Club (UKC)
Male Weight: Under 7 pounds
Female Weight: Under 7 pounds
Male Height: 8-10 inches
Female Height: 8-9 inches
- Pure White
Permissible Color but not desirable
- Light Tan
One of the few breeds that only have a single color and that’s it. You will have a hard time finding a full blood Maltese with any other color than white. Keep that in mind when you are looking for a new one out of a litter.
Different Types of Maltese
There is only one type of Maltese but there has been an influx of different types of mixes that have been given names. A Maltese can be bred with different dogs like
- Shih Tzu
For the poodle mix they may feature names like Maltipoo. In the future decades from now we could be looking at a new breed so be on the lookout for this development.
You can count on paying a lot of money for your Maltese. A breeder with documentation of the bloodline from a reputable Kennel Club is going to cost $1,000-$5,000.
Getting a Maltese from a less reputable breeder without documentation from a Kennel Club is going to cost you around $400-$600.
Much cheaper on the wallet, or purse, but you will not have the same certainty regarding the bloodline.
Areas we want to focus on with any dog are the following
- Professional Help
Brush the coat daily for a dog with this type of coat. Make sure you don’t wait and go over three days without brushing. You want to stay on top of this activity.
Combing should be done daily or multiple times per week to keep the coat clean and untangled. There are few things you can do better than to brush or comb the coat every single day.
Bath as you see fit. When the coat is dirty and not looking shiny white take the time to administer a bath to the dog.
Eyes are a big issue with smaller dogs and Maltese are no different. You need to wipe the eyes a lot and keep the water run from drying up or getting an infection.
Keep the nails trimmed. Under our exercise program you will notice that the nails never get long due to the ground and dirt shaving them down slowly. If this isn’t an activity you use, you will need to cut them or hire someone to cut them.
Ears need to be clean at all time for all dog breeds. Clean down at least once weekly to keep dirt and debris from causing an infection.
Teeth can fall out and become rotten. Scrub the plaque build up from their teeth and keep checking on it at least monthly.
Although you may be able to handle much of the grooming sometimes you may need to hire professional help. Find out more Maltese Haircuts that a professional groomer can do for you.
12-15 years is a great lifespan for the Maltese. You can expect to have over a decade to a decade and a half with you dog. That is a long-time frame to have any dog.
Eye Diseases – cataracts, glaucoma, and cherry eye are constant irritations to most small breeds. You need to take the dog to the vet and get attention right away. Staying on top of medical issues will be better than letting them linger.
Deafness – is something that comes from the parents and is given to the puppies in the litter. 80 dog breeds have been put in a group that inherits deafness and Maltese are on the list.
Heart Murmur – older dogs suffer from a heart murmur. It isn’t deadly but is an irregular heartbeat. Vet visits will be the best discovery method you can use to find out. Annual checks and getting shots on time will put the dog in a position to get their heartbeat checked a few times a year.
White Shaker -rare but excitement and stress can have the dog showing an inability to walk. Nobody knows what the cause is, but medication is given to try to calm the dog down.
Patella Luxation – early in the dog’s life they will experience a knee issue with small breeds. Hopefully only a small knee dislocation will happen because they are usually the most that happens with this breed.
Anytime you experience a health issue make sure you get the proper medical attention.
Maltese are members of the legendary toy group. They’re so popular in big cities that have huge apartment building or community housing. These small dogs can be a house pet with a great personality.
Some of the breeds that make up the toy group are
- Brussels Griffon
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Chinese Crested
- Miniature Pinscher
- Shih Tzu
- Yorkshire Terrier
There is no limit to how big these 10-pound dogs are and truly are in the heart of the dog community. Always possessing their own section in every dog park. In this case little doesn’t mean small at all.
Maltese Exercise Needs
Exercise needs are always a function of how the dog is behaving and acting around the house and in the backyard. Never mistake that me and you will never be able to guess the amount. I can’t guess the amount for my own dog.
So how do you find the answer?
Look to your dog’s behavior, especially bad behavior, to tell you the story of how much to give them. For example, if you use one walk or run a day and it doesn’t solve the problem, we encourage you to increase the workload.
When you reach a point of giving the proper outlet you will notice the behavior problems coming to an end. At some point you will give them exercise and not have any issues for at least three days or less.
That’s when you know the amount is enough. On the other hand, if you see problems are staying the same or increasing then you are not meeting their minimum requirements.
We would recommend for starters
45 minutes in the morning
45 minutes in the evening
Use this as a beginning program and evaluate the behavior from there. Remember, exercise is for behavior modification. That modification is for the dog and for the owner.
A dog without a human will exercise every day without any days off. With that true statement in mind you need to exercise them every day or almost every day to get the dog to act like a dog.
Simply shifting our thought process can lead to huge leaps in our dog training. Mother nature knows best.
Training all dogs will follow these three areas heavily and those areas are an exercise program, commands, and discipline. All three areas need a plan and if not, you will not have a dog that is trained.
Exercising is the most important part of the program. You will notice that your dog is now listening to everything you tell them to do every morning for 45 minutes. Every evening for 45 minutes.
That is the beginning phases to having the dog listening to your every move. Additionally, you are having the dog do something they would do without humans every day.
The need for exercise isn’t my opinion. Look at any animal in the wild and what do you see them doing? Running and walking throughout the entire documentary.
Commands should be viewed from a repetition standpoint. You can get the dog to do all the basic commands by issuing ten commands in a row to form the continuity you both needs.
No need to reinvent the wheel. Do the same thing repeatedly. Use sessions of ten repetitions at a time of the same command until they get the hang of it. Use treats, praise, or life rewards when they make sense.
For example, the dog is going to the bathroom, going outside, before the walk, after the walk, before eating, or while getting water make the dog sit or lay are life rewards.
Lastly, is discipline or what I like to call grabbing the attention from the dog. Get their attention verbal and if not use a correction to get the correction. Make sure the dog sits or lays after the correction.
That is as simple as it gets as far as what you are trying to accomplish.
Are Maltese Good Family Dogs?
Yes, and here are the reasons why
Good with kids
Great with other dogs
Breed isn’t banned by landlords and lawmakers
Doesn’t shed a lot
Excellent guard dog
I mean……. what more can you ask for? I forgot to mention the dog food bill will be lower due to their seven-pound frame.
Maltese are a great family addition and lives for a very long time in dog years. Don’t let the small size fool you they are very protective of their home.
Coming from overseas they have origins that date further back than their first documentation.
You will only find one acceptable color which is white. Once the colors change at all it is looked down upon. There are all kind of names for mix breeds but there is only one Maltese.
Expect to pay a lot of money for a Maltese and prepare to groom or pay for grooming.
You will need to exercise this dog and not make an excuse that they are too little to have an exercise need. Nothing can be further from the truth.
If you have any questions about how to train this dog or any other dog reach out to us and we can help you!