How much do you know about the Maltese Terrier? This small breed is well-known for its lively, happy personality and friendly disposition. Have you ever wanted a bright, cheerful dog that is curious and low maintenance when it comes to exercise? Do you want your dog to be portable and easy to travel with? Here are a few things you need to know about adding a Maltese Terrier to your family.
Where Does the Maltese Terrier Come From?
Mentions of the Maltese breed have been littered throughout ancient history. This adorable dog originated somewhere between 8,000 and 6,000 B.C. The most likely theory names the Island of Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, as the place of origin. The Maltese Terrier was a popular trading item for sea-faring nations; the breed quickly spread via merchants to China, the Middle East, Tibet, the Philippines, and Japan.
Ancient Egyptians worshipped the Maltese as a God, the Greeks depicted them on pottery, and famous poets in Rome described the sweet pups in detail. These dogs were considered prize pets by royalty and the aristocracy of multiple ancient and modern countries. Today, the Maltese is still a prevalent breed.
What Does a Maltese Terrier Look Like?
A Maltese’s physical appearance is quite distinctive. They are characterized by a compact and solid body with a long, flowing double coat. Maltese Terrier’s coats are usually soft, fluffy, long, straight, and white. Their coats are also hypoallergenic. Coats with lemon or light tan coloration mixed in are also acceptable in the breed standard. They have a compact body, big, dark eyes, and a flowy gait. A Maltese stands 8 to 10 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs up to 7 pounds.
What Is the Personality of a Maltese?
Maltese are playful, happy little dogs. They are known for rather big personalities contained in a small body. Their love of play will see them running around their home, chasing small toys, and engaging in playtime with their humans. Maltese usually get along well with other small dogs as well as cats. They are kid-friendly but do better with older children, as young children can accidentally injure the small dog.
Maltese Terriers are faithful lapdogs; they form strong bonds with their owners and enjoy nothing more than cuddling and spending time with their human families. As a result, Maltese often do not do well when left alone for long periods.
How Hard Is It To Train a Maltese?
Maltese are intelligent animals that have been humans’ companions for thousands of years. This breed has learned how to get exactly what they want from their people in that time. So not only is the Maltese athletic and talented, but they are also stubborn and determined.
Their quick mind can make learning tricks and behaviors a breeze, but their hard-headed tendencies mean that many training sessions will require a boat-load of patience from their people. Harsh methods like shouting or punishment will likely cause your Maltese to shut down in a training set. Instead, stick with positive reinforcement and keep training sessions short and fun. If you feel frustrated, end your training session as soon as possible. With patience and consistency, training your pup can be an enjoyable pastime for you both.
How Much Exercise Does a Maltese Terrier Need?
Despite their small size, Maltese Terriers have quite a bit of energy. Luckily, their size means that they do not require vast amounts of exercise to tire out like some other dog breeds. A quick walk or play session in the yard, twice a day, is more than enough to burn off the excess energy of your Maltese. A tired dog is a well-behaved dog; dogs that are not provided with adequate exercise will become bored and resort to undesirable and possibly even destructive activities.
Do Maltese Have Health Problems?
Purebreeds can experience their fair share of health issues, and Maltese are no exception. After centuries of genetically selecting Maltese for desired physical characteristics, such as their small bodies. Their long, heavy coats also contribute to their likelihood of overheating.
This breed is generally healthy, but they can experience:
- Reverse sneezing
- Portosystemic shunts (PSS)
- White Dog Shaker Syndrome
- Patellar Luxation
- Canine Inherited Deafness
- Eye issues
- Dental issues
Smaller dogs often have longer life spans than larger dogs, and a Maltese Terrier has an average life expectancy of between 10 and 15 years.
How Do You Groom a Maltese Terrier?
The long, soft coat of the Maltese Terrier requires regular grooming. You should brush them several times a week to keep the coat from matting or tangling. Their white coat will only stay white if you properly condition it regularly, so plan to bathe them every few weeks as needed.
Comb their mustache every day and clean the corners of their eyes gently with a damp washcloth. Keep the hair over the eyes pulled back or trimmed, so their eyes do not become irritated. Have your Maltese trimmed into a “puppy cut” by a professional groomer for easier maintenance. Maltese are prone to dental disease, so you should also brush their teeth regularly.
Does a Maltese Make A Good Pet For a Family?
A Maltese is an adorable and loving dog. They bond pretty strongly with their human companions and love nothing more than to snuggle up on your lap. They get along with all other household members, though young children or big dogs may harm them accidentally due to their small size. Maltese Terriers will likely love every person who comes into your home, making them the ideal small family dog.