A Brief Look at Maltese Dogs

  • 18/06/2013

This beautiful little dog can be seen in art objects dating back as far as 3,000 years! The Maltese dog breed's exact origins are uncertain - they may have obtained their name from the Island of Malta, or from the Italian town of Melita.

Maltese dog fanciers were widespread throughout most of continental Europe, and these stunning small white dogs were especially popular in Britain during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603), having been brought to Britain at the time of the Roman invasion or by returning Crusaders. The Maltese was one of the first of the purebreds to be exhibited at dog shows in North America.

The Maltese is affectionate, intelligent and sturdy, and loves to romp and play - especially with children. This tiny breed measures up to 10 inches at the shoulder and weighs up to seven pounds maximum. Maltese dogs have a gorgeous, long, pure-white, silky coat that hangs straight to the ground from a center part running from nose to tip of tail. It's expressive dark eyes and dark nose, lips and eye rims enhance the breed's exquisite face.

A very well established dog breed, the Maltese, when bred by a reputable breeder will have minimal health problems. The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for the so-called "Teacup Maltese puppies" that can be found through online classifieds and in pet stores. These smaller than average puppies tend to have a wide range of health problems, including everything from neurological issues to metabolic disorders. They are as delicate as flowers, and can easily be harmed or injured.

If you are thinking about adding a Maltese dog or puppy to your family, great care should be taken to find a reputable Maltese breeder who places the health, well-being and longevity of her puppies before profiting from an unfortunate trend. Choose the right breeder, and you can be assured of getting a Maltese puppy that will provide you and your family with many years of love, joy, laughter and companionship.

Grooming requirements for the Maltese dog are fairly intensive - that gleaming white coat needs daily brushing to stay tangle-free and frequent bathing to keep it sparkling white, even if you choose to give it a shorter 'pet' trim. Your Maltese will also need their ears cleaned regularly to guard against yeast infections that can plague floppy eared breeds, and will also need nails trimmed and eyes wiped.

If you don't mind the grooming regimen, however, the Maltese will more than make it up to you in love and devotion. Maltese dogs are a great choice for elderly or disabled people, since it's exercise needs are minimal. A wonderful choice for apartment dwellers too!

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