Maltese dogs are small. They have a black nose, almond-shaped eyes that can be brown or blue, and large ears against their head. Their silky, white coat hangs down their shoulders to the floor. The tail curls over their back, with part of it hanging down from the base of their tail to the ground.
Maltese dogs have a compact body frame between 6-8 inches long from shoulder to buttocks. In proportion to their body, they have longer legs than other toy breeds with feet that point forward rather than outwards. In addition, their coats weigh more than 1/3rd of total weight, so they must stay in shape to not develop health problems.
The average lifespan of a Maltese is between 12-15 years, but there have been many instances of dogs living up to this age or even older!
The Maltese are often thought to be one of the oldest breeds, with links back to Ancient Egypt. They are believed to have been brought from Asia by Phoenician traders and were common as pets among many ancient civilizations, including Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. The breed was later introduced into Europe by Italian traders around the 5th Century AD.
It wasn't until 1877 that the first written description appeared, which led to its modern-day name - 'Maltese.'
Besides being a popular pet, they were also used for rodent chasing and were prized for their ability to hunt waterfowl. They were also bred as companion dogs and were faithful companions to owners.
Some famous owners include the Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto, who owned a Maltese named Grimalkin. He wrote poems about his dog, which inspired the Disney movie 'Cats Don't Dance.' Another famous owner was Anne of Cleves, who received a Maltese puppy - probably the first Maltese to be brought to England - as part of her divorce settlement from Henry VIII. The breed has been favored by royalty, including Queen Victoria, King Charles I, and The Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna.
Maltese was a favorite of noblewomen in medieval Europe, and paintings depict them as lap dogs. The breed may be descended from a white variety of terrier-like toy dogs brought back to Sicily by crusaders around 1800. Roman aristocracy refined the Maltese's position as a status symbol and fashion statement. A lady wasn't properly clothed without a "Roman Ladies' Dog" peeping out of her sleeve or bosom in the years before Christianity.
The Maltese were, arguably, the world's first "fad dog," a recurring theme in Roman culture, particularly in legends, poems, and fables in which it represented loyalty. (It's not challenging to picture Emperor Claudius' first dog ever named Fido being a Maltese.) Maltese-mania swept the empire, and the little dogs became a fixture of Byzantine society.
The breed is also linked to Saint Paul, the itinerant apostle of early Christianity, who is said to have rescued a wolf from a shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea. According to The Acts of the Apostles, when Paul's cargo vessel wrecked Malta, he miraculously cured the island's Roman governor's father. So it goes that Publius gave the Maltese a home, and the rest is history.
In the 1700s, Maltese were popular as avant-garde fashion accessories in France and Italy, but they didn't come into their own until the end of the 1800s. However, Maltese has been popular in America since at least 1883 when President Chester A. Arthur featured a Maltese on his lap. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1888.
In modern times, Maltese was almost wiped out after World War II when many that Nazi officers had taken as war trophies were never returned. In the 1970s, they were saved from extinction, and their popularity has since skyrocketed.
Today, they are still one of the most popular toy breeds in many countries worldwide.
The Maltese breed has an affectionate personality that makes them good pets for people who want the company of a dog without much exercise requirements. They are considered great companion dogs since they enjoy being with their owners at all times unless they are hungry or tired.
They are friendly towards other animals and children if raised with them. However, if left alone for long periods, they will get anxious and bark. Training them to behave when by themselves may be difficult since they are known to stubbornness at times. They can be trained well, but it requires consistency on the owner's part.
Maltese dogs may also fall into the ranks of aggressive personalities towards other animals or people, exceptionally if their training was not correctly executed during puppyhood; always make sure your Maltese has had plenty of socialization to keep this from happening! If you think your Maltese might have aggression issues, you should immediately take them to a professional dog trainer. The Maltese's energy lasts a lifetime. He may be as energetic in his "senior" years as he was young.
You can recognize their playfulness immediately after seeing the Maltese in action. This breed enjoys many intelligent games, including "pull the hidden toy from under the cabinet with your paw," which is well-known. The Maltese are very loving dogs. He lives for his owner and longs for his attention whenever he has time to devote to him.
One typical behavior of a Maltese dog is called "zoomies," which is a term for their manic playing. For example, a Maltese puppy will charge around the house at full speed out of nowhere, usually accompanied by a loud bark! These bursts of insanity can be prevented through exercise and mental stimulation such as obedience training.
In apartments, Maltese are fantastic dogs. Even though they're energetic, they're tiny enough to run circles around a bit of area.
Their unquestionable loyalty to their owner is one of the things that makes them so appealing as a breed. Because they're naturally vigilant and protective, they may bark. For example, if you live in an apartment near a noisy stairwell, you'll have to spend more time teaching your Maltese not to react.
Maltese can survive in any climate and region, provided they are properly clothed and cared for. In colder climates, they may require a coat; however, they may need to stay inside more frequently in the winter.
The white, silky coat is relatively easy to groom with regular brushing required to prevent matting. The more you brush them, the less shedding will occur. The coat of a Maltese dog does not matter, so it's easy to keep clean without having to brush it very often, maybe once every other day, depending on how much dirt and dust is in their surroundings.
Despite his white coat, washing your Maltese just once a month is sufficient. However, bathing too frequently might have a detrimental influence on the skin and coat, causing natural oils to be lost and leaving the coat dry.
Brown deposits at the roots of the teeth, known as "tartar,"maybee observed when deposits of calcium salts from the saliva are combined with food particles. This appears to be particularly prevalent among youngsters and older dogs. To preserve their teeth in good condition, regular maintenance is required.
Teeth can be lost or suffer damage owing to bleeding and inflammation of the gums. Bad breath and tooth loss can be caused by edentulism. It's critical to brush their teeth regularly, and toothbrushes and dog-style toothpaste are readily available. Ultrasound treatment is only available from a veterinarian who will use sound waves to destroy the deposits. Your Maltese's toenails should be examined regularly. Because your Maltese has light feet, his toenails aren't worn down to length through walking.
The nails should be level with the paw's outline as a rule. They must never be cut right from the front but underneath the pad. It is simple to determine where the "quick" (the vein that runs through each nail) finishes in light-colored nails, but this isn't so obvious in dark-colored nails.
Tear staining is another common problem that affects the appearance of your Maltese. If necessary, clean the area beneath the eyes daily (there are several products on the market for this purpose). The food you give to your Maltese puppy may also play a role in tear staining.
Maltese dogs are lively and playful, but they do not require a lot of exercise. They will be happy playing inside the house for hours. So long as your Maltese gets 2 20-minute walks a day, they will be just fine. However, if walking is not possible, you should play with them instead.
You may go for long walks or to any sort of activity where there will be a lot of walking; however, you should prepare for a rest every 20 minutes or so for your puppy or dog, as well as enough water to rehydrate.
The daily stroll is not only an excellent method to relieve pent-up energy, but it's also an excellent way to train and develop your bond with each other. It also offers mental stimulation through the sights, sounds, and smells they encounter on their journey, as well as social interaction with other dogs they meet along the way. You could also discover that if you take your Maltese to an event that requires a lot of walking, a canine carry sling will come in handy.
Set your desired pace in mind before you begin. You'll want him to be comfortable walking at a fast speed, with an easy-paced stride that is still energetic. Always have fresh water available for your Maltese to drink since they can quickly become dehydrated from exercise or hot weather.
Maltese dogs make great companions if appropriately trained and kept happy by their owners. They love being around people, but care has to be taken not to neglect them or leave them alone for long periods; otherwise, they may develop behavioral issues like barking or chewing things up.
Consistent training that includes praise for good behavior is the best way to go with these small dogs because they are not always obedient, preferring to do what they want. Be firm but gentle when training your Maltese, and you should have success. A Maltese puppy is a very clever creature. They can pick up new behaviors quickly and with enthusiasm. Therefore, Maltese training sessions are an excellent method to develop and strengthen your human-dog relationship.
Make sure you use a lot of encouragement, praise, and rewards (positive reinforcement) when training your Maltese. Continue to challenge your dog, so he doesn't get bored during training sessions that are brief, intense, and enjoyable. Determine to use consistent training methods and repetition to shape the new behavior.
It would be best if you fed your Maltese dog between 1-2 cups of dry food a day. You can also give them some wet food once or twice a week but make sure it's not more than 25% of their daily nutritional requirements. Also, do not leave wet food sitting out all day since this will cause health problems for your pet. Always store leftovers in the refrigerator and throw away any leftover wet food after 24 hours to prevent bacteria buildup.
The livers of Maltese dogs are tiny. In comparison to their body size, their livers are smaller. When tested, some dogs have a false inflated liver enzyme due to this. The liver is the organ in the body that breaks down and processes proteins, medicines, vaccines, vitamins, chemicals, and other substances. By feeding your dog a high-protein diet, you actively stress and overwork its liver.
The most common error made by dog owners is to give their Maltese an excessive amount of meat or proteins in their diet. In reality, most dog food corporations produce high-protein "small breed" pet food! It's a contradiction in terms! If your veterinarian tells you that your Maltese's liver or ALT test results are abnormal, change how they eat instead of feeding them more protein-rich foods. It's typically easy to 'cure' this problem by switching your dog's diet.
If you feed your Maltese a diet with 18-26% protein, it will be fine, but you may always add carbohydrates to the mix. (Carrots, cooked rice, potatoes, etc.) Carbohydrates are easily metabolized, and they help improve the liver's functioning. Maltese dogs love vegetables; carrots in particular help with their dental health.
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