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Maltese

 

Whoever said “it's a dog's life” to complain about their circumstances probably wasn't talking about the Maltese. A Maltese once inherited $12 million dollars, making it the world's richest dog! Businesswoman (and famed tax-evader) Leona Helmsley left her Maltese, Trouble, many millions upon her death.

This pampered pooch is an ancient breed. In fact, the Maltese just might be the oldest lapdog breed. Classical philosophers waxed poetic about these dogs: Aristotle described them as a “cloud floating in the sky.” Today, Malteses make for stylish travel buddies and fantastic companions. They are a sprightly, eager breed.

Originally from Island of Malta, this small-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 6-8 pounds and lives an average of 12-15 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Toy group.

 

AKC RecognizedY
Breed's original pastimeCompanion
OriginMalta
Breed groupToy
Average lifespan12-15 years
SizeTiny
Bark factorModerate
AKC Ranking20
FamilyCompanion, terrier, water dog
Date of originAncient times
Original function Lap dog
Today's functionCompanion
Average size of maleHeight: 9-10 Weight: 4-7
Average size of femaleHeight: 9-10 Weight: 4-7

 

Other nameBichon maltiase
Energy level High energy
Exercise needs Low
Playfullness Very playful
Affection level Moderately affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Friendly
Friendliness toward strangersShy
Ease of training Moderately easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs High maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance High tolerance

BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

WHAT IS A MALTESE'S PERSONALITY LIKE?

Loving, playful, and affectionate, Malteses have lovely temperaments and make wonderful family pets. This small dog can be fragile and should be supervised when playing with kids. They get along well with older children, who are less likely to play too “ruff” with them. Your Maltese loves a lap to sit on.

WHAT IS MALTESE BEHAVIOR LIKE?

Malteses are surprisingly sturdy and versatile considering their small size. They love to play and learn tricks. This is an active breed, but these dogs are not built for long distances — remember, she's taking four or five steps for every one of yours.

HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A MALTESE?

Look: your Maltese is smart and charming, and she knows it. If you want to spoil this dog, she's not going to argue with you. But this breed has a tendency to become overly reliant on their owners; it's important to start training a Maltese early that it's okay to be alone sometimes.

CARE & HEALTH

HOW MUCH DO MALTESES SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?

This breed's long, gorgeous white hair is among its most distinctive features. These dogs don't shed much, but they need consistent grooming. A show-ready Maltese will need brushing every day and bathing every week. Even if your fearless fashion-plate isn't destined for the show ring, she'll need regular brushing, clipping and combing to prevent mats and tangles.

WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO MALTESES HAVE?

This is a sturdy breed, though some Malteses can have problems with their teeth. Be sure to brush this dog's teeth regularly!

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