The Maltese dog breed has been confused with the Shih Tzu dog breed having a similar stance and coat, even though their relatives are the Bichon Frise and Poodle. Maltese puppies naturally have a short coat similar to sport cut Shih Tzu’s making the Maltese puppies similar as well. The Maltese contains a silky shiny coat that can make the dog look fake and made out of plastic at times. The coat is long and typically covers their entire body giving the appearance of a block of hair. The block of hair I am describing can be seen in these Maltese Dog Paper Towel Holders. They are solid white and can contain light shades of lemon, orange, or cream. Their nose and eyes are black with a very short muzzle; puffy tail hung over their back, small ears covered by hair, and head that is slightly rounded. Maltese dog signs properly show these characteristics and features. Their dimensions make them a square breed with males coming in at 8-10 inches and females 7-9 inches. Belonging to the Toy group of dogs; males weigh 3-7 lbs. and females weigh just 2-7 lbs. Maltese dog figurines display their size accurately.
The temperament of the Maltese breed is almost identical to our Pomeranian. They suffer from separation anxiety, they do very well indoors or with a small yard, they are highly active indoors, their energy never wears down, are great apartment dogs, and are tremendously playful, energized, and animated. Unfortunately one of their recognized traits is barking. Considered to be nuisance barkers a large percentage of people throughout Korea and other countries have sadly abandoned their Maltese dogs. Many owners also dislike their “reverse sneezing”. It sounds like a honk or snorting sound. They will make the noise when exceedingly excited, when they first wake up, or from seasonal allergies.
Maltese need grooming, but not nearly as much as you would think considering their coat. This is because they have no undercoat which makes knotting less likely to occur. They are hypoallergenic dogs which make them a great choice for people with allergies to dogs. The breed suffers from tear stains which occur when the dog’s eyes water and leave stains under the eyes. To avoid staining simply use a metal comb with warm water and comb the stained area.
The Maltese is another ancient dog breed and what do you know … they are a toy breed, not a large breed, go figure :-). People to this day still argue about the origins of the breed that dated back over 8,000 years ago. Most experts believe the breed went from Europe to the Middle East during the time of the migration of the nomadic tribes. Originating from Italy, the Maltese is believed to have descended from dogs in the Central Mediterranean Area.
Similar to all toy breeds, the Maltese is incredibly healthy with few health issues. Most of the following issues you will never encounter with your Maltese but are the most common issues seen with the breed. Aberrant Cilia which is a disease where eye lashes grow in abnormal directions and can potentially cause ulcerations, asthma, hip dysplasia, liver shunts, hydrocephalus, collapsed trachea which is common with toy breeds, and colitis which is when the canines colon becomes swollen, inflamed, and unbearable. The breed’s average lifespan is 12-15 years making them a companion for many years to come!