Maltese are small, elegant dogs. At dog shows, the spectators are mesmerized by the white beauty with silky fur. But Malteser also have a lot to offer beyond the show. Find out everything about the Maltese dog breed here.
Maltese are among the most popular pedigree dogs among dog lovers. Here you will find the most important information about Malteser.
Size: 20-25 cm at the withers
Weight: dog 4 kg, bitch 3 kg
Coat length: long
Coat color: white
Country of origin: unknown, Mediterranean
Origin of the Maltese
The breed name Maltese immediately makes almost everyone think of the holiday island of Malta, but it is derived from the Semitic word “màlat”, which can be translated as port or refuge.
Maltese are an ancient breed, the exact origin is unclear. The task of their ancestors was to make life difficult for rodents such as rats and mice in the coastal cities of the central Mediterranean. The dogs were used in warehouses and on ships to protect goods from being eaten during transit. In this way Maltese became widespread.
The little mouse scare later became a valued companion of the kings and princes in ancient Rome. So the Maltese increasingly became lapdogs and still are today.
The appearance of the Maltese
Maltese are very small dogs, males have a shoulder height of between 21-25 cm, females are a bit more delicate with 20-23 cm. The body length exceeds the height at the withers. Weighing between 3 and 4 kg, Maltese are typical lap dogs.
The head of the Maltese is rather broad, the skullcap transitions with a clearly recognizable curve into the nose with a straight back. The muzzle is completed with a black, voluminous nose. Together with the extremely large, round and just as dark eyes, the edges of which are also darkly pigmented, the striking facial expression of the Maltese is created.
Coat and colors of the Maltese
The most striking feature of the Maltese is their long hair. The fur is always pure white, a pale ivory tint is also permissible as a breed characteristic, but not desirable. The coat has a silky structure and no undercoat. If the Maltese’s fur is left to grow, it almost reaches the ground when parted on the back. This is often the case for exhibitions, while otherwise it can also be cut shorter.
Temperament and upbringing of the Maltese
The Maltese dog breed stands for perfection and elegance. The representatives of the breed also show this through their movements: they are very soft, lively, and fluid. Therefore, when a Maltese trots, it almost looks like it is gliding across the ground.
With correct and species-appropriate utilization, Maltese are cheerful, curious, enthusiastic about movement and adventurous. At the same time, Maltese are very affectionate and need constant contact with people. Here it is good that you can actually take Malteser everywhere with you without any problems. Their little bed fits easily in a corner of the office, with a weight of three to four kilograms they can be taken into the aircraft cabin as hand luggage and a well-socialized and well-trained Maltese is also a welcome guest in hotels and restaurants.
When training the Maltese, it is important to get the dogs used to grooming from a young age. Place the puppy on a table daily, brush and comb its coat, and clean its eyes, ears, and teeth. If he keeps still, he will be praised and given a tasty reward. Familiarizing the Maltese with the bath and hair dryer can’t do any harm, because that’s how he learns that these care measures are among the pleasant things.
Keeping and caring for the Maltese
It is important to note that small dogs are also dogs that need exercise and variety.
If you come across barking, leash bullying Maltese on a walk, you don’t see the typical characteristics of the breed, but the consequences of a lack of education and socialization. But if you make an effort with your companion, you will be rewarded with a friendly dog that likes to be cuddled, does not need hours of hiking, is hardly motivated to hunt and can also be kept well in the city apartment when it gets its daily walks.
A special feature of caring for the Maltese is daily grooming. Knotted, matted and dirty, it is not only unattractive to look at, the Maltese also does not feel comfortable in its own skin. If you want to enjoy the Maltese in all its beauty and with a long flowing mane, you have to use a comb and brush every day and regular bathing is also part of it. For the average Maltese lover, it’s more likely to end up with a shorter haircut or clipping. You either learn the so-called grooming yourself, or you have to calculate the costs for a dog hairdresser.
If you bathe a Maltese, you should treat its fur like a valuable Angora sweater: Don’t rub it, just gently massage in shampoo or conditioner and wash it out thoroughly with the line. Even when pre-drying with a towel, do not rub, but squeeze the moisture out of the hair. Shampoos and conditioners are now so well adapted to dog skin that there is nothing wrong with a monthly bath. The dog only has to be completely dry before it can go outside in cool temperatures.
Grooming also plays a role in keeping a dog healthy. Skin inflammation quickly develops under hair felts and a breeding ground for fungal infections develops.
You also have to be careful with your eyes. Hair pricking the eyes of Maltese horses quickly causes eye irritation and the associated tearing, which leaves unsightly brown marks. The long hair on the top of the Maltese’s head is often held together with rubber bands and bows.