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The tiny, silky-haired Maltese is the oldest of the toy breeds and one of the earliest recognized of all dog breeds.
Growing up in a family full of landscapers and carpenters, Amber Kelsey learned all about home and garden topics through osmosis. Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn't necessarily an apartment dog make — plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise. Some dogs are simply easier than others: they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with a wagging tail and a nuzzle; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive.
Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Dogs come in all sizes, from the world's smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if he is compatible with you and your living space. Easy to train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word "sit"), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly.
Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies.
Dogs that were bred to hunt, such as terriers, have an inborn desire to chase and sometimes kill other animals. Some dogs are perpetual puppies -- always begging for a game -- while others are more serious and sedate. Throughout his long history, the Maltese has been given many names, such as the "Melitae Dog," "Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta," the "Roman Ladies Dog," "The Comforter," the "Spaniel Gentle," the "Bichon," the "Maltese Lion Dog," and the "Maltese Terrier." Today, he is known simply as the Maltese. No breed is perfect, and Maltese sometimes are intolerant of small children or other dogs, especially if they have been overly pampered by their people. Even tolerant Maltese are not a good choice for families with small children, however, because they are so small and can be easily injured. If your Maltese has long hair, he can get sunburned on the skin where the hair is parted on the back. Because of their small size and delicate structure, Maltese generally aren't recommended for households with toddlers or small children. HistoryThe Maltese dog is one of the most ancient of the toy breeds, with a history that can be traced back at least two millennia.
Although he survived the fall of the Roman Empire and the Dark Ages, the Maltese was nearly destroyed in the 17th and 18th centuries when attempts were made to breed him to be the size of a squirrel. SizeThe compact Maltese should weigh no more than seven pounds at maturity, with four to six pounds being preferred. Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization.
Like every dog, the Maltese needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young.
Collapsed trachea: Some dogs are prone to this condition, in which the trachea, which carries air to the lungs, tends to collapse easily.
As a rule of thumb, wait until your Maltese puppy is 8 months old to walk very far with him, because his bones are still developing. Keep your Maltese from getting fat by measuring his food and feeding him twice a day instead of leaving food out all the time.
For more on feeding your Maltese, see our guidelines for buying the right food, feeding your puppy, and feeding your adult dog. Coat Color And GroomingThe stunning Maltese coat is pure white, silky, and straight, reaching all the way to the ground. If your Maltese has long hair and develops mats, first try to work out the mat gently with your fingers, using a detangler spray or a coat conditioning oil. Clean the eyes daily with warm water to prevent tear stains, and wash your Maltese's beard after meals.
Many people put the hair on the top of their Maltese's head into a topknot to keep it away from the eyes. Brush your Maltese's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it.


If you notice that your Maltese's cute black nose is turning pink, he might not be getting enough sunshine.
Children And Other PetsMost Maltese breeders will not sell puppies to families with young children. Maltese can get along with other dogs and cats if they are socialized to them at an early age.
These small, hardy dogs have loveable, lively personalities that make them excellent companion dogs just so long as they receive proper training.
These lively, little dogs are natural hams, demanding and thriving on their owners' attention. They need only about 10 minutes of exercise a day and are typically active enough indoors to meet this requirement. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called "easygoing," "tolerant," "resilient," and even "thick-skinned," can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Dogs with a low cold tolerance need to live inside in cool climates and should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks.
Breed isn't the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.
However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds: Some dogs shed year-round, some "blow" seasonally -- produce a snowstorm of loose hair -- some do both, and some shed hardly at all. Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or "herd" their human family members, and they need training to learn that it's fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. When choosing a breed, think about how the dog vocalizes — with barks or howls — and how often.
Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they'll take off after anything that catches their interest. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog. Like all dogs, they must be taught their place in your home, and require proper socialization and basic obedience training. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments. Many believe the breed was developed in the Isle of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea from Spitz- or Spaniel-type dogs. After this nearly disastrous experiment, breeders mixed poodles, miniature spaniels, and East Asian miniature dogs with the breed to save it. A Maltese that weighs less than four pounds at maturity is more prone to genetic disorders and is at a higher health risk in general. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking him to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help him polish his social skills.
Not all Maltese will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed.
Many people paper train their Maltese so they don't have to take them outdoors when the weather is too hot or cold.
Maltese don't have the undercoat typical to many breeds and don't shed much.On the down side, Maltese coats mat easily and become dirty.
Water that has a high mineral content can cause staining, so consider purchasing purified bottled water for your Maltese. Your Maltese could have clogged tear ducts, allergies, or other health problems that are causing the excessive tearing.
Many of them can damage your dog's hair, and never, never allow any products or foreign substances to get in your dogs' eyes.
It's just too easy for a toddler to injure a tiny Maltese by dropping him, stepping on him, or holding him too tightly. They're unaware of their tiny size, however, and must be protected from taking on dogs that are ten or twenty times their size. A first generation Maltipoo has parents which are each purebred Poodle and purebred Maltese.
However, we have to admit that all purebred dogs that we have today are the result of breeding 2 different dog breeds together.
Descended from miniature spaniels and poodles, a Maltese possesses a playful, energetic personality and will keep you busy well into her adult years. Maltese usually get along well with family cats and dogs but are quite willing to take on strange dogs much larger than themselves. Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time owner to manage.


If you want a heat-sensitive breed, the dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you'll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.
Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. Breed isn't the only factor; dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least 6 to 8 weeks of age, and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills. If you're buying a puppy, it's a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you're interested in, so you can ask the breeder about the physical health of your potential pup's parents and other relatives. Dogs that like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you'll need a high, secure fence in your yard. Because they have a long history as companion dogs, Maltese require a lot of human attention and suffer from separation anxiety.
If your Maltese is showing discomfort when eating or after eating, take him to the vet for a checkup. Others believe he was developed in Italy, and still others believe that he was originally from Asia and had a part in developing many of the smaller Asian dogs. Maltese are one of the most popular breeds among spectators at dog shows, and frequently win the Toy Group. If your dog is susceptible to this, talk to your vet about prevention and treatment options.
Beautiful though they may be, Maltese become dirty easily and usually must be bathed weekly. Never try to pull the entire mat out at once with the comb or brush, and make sure all mats are removed prior to bathing your Maltese as mats tend to get tighter when wet.
Devoted to their masters, these dogs are very responsive to their environment and will quickly sound the alarm if they hear a suspicious noise or if somebody approaches your door.
As loving as these dogs are with family members, they can be very shy and reserved around people they don't know. Maltese are very sensitive to extreme temperatures and dampness, so they must stay inside most of the time.
No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances.
These breeds generally aren't a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs.
The Greeks erected tombs for their Maltese dogs, while representations of Maltese-like dogs on Egyptian artifacts suggest that they were prized by that ancient culture.
By the end of the 16th century, the Maltese had become a favorite pet for noble and royal ladies.
It is thought by many that Maltese are the direct ancestors of the Bichon Frise, Bolognese and Havanese breeds.
A reputable breeder will have dogs' eyes certified annually by a veterinary ophthalmologist.
If you don't see a rescue listed for your area, contact the national breed club or a local breed club and they can point you toward a Maltese rescue.
If you keep them sheltered from the elements, these dogs can live to be 15 to 18 years old. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you'll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying. Because he doesn't have an undercoat, the Maltese sheds little, and many people consider the breed to be hypoallergenic. Wherever he lives, the Maltese is responsive to his environment and makes an effective watchdog. The Egyptians and, centuries later, many Europeans, thought that the Maltese had the ability to cure people of disease and would place one on the pillow of an ill person. If you suspect your Maltese has White Dog Shaker Syndrome, talk to your vet about treatment options. This can be very frightening to your Maltese, but as soon as he calms down, the reverse sneezing stops. Numerous painters, including Goya and Sir Joshua Reynolds, included these small dogs in their portraits of beautiful women.



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