maltese bichon

The Maltese is a toy-sized breed of dog that emerged from the Mediterranean, with Italy taking sponsorship of the breed. The origins are associated with Italy, Malta and the island of Mljet (Croatia). Even so, its origin is somewhat uncertain. The breed was genetically selected to achieve smaller and smaller individuals and thus reach a miniature size. In this AnimalExpert breed sheet we present the characteristics, character and care of the Maltese Bicho.

Origin of the Maltese

As we mentioned in the introduction, the origin of the Maltese dog is not entirely clear . The vast majority of historians associate the origin of the Maltese bichon with the island of Malta, in the south of Sicily, although the International Cynological Federation (FCI) does not describe it that way. There is confusion between the data and evidence of the existence of bichon dogs 2,000 years ago and the origin of the word “Maltese.”

The FCI explains that it is a Semitic derivation of the word “malàt” and that Maltese does not mean that it comes from Malta. On the other hand, it was the Phoenicians who brought the ancestors of this race from Egypt more than 2,000 years ago. In the tomb of Ramses II you can see stone statuettes in the shape of today’s Maltese.

What is known with certainty is that the bichon dog was a great representative of high royalty . In addition, it is worth mentioning that the first written record of the Maltese dog was made by Aristotle, who described it approximately in the year 370 BC. Finally, we cannot forget that this breed of toy dog ​​almost disappeared from the “breeders” of the 17th and 18th centuries. and their desire to make them perfect and smaller.

Finally, in 1954, and under patronage, the FCI recognized the Maltese dog as an official breed.

Physical characteristics of the Maltese

The Maltese is a very small dog that usually weighs between 3 and even 4 kilograms and is no more than 25 cm tall . Due to its size, it adapts perfectly to small apartments. Some of the most notable characteristics of the Maltese are the following:

  • The nose is black : in addition to having a snout of medium length and a slightly pointed shape.
  • It has floppy ears : they are very characteristic of the Maltese dog, plus they have a lot of hair on them.
  • The eyes are black : just like the truffle.
  • Its tail has a curly elevation : it is located on the back and is very thick.
  • It has a very proportional build : both the head and the body correspond in size and, in addition, the skull has a rounded shape. Even so, its legs are short.
  • The white coat stands out : a single layer of smooth, long and silky fur.

Maltese Bichon Colors

Organizations only allow the color white , although we can find it with gold spots. If we review history, due to the multiple crossings that were made with the Maltese bichon in the 18th century, up to nine different breeds emerged with different colors, obviously.

From 1902 to 1913, bichon dogs of solid or parti colors were accepted in England. Even so, it was not until 1950 that white was established as the only color of the Maltese.

Since you already know the characteristics of the Maltese, you may be wondering : How do you know if a Maltese is authentic? We tell you the answer in this AnimalWised post.

Character of the Maltese

In general, the Maltese is a happy and fun dog, as well as affectionate with its caregiver. He is a good companion dog and not at all lonely, he likes to enjoy people and pets. He has a protective nature and will love having toys and other items to chew on at his disposal. It should be noted that the Maltese dog is somewhat nervous and playful and therefore suffers if it spends too much time alone at home.

It is an ideal dog for adults although it may not relate well with children who demand too much play, manipulate it excessively or treat it like a toy. If we explain to them how they should relate to the dog, there will be no problem.

We must also keep in mind that due to its small size, the Maltese dog can be seen as a threat to other dogs. Therefore, we will encourage you to play and socialize with other pets, that way we can enjoy the company of several dogs at the same time.

How to socialize a puppy dog ​​correctly? Discover the answer in this AnimalWised post.

Maltese Bichon Care

Maltese dogs require extra care that is not as common in other breeds. These cares are:

  • Feeding : it is highly advisable to feed them with good quality feed, since it is a dog that will ask us pleasantly and excessively for human food and if we encourage it, it may reject the feed. Giving him human food is a problem, since it does not have some enzymes that catalyze certain foods and this can initiate an allergy.
  • Exercise : They do not require much physical exercise and walking twice a day will be enough to cover their needs. Ideal for people with limited mobility. Even so, we recommend taking walks with him so that he does not lose the social habit and enjoys the surroundings.
  • Grooming : Due to its long, fine hair, we must take care to brush it regularly with special combs. It is possible that skin problems or knots may appear and that is why some owners bathe too frequently (normally every month and a half). At the hairdresser they will inform us about the types of haircuts for the Maltese. The most characteristic is to leave their hair long and simply cut the ends (typical in exhibitions) although many prefer to cut their hair drastically, achieving the puppy effect. We will also take into account daily grooming that includes cleaning the eyes, tear ducts and muzzle. It is a good way to prevent the formation of brown stains around these areas. You may be interested in checking out How to Bathe a Maltese .

Now that you know what the characteristics of the Maltese are and how to care for them, let’s focus on their education.

Education of the Maltese

It is a very intelligent dog that will have no difficulty learning tricks and being disciplined. They can be trained to do pirouettes, stand on their hind legs, etc. Of course, it is essential to socialize him, since he is a small alarm dog and when the doorbell rings, he may begin to show hostile attitudes towards people who do not show him affection or attention.

As for the relationship with children, it is somewhat complicated. Both because of their long hair and their special character, it does not always fit well with them. What the Maltese likes is to be treated with respect and affection, never with blows or hair pulling. Although it is not a generality, it may not be the most suitable dog for them because they can get angry if they do not feel well. In addition, due to their small size, it is common that they can break bones or fracture if children play too roughly with them.

The Maltese perfectly accepts the company of other dogs and pets, although it has a predilection for those of its own breed. He is very communicative and active, so he will play elegantly with his companions.

Maltese health

Although in general, the Maltese is a healthy dog, it can have some health problems or diseases such as:

  • Knee or patella problems : being overweight aggravates and promotes this disease. Therefore, we will ensure that the doses of food it receives are appropriate for its size and daily physical activity.
  • Allergies to certain human foods.
  • The type of hair can also cause conjunctivitis or eye irritation .

Other diseases that affect them may be cancer, heart disease or kidney failure . Regular visits to the veterinarian will prevent and facilitate the detection of these problems.

Where to adopt a Maltese?

Now that you know the Maltese dog, its characteristics and care, you are probably thinking about adopting one. Whether it is because of its spectacular physique or its curious character, the Maltese is a dog that needs attention because, as we have mentioned before, it does not tolerate loneliness well.

The good thing about the Maltese dog is that it is a very popular breed of dog, so in Spain there will be no problem finding it. You can go to any animal shelter or shelter to see if they have a purebred specimen.

In the event that it is not there, at ExpertoAnimal we want to emphasize that the important thing when it comes to having a dog in our life is not its physical appearance, but rather giving it the best possible care.

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