The Maltese breed is a spunky little dog. They are the perfect lap dogs, filled with love and playfulness. They fit in your lap perfectly and always makes you smile.
The Maltese wants to be with their owners all of the time, no matter where that is. Perhaps you don’t have a Maltese but you’re thinking that you’d like one? We don’t blame you. They’re awfully cute, and who wouldn’t want one?
Lucky for you, we’ve compiled some of the most interesting facts that you’ll want to know before you bring your white ball of fluff home and fall in love with him or her. Check out the following 11 interesting facts about the Maltese breed…
11 Interesting Maltese Facts
AGE: He or she will be with you for a long time. The lifespan of a Maltese dog is quite long for a dog. They can live up to 16 years, and even longer in some cases.
TENURE: In addition to the lifespan of the Maltese, they have also been around as a breed for a long time! They are believed to have existed over 2,800 years ago in Rome, Greece, and Egypt. Treasured as lap dogs, they have likely known some major players in world history!
ROYAL TIES: As stated above, this little dog has won the hearts of many royals in history. We know that they have been loved truly because we find their personifications and likenesses added to art and pottery from thousands of years ago. They are depicted in ancient Egyptian pottery and art. In ancient Greece, their namesake home of Malta, The Governor of Rome, Plubius, was known to have a Maltese dog that he loved so dearly that we even know her name today: Issa. She was depicted in artwork and even in poetry. Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots, were also both well-known Maltese lovers and breeders.
COLOR: White is their color without any exceptions. The reason for this is that the Romans equated the color of white with divinity. They wanted the animals they bred to have this sacred color. Only those early dogs who were white were allowed to be bred and survive. The Romans believed they had created a god-like breed like no other.
FUR: This beautiful little dog has another surprise for you. They don’t shed! They are hypoallergenic too, so no matter how many in your family are allergic to dogs, it won’t matter with a Maltese around the house. They do need grooming and some trims to keep their fluffy coat from getting too long and tangled. It is advisable to groom them with daily brushings.
NAME: They’ve had multiple other names over the last 2,800 years. Once called the Roman Ladies’ Dog, it became nicknamed the Roman Lion Dog because it has a lionesque quality when clipped with a thick mane. They were even called a Maltese Terrier at one point in modern times. Ultimately, this little beauty has come to be lovingly known simply as a Maltese.
ATHLETIC: Despite their lapdog history, they can also be quite active. They love to jump, climb, romp, and play. The Maltese is an inquisitive little dog that will climb to get to anything they want to explore. So hide your goodies in closed cabinets and drawers!
EMOTIONAL BONDING: Since they have a 2,800-year history of being lapdogs, it should come as no surprise that the Maltese makes for a wonderful therapy and emotional support dog. They love cuddling and fit perfectly in a lap. Their fur is incredibly soft and fluffy, inviting petting and stroking, which can lower blood pressure and calm the mind and body. They’re naturals at it.
LOYALTY: A Maltese might be cute and tiny but he will pretend he is a lion if he thinks you need him. This little dog will offer his help and protection if he thinks you are in danger. It’s a trait that can get them in trouble with bigger dogs. Use caution with your feisty little Maltese and make sure that he doesn’t antagonize bigger dogs and get himself into a situation where he needs you to back him up!
WORTH MILLIONS: Okay, not all of them are. Just one, in particular, was left millions when her owner, developer Leona Helmsley passed away in 2007. Her Maltese Take Trouble became an overnight millionaire dog when she inherited $12 Million. Later, the state government would reverse this and redistribute the will to only leave Take Trouble $2 Million, but that proved to be enough to live her life to the best of her doggy ability. Take Trouble passed away in 2011, four years later.
SIZE: They really are tiny. A Maltese only reaches a height of about 7 to 12 inches, and they weigh as little as 4 to 8 pounds. Most house cats will grow larger than the typical Maltese dog. It’s a good thing that they typically get along. This is one of the reasons that you must be so careful with your Maltese around other dogs. His attitude could easily upset a larger dog and get him into trouble fast!
The Maltese are beautiful, tiny, and full of life. They will love you with loyalty and tenderness, and get along with all members of the family, including other pets.
Her favorite place to be is in your lap or on your bed. No worries, though, because she won’t shed and make your mattress smell terrible. With no specific allergens, you won’t need to be concerned about the allergies that are commonly caused when other pets sleep on your furniture.
She’s a bit of a diva that won’t enjoy getting too cold, so expect that she’ll seek your blanket and curl up like the royalty that she thinks she is. It comes from thousands of years of genetic spoiling.
To own one is to love one. If you don’t have one, you’d be thrilled to add a Maltese to your family. He’ll be great with your kids. Be sure to supervise children with him very closely, however. Remember that they are a small breed and can’t withstand as much rough play as a Labrador might.