Nowadays it’s easy to find a reason to get upset with the world or make up an excuse to stay in bed all day, but we can tell you one thing, if you if your fortunate enough to have a Maltese in your life, chances are he or she is going to put a smile on your face each and every morning!
Just look at these guys, it’s almost as though their “cheerful” little faces are saying…
“Smile buddy, today is going to be a good day!”
And what more could you ask for in a companion animal.
That said however…
Like any dog breed, there are a few things you ought to know about them before you just run out and adopt a Maltese puppy or rescue dog which is why we wanted to take a moment and write about what it might be like to own one of these bundles of joy. This way if you’re ever given the opportunity to own one, you won’t be disappointed if you do.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Maltese Dog Fast Facts
Country of Origin: Malta
Original Purpose: Companion animal or lapdog
Height: 8 to 10 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 4 to 7 pounds
Dog Breed Classification: Toy dog
Life Span: 15 to 18 years
Origin of the Maltese Dog Breed
The Maltese is an ancient dog breed from the Island of Malta. And while he may look like a modern dog, but he has been around for many, many years. In fact, there are historical writings and evidence that seem to indicate that these little dogs have been around since before 300 B.C.
These little guys were known to the Greeks and the Romans as the Melitaie and were often traded for wine, olive oil and other fine things because even early on, folks saw the value of these little guys.
Greek and Roman ladies who loved this dog. He made for a perfect playmate for them, something to occupy themselves with when they were alone at home while the men went off on military campaigns (those where different times back then).
This is why…
The Maltese became known as a “comforter dog” or a therapy dog, one that had tremendous healing powers. He had his uses too: he got rid of all the fleas from the household and since he is a bit suspicious of strangers they do make for pretty good watchdogs.
The first Maltese…
Was brought to the United States in the 19th century. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized him in 1888. He remains a very popular breed in the United States and abroad, and is a favorite toy dog of the rich and the famous.
The Maltese is a small dog, no more than 8 to 10 inches tall at the shoulder level. His small size makes him easy to carry around. He has a Spitz-like curling tail, beautiful eyes and tiny ears.
He is probably…
Best known for his long, flowing silky coat, usually pure white in color. He has long hair which can grow unchecked unless trimmed into a puppy clip. Like other small breeds, the Maltese is a high maintenance dog and requires a lot of grooming. His coat has to be tended to as often as possible, otherwise it can get matted and difficult to manage
Temperament and Personality of the Maltese Dog
The Maltese Lion Dog has always been a companion dog. He is not a working dog by any means. He is no guard dog and he is certainly not a dog you can rely on to defend you against an attacker (not that he won’t try to help, but that’s a different thing.)
That said however…
They do tend to have a suspicious nature and tends to bark quite a lot, especially at strangers. It’s hard to stop him when he starts barking, but he is all bark and no bite – which is a good thing.
He is a dog…
That demands to be loved and will give you a lot of love in return. He is just an adorable little puppy, who brings joy to your world and makes everyone around him happy.
Loyal to a fault…
These guys get attached to his family. He can suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for too long.
He is just a sweet little dog that runs all around the house, follows you everywhere you go and wants nothing more than to cuddle in your lap. How can you not fall in love with him at first sight?
Maltese Dog Breed Health Problems
The Maltese is one of the smallest dog breeds, but he is also one of the healthiest dogs out there. In fact, most small breeds tend to have high life expectancy, and that is the case with this dog as well – he has a life span of 15 to 18 years.
Just make sure that he doesn’t have more dog food than he should, as obesity is a serious concern with this breed, as is tear staining. Here is a list of health issues known to affect this breed.
- Patent Ductus
- Portosystemic Shunts
- Patellar Luxation
- White Shaker Dog Syndrome
- Necrotizing Meningo-Encephalitis
Not all of these conditions may not be life threatening, they can certainly become quite expensive to deal with particularly if they become recurring issues.
This is why…
We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.
Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?
No, probably not. But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?
For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.