Friday, August 22, 2008

About Maltese

About Maltese

One of the most adorable pet around, Maltese are well known to their luxurious silky white coat hanging straight to the ground on each side of a center part line. Maltese is a small breed of white dog belonging to the toy group. The Maltese does not shed and is covered from head to foot with a mantle of long, silky, white fur. Their fur is compared to carpet.

The Maltese descended from a Spitz-like dog which was then bred for hunting in the marsh and wooded areas of Southern Europe. Historical evidence leads one to believe that the Maltese may well have been introduced into the gene pools of the Lhasa Apso, the Tibetan Terrier, the Tibetan Spaniel, and even the Pekingese. Hard acheological evidence places the Maltese in a prominent place in Egyptian culture around 300 to 600 B.C. where they were virtually worshipped as members of the royal families. Maltese images were found on Greek vases dated around 500 B.C. and the first known written history of the breed was actually authored by the Greek philosopher Aristotle around 350 B.C., where he attributed the origin of the breed to the Island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea - hence the name "Maltese". The origin of the Maltese has also been attributed by other historians to the Italian town of "Melitae", which could have also given rise to "Maltese" for a breed name. Through time the Maltese has been labeled with many names - as the "Melitae Dog"; as "Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta"; as "The Roman Ladies' Dog"; as well as being called the "Comforter"; the "Spaniel Gentle"; and the "Bichon".

The Maltese is spirited, lively and playful. Gentle, loving, trusting and devoted to its master. Highly intelligent. Good at learning tricks if he feels sufficiently rewarded. Bold and quick to sound the alarm in case of suspicious noises. It is a classical companion dog; graceful and lovable. Maltese love to play outdoors but have a penchant for jumping in puddles. A bath must follow! These dogs can be snappish with inconsiderate children and may be difficult to housebreak. Maltese need a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs. Dogs who do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe open area off lead, such as a large fenced in yard.

Maltese have no undercoat, and have little to no shedding if cared for properly. Like their relatives Poodles and Bichon Frisé, they are considered to be largely hypoallergenic and many people who are allergic to dogs may not be allergic to the Maltese. Daily cleaning is required to prevent the risk of tear-staining. Regular grooming is also required, to prevent the coats of non-shedding dogs from matting. Many owners will keep their Maltese clipped in a "puppy cut," a 1 - 2" all over trim that makes the dog resemble a puppy. Maltese are prone to sunburn along the hair parting; skin, respiratory, eye and tooth problems, and slipped stifle. Some may be difficult to feed with weak, upset digestion. They may get the chills, and they experience discomfort in hot weather. Maltese should be kept out of damp areas. It is a good idea to paper-train this breed - to avoid going out in weather extremes.

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