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Group: Toys (Group 1)
Club: Toy Dog Club Of Victoria Inc (Group 1)
Contact: Christina John
Phone: 0438 845 039

Brief History
The Maltese has been sitting in the lap of luxury since antiquity. Malta lies in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, thus a hotseat for trading between pilgrims, mariners and merchants.  Spices, silk, gemstones and diminutive white dogs were highly sought after. It is likely the Maltese was introduced to the island before the rise of Ancient Greece. Even Aristotle found this dog to be “perfectly proportioned”.  The Roman Empire that followed doted on the Maltese and elevated him to the role of status and fashion statement. It was the Chinese who were the saviour of the Maltese during the Dark Ages in Europe. However, the Renaissance and the enchantment with exploration, art, and style saw his rediscovery and reintroduction to Europe. With his great looks and style, the Maltese was always going to be a mainstay at dogs shows from the onset.

Average Life Span
When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime.
The average life span is 12 to 16 years. 

Despite their ancestry, Maltese are hardy and adaptable pets. They make alert and spirited watchdogs who are fearless in a charming toy dog way, and they are game little athletes on the agility course. Maltese are low-shedding, long-lived, and happy to make new friends of all ages. Sometimes stubborn and determined, they respond well to reward based training.

General Breed Description
Famous for their show-stopping, floor-length coat, Maltese are playful, charming, and adaptable toy companions.  Beneath the all-white luxurious coat is a small but compact dog who moves with a smooth and effortless light carriage. The overall image is one of elegance and style. The sweet Maltese face, with dark eyes and jet-black nose is irresistible. The plumed tail is carried over the back.

Coat and Care Requirements
The long, white coat of the Maltese is eye-catching and glorious. It requires daily gentle brushing and combing to the skin to prevent mats and tangles. Maltese should also have regular baths and coat conditioning to keep their hair looking its best. They have fast-growing nails that should be trimmed regularly. Looking after a full coat is a labour of love and would take numerous hours each week. However, they can easily be clipped back to have a short but stylish hairdo. This look, however, still requires constant upkeep. Alternatively, you may wish to engage the services of a professional groomer once a month. Maltese are prone to dental disease as they get older; their teeth should be brushed frequently, ideally each time their coat is brushed.

Height: 25cms (10ins).

All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about the breed’s health and what health testing the breeder does. The Maltese is generally a healthy breed, however health conditions do occur occasionally. These may include conditions such as luxating patellas and heart anomalies such as PDA (patent ductus arteriosus).  It is recommended that Maltese puppies be bile-acid tested to rule out congenital liver issues such as liver shunt and microvascular dysplasia (MVD).

The Maltese is only suited as an indoor companion. The single coat is not weather resistant so he must have a cosy and warm bed he can call his own. He is an excellent family pet providing young children are supervised when the puppy is young. They make wonderful companions for people of all ages and are ideal for small apartments and city living too. Providing he is well socialised as a puppy, rewarded for good behaviours and given plenty of love and affection, he will make a fine companion indeed.

In Conclusion
Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs.  With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.
Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.
Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular, the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to ANKC Breed Standard:

Registered Breeders