7 Best Known Facts About the Maltese

In just a few moments, you'll be loaded with Maltese knowledge. So, whether you're already a Maltese enthusiast or thinking about adding one to your life, you’ll be a pro!

Jan 3, 2024By Thalia Oosthuizen
facts about maltese marvel

Picture this: a cute little fluff ball bouncing onto your lap. Sounds like a dream, right? It's like instant happiness! Now, among all the small dog breeds out there, the Maltese totally steals the show. This tiny pup is not just small – it's bursting with personality and charm!

Curious to know more? Well, you're in for a treat because we're about to spill all the deets on these adorable furballs. From their silky, snow-white fur to their undeniable charisma, the Maltese are basically the definition of a four-legged star.

1. The Maltese Dog's Historical Background

Boy Playing the Piano while Petting a Maltese Dog
Image Credit: Pexels

Alright, check this out – the Maltese Marvel is like an ancient canine legend with roots deep in mystery. Rumor has it they first set paws in the world in Malta. These little "bichon" buddies might've even hitched a ride with Phoenician traders, pulling double duty as shipboard food store guards and loyal companions.

Now, about that name "bichon" – it turns out it's got some fancy French origins. "Bichonner" in Middle French means to pamper or spoil, which is spot-on for these charming and totally pampered furballs. Over the years, they became favored dogs among royalty, and before long, dog lovers worldwide were head over heels for them.

Fast forward to lapdog stardom – especially adored by classy ladies. These fluffballs hit the big time in 19th-century Britain and the United States. Their silky coats and playful vibes wrote them into the history books as cherished pets, and guess what? They're still rocking that popularity to this day. Talk about timeless charm!

2. Physical Characteristics of the Maltese Dog

Maltese Dog Biting a Tennis Ball Running on Beach
Image Source: Pexels

Alright, get ready for the lowdown on these little wonders! They're like petite balls of elegance, weighing in at a feather-light of four to seven pounds. Don't be fooled by their size – these guys come with mega personalities. Now, onto the fashion side of things – their silky coats are like the VIPs of grooming, needing some serious pampering to keep that regal vibe intact.

Those flowing locks? Yep, they're the real deal, demanding regular grooming sessions to keep up the royal look. Now, onto the standout features – imagine dark, expressive eyes paired with a cute black nose. It's a combo that makes their face totally irresistible, practically begging for cuddle sessions.

And let's talk expressions – these little dudes are like walking mood boards. The cuteness is off the charts! But here's the real deal – while they're a feast for the eyes, their personalities are where the party's at. So, let's dive into that charming world of theirs!

3. Maltese Dogs’ Temperament and Personality

Maltese Dog Wearing a Jersey Sitting on Wooden Table
Image Source: Pexels

Okay, let's dive into the good stuff – the Maltese’s personality deserves its own spotlight! Get ready for a burst of pure joy as we unravel what makes these little guys so awesome!

First off, these heart-stealers are masters of affection. Seriously, their love knows no limits, making them the ultimate cuddle buddies. But they are not just a pretty face. Don't be fooled by these adorable little pups. They are also some very smart cookies. That's right; they can easily ace anything you throw at them from the Tricks and Commands 101 manual.

But wait, there's more! These furballs aren't merely social butterflies; they practically have a PhD in making new friends. So, whether you're a lone wolf or have a bustling family, they're great companions to have in your corner.

That means if you're bringing one of these little love muffins into your life, you have signed up for one heck of a deal. Get ready for a package deal of love, smarts, and non-stop playfulness!

4. Common Issues and Well-Being Tips

Maltese Dog Sitting and Panting
Image Source: Pexels

Alright, let's talk about keeping your beloved Maltese in top-notch shape because, let's be honest, we all want those tails wagging for as long as possible, right?

Common Health Tips:

  • First up, dental hygiene is a big deal for any pup, but especially for the Maltese. A solid teeth-cleaning routine is a must to keep those pearly whites shining.
  • You'll need to keep an eye on their knees! A luxating patella can be a problem, so watch out for any limping or signs of discomfort.

Well-being Hacks:

  • Regular coat care isn't just for looks; it helps you spot any skin or fur weirdness early on.
  • Treat them to a balanced, quality diet – it's like a daily boost of vitality.

Veterinary To-Dos:

  • Schedule those routine vet visits to catch any issues before they become major dramas.
  • Keep those vaccinations up-to-date for a happy, healthy Maltese.

5. Unique Traits and Quirks of Maltese Marvels

Man Carrying a White Maltese Dog with Harness
Image Source: Pexels

These guys are a breed of their own, and their unique traits are about to steal your heart! Here are a few of their quirks that everyone who has a Maltese pup or is looking to bring one home should know:

  • First things first, the Maltese thrives on the spotlight. They soak up every bit of love and affection you can give. They're not just pets; they're your biggest fans, and quite frankly, they expect you to be theirs, too.
  • Playtime is no joke for the Maltese. Their playful shenanigans and endless energy can turn even the most boring moments into a joyous carnival. Is anyone up for a game of fetch? You better be if you are bringing one of these pups into your life!
  • When it comes to toys, they're like little critics. From squeaky toys to durable chews, the Maltese has a refined taste. Figuring out their favorite toys is like finding the key to their personal, playful paradise.

6. Taking Care of Your Maltese

Man Walking a White Maltese Dog in Garden
Image Source: Pexels

Taking care of a Maltese dog is like having a pint-sized bundle of joy with a fluffy white coat. First things first, grooming is key. Their long, silky hair requires regular brushing to prevent tangles and mats – a daily date with a comb keeps them looking runway-ready. Since they're not the burly type, indoor living suits them best.

A cozy bed and some toys should keep them content, but don't be surprised if they cozy up on your lap – they love the warmth. Maltese dogs are social butterflies, so daily walks and playtime are non-negotiable. Keep them looking dapper with a monthly bath, and don't forget those sparkling eyes – gentle wipes can keep your dog’s vision in perfect shape.

Watch their diet, opting for high-quality dog food to keep their silky coat and sparkling personality in top form. Regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations ensure they stay as healthy as they are cute. In short, Maltese care is a mix of cuddles, combing, and a dash of play – a recipe for a happy, healthy little companion. Cheers to many years of fluffy tail wags and adorable antics with your pint-sized pal!

7. Some Odd Facts

Maltese Dog Sitting on the Grass with It_s Tongue Out
Image Source: Pexels

The Maltese might be small, but they come with a side of quirky facts that add to their charm. Ever wondered why their white coat is so pristine? Turns out, it's not just luck. Maltese dogs were bred to be pampered pets by ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, and their luxurious white fur was a symbol of status.

But here's the kicker – they were also believed to have healing powers, with people placing them on the bed of the sick to speed up recovery. Fast forward to modern times, and these little furballs have a long lifespan, often living well into their teens. Don't let their daintiness fool you; Maltese dogs are notorious for their fearlessness, and they won't hesitate to take on a dog five times their size if their territory is threatened.

In addition to their aristocratic history, they've also earned the nickname "Ye Ancient Dog of Malta," tracing back to the Bible, where they're mentioned in the Book of Job. So, next time you're chilling with your Maltese, remember you've got a pint-sized pooch with a history as rich and intriguing as their silky coat.

What Other Dogs Are Like the Maltese?

Pomeranian_orange sable_Coco
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

If you’re looking to add a pint-sized pal to your pack, the Maltese could be a great fit for your family. Yet, you may also get lots of love and enjoyment from adopting a:

  • Pomeranian. Pomeranians are little poofballs with one mission in life: to hang out with their owners. Aside from their grooming requirements, they’re low-maintenance dogs that adapt perfectly to apartment life.
  • Japanese Chin. These little guys are the snobs of the dog world. Yet, if you’re looking for a regal lapdog that thinks very highly of itself, you could get a lot of pleasure from these small brachycephalic breeds.

Shih Izus also fit the bill if you’re looking for a long-haired friend.

Is a Maltese the Right Breed for You?

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

These little furballs aren't just pets; they're like compact joy machines with a rich history and a bunch of heartwarming quirks. From their ancient Mediterranean roots to their present-day reign as affectionate attention grabbers, the Maltese bring charm with every fluffy step.

Whether they're giving you puppy eyes or stealing the show with their playful moves, these tiny companions manage to leave an unforgettable paw print on everyone's hearts. Here's to a world sprinkled with fur, fun, and never-ending tail wags! Cheers to the Maltese magic!

Thalia Oosthuizen
By Thalia Oosthuizen

Thalia has been a freelance writer for over a decade and a dog (and animal) lover for over 30 years. She grew up on a farm where, at one stage, she had 15 dogs. She currently has one dog, Avery - an adorable pavement special with an extra toe on each foot, and two rescue cats - Boris and Mango. In her spare time, Thalia enjoys running, cycling, swimming, and reading