Delightful. Devoted. Cheeky. Maltese are vivacious little dogs with heaps of personality and a propensity for play. They love to be near their human masters whom they will do almost anything for and appreciate lots of love and attention.
If you are looking for a small dog with luscious long locks that you can show off to your neighbours and friends, a Maltese may be the right dog for you.
Where I'm From
The exact origins of the Maltese breed are unclear. One of the older dog breeds, Maltese dogs are thought to originate from the larger Spitz-type breeds found in the Swiss lakes area or from the Tibetan Terrier of Asia. Though its true beginnings remain a mystery, Maltese-type dogs became popular in the Mediterranean region of Europe a couple thousand years ago. The dogs are mentioned in ancient Greek and Roman literature and Aristotle himself was first to cite the breed by name around 370 BC. Millennium later, the dog became the favoured lapdogs of aristocrat ladies and nobles across Europe from the 1400s including in France and the British Isles.
The breed was nearly decimated in the 17th and 18th Century after breeders erred in trying to make the breed the size of a squirrel. English breeders saved the breed by mixing the remaining Maltese with small Poodles and Spaniels, which developed into the toy-sized white dog we see today. Maltese were first entered in dog in the late 1800s.
What I Look Like
Maltese are an all white, small yet sturdy toy dog with a long, silky hypoallergenic coat. Though breed owners often keep them shorn short with a “puppy cut”, which gives Maltese an endlessly youthful appearance. The only non-white features are their big brown eyes and small black button nose. With furry drop ears and a curled tail that touches their back, Maltese are the epitome of an adorable toy breed.
How I Act
Maltese are very lively little creatures that love oodles of attention and affection. They retain a puppy-like playfulness for their entire lives. Though they can be snappy towards young children, early socialisation will help moderate these tendencies. Bred as lapdogs, Maltese love to be around their masters at when at home or wherever they journey.
Maltese do well in obedience training due to their intense loyalty and wanting to please their master. Early socialisation and training is a must for the Maltese to ensure a well-adjusted dog that is less likely to act out with any aggression. Training should be calm and consistent, and Maltese react well to reward-based schooling.
Like with many smaller breeds, toilet training can be a challenge for the Maltese with patient crate or paper training crucial.
Though Maltese are energetic, their small size means they only require 20-30 minutes of daily exercise to stay in shape. Plenty of exercise also ensures any behavioural issues are kept to a minimum.
Looking After Me
Maltese can be fussy eaters and should not be fed table scraps or anything else that might put them off their main staple. A meal of high quality dry dog food twice a day will keep your dog’s insides healthy and teeth clean. This can sometimes be supplemented with canned food and a liver treat on occasion.
If you plan to keep your Maltese’s hair at their naturally long length they will require a lot grooming. This single coat does not shed and is prone to matting, so will require daily combing and brushing to remain tangle free. Even when shorn short with a puppy cut, Maltese need daily brushing and a monthly bath as their white coat can become very dirty.
Maltese may also suffer from brownish tear stains under their eyes, which requires daily cleaning with warm water and the hair around their eyes needs to be trimmed or held back with a tie. If a tearing problem persists it is best to consult a vet.
Maltese though generally healthy may suffer from a number of ailments including locked kneecaps, heart problems and dental issues.
It is advisable to check the temperament and medical history of a puppy’s parents and view veterinarian clearance certificates to ensure you get a healthy dog though not every ailment can be predicted. Be very wary of uncertified backyard breeders.
Maltese can be affected by too hot or cold weather and should be kept in temperature-controlled environments.
Maltese typically have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.
Am I the pet for you?
- Maltese are spirited small dogs for the right owners that are happy to have a loyal, little companion dog by their sides constantly.
- Maltese don’t shed and have a hypoallergenic coat, which make them a good choice for most allergy sufferers.
- Their small size doesn’t mean they aren’t brave! Maltese can make excellent guard dogs alerting their masters of intruders with a loud bark.
- Maltese are not a good choice for families with small children as they do not have much patience and can bite or nip if handled roughly.
- Maltese are one of Australia’s most dumped dogs with aggression and barking cited as the main problems. When choosing a Maltese be sure to enquire about the demeanours of the parent dogs, or ask to meet at least one of the parents to see how they interact with people and other dogs, and make sure to only to go to a reputable breeder. Early socialisation and training can also help ease any anti-social tendencies.
- Maltese need a lot of grooming and hair upkeep due to their long coats, which can be time-consuming and costly. Trim them short for less maintenance.
Terrifying Attack on Garfield Little Garfield has been mauled by another dog. His hysterical owner, Rita is beseeching Dr Chris to save her tiny terrier... Little Maltese Garfield was viciously attack by another dog. Aside from broken bones, internal bleeding is also a possability. Dr Chris will have to work fast to ensure his wellbeing... Turns out this little fella may be white and fl...
Pug Cute as a button, the Pug is a showstopper with its prominent eyes, stocky body and wrinkled, expressive face. Affectionate, wilful and spirited this dog is a good fit for any fun-loving family.If you are seeking an alert and lively dog that also loves a good snuggle, a Pug might be the right pooch for you.
Search for the New Bondi Vet Search Underway For New Bondi Vet A national search has been launched to find Australia’s next TV vet. TV production company WTFN Entertainment, the creators of Bondi Vet and The Living Room, has called for the public’s help to find the next star of Bondi Vet. WTFN’s Director of Content, Steve Oemcke, said the company is looking for an experienced ve...
Meet our TOP 50 VETS Final 50 revealed in search for Australia's new TV vet star! The final 50 candidates have been announced in the nation-wide search to unearth the New Bondi Vet. The list, which has been narrowed down from 400 individual vets and over 7,500 nominations, contains the largest amount coming from New South Wales with 16 vets followed closely by Queensland with 14, then West...
One of my dog's is starting to get a little feral and at times can be uncontrollable. We have tried taking him to puppy school after I had a dog trainer come assess him at the house. He could only go a few lessons as every time he would come back from there he got a little bit more agressive; now it can get to the point where no one can change his clothes and give him a shower without him wanting to nibble. Please help!! We also have another dog who's so beautifully natured that we don't want one rubbing off the other in a bad way.
our Maltese poodle is 4 years old and his best buddy Bindi our poodle has just passed away 4 weeks ago sadly...Benji constantly howls and pees on corner of furniture. Benji is a lap dog but hugs me to the point of desperation....his weight and eating have detirated rapidly. We have 3cats he is friends with
My dog has been running into things a lot lately and sniffs his way around. I took him to the vet and was only in their for 2 minutes before he told me (without any examination that "your dog might be blind!" The vet didn't do much searching around to find out weather my dog is blind, or if it is something else causing my dogs vision to be poor. It sadness me to see that my dog sat outside in the yard the other day howling (on and off) which he never ever does. He lays there looking sad and this has upset me. I just want some clarification and hopefully some help for my maltese terrier dog. he will be 10 years old on the 20th of september this year and sadly now he can't even enjoy it. Everywhere (other vets / places to take him) are so far to travel and i work everyday except friday. i would appreciate some help for my poor dog. (he was always full of energy, he does try to still show some sort of happiness but it saddens me to see him run into things, not fetch his bone and even cry outside cause he can't find his way back into his dog house.)I would really like your help dr chris brown. Thanks Laura
Yesterday it would seem our japanese spitz 11 year old male who is ideal weight. Slightly under if anything appears to have arthritis attack him as a rapid onset, unless he has had a stumble Sat night we are unaware of, he seems to be frail but improves as day goes on(warms up) he wimpers if we try and touch and cries when he gets up or down a step, he still wants to follow me around and wont rest
2 weeks ago whilst we were in Fiji we rescued an abandoned puppy that we estimate is about 3 months old. She was starving, filthy, covered in ticks and could barely stand or walk. We fed her, washed her, removed all ticks and just gave her love. We called her Pretzel as she was so skinny when we found her that all her bones were sticking out and her hip bones looked like a big twisted pretzel and her long skinny legs looked like Pretzel sticks. Our intention was to find her a home in Fiji but after a week or so she had gained weight, but we noticed that her left hip bone was still protruding and that when she walked we noticed that her left back foot turned out slightly. Also, when she ran she would use both back legs together and hop like a bunny. We took her to an animal shelter in Fiji called Animals Fiji and they examined her and advised that they thought it might be dislocated. They X-rayed her and then sedated her to try and manipulate the bone back into the socket. This was unsuccessful. The vet advised that it appeared that the end of the bone where the ball should be round was malformed either from a trauma/injury when young or by birth. He advised that he does not have the equipment in Fiji to treat her properly and that she would need surgery to correct the bone and to tighten the ligaments to her support her leg. We are exporting her to Australia on the 7th of March and are trying to raise some funds to assist us. We are hoping that you can assistance to find a Vet in Melbourne that could assist with the operation at a reasonable price.