How long Maltese dogs have been around is not entirely clear, but it is believed that the dog breed is one of the oldest in Europe. Excavations at the tomb of Pharaoh Ramses II provided evidence that at least ancestors of the Maltese lived 1,300 years before Christ. Natural stone dog statues showed great resemblance to today's specimens.
1. Maltese dogs do not come from the island of Malta
What is certain is that Maltese dogs do not come from the island of Malta, as the name of the dog breed suggests. The name has its origin in the Semitic word "màlat", which can be translated as port and refuge. This resulted in the adjective "maltais" and various place names for islands and cities in the maritime area, for example the name for the Adriatic island Méléda and the city of Melita in Sicily. This is also where Malta's origin comes from - so there is at least an indirect connection between it and the small Maltese dogs.
2. Dog breed used to be a mouse hunter
The reason why the dog breed has a maritime name is that Maltese dogs used to be common in ports and coastal towns. Her job there was to drive away mice and rats. The Maltese only became a companion and companion dog in the Renaissance in the 15th and 16th centuries, where he was kept primarily as a lap dog. He kept fine ladies company and also had a less glorious task: due to his higher body temperature he attracted fleas, which in turn did not piss his owner.
3. Maltese dogs don't like to be alone
Fortunately nowadays it no longer has to serve as a "flea magnet", but the Maltese dog has retained its attachment and philanthropy over the centuries. However, this means that Maltese dogs bind themselves strongly to their favorite people and are sad when they have to stay alone.
They like to be everywhere, which, thanks to their small size and their friendly disposition, is usually easy to do. The little four-legged friends are often initially skeptical of strangers and are distant. You then need a little time to defrost and decide whether you like the unknown biped.
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4. Maltese do not educate themselves
Maltese dogs have not much left of their original field of application as a mouse hunter - their hunting instinct is very weak or almost not at all pronounced. Since they were and are bred as social dogs for humans, they are also very open to work with them. This makes the education of the Maltese comparatively easy. Nevertheless, this does not mean that this breed does not need an upbringing and is naturally good - its representatives are still normal dogs. Maltese dogs easily become barkers if they are not properly raised, especially towards strangers. Therefore, you should teach the four-legged friends important commands and clear rules from the start on what they are allowed to do and what not.
5. Dog breed is playful, intelligent and eager to learn
The joy of learning and intelligence of the Maltese make his education much easier. It is also very playful, so you can teach it not only the most important commands, but also tricks. The little dog does not need long walks and physically demanding sports and training sessions, but is happy about employment that is appropriate for his abilities. Cozy lazy rounds with breaks - both with people and with other people - and dog sports that demand his intelligence are ideal for him.
6. Maltese dogs are robust and durable
With good care, Maltese dogs can live 15 to 18 years. They are considered to be less susceptible to breed-typical diseases - only the patellar luxation can occur and the eyes are somewhat sensitive. Make sure that you take care of your Maltese fur every day and pay a visit to the dog groomer from time to time.
The following video summarizes some facts about Maltese dogs: