About our Maltese

A dog breed who’s gentle and fearless, the Maltese greets everyone as a friend. His glamorous white coat gives him a look of haughty nobility, but looks can be deceiving. This is a sprightly, vigorous dog who excels not only as a companion but also as a therapy dog and competitor in such dog sports as agility, obedience, rally, and tracking. But most of all, he loves to be with his people.




General Overview

The Maltese had been recognized as a FCI breed under the patronage of Italy in 1954, at the annual meeting in Interlaken, Switzerland. The current FCI standard is dated November 27, 1989, and the latest translation from Italian to English is dated April 6, 1998. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1888, its latest standard being from March 10, 1964.

Appearance

Characteristics include slightly rounded skulls, with a finger-wide dome, a black button nose and brown eyes. They usually grow up to be about 7-10 inches tall. The body is compact with the length equaling the height and the tail is almost always curled. The drop ears with (sometimes) long hair, and surrounded by darker skin pigmentation (called a "halo"), gives Maltese their expressive look. Lacking exposure to a lot sunlight, their noses can fade and become pink or light brown in color. This is often referred to as a "winter nose" and many times will become black again with increased exposure to the sun. The Maltese's paws are very sensitive to touch.

Coat and color

The coat is long and silky and lacks an undercoat. Some Maltese can have curly hair (especially behind their ears), but this is considered a fault. The colour of the coat is pure white. A pale ivory tinge is permitted on the ears. In some standards, a pure white coat with slight lemon markings is tolerated.

The Maltese does not shed, and is therefore a good choice for people with dog allergies. Some people prefer their dogs to have the coat short. The most common cut for the Maltese is called "the puppy cut," which involves trimming or shaving the entire body (skirt, legs/paws, chest, and head fur) to one short length (typically less than an inch long).

Temperament

Maltese are bred to be companion dogs. They are extremely lively and playful, and even as a Maltese ages, its energy level and playful demeanor remain fairly constant. Some Maltese may occasionally be snappish with smaller children and should be supervised when playing, although socializing them at a young age will reduce this habit. They also adore humans, and prefer to stay near them. The Maltese is very active within a house, and, preferring enclosed spaces, does very well with small yards. For this reason, the breed also fares well in apartments and townhouses, and is a prized pet of urban dwellers. Some Maltese may suffer from separation anxiety.

Maltese are bred to be companion dogs. They are extremely lively and playful, and even as a Maltese ages, its energy level and playful demeanor remain fairly constant. Some Maltese may occasionally be snappish with smaller children and should be supervised when playing, although socializing them at a young age will reduce this habit. They also adore humans, and prefer to stay near them. The Maltese is very active within a house, and, preferring enclosed spaces, does very well with small yards. For this reason, the breed also fares well in apartments and townhouses, and is a prized pet of urban dwellers. Some Maltese may suffer from separation anxiety.







Size

Adult Maltese range from roughly 3 to 10 lb (1.4 to 4.5 kg), though breed standards, as a whole, call for weights between 5-8 lbs. There are variations depending on which standard is being used. The American Kennel Club calls for a weight between 4 to 7 lb (1.8 to 3.2 kg), with 4 to 6 lb (1.8 to 2.7 kg) preferred, while the FCI standard popular in Europe prefers a heavier Maltese between 3 to 4 kg (6.6 to 8.8 lb). They stand normally 7 to 12 in (18 to 30 cm).

Gait

As per the AKC standard: The Maltese moves with a jaunty, smooth, flowing gait. Viewed from the side, they give an impression of rapid movement, size considered. In the stride, the forelegs reach straight and free from the shoulders, with elbows close. Hind legs to move in a straight line. Cowhocks or any suggestion of hind leg toeing in or out are faults.

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