Maltese puppy and dog information

The Maltese is a very popular toy breed. They are a healthy breed but care must be taken against extremes of temperature. They will do fine in an apartment, just needing daily walks. They are playful, fun loving dogs and they make great watch dogs. They are good with older, considerate children and they also tolerate other animals well. They do take considerable grooming to keep their beautiful coats in shape.

*Approximate Adult Size. The approximate adult size (two years old or older) of the male Maltese is 8 to 10 inches to the withers (highest point of the shoulder) and 5 to 9 pounds. The female ranges from 8 to 9 inches to the withers and 4 to 8 pounds.

*Special Health Considerations. Most dog breeds have certain inherited health problems associated with that specific breed and the Maltese is no exception. Although considered to be a healthy breed, be on the look out for genetic eye disorders, slipped stifle, sun burn, skin and teeth problems. This disease list is an informative guideline only. Other diseases may also be significant threats, please contact your veterinarian for a complete list.

She should visit the veterinarian several times in the first year for shots, boosters and check up. Then, as an adult, she should visit the veterinarian yearly for shots and check up. As she gets older, six years and on, she should visit the veterinarian twice a year for check ups and shots. Remember; avoid feeding your dog sweets.

*Grooming. The Maltese is covered with a single layer of long silky hair which is white in color. Her lack of undercoat leaves her at a disadvantage in weather extremes. She needs daily brushing and combing. Brushing will help her maintain a clean and healthy coat, avoid mats and help you keep a closer eye on her health and strengthen your emotional bond with her. Her eyes should be cleaned daily to guard against stains. Consider an occasional professional grooming. Weekly baths are probably ok but be careful not to chill her.

Her ears should be checked once a week and be kept clean. If you have her professionally groomed, make sure ear cleaning and inspection is part of the package. No water or excess fluid should get in the dogs ears, and do not try to irrigate the ears. Ear cleaning is too complicated and critical to instruct here. Look for hair growing in the ear canal, excess wax, or moisture. If her ears have a discharge, foul odor or she seems to be in distress and you suspect an infection, or tumor, consult your veterinarian.

Her teeth should be brushed at least twice a week with toothpaste and toothbrush designed for dogs. Brushing removes the accumulation of plaque and tartar which can cause cavities (rarely) and periodontal disease. Dog periodontal disease can lead to pain, loss of teeth, bad breath and other serious disease.

Her toenails may need to be examined for growth and clipped regularly. The toenails of the rear feet grow slower than the toenails of the front feet.

*Life Span. The Maltese can live between 9 and 11 years with proper nutrition, medical care and excellent living conditions.

*History. The Maltese comes from Malta where they were kept as pets by the kings and queens. They were first registered by the American Kennel Association in 1888.

Some Registries: *American Maltese Association *UKC United Kennel Club *NKC National Kennel Club *CKC Continental Kennel Club *APRI Americas Pet Registry Inc. *AKC American Kennel Club *FCI Federation Cynologique Internationale *NZKC New Zealand Kennel Club *KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain *ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club *ACR = American Canine Registry

Litter Size: 2 to 4 Maltese puppies

Category: Toy

Terms To Describe: Eager, affectionate, vigorous, playful, lively, fearless, fun, loving, intelligent

*SPECIAL GOOD POINTS Good choice for allergy sufferers. Makes a great lap dog. Good watch dog. Good at obedience. Fast learner.

*SPECIAL BAD POINTS Does poorly in weather extremes. Poor guard dog. Can be difficult to housebreak. Can snap. Can be a picky eater.

*Other Names Known By: Melitaie Dog, the Comforter Dog, Ye Ancient Roman Ladies Dog, the Maltese Lion Dog, and the Spaniel Gentle.

*Every dog is an individual so not everything in this information may be correct for your dog. This information is meant as a good faith guideline only.