The Maltese Bichon is a toy-sized breed that emerged in the Mediterranean, being Italy who took the patronage of the breed. The origins are associated with Italy, Malta and the island of Mljet (Croatia), yet its origin is somewhat uncertain. It was the Phoenicians who brought the ancestors of this breed from Egypt more than 2000 years ago. In the tomb of Ramses II you can see stone statues with a form of the current Maltese. The breed was genetically selected to get smaller and smaller individuals to reach a miniature size.
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It is a very small dog that in general is between 3 and even 4 kilos and also is not more than 25 cm in height. Because of its size, it fits perfectly into small apartments. It stands out by its white of only one layer that is smooth, long and silky. The organizations only admit the white color although we can find it with golden spots. They have dark eyes, have a long ears, a thick tail and short legs.
Overall, it is a cheerful, fun and loving dog with its owner. He is a good companion dog and nothing solitary, likes to be with people and other pets. He is protective and likes to have toys and other elements to bite at his disposal. He is a little nervous and playful and so he suffers too much time alone at home.
Although overall it is a healthy dog, you may end up having knee or kneecap problems (dislocation). Being overweight aggravates and promotes this disease. You have to make sure that the dose of food you receive is adequate for your size and daily physical activity. They may also suffer from allergies to certain human foods. The type of hair can also cause conjunctivitis or eye irritation.
Other diseases that can affect them are cancer, heart disease or kidney failure. Periodic visits to the veterinarian will prevent and facilitate the detection of these problems.
They need extra care that is not so common in other races. Due to its long and thin hair we must be careful to brush it regularly with special brushes. It is possible that skin problems or nodes appear and therefore some owners give baths too frequent (normal is usually every month and a half). At the hairdresser they inform us of the types of haircut of the breed. The most characteristic is to leave them long hair and cut only the tips (typical in exhibitions), although many prefer to cut the hair drastically achieving the pup effect.
You should also take into account the daily hygiene that includes cleaning the eyes, tears of tears and muzzle. This is a good way to prevent the formation of brown spots around these areas.
They do not need much physical exercise and only with 2 walks daily will you have enough to cover your needs. Ideal for people with limited mobility. Still, we recommend that you take walks with him so that he does not lose his social habit and enjoy the environment.
It is advisable to feed them with good quality feed since it is a dog that will ask us in a friendly way and in excess human food, if encourage this behavior can come to refuse the ration. You should not tolerate this behavior. Giving you human food is a problem because you do not have some enzymes that certain foods catalyze and this can start an allergy.
It is an ideal puppy for adults although it may not relate well to children who require too much play, move it too much or treat it like a toy. If we explain how they should relate to the dog, there will be no problem.
We must also take into account that due to its small size, Maltese can see as a threat to other dogs, so it is important to encourage him to play and socialize with other pets, so we can enjoy the company of several dogs at once.
It is a very smart dog that will have no difficulty learning tricks and being disciplined. You can train them to do pirouettes, stand on their hind legs, etc. It’s important to socialize at an early age, as you may begin to demonstrate hostile attitudes toward people who give you care or attention.
As for the relationship with children is a little complicated because both their long hair and their special character do not always fit well with them. He likes to be treated with respect and affection, so do not ever hurt him or pull his hair and although it is not a general statement it may not be the most suitable dog for them because they can get bored if they do not feel well. Also, because of their small size it is common for bones to break or fracture if children play roughly with them.
Maltese perfectly accepts the companionship of other dogs and pets, although he likes more of those of his own breed. Very communicative and active, you will play a lot with your teammates.
The Maltese is a dog of the oldest of Europe, stood out in the time of the Roman Empirewhere they were street dogs that eliminated the rats of the cities. At some point they will catch the attention of the nobles and settle in the large houses where they were very spoiled and loved. Centuries later in the Renaissance were also the company of people with high economic possibilities.