Breeds of dogs: Maltese

Breeds of dogs: Maltese

Origin, classification and history

Origin: Italy.
F.C.I classification: Group 9 - companion dogs.

The Maltese dog does not originate from the island of Malta, as its name may suggest, but from the countries of the central Mediterranean; some think it comes from the province of Melita which is located in Sicily. Originally they were certainly used by man to hunt small rodents away from warehouses and merchant ships. It was precisely the trade in the Mediterranean that benefited their spread. Some scholars believe he is the progenitor of the group of dogs called the Bichons. It was the dog of the Roman governor of the island of Malta, Publius, documented in the first century AD There are documents that describe it in Greece in the 5th century. B.C.
It is said that it was also very popular in Imperial Rome. It was also the favorite breed of many historical figures including Giuseppe Verdi and many others.

General aspect

Small dog, very elegant with his wonderful long hair. Suitable for keeping company with the family that looks after it.


Very intelligent and lively canine. He becomes fond of the master in a surprising way and always tries to be close to him. His loyalty and obedience to the person he has chosen as master are unquestionable. He always has a very docile and careful behavior. He also has, among other things, a magnificent learning ability. The characteristics of his character are the particularities that distinguish all the dogs selected for the company from all the other breeds.

Maltese dog (website photo)

Maltese dog (website photo)

Maltese dog (photo


- males from 21 cm to 25 cm
- females from 20 cm to 23 cm
Weight: from 3 kg to 4 kg

Trunk: its length is 38% higher than the height at the withers. The withers are slightly elevated and the rump is very long and wide.
Head and muzzle: length equal to 6/11 of the height at the withers and it is quite wide. The skull is slightly longer than the muzzle and the side walls are convex. The lateral faces of the muzzle are parallel. The nasal bridge is straight.
Truffle: voluminous and on the same line as the nasal bridge.
Teeth: with scissor bite. They must be complete in number and development.
Neck: with arched upper profile. The length is roughly half the height at the withers.
Skin: well-fitting throughout the body and pigmented by dark patches.
Limbs: well upright and solid. With a strong backbone seen as a whole.
Shoulder: 1/3 of the height at the withers and with an inclination of 60-65 degrees on the horizontal plane.
Musculature: firm and good development.
Top line: straight to the tail.
Tail: inserted on the line of the rump, thick at the root. About 60% long at the withers. It forms a single large curve. Curved flow on one side of the trunk is tolerated.
Proportions: trunk length about 38% of the dog's height; total length of the head equal to 6/11 of the height at the withers.
Hair: with silky texture, with excellent density and shine. It is very long in the whole body. It is one of the aspects that makes this breed unique.
Allowed colors: uniform white. You tolerate some nuances, but you don't want to.
Most common defects: non-standard measures, sheep nose, prognathism, divergence of the craniofacial axes, convergence of the craniofacial axes, enognatism, gazzuolo eye, anurism, curly hair, hair with evident spots, color other than white, monorchidism and cryptorchidism.

curated by Vinattieri Federico -

Video: Pros u0026 Cons of a Maltese. Dog Breeds (September 2021).