A Maltese dog will effortlessly leave many people smitten with just one glance and we totally see why. Cute as a bug’s ear and as white as snow, this dog breed belongs to the much-admired toy dog breed with the likes of Papillon, Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, Pomeranian and more. The ideal lap dog, the Maltese is gentle, fears nothing, makes friends with ease and loves being pampered and praised. Asides being so cute and lovable, this miniature dog breed is equally capable of more things than you can imagine. Before you consider some Maltese puppies for sale, here are some tips about the glamorous toy dog.
The Maltese is among the oldest in the toy breed community and was greatly prized in ancient Egypt and part of Europe as a dog who is capable of healing a sick person, probably because of its heavenly appearance. For this reason, the breed added ‘The Comforter’ to its long list of names. The actual origin of the breed has always been up for debate with many suggesting that it was created in the Isle of Malta but later, it emerged that the breed may have been developed in south-central Europe. Asia also made the list of the possible origin of the amazing breed Maltese but nevertheless, the dog has warmed its way into the hearts of many, including nobles and royalty. The reign of Henry VIII ushered the breed into the British Isles and it has been established that it became the favorite of Queen Elizabeth I, as well as Queen Victoria.
Interestingly, the breed was endangered during the 17th and 18th centuries as breeders made several attempts to rebrand it to the size of a squirrel. Fortunately, the breed Maltese was saved by mixing it with other breeds like Miniature Spaniels and Poodles, giving the breed varying looks. The modern Maltese we know today was developed by English breeders who distributed them to other countries like the United States in the late 1800s. The Maltese breed of dogs has since become popular across the globe, frequently stealing the show at dog competitions.
The life expectancy of the Maltese is 12 to 15 years with minimal health challenges. They are mostly in good health but still liable to surfer a few conditions like deafness, dental issues, as well as shaker syndrome (idiopathic cerebellitis) which causes the whole body to shake. Other health problems that may arise in this breed include patellar luxation, hypoglycemia, distichiasis, hydrocephalus, hypothyroidism, and some others. While these health problems will not be seen in every dog out there, before you get a puppy, run a background check to ensure it is cleared of any inherited chances of getting serious health issues.
While searching for Maltese puppies, look out for a responsible breeder who pays attention to delicate issues in his animals. Also, ask to see health clearances of the puppy you are taking home.
Maltese Size (Height & Weight)
There are varying sizes for different pooches and the Maltese belong to the miniature group. Suitable for pet owners who can’t afford to spare much space for a dog, the breed Maltese, at full maturity, weighs a maximum of seven pounds. The males normally have a weight that ranges between 1.4 and 3.6 kg (3–8 lb) while the female Maltese can weigh up to 0.91–3.18 kg (2–7 lb). The height of a male Maltese is about eight to ten inches (20–25 cm) at the shoulder. The females, on the other hand, measure up to eight to nine inches (20–23 cm) in height.
They may be quite an eye candy but a teacup-sized Maltese can be a recipe for disaster. If it weighs below four pounds at maturity, genetic disorders will not be far from it. The very small Maltese stands higher chances of having health issues in the future.
What to Look Out for When Buying a Maltese Puppy
Most people get carried away by the cuteness of the Maltese and jump to make a purchase without knowing exactly what they are buying. It is important to understand the nature of the breed Maltese to increase the level of enjoyment you derive from its company.
Maltese Puppy Temperament, Personality & Training
Every dog has its own unique personality trait that distinguishes it from the others. For the Maltese, loving, playful, confident and loyal best describe the way it is towards humans which makes them the quintessential companion dog. The dog loves to be pampered but while they are generally inviting, too much cuddling can spell doom for a Maltese. This breed of dog may be small but it doesn’t affect the confidence it exudes. A Maltese is feisty in a surprising way and also shows a lot of courage by going up against dogs that are very much bigger in size. Apparently, the little furry fellow is not aware of its diminutive size. Also, families with little kids should be more careful with a Maltese in the house as they don’t blend well together.
Overall, the Maltese is an intelligent dog but showing it too much love can cause behavioral disorders. Their lively nature does not wane out with age, a healthy Maltese will remain fairly active and playful for as long as it lives. Notably, to know more about Maltese puppies for sale, meet at least one of the parents, as well as the siblings as this will give you an insight into what their temperament could be like and if it’s something you can put up with.
How Much Do They Bark?
Your Maltese dog can be an incessant barker if you let it. If you cuddle the Maltese much and show it more attention than required, it will become too attached and overprotective of you as well. Once the border has been crossed, the dog will become aggressive, barking at strangers or children who they see as a threat to their relationship with you. At this point, the dog has assumed the role of the pack leader who can throw orders at people around.
Behavior disorders in Maltese breed can also be developed when they are suffering from separation disorder. This breed loves to command attention from the owner and if you are not always available, it might turn into a stressed and destructive dog, barking at, and attacking other dogs and children in the house. The fact that they can be protective of their owner makes the Maltese an ideal watchdog. Though it can’t do much physically considering the size, the Maltese can alert you by barking at strangers, dogs, and anything that poses a threat.
Are They Easy to Train?
They are fast learners but if you don’t catch them young, training a Maltese can be difficult. Teaching them to socialize at a young age goes a long way in reducing the tendency of developing some behavior disorders inherent in the breed. Socialization can be in the form of exposing them to people outside their home front, taking them outdoors to experience different sights, sounds, and everything in-between that will help them grow up to be versatile. Regular visits to the park will expose your dog to other pets and people. It is also good to have visitors around to avoid it getting used to just your face and a few other members of the family.
A puppy kindergarten class is also good to give your dog a good start. There, experts take them through different kinds of training and also enrich their social skills to a great standard. In all, the Maltese are easy to train because it is naturally intelligent. However, it thrives on rewards and reinforcements to learn faster. This breed wants to be applauded for any effort put into the learning process.
Are They Good with Cats?
Maltese and cats are capable of cohabiting if they started early. Also, if the dog has beefed up on its social skills around other animals, living with a cat becomes easy with little or no problems. Otherwise, it might be difficult for a Maltese to share the same space with a cat, considering the cat and dog myth, it doesn’t come as a surprise.
If you want things to work between your Maltese and a cat, measures to be taken include not forcing them on each other, allocate different areas for them and always praise your dog if he behaves well around the cat. Overall, Maltese is not known to have a high prey drive which means it won’t suddenly have the urge to chase and hunt down a cat when it sees one.
Maltese The breed can grow its silky white hair to floor-length if left without grooming. As a toy breed, it has a small compact body that is protected by its stunning straight white outer fur coat. On the face, it sports round brown eyes, black button nose, and drop ears which are mostly covered with hair. Surrounding the eyes is a dark skin pigmentation, often referred to as a halo. If the dog doesn’t get enough exposure to sunlight, the black nose turns to pink or light brown which reverses back to black upon exposure to the sun. When viewed from the side, the Maltese appears to move with a flowing gait that looks like it is floating.
How Much Do Malteses Shed?
With all that hair, it appears this breed sheds a lot but that is not the case. They are actually considered the best choice for people with dog allergies since they don’t shed much. The Maltese breed does not come with an undercoat like other dogs.
What Colors Do They Come In?
While the standard color of the Maltese coat is pure white, it can have some lemon markings, as well as pale ivory tinge on the ears. Overall, the Maltese breed comes in pure white.
Do You Need to Groom a Maltese Puppy?
Every dog needs regular grooming to live a healthy life. This breed has special grooming needs, mostly because of the nature of the coat. Because the long white hair grows to touch the floor, it can easily get tangled and dirty, thus, the need to groom it to perfection. Brushing the coat helps with mats, as well as preserves the stunning appearance of the dog. Remove the mats before getting your Maltese wet as they get worse after a bath.
How Much Does a Maltese Puppy Cost?
A Maltese dog may be small but the price tag will blow you off your feet. However, the cuteness is definitely worth every dime. You may have to fork out as much as $4,300 or even up to $10,000 and above to get a top breed of Maltese. Before you let the eye-popping price tag discourage you, just know you can still get a good Maltese at a median price of $1,374.50 or an average price of $1,100. The lesser prices are for puppies without papers.
Is a Maltese Puppy Right for You?
Depending on your preferences and living condition, with the presence of children considered, a puppy could be your ideal companion. It doesn’t require much space but craves for attention. Shedding is also not a problem with this breed. Also, consider your budget before getting one as it can be expensive to manage.