For centuries the maltese has been represented in paintings, ceramics and literature. Plinius cites in his works of art a breed of small and delicate dogs that resemble the bichon (maltese), being from the Sicilian area and called “dogs of Melita” (Melita being the Latin name of the Island of Malta). The maltese dog has been immortalized in Greek monuments and many believe that he was a dog of royalty and nobility. The maltese was also very much appreciated as a companion dog at the court of King Henry VIII, appearing on the famous tapestry “La dame a la licorne”.
The maltese breed dogs can be considered as part of the canine world aristocracy, they belong to an ancient breed who bore different names like “the ancient dog of Malta”, “Roman ladies dog” and “maltese terrier”. In the bichon family, the maltese dogs are the oldest members. The maltese dogs existed in pharaohs’ age and many say that traces of them were found in Egypt and Greece 350 years ago. Statues were also found representing this type of dog (maltese) in the tomb of Ramses II.
The descendants of the maltese breed have traced the Spaniels throughout history. His white, long, silky gown that reaches the ground made the maltese a companion dog highly appreciated by ladies among the nobility around 1800. Back then, the ladies (enchanted by their tiny and adorable aspects) used to “wear” the maltese dogs on their sleeves held close to their chests. Aristotle named the maltese “the ladies favorite“.
With the whole body, head, tail and legs to feet covered in long hair, with round, black expressive eyes and ears covered with long wavy hair, the maltese is considered a living piece of jewelry. The maltese has a quite long tail, worn rolled over the back, covered with rich fringe and long smooth, silky and dense hair that is sometimes wavy.
The maltese dog has a strongly built body and moves quickly with tiny steps.
The maltese dogs can be very energetic and are known for occasional outbursts of frenetic physical activity when running in maximum speed and with amazing agility. The maltese is very easy to train and his playful nature adores playing different games like “fetch” or “find it”. Equipped with a sharp intelligence, the maltese quickly learns new tricks and does it with pleasure knowing that he will later impress his owner with them. The maltese was designed to be a perfect companion, always near his owner, so leaving him alone for a large period of time will make him sad and bored.
Despite their miniature waists, the maltese dogs are fearless, and in reality somewhat indifferent to creatures or objects that are larger than them, excepting the family to which they belong. The teacup maltese dogs are generally healthy and (although it may seem otherwise) having a thick layered fur, they lose very little hair comparing to other dogs and they are not prone to rashes or skin infections.
The teacup matlese dogs are among the most mannered small sized pets, being obedient and vigorous but also joyful and playful.