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Maltese Dog Breed Characteristics & Information
Maltese dogs are a small, cute breed known for their affectionate and loyal nature. Although highly energetic, they do not need much exercise to stay healthy and fit. However, their beautiful white coat needs much attention and maintenance.
This article revolves around the essential details and requirements of a Maltese dog. So, if you wish to learn more, scroll down!
What is the History of Maltese Dogs?
Maltese dogs list themselves as the most ancient toy breeds of the world, whose history goes back at least two millennia. Many famous artists and poets mentioned them. Ancient artefacts reveal their presence in Greek and Egyptian cultures.
Centuries later, many Europeans and Egyptians believed that Maltese dogs have the power to cure the ailing and hence got their name- ‘The Comforter’. They were placed on the pillows of an ill person. Even after their historical prominence, their exact origin remains unknown.
What are the Characteristics of Maltese Dogs?
Some of the characteristics of the Maltese dogs are:
- Lifespan: Maltese dogs have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.
- Height: Male Maltese dogs grow up to 8 to 10 inches, while females reach 8 to 9 inches.
- Colour: Maltese dogs are only available in solid white.
- Weight: Adult Maltese dogs have an average weight of 4 to 7 pounds.
- Temperament: Maltese dogs are lively and playful and are widely famous for their clingy nature.
- Energy Level: Although they are a toy breed, Maltese dogs are highly energetic.
How to Train Maltese Dogs?
Due to their love for human company, Maltese dogs are easy to train. Here are a few tips to prepare your Maltese dog:
- Training Should be Consistent: Don’t skip the training sessions. Be consistent and try to train your Maltese dog daily. Ensure everyone in your house is on the same page and uses the same cues to train your dog.
- Keep Training Session Short: Training bears results when done in a fun way. Therefore, make your training sessions short, which include many fun activities. Start with 5 to 10 minutes every day and then gradually increase.
- Start With Easy Commands: Complicated commands will confuse your Maltese dog and lower its confidence. Therefore, start training with basic and easy-to-understand commands such as ‘sit’ and ‘stand’.
- Be Patient While Training: You should not punish your dog while training. If your Maltese needs help following your instructions, slow down and try teaching him step by step.
- Customise Training Methods: Every dog is not the same. Hence, understand your Maltese dog and try to train him based on his behaviour. Some dogs are sensitive, while some are thick-skinned.
What are the Common Health Problems in Maltese Dogs?
Some of the common health problems seen in Maltese dogs are:
- Collapsed Trachea: Maltese dogs are very prone to collapsed trachea. In this condition, the trachea, which carries air to the lungs, collapses quickly. Depending on the severity, it can be treated medically or surgically.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy: This causes blindness in Maltese dogs due to retina degeneration and the consequent loss of photoreceptor cells. Progressive Retinal Atrophy is easily diagnosed even before symptoms manifest.
- White Dog Shaker Syndrome: It is a disease mainly seen in these white dogs. The dog suffers from a lack of coordination, tremors throughout the body, and rapid eye movements. White dog shaker syndrome occurs when your Maltese is stressed or highly excited.
- Portosystemic Liver Shunt: In this disorder, the blood vessels in Maltese dogs that supply the liver bypass the liver, and hence the liver function gets impaired. Due to this, the toxins eliminated by the liver circulate in the body, giving rise to other diseases.
- Hypoglycemia: Hypoglycemia refers to lower blood sugar levels. In Maltese, this may manifest as a wobbly gait, weakness, confusion, and seizure-like behaviour. If you observe any sign of hypoglycemia, immediately seek medical help.
- Reverse Sneezing: Sometimes confused with a collapsed trachea, reverse sneezing is less severe. This occurs when your Maltese gets too excited or tries gulping down something too fast. Reverse sneezing can frighten your dog, but it stops as soon as the dog calms down.
How to Take Care of Maltese Dogs?
The following section lists some of the tips to take care of your Maltese dog:
- Grooming: Maltese dogs have beautiful, shiny coats that must be cared for nicely. Their coats must be brushed regularly and trimmed every 6-8 weeks to maintain their beauty. Shampoos, conditioners, and body-grooming wipes are essential to their grooming process.
- Food and Nutrition: Maltese dogs need high-quality food that meets their nutritional requirements due to their high energy level. Good quality food will also help to boost their immune system. Maltese dogs are toy breeds with a small mouth size, so look for food with kibble.
- Exercise: Maltese dogs are highly energetic but do not require much exercise to keep them healthy and happy. Daily jogging or walking with their owners for 30 to 40 minutes is enough to keep them fit.
- Teeth Care: Maltese dogs are very prone to dental disease and must be cared for. If not appropriately brushed, your canine's teeth get covered with plaque, which gradually hardens into tartar. If brushing becomes difficult, you can also resort to dental sprays.
- Veterinary Check-ups: Most owners bring their Maltese dogs to vets in case of an injury or illness. However, it is also essential to have regular vet check-ups to prevent certain diseases. Also, you must keep track of your dog's vaccinations.
Maltese dogs are great companions with many endearing traits. They are suitable for people who crave a loving and affectionate pet and have time to spend with their fur baby. Adding them to your family will bring immense joy to your household and family.