Home > Our dogs > Cani da compagnia > Maltese

Small in size, with an elongated trunk, covered with very long and very elegant white hair and with a proud bearing of the head.

Its name does not indicate that its origin is the island of Malta because the adjective “Maltese” derives from the Semitic word “màlat” which means refuge or port; the Semitic root is still found in a series of names of maritime places, for example in the name of the Adriatic island of Méléda, the Sicilian city of Melita and also in that of the island of Malta. The ancestors of this small dog lived in the ports and maritime cities of the central Mediterranean, where they hunted mice and rats that swarmed the coastal warehouses and ships. In the list of dogs existing at the time of Aristotle (384-322 BC) he mentions a breed of small dogs to which he gives the Latin name “canes melitensis”. That same dog was known in Ancient Rome: a companion dog for noblewomen, it was praised by Strabo, a Latin poet of the first century after Christ. Representations of the Maltese by numerous Renaissance painters show this little dog in the salons of the time alongside beautiful ladies of the time.

Behavior / Character
Lively, affectionate, very docile, he has a great capacity for understanding.

Hair: Dense, glossy, shiny-heavy and silky in texture, very long over the whole body as well as straight. There is no undercoat.

Color: Pure white, a pale ivory tint is allowed.
Traces of shades of pale orange are tolerated but not desired and constitute a defect.

Height at the withers: Males from 21 to 25 cm. Females 20 to 23 cm.