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Maltese-Cuddly, Loving Dogs

Aug 17, 2007
There's simply something about the Maltese breed. Maybe it's the long, silky hair. Or perhaps it's the fact that this dog almost seems to float when its walking. It could be the cuddly, loving nature of most dogs from this breed. Whatever the reason, the Maltese is a popular dog for the family pet or the show ring.

Over the past centuries, the Maltese has been a favored fashion accessory, especially among upper class women. The little dogs - typically weighing in at somewhere between five and ten pounds - were actually inserted into the sleeves of some dresses of those days. In more recent times, they've been used as "handbag dogs." In this case, the dog rides around in a bag or purse that the woman wears over her shoulder. While it may sound callous to use an animal as a fashion accessory, the fact is that many of the owners become undeniably attached to the Maltese. The women of centuries past were said to have often carried their little four-legged accessory to parties and other outings, but also tended to have the dogs at their side throughout the day and even at night.

The ancestors of the Maltese probably include at least one or two spaniel breeds and probably the poodle. These dogs tend to shed very little - another indication of the poodle breeding. This is one of the breeds sometimes recommended to animal lovers who have allergies.

The hair of a Maltese grows long and many owners tend to pull the hair on top of the head up for a ponytail or topknot. There's no real reason for this other than it allows the dog to see. In many cases, the hair of the Maltese is allowed to grow to floor length. Legs are typically well hidden under the coat, giving the impression that the dog is almost floating as it moves about. Other owners choose to trim the hair short, making grooming less of a chore.

One of the points of the Maltese that makes it a prized pet is its intelligence and willingness to learn. With the right motivation - treats, praise, etc. - it's a relatively easy matter to teach these dogs new things. Naturally, the way they're raised is important, but most dogs that have been treated well as puppies grow to very willing learners as adults.

It could be the silky coat that makes so many people long to cuddle these dogs, and it's true that the Maltese overall is a very loving dog. They do well as companion dogs, content to spend many hours with their people. But don't let the silky coat distract you - take a minute to look at those mischievous eyes. These dogs are also more than ready for playtime.

Their size and temperament makes them well suited to life indoors. Unless they're raised with a love of the outdoors, they're generally content to be inside pets. If you're looking for a companion dog that will adapt well to almost any indoor situation, the Maltese could very well be just the breed you're looking for.
About the Author
For more information on Maltese and other Popular, and not-so-popular breeds of dogs, visit The Toy Dog Directory
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