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A toy dog covered from head to toe with a mantle of long, silky white hair, the Maltese is one of the most gentle-mannered and affectionate, known for being lively, playful and fearless despite its small size, making them great family dogs.
Maltese are intelligent little dogs that are very fast learners if they feel sufficiently rewarded. Today, their refinement, cleanliness and portability make them a popular choice as a companion dog. Their weight should be under 7 pounds, with from 4 to 6 pounds preferred. Overall quality is to be favored over size.
The Maltese was once known as "Ye ancient dogge of Malta," for that is where they were first recognized and how they received their name. The breed has been an aristocrat of the canine world for over 28 centuries, owned by royalty all over the globe. Even as far back as the 1500’s they were claimed to be sold for $2,000. And while other companion dogs such as the Pomeranian have been bred down from larger sizes, the first Maltese were the same size as the dogs we see today.