Non-sporting Breeds


Pedigree Points
Recognized: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI, KC (GB), KUSA
Height: 10 in (25.5cm) maximum
Weight: 7 lb (3kg) maximum
Coat: Long, straight, and silky
Color: White; slight lemon markings on ears permissible

A member of the bichon family, this small, white dog is one of the oldest European breeds. It has existed on the island of Malta for centuries, and also found its way to China and the Philippines via Maltese traders. However, in about AD 25, the Greek historian Strabo reported: "There is a town in Sicily called Melita whence are exported many beautiful dogs called Canis Melitei," raising the possibility of Italian origin for the breed. The long-established Maltese seems to have been overtaken in popularity by other toys, and is now seldom seen outside the show ring. This is unfortunate because it is a happy, healthy, long-lived little dog that is good with children and makes a lovable pet. It is fairly adaptable as far as exercise is concerned, but requires grooming every day with a bristle brush. Owners are advised to check with the breeder about show preparation.
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