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The charming Maltese is a very old breed, known well for its commitment to its master. These are gentle, friendly, and affectionate dogs that are relatively easy to train. You just need to begin training early on during puppyhood to take advantage of this simplicity. This white dog with silky smooth hair is also known as being a lap dog. You may have seen it pictured with the royalty of the past. If you currently live in a small apartment or house and are searching for a smaller dog to own and love, this breed may be worth looking into.

Continue reading to learn more about the Maltese, a tiny and gentle lap dog that's been a favorite of European royalty for centuries.

Popularity: Very popular.

Trainability: There are two primary pieces of information you need to be aware of when it comes to training your Maltese. First, it's not a difficult dog to obedience train. It's a smart dog that's fairly good natured. You can teach it how to behave as well as how to do tricks. Second, it's a tough dog to housebreak. It's going to want to pee on your floor unless you teach it otherwise. There are plenty of methods to help achieve this that you can look up, but a popular one to mention here is crate training. On top of that, you can adjust the timing of when you want the dog to do its business around feeding times or something like that. Basically, you just need to get it into a routine that it can count on. Be sure to socialize this dog early on in life and make sure you bring it around other people and places. Maltese can become shy and aggressive if they're not familiar with foreign things, so the more you can show it, the better. Finally, this dog has a tendency to bark a lot, so learn how to train it to stop that. No one wants to hear a barking dog.

Size/Weight: Small sized dogs, weighing in at an average of 4-7 pounds.

Origin Location/Date: The Maltese's home is in the country of Malta and has been in existence for centuries. Many centuries. It was popular in ancient Rome, China, and throughout Europe. During the late 1800s, the Maltese was introduced to the United States, where it became popular here. The American Kennel Club recognized it as a breed in 1888.

Energy Level: The Maltese doesn't require much exercise and much of what it does require can be taken care of indoors. Since the dog is generally under seven pounds, this shouldn't be a problem. Be sure to take it for its daily walk to stave off obesity and for it to go potty, but don't worry about running the dog around to burn off any excess energy.

Temperament: The Maltese certainly is small, but its high energy level (especially when its young) can be a surprise to many new dog owners. The Maltese can bark incessantly and can nip at the heels of people if not trained and socialized properly. While this dog is a pleasure to have around under the right circumstances, it can also be a handful. Overall, it's a fearless but friendly dog that isn't too demanding of their owner's time. It's good with other pets, but may be rough with very small children.

Necessary Space: Since this is such a small dog with only a moderate amount of energy, apartment living is just fine for it. It's an especially good pet for the disabled and elderly, since it's really an "inside" dog.

Talents: The Maltese breed is a wonderful indoor lap dog. If trained early on, it's gentle, loving, and playful.

Life Expectancy: 15-18 years.

Group: Toy Group.

A few terms and phrases to describe the typical Maltese puppy and dog: eager to learn, tough to housebreak, fearless, sociable, companionable, energetic, can bark excessively, suspicious, good watchdogs, cuddly, gentle, affectionate, and a good lap dog.