Bichon Maltais

There has been an ongoing debate on where Bichon Maltais breed originated from. Many think that the little white dog came from Malta in the Mediterranean area. But there is evidence that the Maltaid may have come from Asia, related to Tibetan Terrier or from Switzerland descended from a Spitz. However, the oldest record dated as far back as 500 BC stated that the breed was discovered in the Etruscan town of Vulci, where the dog was described along with the word Melitaie. Around 370 BC Aristotle mentioned his name for the first time, Melitaei Catelli, when he compared the Maltese to a Mustelidae from the weasel family. The ancient breed that made it to the Greek and Roman records was famously known to be the darling of the noble ladies. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the breed came close to extinction and breeders then decided to crossbreed it with other small dogs such as Poodles and mini Spaniels. Bichon Maltais is portrayed as having a pure white colour. There are coloured Bichon Maltais found in the south of France, but white is considered more desirable.

Bichon Maltais are a small dog ranging from roughly 20 to 25 centimetres tall with the length of the body about 40% longer than their height. The breed has long and silky coat, normally white in colour but other pale colours such as cream, light lemon and pale ivory are existent though not preferable. The Maltais also has slightly rounded skull, which is longer compared to its muzzle. The nose is completely black with open nostrils. The breed also has wide open round eyes tingled with the expressions of attentive and lively. When seen on the front, the eyes are in black colour with no single tint of sclera.

The Maltais makes such a gentle, quiet and loving companion. He does not have particularly a long history of patience with children, but when socialized from a puppy stage, he can be their good friend. The same thing applies to the socialization with the other animals. Although Bichon Maltais has long hair, it does not shed. This breed is then ideal for owners with allergies. However, daily brushing and grooming is required to keep the hair soft, shiny and healthy. It is also believed that the brushing prevents the need of matting. The Maltais dog is a typical city pet as he does not need a lot of exercise. Thanks to their size, they can make themselves occupied indoors, although they also enjoy running in the backyard. It can be somewhat hard to house train them, though. The healthiest among the toy breed type, Bichon Maltais can live up to 9 to 11 years old.

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