The Maltese’s history is clouded with mystery, unlike its famous white coat. This cannot be helped because the breed’s origin can be traced back to antiquity and important documents have been lost in time. Fortunately, there are still some facts that were still retrieved and prove to be interesting. Let us learn more about this toy dog breed by going through this list of facts.
- The first known documentation of the Maltese is on an ancient painting on a Greek vase dating back to 500 B.C. Charles Darwin even placed the origin of the breed at 6000 B.C.
- The Maltese was bred as a status symbol of luxury for the rich in olden days unlike other dog breeds that were bred for specific purposes such as for game or work. Eventually, change in the economy and lifestyle brought the pleasure of owning a Maltese to everyone.
- In an effort to make the breed more sought after, during around the 17th and 18th century, breeders attempted to make the Maltese even smaller. Linnaeus even recorded that the dogs’ size were similar to a squirrel in 1792. This caused the decline in the population of Maltese forcing the breeders to crossbreed the dogs to other small breeds in order to prolong the lineage.
- According to legend, Maltese were used as alarm dogs by the ancient Romans because of their excessive barking.
- There is actually only one type of Maltese. Toy, teacup, mini, and micro-mini Maltese dogs are all considered as unofficial terms of Maltese types by major canine associations such as the AKC.
- Due to the Maltese’s constant barking, Australians tend to abandon this dog breed a lot making it Australia’s most dumped breed of dog. Similarly, Koreans also tend to ditch the dogs making it most abandoned breed in Seoul. In 2010, it was recorded by the Korean National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service that there were around 1,208 Malteses that were abandoned between January to August.