Maltese: Maltese

A small, hardy dog with a silky coat. One of the sweetest of the Toy breeds, the Maltese needs a lot of attention to keep his long, soft, silky coat in immaculate condition. Much of his beauty comes from the stark contrast of his dark eyes with their black rims, and black nose against his pure white coat. Their temperament is merry and friendly, and they are very bright and intelligent. However, they can be snappy around small children, so care is advised. In view of its island origins, the Maltese is likely to have been a pure breed for many years. Small dogs of the type have been known around the Mediterranean for centuries and, as with many breeds, were traded by the Phoenicians as they sailed from country to country. There is evidence that the breed was in Malta in Roman times and the dogs were bred as pets, both as lap dogs and ‘sleeve’ dogs, carried in the coat sleeve. (Kennel Club)

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