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For enthusiasts of the diminutive Maltese breed, we’ve compiled an article showcasing 7 intriguing facts about the Maltese dog. These details might come as a surprise to you and are well worth noting, as they emphasize why this breed captivates us. The list of curiosities is diverse, encompassing everything from the breed’s near-extinction to the existence of a multimillionaire Maltese. We trust you’ll find this article both enjoyable and astonishing.

During the Middle Ages, the Maltese bichon almost disappeared.

One of the most fascinating facts about the Maltese dog pertains to its origins. During the 17th and 18th centuries, this breed was on the brink of extinction due to interbreeding with other canine varieties, leading to the emergence of numerous breeds and colors. For instance, some of these variations included the Havanese and the Bichon Frise. However, the current breed standard specifies that the breed should be predominantly white or pale ivory.

Not Hailing from Malta

The breed’s origins are rather perplexing, and multiple theories exist. It’s commonly believed that the term “Maltese” is linked to the place of the breed’s development, originating from Malta. However, in reality, the breed’s roots are tied to Mediterranean islands, where the earliest documented references to the Maltese dog are found.

Another theory suggests that the breed’s name is derived from “Melita” or “Melitia,” a city in Sicily where a canine breed known as Canis Melitei existed. Nevertheless, the term “Maltese” derives from the word “málat,” meaning “port.”

Official Breed Recognition

The official recognition of the Maltese dog by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) took place in 1954. Interestingly, this recognition came relatively late for a breed with such ancient origins, dating back to 8000 B.C.

Particular Dietary Preferences

Another interesting facet of this breed pertains to its culinary inclinations. The Maltese dog can be quite fastidious about its food. Adding to this, the breed’s digestive system is highly sensitive, necessitating close scrutiny of its diet.



The breed’s mouth also presents certain challenges. Its small size leads to crowding of teeth, making them challenging to clean

Consequently, these dogs are prone to dental health issues, including gingivitis and periodontitis (tartar formation and accumulation). In line with their dietary preferences, dental care is of paramount importance.

A Multimillionaire Maltese Dog

There are instances of individuals experiencing good fortune at some point in their lives. What’s truly remarkable, however, is when this fortune befalls a dog. Several years ago, an article was published in the New York Times that was so extraordinary it appeared almost unbelievable. Leona Helmsley, a millionaire in the United States, bequeathed an inheritance of approximately 12 million dollars to her pet Trouble, a Maltese dog, upon her passing.

Famous Malteses

The Maltese dog is one of the dog breeds that has achieved fame. Notable examples include:

  • Foxhugh, the pet of Elvis Presley.
  • Maf, a little Maltese gifted by Frank Sinatra to Marilyn Monroe.
  • Other prominent individuals who have chosen this charming breed as their pet encompass celebrities like Eva Longoria, Halle Berry, Liz Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor, Cristina Aguilera, and Miley Cyrus.

We trust that you’ve enjoyed reading these intriguing facts and that some have taken you by surprise. For further insights into the Maltese dog and its various aspects, we recommend perusing its comprehensive profile available on our website.