White Maltese dog. By DragoNika | Shutterstock.com
White Maltese dog. By DragoNika | Shutterstock.com

About Maltese dogs.

The maltese breed originated in the central Mediterranean region and is directly linked to Malta and the Mljet islands.

Although its name seems to derive from Malta, the truth is that “maltese” comes from the Semitic term “màlat”, which means refuge or harbour; this Semitic root is found in many names of maritime places, like the name of the Adriatic island of Meleda, the Sicilian city of Melita, as well as the island of Malta.

This breed was used in the past to catch and exterminate rodents that made their way onto boats in seaports.

In the Middle Ages, they started being considered a prized pet by the upper classes, as their body heat was believed to have healing power and provide pain relief.

There are two breeds: traditional and “toy”. The second one is not really a breed, but the result of breeders trying to reduce its size through crossing.

Maltese dog is one of the longest living dog breeds with a lifespan of 19 years.

About dogs in general:

  • Did you know that dogs sweat through their paws?
  • Dogs’ nose prints are unique to each dog. They are the equivalent to human’s fingerprints.
  • Dogs can learn and remember 250-500 words.
  • Dogs have a warmer body temperature than humans.
  • Research has shown that some dogs can detect cancer, diabetes or epilepsy before the symptoms begin thanks to their acute sense of smell.
  • The Saluki is the eldest world dog breed. It was very appreciated in Ancient Egypt and its body was mummified on occasions.
Maltese dog standing in front of a white background. By Eric Isselee | Shutterstock.com
Maltese dog standing in front of a white background. By Eric Isselee | Shutterstock.com
MalteseNot evaluated
Lupus Canis familiaris Maelitacus20–25 cm (8–10 in)
Canidae0.9–3.6 kg (2–8 lb)
Carnivora12-15 years
Mammalia62 days
This species is commonAs domestic animals, they are considered omnivorous, but originally and evolutionary they should be carnivorous.
It is a domestic animalAs domestic animal, it can be found anywhere in the world where humans live.

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Zoo portraits is a creative and educational project based on the animal kingdom and is divided into three main areas: Image, education and awareness.


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