Toy dog breeds is a kennel club designation used to describe a list of small toy dog breeds. Toy dogs include breeds of many different types, but they all share the characteristic of being small dogs. Popular toy dogs include the Yorkshire Terrier and the Shih Tzu.
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Toy Dog Breeds
Toy Dogs | Maltese
The Maltese, known as ‘Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta’ is a very old breed in the Toy Dog Group. The Maltese is famous for their snow white, long and silky coat, and their sweet and playful temperament. The toy dog breed has been beloved by many societies throughout the ages, and the Greeks even built tombs in honor of their deceased Maltese companions. The Maltese was recognized by the AKC in 1888 and AKC approved in 1964.
The average Maltese stands 8 to 10 inches high at the shoulders and weighs between 4 and 6 pounds. Their soft silky coat needs to be brushed regularly, and they should be bathed and groomed frequently as well.
The friendly little Maltese will bond closely with all members of the family, but they can also be a one person toy dog. Unlike many other toy dogs, the Maltese will get along well with other pets in the home. The Maltese loves to play with children, but due to its size children need to be taught how to respectfully play with and handle the Maltese to avoid accidental injuries.
While the Maltese is a naturally sweet and even tempered breed, socialization and training are still necessary to ensure that the Maltese does not develop bad behaviors unnatural to their breed. The Maltese is not a high energy toy dog breed, but they need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. This breed loves a challenge and they enjoy learning new tricks.
The toy dog is exceptionally long lived with an average life expectancy of 15 years, but there are increased health risks associated with this dog which pet owners should be aware of. The most significant issue for Maltese is their dental health. They have notoriously bad teeth, and it is not uncommon for them to begin losing teeth around eight or nine years of age.
The exact origin and history of the Maltese breed is unknown, but the toy dog breed has been around for thousands of years. The Maltese was a very popular companion and watch dog for the nobility, royalty, and politicians, and eventually the Maltese made their way into the hearts and homes of families across the world.
Weight: 4-6 lbs
Height: 8-10 in
Coat: Soft and silky, requires regular grooming
Temperament: Friendly, gentle, good with kids
Lifespan: ~15 years