A Maltese History Lesson
The Maltese breed is the most ancient of the European toy breeds, and among the oldest of any breed of dog. Darwin placed the origin of the breed at 6000 BC. The Maltese dog breed is considered to be an aristocrat among canines and even as far back as the 16th century were known to be sold for $2000.
Maltese were introduced in England in 1830 when two Maltese dogs were brought to England from Manila. Although originally intended as a gift for Queen Victoria, they passed into other hands, and their offspring became the first Maltese dogs exhibited in England.
In America, the first Maltese were shown as “Maltese lion dogs” around 1877. The AKC recognized the breed as the Maltese in 1888. The Maltese breed slowly increased in popularity and now ranks as one of the more popular toys.
Long a favorite lap dog, the gentle Maltese dog also has a very frisky side, and they love to run and play. Despite the Maltese’s innocent look, they are bold and feisty, and they may challenge larger dogs. They are often very reserved with strangers.