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From the Mediterranean comes the dainty Maltese—a popular companion dog for centuries. These toy dogs have a long silky coat as white as snow and weigh a mere 7 pounds or less. The island of Malta, which is home to this pocket-sized pet, sat at the crossroads of ancient trade routes. As a result, the Maltese gained in popularity throughout the ancient world. It’s believed that ladies of Roman nobility would often tuck one of these dogs into their dresses.
Today, the Maltese loves to be cuddled and carried. They’re alert and, despite their small size, will speak up to let intruding people or animals known that they’ve been spotted. They make good watchdogs in this regard, but they don’t offer much in the way of protection. However, as a companion dog, they are a popular choice.
Height: 8 to 10 inches
Weight: 4 to 7 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Petite body with solid white fur that is long and silky; dark alert eyes and black nose