The Maltese is enigmatic in that they are both gentle-mannered and lively at the same time. Often fearless and playful, they are also very loving. As optimal companion dogs, they are fast learners if sufficiently rewarded. They are suited for families as they are full of energy and love to play.
The Maltese was once known as "Ye ancient dogge of Malta." (Malta is a small country in the middle of the Mediterranean.) There are claims that this aristocrat of the canine world was priced at $2,000, even as far back as the 1500’s. The Maltese has been owned by royalty all over the world for over 28 centuries. While other companion dogs have been bred down in size, the first Maltese were the same diminutive size as today.