Mrs. Peggy Davis.
Central Mediterranean Area.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE VALID ORIGINAL STANDARD:
Companion and Toy.
FCI'S CLASSIFICATION :
Group 9 Companions and Toys Section 1
Bichons and related Breeds Without working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY:
His name does not signify that he originates
from the island of Malta, because the adjective "Maltese"
from the Semetic word "malat" which means refuge or harbour; this Semetic
root comes up again in a whole serie of names of maritime places; i.e.
in the name Adriatic island of Méléda, the Sicilian town
of Melita and also in that of the island Malta. The ancestors of this little
dog lived in the ports and maritime cities of central Mediterranean, where
they hunted mice and rats which were found in profusion in the harbour
warehouses and in the hold of ships. In his list of dogs existing at the
time of Aristote (384 322 B.C.) mentions a breed of little dogs to which
he attributes the Latin name "canes melitenses". That dog was known in
Ancient Rome: favourite companion of the matrons, has been praised by Strabon,
Latin poet of the first century A.D. Representations of the Maltese by
numerous Renaissance painters show this little dog in the salons of the
period at the side of beautiful ladies of the time.
Of small size, longish body. Covered by a
very long white coat, very elegant with a proud and distinguished head
Length of body exceeds by about 38% the
height at the withers. The length of the head is equal to 6/11 of the height
BEHAVIOUR - TEMPERAMENT:
Lively, affectionate, very docile and
Its length is equal to 6/11 of the height at the withers.
It is rather wide exceeding slightly half of the length.
The skull is slightly longer than the muzzle;
the bizygomatic width is equal to its length and consequently superior
to the half of the length of the head. In the sagittal direction, it is
very slightly egg-shaped (ovoid); the upper part of the skull is flat,
with an occipital crest very slightly marked; the protuberance of the frontal
bones and the supraorbital ridges are well developed; the frontal indentation
of the furrow is so lightly marked, that is invisible; the lateral faces
of the parietal bones are somewhat convex.
Frontal-nasal depression strongly defined making an angle
In the prolongation of the nasal bridge; seen in profile,
its fore-part is vertical. Voluminous with open nostrils, rounded and absolutely
Length of muzzle is equal to 4/11 of the length of the
head; it is therefore slightly less than its half. The suborbital
region is well chiselled. Its
depth is a good 20% less than its length. The sides of the muzzle are
parallel, but the muzzle seen from the front, must not appear square, since
its anterior face joins onto the lateral sides by curves. The muzzle is
rectilinear with a well marked furrow in its central part.
Viewed from the front, the upper lips, at their junction,
have the shape of a very open arch. They are little developed in height
and the labial commissure is not visible. The upper lips adapt perfectly
to the lower lips, in such a way that the bottom profile of the muzzle
is defined by the lower jaw. The edges of the lips must be absolutely
Normally developed and light in appearance, perfectly adapted.
The lower jaw, with its branches being straight, is neither prominent nor
receeding in its anterior part.
The dental arches are perfectly adapted an the incisors
in scissor articulation. Teeth are white; the dentition is well developed
Open, with lively and attentive expression, larger than
would be expected; the shape tends to be round. The eyelids are in close
contact with the eyeball, which is never deep-set, but rather level with
the head, just slightly protruding. The eyes are set on a same almost frontal
plan. Seen from the front, they must not show sclera (white of the eyes);
they are of an dark ochre colour; eye rims are black.
Of almost triangular shape, their width is about 1/3 of
their length. They are set high above the zygomatic arch, hanging close
to the sides of the skull; with little erection.
Although covered with an abundant coat, the demarcation
of the nape of the neck is obvious. The upper profile is arched. Its length
is about half of the height of the withers. It is carried erect and does
not show any loose skin.
The length from the point of the shoulder to the point
of the buttock is 38% more than the height of the withers.
Straight to the tail-set.
Slightly raised above the top-line.
Its length is about 65% of the height at the withers. The
chest is ample; let down lower than the level of the elbows, with ribs
not too well - sprung - The circumference of the chest is 2/3 more than
the height at the withers.
Sternal region very long.
In the prolongation of the lumbar-dorsal line,
the rump is very wide and long, its obliqueness is 10° below the
Set on level with the croup, thick at the root and fine
at the tip. Its length corresponds to about 60% of the height at the withers.
Forms a single big curve, the tip of which falls between the haunches touching
the rump. A tail curved to one side of the body is tolerated.
On the whole they are close to the body,
the legs standing straight and parallel.
Its length represents 1/3 of the height of the withers
and its obliqueness below the horizontal is of 60° to 65°. In relation
to the median plane of the body nearly vertical.
Longer than the shoulder, measures 40 to 45% of the
height at the withers, the obliqueness below the horizontal is of 70°.
Well joined to the body in its top 2/3, and its longitudinal direction
is almost parallel to the median plane of the body.
Parallel to the median plane of the body.
Lean with few visible muscles, but with a rather sturdy
bone structure in relation to the size of the breed.
In the vertical line of the forearm, mobile; should
not be knotty; covered with a fine skin.
Has the same characteristics as the carpus and, because
of its short length, is vertical.
Round, toes closed and arched; communal and digital
pads should be black, the nails should be also black or at least of a dark
On the whole, of sturdy bone structure; parallel and, seen from behind,
vertical from the point of the buttock to the ground.
Hard muscled, hind edge is convex. Parallel to the
median plane of the body, its downward and forward direction is somewhat
oblique in relation to the vertical. Its length is nearly 40% of the height
at the withers and its width is a little less than its length.
With a groove between the tendon and the bone hardly
noticeable; its obliqueness below the horizontal is 55°. It is slightly
longer than the thigh.
The forward angulation of the hock is 140°.
The distance from the ground to the point of the hock is
slightly more than 1/3 of the height at the withers. Its length corresponds
to the height of the hock. It is perfectly upright.
Round as the forefeet, with all the same characteristics.
Even, skimming the ground, free, with short and
very quick steps at the trot.
Really tight to all parts of the body, pigmented with dark
patches and patches of a reddish wine colour, especially on the back. The
rim of the eyelids, third eyelids and lips
TYPE OF COAT:
Dense, shiny, glossy - falling heavily and of a
silky texture, very long on the whole of the body and straight troughout
its length without traces of waves or curls. On the trunk it should be
longer than the height at the withers and fall heavily back to the ground
like a cape fitting close to the trunk without opening or forming tufts
or flocks. Tufts or flocks are acceptable on the forequarters from the
elbow to the foot, and on the hindquarters, from the knee to the foot.
There is no undercoat. On the head the coat is very long, as much on the
foreface, where it mingles with the beard, also on the skull where it falls
eventually mingling with the hair covering the ears. On the tail, the hairs
fall back to one side of the body, i.e. on the flank and on the thigh,
of such length as to reach the hock.
Pure white; a pale ivory tinge is permitted. Traces of
pale orange shades are tolerated but not desirable and constitute an
SIZE AND WEIGHT
HEIGHT AT WITHERS:
Males from 21 to 25 cm
Females from 20 to 23 cm
3 to 4 kg
Any departure from the foregoing points is considered
a fault which must be penalised according to its extension and seriousness;
the same applies to the bilateral strabismus (cross-eyed) and for a length
of body in excess of 43% of the height at the withers.
Roman nose; accentuated undershot mouth if it
spoils the outer appearance of the muzzle. Size in males over 26 cm or
below 19 cm; in females, above 25 cm and below 18 cm. Accentuated divergence
or convergence of the head planes; total depigmentation of the nose or
nose of other colour than black. Overshot mouth, wall eye, total depigmentation
of eyelids, tail-less, shortened tail whether congenital or acquired; frizzy
coat, any colour other than white exception of pale ivory; patches of different
colours whatever their extension.
Males should have two apparently normal testicles fully
descended into the scrotum.