Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Maltese

Maltese

Maltese


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Central Mediterranean Region (Italy).

PATRONAGE

:
FCI
Italy.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
13.11.2015.
KC
September 2011

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Companion and Toy.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 9Companion and Toy Dogs
Section 1.1Bichons and related breeds, Bichons
Without working trial

KC
Toy
UKC
Companion Dog

TRANSLATION

:
FCI
Mrs. Peggy Davis.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
His name does not signify that he originates from the island of Malta, because the adjective « Maltese » comes from the Semitic word « màlat » which means refuge or harbour; this Semitic root comes up again in a whole series 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.) he 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.
UKC
The Maltese, one of the many Bichon breeds indigenous to the areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, is believed to be as much as 2,000 years old. It is of spaniel origin, descending from the same stock that produced the Portuguese Water Dog, the Barbet and the Poodle. The breed was prized for its beauty and companionship, especially by women. The Maltese was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1948.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
Of small size, longish body. Covered by a very long white coat, very elegant with a proud and distinguished head carriage.
KC
Smart, white-coated dog, with proud head carriage.
UKC
The Maltese is a toy type, “bichon” breed, covered from head to feet with long, silky, white hair falling in a mantle. It is rectangular in proportion and has a proud, elegant carriage.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI
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 at withers.
KC
Lively, intelligent, alert.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
Lively, affectionate, very docile and very intelligent.
KC
Sweet-tempered.
UKC
Intelligent, lively and very affectionate, the Maltese is a docile companion.

HEAD

:
FCI
Its length is equal to 6/11 of the height at the withers. It is rather wide exceeding slightly half of the length.
KC
The skull is gently rounded viewed from front and sides but never ‘domed’ or ‘appleheaded’. Stop well defined. Well filled under eye. Muzzle broad, not snipey. Slightly shorter from nose to stop than from stop to occiput. Nose black.
UKC
The length of the head is equal to slightly more than half the height at the withers. It is fairly broad, in width measuring a little more than one-half the length.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
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.
UKC
The skull is slightly longer than the muzzle, and is as broad as it is long. Flat on top, it is rounded at the sides and somewhat oval in shape when viewed from above. It joins the muzzle at a well-defined stop.

Stop

:
FCI
Frontal-nasal depression strongly defined making an angle of 90°.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
In the prolongation of the nasal bridge; seen in profile, its forepart is vertical. Voluminous with open nostrils, rounded and absolutely black.
UKC
The small, round nose is black.

Muzzle

:
FCI
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.
KC
Jaws strong, with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Teeth even.
UKC
The muzzle is well-chiseled and is longer than it is deep. The upper and lower lips meet in such a way that the bottom profile of the muzzle is defined by the lower jaw, not the flews. The edges of the lips must be black.

Lips

:
FCI
Viewed from the front, the upper lips, at their junction, have the shape of a very open arch. They are little developed in depth 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 black.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Jaws: 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.
Teeth: The dental arches are perfectly adapted and the incisors in scissor articulation. Teeth are white; the dentition is well developed and complete.
UKC
A full complement of strong, white teeth meet in a scissors bite.

Eyes

:
FCI
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 a dark ochre colour; eye rims are black.
KC
Oval, not bulging, dark brown, black eye rims, with dark haloes.
UKC
The dark brown, round eyes are set not too far apart. Eye rims are close-fitting, and black; and enhance the gentle, yet alert expression.

Ears

:
FCI
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.
KC
Long, well feathered, hanging close to head; hair to mingle with coat at shoulders.
UKC
Triangular in shape and set above the zygomatic arch, the drop ears hang close to the side of the skull and have little erectile power.

NECK

:
FCI
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 at the withers. It is carried erect and does not show any loose skin.
KC
Medium length.
UKC
Fairly long and arched at the crest, the neck is carried erect and is free from loose skin.

BODY

:
FCI
The length from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock is 38% more than the height of the withers.
KC
Well balanced, essentially short and cobby. Good spring of rib, back level from withers to tail.
UKC
The body is compact and balanced. The height, measured from the withers to the ground, is equal to the length, measured from the withers to the base of the tail. The back line is level. The strong, taut loins are just slightly tucked up underneath. The chest is deep, reaching below the level of the elbow. The ribs are moderately sprung.

Topline

:
FCI
Straight to the tail-set.

Withers

:
FCI
Slightly raised above the topline.

Back

:
FCI
Its length is about 65 % of the height at the withers.

Croup

:
FCI
In the prolongation of the lumbar-dorsal line, the croup is very wide and long; its obliqueness is 10° below the horizontal.

Chest

:
FCI
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.

TAIL

:
FCI
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 croup. A tail curved to one side of the body is tolerated.
KC
Feathered, carried well arched over back.
UKC
The longhaired tail is set high and is carried gracefully and well arched over the back. The tip touches the croup or lies to either side over the quarters.

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
FCI
On the whole they are close to the body, the legs standing straight and parallel.
KC
Legs short and straight. Shoulders well sloped.
UKC
The shoulder blades slope at a moderate angle.

Shoulder

:
FCI
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.

Upper Arm

:
FCI
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.

Elbow

:
FCI
Parallel to the median plane of the body.

FORELEGS

:
UKC
The legs are straight and parallel to one another. They are lean but have sturdy bone for a dog of this size. Pasterns are short and upright.

Forearm

:
FCI
Lean with few visible muscles, but with a rather sturdy bone structure in relation to the size of the breed.

Pastern

:
FCI
Pastern joint: In the vertical line of the forearm, mobile; should not be knotty; covered with a fine skin.
Pastern: Has the same characteristics as the carpus and, because of its short length, is vertical.

FEET

:
KC
Round, pads black.
UKC
The small, round feet have black toe pads. The hair on the feet may be trimmed to give a neater appearance.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Round, toes closed and arched; communal and digital pads should be black, the nails should be also black or at least of a dark colour.

Hind feet

:
FCI
Round as the forefeet, with all the same characteristics.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
On the whole, of sturdy bone structure; parallel and, seen from behind, vertical from the point of the buttock to the ground.
KC
Legs short, well angulated.
UKC
Nicely muscled, with sturdy bone structure.

Thigh

:
FCI
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.

HIND LEGS

:
UKC
Straight and parallel to one another from hip to foot when viewed from behind. Moderately angulated at stifle and hock. Rear pasterns short and vertical.

Lower thigh

:
FCI
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.

Hock joint

:
FCI
The forward angulation of the hock is 140°.

Hock

:
FCI
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.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
Even, skimming the ground, free, with short and very quick steps at the trot.
KC
Straight and free-flowing, without weaving. Viewed from behind, legs should neither be too close nor too wide apart.
UKC
Smooth and even, giving the impression that the feet just skim the ground. At a trot, the steps are short, free and very quick.

SKIN

:
FCI
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 are black.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
Dense, shiny, glossy - falling heavily and of a silky texture, very long on the whole of the body and straight throughout 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 stifle 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.
KC
Reasonable length, never impeding action, straight, of silky texture, never woolly. Never crimped and without woolly undercoat.
UKC
The breed is single coated (having no undercoat). The silky, straight, flat coat hangs long over the sides of the body from a center part almost, if not quite, to the ground. It should not impede movement. The long hair on the head may be tied up in a single or double topknot or left hanging.

COLOUR

:
FCI
Pure white; a pale ivory tinge is permitted. Traces of pale orange shades are tolerated but not desirable and constitute an imperfection.
KC
Pure white, but slight lemon markings permissible.
UKC
Pure white. An ivory tinge, or traces of orange, are permitted but they are considered an imperfection.

SIZE

:
KC
Height not exceeding 25 cms (10 ins) from ground to withers.
UKC
Height at the withers for males is 8¼ to 10 inches. For females it is 7 ½ to 9 inches. Weight is six to eight pounds.

Height at withers

:
FCI

Males from 21 to 25 cm.
Females from 20 to 23 cm.

Weight

:
FCI
3 to 4 kg.

FAULTS

:
FCI

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
  • Bilateral strabismus (cross-eyed).
  • Length of body exceeding 43% of the height at the withers.
KC
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
UKC

Body: Roached back. Backline not level. Excessive body length that spoils the compact appearance.
Coat: Any suggestions of kinkiness, curliness, woolly texture or cosmetic alteration. Undercoat.
Teeth: Overshot or undershot bites.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Roman nose.
  • Accentuated undershot mouth, if it spoils the outer appearance of the muzzle.
  • Size in males over 26 cm or below 19 cm.
Size in bitches above 25 and below 18 cm.
UKC

Eyes: Wall eyes, lack of eye rim pigmentation.
Nose: Dudley nose or nose any color other than black.
Tail: Lack of tail or a shortened tail, whether natural or docked.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

  • 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 the eyelids.
  • Tail-less, shortened tail, whether congenital or acquired.
  • Frizzy coat.
  • Any colour other than white, with exception of pale ivory.
  • Patches of different colours whatever their extension.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Albinism.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.