This article's factual accuracy is disputed. (January 2020)
|Origin||Central Mediterranean Region|
|Dog (domestic dog)|
The Maltese is a breed of dog in the toy group. It is thought to have originated in south-central Europe from dogs of spitz type. Despite the name, it has no verified historic or scientific connection to the island of Malta.: 347 
It traditionally has a silky, pure-white coat, hanging ears and a tail that curves over its back, and weighs up to 3.6 kilograms (8 lb).
In 1837 Edwin Landseer painted The Lion Dog from Malta: The Last of his Tribe, a portrait of a Maltese named Quiz commissioned by Queen Victoria as a birthday present for her mother, the Duchess of Kent, whose dog it was.: 345 
The breed was recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1888. It was definitively accepted by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale under the patronage of Italy in 1955, at the annual meeting in Interlaken, Switzerland. Parti-colour and solid colour dogs were accepted in the show ring from 1902 until 1913 in England, and as late as 1950 in Victoria, Australia.
The Maltese dog was a lapdog favoured by both the ancient Greeks and Romans, especially their children, and appears on amphorae with the word Μελιταίε (Melitaie). References to the dog can also be found in Ancient Greek and Roman literature. Aristotle mentions the dog around 370 BC. Some ancient writers attribute its origin to the island of Malta in the Mediterranean, called Melita in Latin, others claim it to be from the island of Mljet off the coast of Croatia, also called Melita in Latin.: 63 : 347
Pliny suggests the dog as having taken its name from the Adriatic island Mljet (also Melita in Latin),[page needed] however Strabo, in the early first century AD, identifies the breed as originating from the Mediterranean island of Malta.
During the first century, the Roman poet Martial wrote descriptive verses to a lap dog named "Issa" owned by his friend Publius. It is proposed that Issa was a Maltese dog, and various sources link Martial's friend Publius with the Roman Governor Publius of Malta, though others do not identify him.
John Caius, physician to Queen Elizabeth I, also claimed that Callimachus was referring to the island of Melita "in the Sicilian strait" (Malta).[page needed] This claim is often repeated, especially by English writers. The dog's links to Malta are mentioned in the writings of Abbé Jean Quintin, Secretary to the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, in his work Insulae Melitae Descriptio.
English writers in the early 20th century also gave Malta as the place of origin of the breed.
The coat is dense, glossy, silky and shiny, falling heavily along the body without curls or an undercoat. The colour is pure white, however a pale ivory tinge is permitted. Adult weight is usually 3–4 kg (7–9 lb). Females are about 20–23 cm (8–9 in) tall, dogs slightly more.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Maltese.|
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