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Discover the fascinating origins of the Maltese Dog! Everything you need to know about this charming breed
The old variety of the Maltese dog used to be the most common pet in households

Francesca Vella

The mention of the ‘Maltese’ dog breed brings a small, white, long-haired dog to mind. These dogs are known for their playful and affectionate personality, yet are also infamous in their endless energy.

However, the reason why we actually refer to this dog as ‘Maltese’ is still up for debate. Ancient writers, dating back to Ancient Greek and Roman times, reference this dog in their literature, but it’s unclear whether its origin is attributed to Malta, or the Adriatic island of Mljet near Corfu and off the Dalmatian coast of modern Croatia, as both islands are called ‘Melita’ in Latin.

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In fact, several academics have dedicated their efforts to this mystery. Notably, J. Busuttil in his work titled ‘The Maltese Dog’, suggests that it is in fact Malta that ‘Melita’ refers to, based on the island’s advantageous position in the Mediterranean sea and subsequent frequent mentions in literature.

Regardless of its origin, the white fluffy dog can often still be seen around the island nowadays, sometimes sporting a pigtail or two in its fur!

Do you know anyone who has a Maltese dog?

18th June 2024


Francesca Vella
Written by
Francesca Vella
Francesca has always felt most at home in a cinema or theatre, particularly if musicals are involved. She loves to read, write, and share about her experiences of both the fictional and the real world.

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