The Maltese is one of the most beautiful of all the toy dogs. The Maltese is acknowledged as one of the oldest breeds of dogs, over hundreds of years old. Charles Darwin placed the origin of the breed at 6000 B.C. A Greek vase was found with an excellent likeness 500 years before Christ. The first known representation of a Maltese-type dog is dated 600-300 B.C. It was unearthed in Egypt. The Maltese was among dogs worshiped by ancient Egyptians. Ancient Greeks held their Maltese in great esteem. The Maltese descended from a Spitz-like dog which was then bred for hunting in the marsh and wooded areas of Southern Europe. The dog was later carried southward into the Mediterranean Sea area and into the Far East. The origin of the Maltese has also been attributed by other historians to the Italian town of “Melitae”, which could have given rise to “Maltese” for a breed name.
Information partially obtained from a book titled
THE COMPLETE MALTESE by Nick Cutillo