Maltese (AKC, UKC)
A pet of the noble ladies of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome (who used to carry him around in their sleeves!) the Maltese was a pampered lapdog. Riding around in their carriages, sleeping on their beds, and being fed the choicest morsels, he certainly led a charmed existence.
Although the Maltese, with his glamorous white cloak of long silky hair, is usually thought of in terms of plush cushions and luxurious surroundings, he is in fact a fearless little fellow, filled with spunky determination. Despite his lack of stature, he makes a splendid little watchdog.
Although he does not take easily to strangers, he is very affectionate towards his owners. He has a sweet, loving yet mischievous temperament, and is very much the individualist. The fact that for so many centuries, the Maltese was indulged as the household pet of the wealthy and cultured, may to some extent explain his own refinement, cleanliness and fastidiousness.