As its name suggests, the Maltese originated in Malta and has been known by many names such as 'Ye ancient dogge of Malta', 'The Roman Ladies Dog' as well as 'The Maltese Lion Dog'. The breed arrived in England with the Crusaders coming home from the Mediterranean region.
The breed was favoured by royalty around the world and was so well received by women in general, it is said that they were carried around in their sleeves and even slept in the same beds.
Many attempts have been made to make the dog smaller and it was documented that in 1792 one attempt resulted in a Maltese the size of a squirrel!
A strange occurrence with the Maltese called 'reverse sneezing' is likely upon waking. 'Reverse sneezing' is not dangerous and goes within a minute or so. It sounds as though the dog is snorting or gagging and this can be controlled by gently squeezing their nose and scratching their throat.