The most ancient of the European toy breeds is the Maltese. Some claim that it is named for the Island of Malta. But all agree that the breed was widespread in Mediterranean countries from the earliest times. Many believe that the returning Crusaders brought the dogs to Britain in the late 1500s. Cheerful, active, merry, and extroverted, the Maltese loves companionship, and it now ranks as one of the more popular toys.
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