Maltese and Bichon Varieties
Vase from 4th Century BC
The fore-runners of today's Maltese are among the most ancient of all Toy Breeds. They were originally called 'Melitaie', an ancient name for the Island of Malta from which the Phoenicians traded between the East and the West. Around 300 BC Aristotle described these as 'about the size of a Maltese dog of the little, tiny sort'. Consequently, we have the 'Maltese and Bichon Varieties' considered here.