Seóidín (pronounced showdeen, meaning little jewel.
What age were you and how did you become involved in the world of Dogs:
I grew up with dogs, we had English springers and English setters growing up. My extended family all were dog lovers. We also kept horses. My dad is former secretary and Chairman of The English Setter Club, though his interest was more in field trials and working dogs. When I was just aged ten I did a school project on Japanese Chin, and as a child spent years recording dog programmes on tv, watching Crufts etc. When I was a child, my dad had a book of dog breeds by Barbara Woodhouse. I wanted a Japanese Chin and at 15 my parents had decided I was old enough to have a dog. They couldn’t find a chin and Maltese or a Peke was my second choice. I got a Maltese as a gift from my parents and have never looked back!
What Breeds of Dogs have you had over the years:
Grew up around gundogs but the breeds I have now are the only ones I’ve owned myself.
What Breeds of Dogs have you got now:
Maltese, Afghan Hound, Chinese Crested and finally got my Japanese Chin.
What would you consider to be your main breed and the one people associate you with:
What attracted you to this breed:
They are undoubtedly very glamorous. More than anything, my attraction was the very sweet expression. So gentle and loving. I still stand by that today.
What advice would you offer to anybody that is interested in becoming an owner of the breed:
Speak to somebody that has them. Meet many dogs in real life. Be sure your personality matches the breed. Watch YouTube videos, read articles. Consider the long term plan for getting a dog, and the life it will have. There are so many online resources for learning now, I’d say be as informed as possible and present as much as you can, to facilitate a good life for both dog and owner.
Does the Breed have any specific requirements by way of exercise & grooming?
Exercise is easy! Grooming if you want to keep a long coat is extensive. Daily brushing with a leave in conditioner keeps on top of things, along with some cornflour on the face. It is a daily and unrelenting commitment to keep a maltese in showcoat. The joyous thing about Maltese is that they don’t shed. They’ve a single coat of hair as opposed to fur. They’re a generally clean breed. So if you’re an aspiring hairdresser that likes being meticulous then they’re the breed for you. The face needs to be kept dry and clean for white appearance. They can be kept in a pet clip. Which is way more manageable. Nowadays there are many styles and clips that owners can choose from,
Does the breed have any specific health tests that should be done before a Dog or Bitch is used at stud or bred from:
We are lucky the Maltese is a very healthy breed. No living animal is entirely free from the odd health issue but nothing is prominent or worrying in our breed. In the past there were concerns around liver shunts but thankfully I’ve never seen/heard of this in my time in the breed. With any puppy in a small breed I’d always be careful of hypoglycaemia but feeding little and often and gentle exercise rather than exhaustion is best. I’d always advise go to a breeder that will be keeping a sibling. Remember that purebred doesn’t mean well bred. Anybody keeping a sibling is likely a breeder that is breeding ethically, and would never want problems themselves.
How would you sum up the characteristics of this breed and what type of household would they best be suited to:
In a word – loving. They are the most loving and gentle breed. Full of fun and not in any way precious. They’ve courageous little hearts and are always content. The biggest reward for any Maltese is simply to be in your company. A household I’d recommend is one that is calm as I believe a dog reflects its environment and owner. Maltese deserve calm. They are a super breed for children but given their small size I’d recommend children to be at least 5/6. If young kids are taught to love and respect a dog’s boundaries though they are a dream. They are a breed full of joy, kindness and love.