The Maltese is gentle, playful, affectionate, and fearless in a charming toy-dog way. Maltese are toy dogs weighing less than seven pounds, covered by a long, silky coat. Beneath that all-white mantle is a compact body moving with a smooth, effortless gait. The overall picture depicts free-flowing elegance and balance. The Maltese face—with its big, dark eyes and black gumdrop nose—has been enchanting owners since the Bible was a work in progress. Don’t let the showy looks fool you: These are hearty, adaptable pets. It takes a whole lot of dog to survive three millennia.