The tiny Maltese, 'Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta,'� has been sitting in the lap of luxury since the Bible was a work in progress. Famous for their show-stopping, floor-length coat, Maltese are playful, charming, and adaptable toy companions. Maltese are affectionate toy dogs weighing less than seven pounds, covered by a long, straight, silky coat. Beneath the all-white mantle is a compact body moving with a smooth and effortless gait. The overall picture depicts free-flowing elegance and balance. The irresistible Maltese face 'with its big, dark eyes and black gumdrop nose' can conquer the most jaded sensibility. Despite their aristocratic bearing, Maltese are hardy and adaptable pets. They make alert watchdogs who are fearless in a charming toy-dog way, and they are game little athletes on the agility course. Maltese are low-shedding, long-lived, and happy to make new friends of all ages. Sometimes stubborn and willful, they respond well to rewards-based training.