Small, white, affectionate, cute. ... So you can characterize two gorgeous Italian breeds of lapdogs.
One is already widely known throughout the world. The other is barely (yet) known in their homeland. However, both dogs have a great future - they just can not fall in love!
Maltese and Bichon Frize
Maltese (they are also called Maltese) and Bologna are names that no doubt indicate the origin of dogs. But these little white little sly people are starting to mislead us from the very name. In fact, the Maltese dog does not come from the island of Malta at all. And Bologna was not born at all in Bologna. To understand this confusion, you need to go back a few centuries back to the time of Aristotle .... Already in 350 BC, dogs existed, later called lapdogs - in French Bichon. The name it comes from the French word barbishon - bearded.
Today, Bichons, in other words, small dogs, covered with long hair, are called lapdogs, which Aristotle, who divided the breeds that existed at that time into seven categories of dogs, called Meliten. Before the Greek philosopher, not only white dogs were related to the Melitenian lapdogs. However, no doubt among them were the ancestors of the modern Maltese and Bologna bolonok. Today we want to understand why these dogs are called Maltese.
There are a number of hypotheses, among which, according to their most common homeland, isle of Malta. However, this is a little believable. According to researchers, Aristotle, most likely produced the name from the name of the island "Meleda", located in the Adriatic Sea or the city of Milito in Sicily. For a long time, the most likely birthplace of dogs was the city of Milito, because there was a Greek colony, and also because 30 years after Aristotle, the Greek historian Strabo wrote about little white dogs with long hair that were bred in this city.
However, not so long ago, researchers decided not to refer to toponyms, but to the etymologies of these toponyms. Indeed, the root of such names as Malta, Melito, Meleda, and so on is the Greek vocation of the Semitic term "malate", meaning refuge, the port.
This suggests that Aristotle called Meletenskim all small long-haired dogs who lived in the port. Indeed, it is unlikely that a whole variety of dogs grows and develops in an enclosed space, such as an island or a city, so today all the central Mediterranean countries, or rather, those parts open to the sea, to the ports, are considered to be the birthplace of Bichon bichons.
It seems that Maltese and Bologna dogs, or rather, their ancestors, were mouse hunters. Small and active these dogs lived not only in the port, but also on ships.
It was on the ships that they spread almost throughout the world. But in Italy two breeds settled firmly. And these breeds quickly and dramatically evolved. From hunters on mice, they vividly turned into salon dogs. Their small size and attractive appearance made them favorites of the public.
Very soon they became popular dogs among the VIPs of that time. Women also discovered in these dogs one more attractive property for themselves - because of the increased body temperature, they (bushes) could perform the functions of heating pads. Roman matrons had the custom of putting their dogs on their stomachs to soothe the pains that arose “through the female part”.
Soon after these dogs the healers' property was firmly established. Beautiful, affectionate, and in addition useful Maltese dogs quickly came into vogue, especially among aristocrats. The name "doggie" was given more Maltese, not Bologna breed. In France, Bologna called dogs with curly hair Bichon Frize.
Since Roman times, both breeds have acquired the status of a symbol, as giving such dogs to the powerful of the world has become a custom.