The Maltese is a breed of dog in the toy group. It is thought to have originated in south-central Europe from dogs of spitz type. It takes its name from the Mediterranean island of Malta.It traditionally has a silky, pure-white coat, hanging ears and a tail that curves over its back, and weighs up to 3.6 kilograms. The Maltese dog was a lapdog favoured by both the ancient Greeks and Romans, especially their children, and appears on amphorae. References to the dog can also be found in Ancient Greek and Roman literature. Aristotle mentions the dog around 370 BC.