The Crested Malt’s name comes from its two parent breeds: the Chinese Crested and Maltese, also known as the Bichon Maltese. Both Crested Malt parent breeds have different, but ancient origins. Many believe that the Chinese Crested originated in current day Mexico where it was kept as a pet by the ancient Aztecs. Others, however, insist that it descended from African hairless dogs and was brought to Asia on trading ships in the 13th century. Regardless, explorers found these dogs throughout Central and South America as well as African and Asian ports as early as the 1500s. In the 1800s, depictions of the Chinese Crested started to emerge in European art and architecture. Eventually, the breed developed a following in the United States in the early 20th century. Public figures, including Gypsy Rose Lee - infamous stage personality and Chinese Crested superfan - bolstered the breed’s reputation in the mid-century. Gypsy Rose Lee’s and others efforts eventually paid off and the Chinese Crested was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1991. The Crested Malt’s other parent, the Maltese, hails from the island of Malta as far back as the 5th century. In fact, these pups were highly prized by royal and wealthy families in the Mediterranean region for centuries. Eventually, the breed spread further west due to inter-mingling of populations during periods of war, particularly the Crusades of 14th century. Afterwards, the Maltese grew in popularity more widely across the continent of Europe. In the 1800s, Americans started to import the breed and it was recognized by the AKC in 1888. The Maltese has been beloved and popular pet in the United States ever since. Chinese Crested and the Maltese may have been bred haphazardly together for decades throughout the 20th century; however, Crested Malts remains an unusual hybrid that is overshadowed by today’s more popular Maltese mixes.