One of the brightest and gentlest of the toys, the Maltese is exceedingly playful and enjoys clever games of dexterity such as "pull the hidden toy from under the cabinet with your paw."
Without frequent brushing and combing, Maltese become a matted mess. I actually recommend keeping your dog's coat sheared short. Then it's always neat, sanitary, and comfortable for the dog, so easy to brush and bathe. And it makes your Maltese look like an adorable puppy throughout his life!
As a behavioral consultant, I would put the Maltese on my Top 5 List of "Hardest Breeds to Housebreak." If you live in a cold or rainy climate, housebreaking will be especially difficult, because Maltese hate cold and wet. A COVERED potty area is strongly recommended. Sometimes a doggy door is necessary so your Maltese can run outside the moment he feels the urge in his tiny bladder. An indoor litterbox also works well for Maltese. Read more about housebreaking a Maltese.
The Maltese is lively, cheerful, and energetic. They are gentle, trusting, and devoted to their master. Because of their high level of intelligence, the Maltese learns tricks easily. They are courageous and will bark if they hear a suspicious noise. They get along well with other animals and pets. While they are very good with kind children, they may snap at inconsiderate children. Some can be difficult to housebreak. They can be picky eaters, and small dog biscuits should be included in their diet to keep their teeth strong and healthy. If over-pampered or neglected, the Maltese may become jealous and unstable.
The Maltese is an ancient breed with a history that can be traced back many centuries. Some believe that the breed has existed for more than two thousand years, and Darwin believed the breed originated in 6000 BC. It is believed that the Maltese is descendant from a Spitz type dog found among the Swiss Lake dwellers. This dog would have been bred down to obtain the small size of the contemporary Maltese. While there is some evidence that the Maltese originated in Asia, the breed is usually associated with the island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. They were probably taken to Europe through the Middle East by nomadic tribes. Today, the breed is a very popular companion and glamorous show dog.
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First and foremost... these little guys are the friggen best companions. Super loving and cuddly. Very therapeutic. But if you live in a condo or apartment building, check with the building... aaaaand you’re neighbors. Maltese’s will bark at everything. You’d have to train him/her ... I still haven’t figured it out. It’s just become my alarm clock. I got my maltese because his owner also had a 8-5 sometimes 6 or 7... and this little guy would shit and piss all over the apartment out of spite. He’s mostly stopped since my schedule is more open but it occasionally happens. They are a lot of work but worth it if you’re dedicated.
My Maltese (who is currently snuggled on my lap) is my first dog and also a rescue. She’s got some residual issues from being a rescue on top of the Maltese traits (she used to want to eat every man she saw - now she’s down to only wanting to eat new men with beards or who are in work clothes - and that’s after 4+ years of training) but for the most part, she’s a great pup!
It’s doable if you have a 9-5 but they’re very much companion dogs and definitely like “their person.” My dog misses me when I’m gone, even if my husband or someone else is in the house, so just know that they get attached very easily. She also barks and has separation anxiety when we’re not home, and I hear that could possibly be a Maltese trait... but if she stays occupied she does ok. We give her treat balls so she has something to occupy her if we’re both out during the day.
I had a job outside my house when I first got her, but my husband worked from home half the time. Now I work from home and my husband is still here half the time. She does fairly well with being left for long-ish periods. She prefers the company of her person/people but she doesn’t go nuts when we leave.
They also need to be brushed regularly (I give her a thorough brushing every night or two) and groomed. I take my girl in every 6 weeks or so and get her cut into a “puppy” cut by a professional because it’s easier maintenance than the long hair and she looks adorable. I also give her baths so that she stays nice and white.
They’re great small dogs with giant personalities. If you get one, know they’re slightly high maintenance and you may never stop the barking (mine barks anytime she hears someone out front, if the doorbell rings, when she wants to eat the gardeners, or if she’s talking to me and demanding play time) but they totally make up for it by being frigging adorable.
I got my first Maltese, a pure bred from a breeder, as my first dog when I was 10. She was sooo special and wonderful. But, she barked at everything - no, really, everything - and could be a bit nippy especially with men. She was exceptionally easy to train and very patient. She had the run of the house (and for the second half of her life, shared it with a papillon mix) during the day and slept on the bed at night but was also ok occasionally in her crate. She was an expensive keeper, between monthly grooming (I grew up in Florida and it was the humane option to keep her coat short) as well as some typical breed health issues like glaucoma and slipped patellas, as well as epilepsy. But she was worth it. Did fine at home during the day for similar hours after she was about a year old.
I have a new little 4month pup now who is 3/4 Maltese 1/4 Lhasa Apso and is also easy to train and very patient (as well as calm and cuddly). Does not bark hardly ever, definitely not at people or sounds, which is amazing since we are in an apartment. My boyfriend and I have opposite work schedules so she doesn't have to be alone often but has been fine in a pen attached to her crate for 10 hours as long as she has water and a peepee training pad to go on. She is also incredibly good in her crate. My neighbors say she doesn't make a peep when we are gone. So, I think a lot of Matese DO bark, but it's not a guarantee. Both she and my previous Maltese HATE walks and have no desire to be outside or around other dogs. But, both have been the most amazing little companions I've ever had and I highly recommend them! Just be prepared for a few tough months if you get a puppy, especially if it's your first. Puppies are all hard work, but the little guys especially are trying since they usually need to be fed more often and certainly need to pee in the night more often at a young age. But, it's always worth it! And every dog can be a good dog if you put in the time - do yourself a favor and sign them up for a puppy class, because honestly it's more for you anyway!
We have two dogs, a Maltese and a Bichon. The Bichon plays 24/7 and my Maltese needs a break from her so I always take him with me when I go upstairs to get ready for bed. It gives him an hour or so of alone time with just me where he gets lots of cuddles and kisses. That downtime really helps him!
I would say lots of affection, a regulated schedule, and make sure you can be firm with them when you need to be. My Maltese tests the limits with me sometimes, and my husband always tells me that I'm a huge pushover for him.
Hey my vet recommended Dasuquin tablets for my Maltese. They promote joint health. Little dogs are known to have knee and joint issues. My girl had luxating patella and since we give her half a tab daily. Ask your vet if they think it's appropriate for your babe.
The Maltese should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
A Maltese will make the perfect family dog or great company for someone living on their own. They are full of character and their abundance of energy will keep you entertained for hours. Even as your Maltese puppy matures, you will find your white little loyal companion to be just as energetic and playfulness as always! Expect your Maltese to be very active when inside the house. For this reason, the Maltese also does well in apartments and townhouses, and is a perfect pet for those living in the city or without yard space. This lively and playful dog breed is also quite intelligent, and should be easy to train, however you may need to rely on reward based training to get the job done. For those with children, like all dogs, the first interactions should be supervised. Prevent incidents by socialising your Maltese early on. Also, be mindful that your Maltese may be prone to suffer from separation anxiety, so if spending time away from home leave toys and activities to stimulate your pup's mind.
Maltese are the most wonderful personalities. Smart, funny, loving, idiosyncratic and always there when you need a hug.
Even though the breed is known for its coat, its body structure, facial expression and overall carriage are essential components of the type. The Maltese is a diminutive dog with a compact, square body, covered all over with long, flat, silky, white hair hanging almost to the ground. The expression is gentle yet alert. It is a vigorous dog, with a jaunty, smooth, flowing gait. The well-built Maltese seems to float over the ground when trotting.
They are one of the most gentle mannered of all little dogs, but are also full of energy and very playful, making them great family dogs. Maltese are highly intelligent and know very well how to use their charm to get their way. If given the chance, they become easily spoiled. This isn’t a problem for dog savvy owners, but many pet owners will give in, often resulting in a pet with poor manners. It is not recommended that Maltese go to homes with young children, where as tiny puppies, there is the possibility of being stepped on or dropped by a child.
If you want a smart little dog to run you and your home, then this is your breed. Maltese pack a lot of love into their tiny bodies, and are never happier than when cuddling in their owners' laps. That doesn't mean these dogs don't need exercise and training. Resist the impulse to simply carry them everywhere and pluck them out of trouble, and let your dog be a dog. In particular, the Maltese excels at learning tricks and loves to show off.