Welcome to our guide to the Maltese dog.
The DogExperts.info website aims to ask questions to breeders, vets and experienced owners to get the answers to your most frequently asked questions about the Maltese breed of dog.
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Are you looking to buy a Maltese – then see our list of Maltese breeders.
Meet the Maltese
Small, pure white, bright eyed, and blessed with a long, flowing coat, the Maltese looks like one of those ornamental breeds many people assume to be nervous, useless lapdogs. Instead, this is a breed graced with intelligence and agility, cultivated to be a superb and loyal companion, and gifted with unusually sharp instincts as a watchdog.
Before we go deeper into an examination of this breed, let me quickly clarify some terms. Although you may see phrases like “Teacup Maltese” or “Miniature Maltese” there are no recognized breed types with these names. There is a natural variation in size in any litter, and some Maltese individuals are quite small. It is correct to refer to all of these dogs as a “toy” breed.
Why Choose a Maltese Dog?
People who love white dogs are a breed unto themselves. I tend to gravitate toward darker coats, but it’s impossible not to appreciate the gleaming luster of a Shih Tzu or Maltese coat. In fact, these two breeds are often mistaken for one another.
The real delineating factor is size. The Shi Tzu can reach almost 16 lbs. / 7.25 kg, which makes him roughly twice the size of your average Maltese. If you want a dog you can take anywhere, the Maltese is perfect.
Unlike other diminutive breeds like the Chihuahua, the Maltese is easy going and accepting of new sights and sounds so long as they are with their owner.
When you read that the Maltese is a companion breed, don’t underestimate the importance of that statement. This is a dog that wants nothing more than to be with you. If left alone for too long, a Maltese can suffer terribly from separation anxiety.
They are long-lived dogs that have an average lifespan of 15 years. Many however, live 18 years or longer. They like small spaces and thrive in apartment settings. They do not, however, like either wet or cold weather and can be something of a challenge to housebreak.
When all of the necessary training is in place, however, you will have a steady and reliable companion with an affectionate personality and a sharp mind. The Maltese personality, while maybe not as huge as a comical breed like the Pug, is clearly defined and delightful.
You can opt to let your pet’s coat grow to the standard, flowing show length or give him a jaunty “puppy” cut. This not only cuts down on the demands of grooming for you, but is an adorable “look” for an already adorable breed.
This is not the best dog for children. The Maltese is small enough to be easily injured during rough house play and just sensitive enough to get annoyed and snappish with a persistent small human. For a single apartment dweller, however, this is a near perfect choice.
In the following pages, you will meet the Maltese and hopefully glean enough information to decide if this breed is a good fit for your lifestyle and for your expectations. Never adopt any animal on impulse. If you are still unsure at the end of this book, contact your local dog club and arrange to meet a Maltese and his human.
While not without their challenges, Maltese dogs are exceptional companions and when the fit is right, they may well spoil you for any other breed.
What type of owners buy a Maltese?
What in your opinion are the best things about the Maltese breed?
Vonnie Huber of Simply Sweet Puppies says: “I really like dogs. With only having had Maltese for less then a yr, I don’t have much experience but I do love their personality, I think they are calmer and less intense then some breeds.”
Why do you think the Maltese is special?
What are your favourite things about the Maltese?
Are you glad you choose to buy a Maltese and not another breed?
How would you describe the Maltese temperament?
What advice might you give to people thinking about whether they should buy a Maltese over other breeds?
History & Origins
What are the history and origins of the Maltese?
The Maltese enjoys a long and varied history dating back to Ancient Greece where the breed was called the Melitaie Dog. (Melitaie was the name used in the ancient world for Malta.) Some theories do place the origin of the Maltese on the Isle of Malta, which lies off the coast of Italy even though there is scant evidence to prove this assertion.
Other “experts” suggest the dogs trace their origin to Asia with a relation to breeds like the Shih Tzu. Certainly Maltese-like dogs were distributed throughout the ancient world and the Far East by trading caravans. There are recorded examples of such dogs as far away as Japan and the Philippines.
But the Maltese were also present in some form in Ancient Egypt where they were believed to have the ability to cure diseases just by sleeping on the pillow of a person who was ill. Centuries later in Europe, the Maltese breed carried the nickname “The Comforter” in recognition of the reputed healing quality of its companionable nature.
No matter how murky its early origins, however, the Maltese was certainly present in Europe in the 15th century where it was an especially favored and pampered companion of the French aristocracy and nobility.
By the end of the 16th century, the dogs were well established in Great Britain. Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, and Queen Victoria all kept Maltese-type dogs as pets. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Maltese as he is known today almost disappeared as breeders attempted to achieve a smaller and smaller physical size for the dogs.
The Maltese was crossed with all types of miniature breeds, including poodles and spaniels. Some of these experimental mixes produced animals that were no larger than squirrels as adults. Out of such breeding programs, however, some modern breeds did ultimately emerge including the Bolognese, Havanese, and Bichon Frise.
When the Kennel Club was established in Great Britain in 1873, its first stud book included 24 Maltese dogs registered between 1859 and 1873. From 1902 to 1913, The Kennel Club offered classes for colored Maltese dogs, but after 1913 only pure white dogs were recognized as representative of the breed.
The Maltese reached the United States in the 1870s, with an all-white Maltese entered in the 1877 Westminster Kennel Club dog show as a “Maltese Lion Dog.” Two years later, a white Maltese with black ears competed as a “Maltese Skye Terrier.”
Standardization of the breed in the United States occurred over the decade from 1900 to 1910 when many kennels raising Poodles became involved in crossbreeding programs that refined the size and color of the Maltese. The breed has enjoyed a consistent look on both sides of the Atlantic since the 1950s.
Maltese Breed Characteristics
The Maltese has a reputation for high intelligence paired with a friendly and sweet nature. They are superb companions whose small size allows them to do well in a variety of living circumstances. These dogs actually prefer enclosed spaces, so they are quite happy in an apartment or a small, fenced yard.
Even though the Maltese is a small breed, they are excellent and vigilant watchdogs, faithfully alerting their humans of any incursions on the area perceived to be the home “turf.” Unfortunately, this can easily translate to problem barking, which is a known issue with the breed.
Don’t be taken in by any appearance of primness on the part of a Maltese. Sure, they like to be pampered like any other small dog, but a Maltese will also tear around the yard like a little maniac until he collapses in a happily exhausted heap. By nature, the breed is social and active.
The breed has a good reputation for accepting training with positive reinforcement and is, on a whole, appreciative of attention and interaction. The Maltese is prone to separation anxiety, however, a problem that must be forestalled with appropriate preventive measures.
(I will discuss strategies for coping with separation anxiety later in this text.)
Is the Maltese Hypoallergenic?
Although covered in a silky white coat, the Maltese sheds less than comparable breeds and is even considered, by some, to be hypoallergenic. It is true the breed has no undercoat, but all dogs produce some dander. These cast-off skin cells and flakes of saliva trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
Allergies are species specific, however, so a person who is allergic to a cat might not be allergic to a dog. In general, it’s safest to take the position that while a Maltese is less likely to set off an allergic reaction, he is not a hypoallergenic dog.
The Maltese Digestive System
In later chapters, I will cover diet and nutrition and specific disorders associated with this breed that present with gastrointestinal issues. Know in advance of any adoption that the Maltese has a small stomach and a sensitive digestive system. These dogs are easily subject to tummy upsets and can be picky eaters. This is a situation made worse by the fact that Maltese dogs are also susceptible to gum and dental problems.
Physical Size and Appearance
The Maltese is a compact dog with equal height and length, standing 7-12 inches tall / 18-30 cm. Their movements have been described as both “flowing” and “jaunty.” A healthy, well-formed Maltese is smoothly physical and gives the impression of speed, in part because they stride with the forelegs reaching straight forward from the shoulders with the hind legs following in an equally straight line.
A Maltese should have a black nose, although the color may fade to pink during the winter months. With exposure to the sun in the spring and summer, the nose will darken again. The pads of the feet should also be black. The skull should be just round enough for that feature to be noticeable, but not overtly prominent. The eyes are brown, often ringed in black.
Adults range in size from 3-10 lbs. / 1.4-4.5 kgs although this varies according to the breed standard in question. The American Kennel Club, for instance, give a preferred weight range of 4-7 lbs. / 1.81-3.17 kg. European dogs tend to be slightly heavier where breed standards call for the dogs to be 3-4 kg / 6.6-8.8 lbs. The Maltese has a projected lifespan of as much as 15 years.
Coat and Color
Although in the past the Maltese has been bred for multiple coat colors, today this is an all-white breed with a long, silky coat. Since there is no undercoat, the dogs shed very little. Generally a bath every three weeks is sufficient to keep the coat clean, but daily maintenance around the eyes is often needed to control tear stains.
The texture of the coat is smooth and soft, hanging flat and close to the body with no evidence of waviness or curling. The flowing hair does require brushing and combing to prevent tangles, and at the very least the long strands over the eyes should be tied up or trimmed back.
Many owners opt for a shorter look for their dogs, which gives the Maltese a more terrier-like appearance. Although this is not the classic Maltese “cut,” or the one called for in the breed standard, the look is more manageable, especially during the warm months.
Black skin is a highly desirable trait in the Maltese, creating a handsome contrast to the breed’s pure white coat. The areas that should be black include the rims of the eyes, the nose, lips, and paw pads.
The black around the eyes is referred to as the “halos,” but is also part of the dog’s “points” along with the nose and paw pads.
The Maltese Puppy
Bringing a new puppy home is fun, even if the memories you’re making include epic, puppy-generated messes! Young dogs are a huge responsibility no matter how much you love them, and they take a lot of work.
The major challenge you will face with a Maltese puppy is housebreaking, a topic I will discuss at length later in the text. The key to housebreaking any breed is consistency and the appropriate use of the crate.
This is not a breed that likes wet or cold weather, so you should time your adoption accordingly to get those first critical lessons over. Even if your little dog is reliably going outside, the first experience of winter can set him back, so optimally, you should have a covered space to serve as a Maltese “latrine.”
Every new pet owner hopes to have a well-mannered, responsive, and happy companion, a description that does fit a properly socialized and trained Maltese. The breed can, however, suffer from separation anxiety (also addressed by using the crate) and problem barking.
Plan on beginning your dog’s lessons early in life, perhaps with the help of a professional trainer, so none of these behaviors are allowed to become an established part of his repertoire.
Personality and Temperament
The Maltese is a standout among other toy breeds for his playful, bright, and gentle personality. They delight in learning games and can be amazingly dexterous with their paws. They make excellent indoor dogs, although they like to dash about outdoors. Always keep your pet on the leash and away from larger animals.
Most of these dogs are both confident and outgoing, although I have seen standoffish and cautious Maltese individuals. Don’t treat your Maltese like a helpless, fragile little baby. When badly spoiled, this breed easily becomes overly dependent and prone to a host of insecurities. Like many small dogs, a Maltese is perfectly capable of turning into a yappy little brat.
I’ve seen these dogs excel at agility and obedience tasks and at therapy work, but they are sensitive by nature and do not accept forceful training. Always use a calm, loving voice with your Maltese and rely on positive reinforcement to mold his behavior.
With Other Pets
The Maltese can be intolerant of other dogs in the house. As a companion breed, the Maltese easily becomes territorial about his human or humans and may not like to share, expressing their jealousy through barking, biting, and generally peevish behavior. Typically your best bet is to bring a Maltese into a home where other pets are already established.
Introductions with other dogs and even with cats, often boil down to matters of territoriality. All dogs, by nature, defend their territory against intruders. Neither of these behaviors does anything to facilitate a peace agreement with the family cat.
It’s always best in a multi-pet household to let the animals work out the order of dominance in the family “pack” on their own if possible. To begin this process, create a neutral and controlled interaction under a closed bathroom door.
Since cats are “weaponized” with an array of razor sharp claws, they can quickly put a puppy in his place. Even when a Maltese is fully grown, however, he may be physically smaller than the family cat.
A swipe to the nose won’t do a puppy any harm, but don’t let things get out of hand. Try to avoid allowing lifetime grudge matches to develop as a result of poorly handled initial introductions. Oversee the first “in person” meeting, but try not to overreact.
With other dogs in the house, you may want a more hands on approach to the first “meet and greet.” Always have two people present to control each dog. Make the introduction in a place that the older dog does not regard as “his.” Even if the two dogs are going to be living in the same house, let them meet in neutral territory.
Keep your tone and demeanor calm, friendly, and happy. Let the dogs conduct the usual “sniff test,” but don’t let it go on for too long. Either dog may consider lengthy sniffing to be aggression.
Puppies may not yet understand the behavior of an adult dog and can be absolute little pests. If the puppy does get too “familiar,” do not scold the older dog for issuing a warning snarl or growl.
A well-socialized older dog won’t be displaying aggression with this reaction. He’s just putting Junior in his place and establishing the hierarchy of the pack
Be careful when you bring a new dog into the house not to neglect the older dog. Also be sure to spend time with him away from the puppy to assure your existing pet that your bond with him is strong and intact.
Exercise caution at mealtimes. Feed your pets in separate bowls so there is no perceived competition for food. (This is also a good policy to follow when introducing your puppy to the family cat.)
The Maltese and Children
Do not think that the Maltese’s small size and reputed good nature makes him a child’s dog. In this case, you have a breed that, appearance and general temperament notwithstanding, is not a match with small children. A rambunctious toddler can injure a small Maltese, and the dogs tend to be intolerant and snappish with children.
The Maltese has a strong territorial urge, and often a need to assert its dominance with barking and even biting. The dog sees this as a defense of what he regards as his home and hearth, but behavior is clearly a dangerous situation in which to place a child.
While older children may do well with the breed, I caution you to carefully consider your child’s level of maturity and sense of responsibility.
Regardless of breed, I always tell parents that they must spend the necessary time to teach their children how to interact kindly with all types of animals.
If a child hurts any dog by pulling its ears or tail or even biting the creature, the dog can hardly be blamed for reacting.
In the case of the Maltese, this reaction will be at the least loud barking and at worst biting and aggressive behavior. For these reasons, I strongly suggest that you not try to make a Maltese a child’s dog. It’s just not a good mix.
Male or Female?
Typically my position on gender is that it doesn’t matter. Concentrate instead on the personality of the individual dog. I think for the most part you are safe following this strategy with the Maltese, although there are some traits that are associated by gender with these dogs.
Females seem to be more territorial, stubborn, and independent, but can then have a rapid mood shift into reserved aloofness. Males are more food-motivated, and thus will be affectionate and attentive to get their way, before being hit with a fit of territorial aggression, often for no clear reason.
The greatest negative behaviors cited for male dogs of any breed are spraying and territorial urine marking. In the case of purebred adoptions, having the animal spayed or neutered is a condition of the purchase agreement.
Breeders make pet quality animals available because they do not conform to the accepted breed standard. Such dogs are not suitable for exhibition or for use in a breeding program. Spaying and neutering under these circumstances protects the integrity of the breeder’s bloodlines.
Regardless, “best practice” advocates altering an animal before 6 months of age. Reduced hormone levels stop spraying in males and decreases a female’s moodiness when she is in heat, but the procedures do nothing to alter the dog’s core personality. The real determining factor in any dog’s long-term behavior is the quality of its treatment and training.
Puppy or Adult Dog?
People love puppies for all the obvious reasons. They are adorable, and the younger the dog is at adoption, the longer your time with your pet. At an average lifespan prediction of 15 years, longevity shouldn’t be a “deal breaker” if you do find an adult Maltese in need of adoption.
It is, however, extremely important to find out why a Maltese was given up for adoption. With these breed, you could be looking at a dog that is not completely housebroken, had problem barking issues, or was so poorly spoiled he’s a brat with territorial aggressiveness. Since it’s hard to rectify such established behaviors, understand what you’re getting into before you take an adult dog into your home.
I am a huge advocate of all animal rescue organizations. The numbers of homeless companion animals in need of adoption stands at shocking levels. To give one of these creatures a “forever” home is an enormous act of kindness. You will be saving a life.
If you are searching for a loyal four-legged friend of any breed, please do not rule out a shelter adoption.
Regardless of the breed you choose, please support animal rescue efforts. Such groups are always in need of donations and volunteer hours.
One or Two?
When you’re confronted with an adorable litter of Maltese puppies, your heart may tell you to go ahead and get two. Listen to your brain! Owning one dog is a serious commitment of time and money, but with two dogs, everything doubles: food, housebreaking, training, vet bills, boarding fees, time, and managing potentially negative behaviors like separation anxiety and problem barking.
The Need for Socialization
All dogs, regardless of their size, will benefit from working with a professional trainer. This must start no later than 10-12 weeks of age. During formal training understand you will be in “school” as much as your Maltese. If possible, find a trainer with experience working with this breed. Dogs will quite happily get away with bloody murder if they get their paws on a compliant human. Your job is to be the “alpha,” a responsibility for which many humans are ill equipped without some in-class time of their own!
(Finish the rabies, distemper, and parvovirus vaccinations before exposing the puppy to other dogs.)
Famous Maltese Dogs and Their Owners
The Maltese’s superior personality, small size, and adorable good looks have brought him into the company of many celebrities including, but certainly not limited to:
- Leona Helmsley
- Heather Locklear
- Torrie Wilson
- Anna Nicole Smith
- Lindsay Lohan
- Jane Fonda
- Ellen Degeneres
- Barbara Walters
- Barbra Streisand
- Marilyn Monroe
- Elizabeth Taylor
- Halle Berry
- Susan Sarandon
- Eva Longoria
- Miley Cyrus
- Daisy Lowe
- Tony Bennett
- Elvis Presley
About The Breed
What colors of Maltese are most popular?
What does the Maltese look like?
What are the pros/cons of the Maltese breed?
What can a new owner expect in terms of differences between the Maltese and other breeds?
Do they attract a lot of interest and curiosity from the public?
What type of typical personality does the Maltese have?
Is it possible to describe a fairly typical Maltese?
What is the breed standard/description for the Maltese?
Were there particular colors people preferred and that maybe you focused on?
Are there any downsides to owning a Maltese that prospective owners should be aware of?
Is the Maltese breed of dog suitable for first-time dog owners?
Some breeds can be described as greedy and prone to weight issues, would this apply to the Maltese?
What are the key differences when compared to other breeds?
Is the Maltese a breed suitable for a person or family that are out at work all day?
Some owners seek a breed suitable for barking and offering a guard dog role – how does the Maltese match up to that role?
Are there myths about the Maltese – in other words do new potential owners come to you with misconceptions about this breed?
We asked a number of breeders in the UK and America what essential advice they would give to new owners of Maltese puppies and this is what they said:
What types of questions do you get once owners get their Maltese home?
Can you tell us something most owners would not know – tips, secrets etc from your years of experience?
What is the typical temperament of a Maltese, so people know what to expect from their new pet?
When fully grown how much on average does a Maltese weigh?
When the Maltese is full grown in size what is the maximum height and length expected to be?
Is the Maltese ever crossed or mixed with other breeds of dog?
Does the Maltese smell or drool a lot?
Do you have a Maltese growth chart?
What breed group does the Maltese come under?
What type of coat do they have?
Can they swim?
What does the movement of the tail show, does it mean they are trying to ‘talk to us’ or give us some message?
Are there some types of people that you can suggest the Maltese is not suitable for, perhaps families?
How is the Maltese with children?
Do you think the Maltese is suitable for families with young children?
How does the Maltese get along with other (existing) pets and do you have any tips or advice for new Maltese owners in terms of successful integration?
Is it better to buy one Maltese or two?
Should prospective new owners be aware of any differences between males and females?
Would the Maltese be suitable as a guard dog?
Can I leave my Maltese during the day while I go to work?
What is the expected average lifespan of the Maltese?
In terms of life expectancy, how long on average would the Maltese breed live to?
Food & Diet
Do you have any special feeding routines or diet?
Do you have any feeding advice or brands that you prefer?
How to handle the Maltese puppy to start off – how much food, what type, how often?
What feeding routines and types of food/supplements do you recommend?
What to buy in terms of equipment? Bowls etc
Do owners need to consider supplements for their Maltese?
How about for older dogs?
Buying – How Much Do They Cost?
How much did your Maltese cost to buy?
Can you offer advice to people looking to buy a Maltese and how much should they spend?
What advice would you offer new Maltese owners?
What types of people are buying the Maltese and why?
Where can I buy Maltese rescue dogs or find a Maltese for adoption? Please note that buying or searching for a ‘cheap’ Maltese can be false economy as they may have health issues that cost you far more in the long-term – always buy from a good and responsible breeder!
How much do Maltese puppies for sale cost on average?
Do I need public liability insurance or a license?
How would you describe the Maltese puppy to potential new owners?
What types of owners are best suited to owning a Maltese?
What colors and sizes are most popular?
Are there things new owners do that perhaps frustrate you?
What can people expect when they become a new owner?
What inspired you to become a breeder and did you start with the Maltese?
As a Maltese breed expert, are there any ‘essential’ tips you would like to share with new owners?
Are there specific times of the year that you breed?
Choosing a puppy from a litter, what advice could you offer potential new owners in terms of selecting ‘the one’?
How long does it take to housetrain/potty train a Maltese?
When can you take them out in public and how do you handle them around other dogs?
Will they run off – when is it safe to let them off the lead?
We invite you to email us your Maltese’s pictures, in particular we are looking for photos showing Maltese puppies at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 weeks old as well as early pictures such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 months old to a year old.
Do they have any nicknames or does the Maltese have popular names?
If my Maltese is pregnant what might the litter size be?
Could the Maltese be dangerous around young children?
How do you deal with a problem barker – any tips and advice to new owners?
How do you prevent a Maltese biting?
How do you prevent a Maltese chewing?
How do you stop a Maltese jumping up?
Does the Maltese have an issue with excessive digging?
Why does my Maltese keep growling and barking?
Is there a reason my Maltese dog is often scratching excessively?
Do they suffer from separation anxiety and how can I prevent this?
In comparison perhaps to other breeds what can you say about the Maltese and their exercise needs and do you have any tips or advice for new Maltese owners?
As a breeder of the Maltese , do you prefer a collar or harness?
As an expert of the Maltese breed do you prefer a standard leash or retractable?
Can you offer any dog walking tips for Maltese owners?
Playtime & Tricks
What games and toys can you recommend for the Maltese?
Are there toys you suggest avoiding?
How intelligent is the Maltese compared to other dog breeds?
How much can they understand?
Do you have any special grooming routines or tips and advice for new Maltese owners?
How much time is involved?
What accessories are required to be purchased for grooming a Maltese?
Any advice/tips you can give concerning maintenance of nails?
How much do Maltese shed and how do I maintain their hair and how often?
How can I prevent or cure ear infections?
Do you have any tips for eye care?
Is the Maltese a hypoallergenic breed?
Any advice/tips you can give concerning cleaning and bathing your Maltese?
Can you offer new Maltese owners advice concerning fleas and maybe products you use in treatment and prevention?
What advice and tips could you offer to owners who might wish to follow your path in showing the Maltese?
What started your interest in showing the Maltese?
If a new owner perhaps wanted to meet other owners or find out more – perhaps they have an interest in joining a local club or maybe they wonder how they can start showing their Maltese – where would they begin?
Can you offer any advice to others who may be wondering if they can also start showing?
How would an owner know they have a show-quality Maltese and how would they start off?
Can you give away any of your secrets?!
Is showing very expensive and why do you think people like to do it?
What do judges look for in a winner?
What inspired you to become a breeder and did you start with Malteses?
What official organisations are there for the new Maltese owner and what benefits or services do they provide?
In buying a Maltese, can you offer advice and tips to new owners?
How did you go from being an owner to getting into breeding?
Do you think the breed’s popularity has increased, decreased or remains the same?
How did you progress to becoming a breeder and why focus on breeding the Maltese out of all the breeds you could have chosen?
What do you think makes the Maltese special to you?
Are there things that you see owners doing that frustrate you?
As a breed expert, are there any ‘essential’ tips you would like to share with new owners?
In comparison perhaps to other breeds what is it like to train a Maltese and do you have any tips or advice for new Maltese owners?
How should new owners approach bringing a new Maltese home, any advice and tips you can give?
Should I allow my Maltese to sleep in my bed or elsewhere in the house?
Do you recommend crate training and how long does this take?
Should my Maltese sleep in a kennel or crate?
Health is always a major concern when buying a dog, do you have any advice for new Maltese owners to be aware of in particular?
Are there any health-related tips you can give to owners?
What sort of health issues should owners be on the lookout for?
What is the recommended schedule for vaccinations for your Maltese?
Can you offer any advice on how to treat and prevent worms?
What type of health issues can a Maltese have and how do you deal with preventing these?
Why does my Maltese have diarrhea?
Do they suffer from itchy and sensitive skin and if so why?
Why is my Maltese vomiting and do I go to the vets?
When should I take my Maltese for vaccinations and which ones do they need and how often?
How often will my Maltese be in heat?
Should I consider getting my Maltese spayed or neutered and when and how much does this cost and what are the benefits?
My Maltese is limping, what should I do and should I go to a veterinarian surgeon?
Do they suffer from allergies?
Why is my Maltese not eating?
How much does it cost to insure my Maltese?
What healthcare issues or diseases might be excluded from companies that provide Maltese dog health insurance?
What age would you class as an ‘older or senior’ Maltese?
Do you notice any changes in their behaviour?
What changes in food and diet would you suggest making for an older Maltese?
Do you feed any supplements to an older Maltese – or anything else which helps them as they age?
Are there any health issues particular to a senior Maltese dog?
Do you have any advice for owners of an older/senior Maltese or tips you can pass on?
Summary of The Maltese Dog Breed
The Maltese is a little dog with a big, affectionate heart. They are an excellent companion breed and very good watch dogs. They do, however, present some specific training problems. The breed is hard to housebreak, often suffers from separation anxiety, and can be problem barkers.
None of those issues are insurmountable, however. Like any breed, the Maltese benefits from early training that emphasizes consistency and positive reinforcement.
While not necessarily the best dog for a child, the Maltese is excellent for an apartment-dwelling single since they actually like smaller spaces, but make sure you have enough time to spend with your pet.
Be prepared for weekly grooming sessions or frequent trims to keep your pet’s gleaming white coat in good shape. Without help from you, your dog will become a tangled, matted mess.
Although their maintenance needs are fairly high, the Maltese tends to be cooperative about such chores and is, on a whole, a good-natured and personable breed.
This is, however, a small toy dog and must never be allowed off the leash when you are out and about. Due to a decided tendency toward Small Dog Syndrome, a pugnacious Maltese will charge and attack a larger dog without a thought — often with tragic circumstances.
An added advantage for many owners is the Maltese’s lifespan, which can be as much as 18 years. If you are not prepared to commit to an animal’s care for that length of time, rethink your decision to adopt.
If, however, you are taken by the Maltese good looks and undisputed charm, this may well be the ultimate companion breed. Loyal, intelligent, trainable, and good-humored, the Maltese may be little, but he moves through his world and yours in a truly big way.
Here is an interesting video on the Maltese breed.