Maltese are outgoing and intelligent little dogs. Their small stature means that they are great playful companions in any family but read on if you are considering bringing a Maltese into your family.
Maltese love children but they are not a good choice if you have small children in the house. When I say small I mean under around eight years old depending on the maturity of the child. Otherwise they can make great playful and wonderful family members
Children will love their miniature stature; they are little enough to be carried around. But it is because of their size that they are a dangerous combination with little children. Your child will not be able to understand how fragile your Maltese is. It’s easy to seriously injure a Maltese by standing on it, or accidentally sitting on it.
The “teacup” variety three pounds and under is a very bad dog to have with children. These dogs are too small and as a result their bones are extremely frail and brittle. It’s an unfortunate result of their small size – their bones break easily. They can far too easily be injured accidentally. Standing or sitting on your Maltese can seriously injure your dog.
If you do choose a Maltese you can greatly minimize all these risks by training the dog well as well as teaching your child all about respect for dogs and how to treat them. This will make all the difference!
You will need to teach your children how to treat your Maltese. This includes strictly enforcing a “no roughousing with the dog rule”. The kids must learn that your Maltese is fragile and should be treated as such.
If you intend on keeping a Maltese in your home we always recommend some professional training. The cost can be minimal if you take your pet to Pet Smart. Spend some money and make sure that your Maltese is as well socialized as he can be.
Try to get the children involved in the grooming. Maltese need a fair amount of grooming and this is one way you can encourage a great relationship between them. Even small children can gently comb the dogs coat (under supervision!).
As with any household pets; the general principle should be to teach the children to treat all animals with kindness and respect. This is one of the most important life lessons you can impart and the best place to learn is at home.
Just don’t leave your children unsupervised around a Maltese. Even though the child may mean well, that will not stop the Maltese from becoming agitated. Some can be a little snappish, so look for a Maltese where the parents are a little mild mannered. This will reduce the risk of any problems. Overall Maltese make a great family pet.