Maltese dogs are playful, intelligent, and very active members of the household. They like to cuddle and be a lap dog, but they enjoy activity as well. The Maltese is a great indoor, apartment, condo, or small urban dwelling dog. They are more comfortable is smaller spaces, so a small inner city yard is ideal for them. The attitude displayed is one of an aristocrat. Maltese makes a good watch dog and will watch everything going on around it. It is comfortable with strangers. Owners of Maltese should monitor the interaction with children at first – they can become snappy around children. They are easily trained with treats and enjoy doing tricks and have good agility. the owner should be careful, however, the Maltese is smart enough to manipulate the human. This can result in a poorly behaved, spoiled little dog. Due to the small size of Maltese puppies, it is recommended that they do not live in families with small children, where the Maltese could be dropped or stepped on. Mostly, they are show dogs or family pets and lap dogs.
This is a toy breed, which is the attraction as a lap dog and companion. The adult dogs are roughly between 3 to 10 pounds. Show dogs should be between 4 to 7 pounds. Maltese height is between 7 to 12 inches. With the long silky white fur, characteristic of the breed, small is a good. Grooming may not be as difficult as one would believe, if care is taken. The Maltese should be groomed daily by brushing the fur. Despite the long coat, Maltese shed very little. In fact, many people allergic to dogs are not allergic to the Maltese. Tear staining can be a problem with these dogs. This may require intensive effort to keep the staining out of the coat. It is recommended by many sources that the Maltese visit a professional groomer about every 6 weeks. Many pet owners will have the coat cut into a generic puppy cut to decrease the grooming effort needed. The Maltese can exhibit a snorting or gagging sound, especially when excited or playing. While this concerns many owners, it is usually not a problem, will clear in a few minutes, and is particular to the breed. For any real concerns in the is area, visit your vet to be sure there is not physical problem with the dog.
Maltese will live for 10 to 13 years, typically. They are generally very healthy and the biggest problems are the tear staining mentioned previously and teeth problems. Because of the teeth problem it is recommended that the dog’s teeth be brushed regularly. Also mentioned previously, is the problem of reverse sneezing (snorting). Without proper socialization the Maltese can become a yappy, snappy little dog. They already have a tendency to be fearless, so if not socialized this can get out of hand, if the owner is not careful.
The Maltese is a great companion and a beautiful little dog that likes small spaces, being with the family and playing. This makes the breed a good family dog. Grooming can be an issue because of the time needed to care for the long silky white coat.