A cute, small, endearing, loyal dog. White, pure, and elegant. These words are the perfect way to describe the ancient dog breed Maltese. These dogs have been around since the Egyptians and even before that. They have been traded all over the world and are loved by all who cross its path. The Maltese are a people pleasing, lap seeking, companion wanting a friend who would do anything to protect his master. His naturally sweet and admiring deposition is one of the many reasons that this dog has remained popular for so long. They are great dogs for older families as well as therapy dogs for those seeking comfort. They can fill many roles and they do it so well that you’d think they were born to do so.
Formulated for dogs exhibiting nervousness, hyperactivity, and discontentment or responding to environmentally-induced stress. Natural ingredients are veterinary formulated and safe for everyday use.
So whether you already have a Maltese or are looking to get one, take the time to learn some pretty amazing facts about this wonderful dog.
Meet The Maltese
Weight: Under 7 pounds
Height: 7-9 inches
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
Fur type: Maltese have long silky fur that is very straight. They only have one layer of fur so they do not shed much. They are almost considered 100% hypoallergenic.
Color: Maltese come in a majestic white color.
Personality: Maltese dogs are the ham of the canine world. They live to impress with their lively personalities. They are people oriented and assume that everyone they meet wants to be their friend. They somehow always get their way, even when you don’t intend to spoil them. That is probably due to their cuteness factor. They are smart and do really well-learning tricks, start training them from a young age. The Maltese also, sometimes, unfortunately, does not understand how small he is. He is a vigorous, lively, and a real fun furry friend.
Energy Level: For being such a small dog, Maltese have very high energy levels. It is a good idea to give them some outdoor time during the day. Whether it be on a walk around the neighborhood or letting them run around in a well fenced off backyard, they need time to burn off their high levels of energy.
Good With Children: Maltese can be intolerant of small children, especially if they are spoiled too much by their owners. They have the potential to become very protective and will bark or even bite if they feel like someone, even a child, is a threat to their human. Because they are so small, they also can be easily injured by rough, careless, play of children.
Good With Other Dogs: Maltese do have the tendency to become jealous and territorial in the presence of other dogs and animals. They can be taught from a young age to be social and cordial with other dogs, but it is not an innate personality trait. Maltese do best when they are the only dog in sight.
Shedding: Because of their lack of an undercoat, Maltese shed very little.
Grooming Needs: Just like any human being with beautiful, luscious, long hair, the Maltese’s hair needs daily pampering. Their coats can become matted and dirty very easily so they need to be brushed daily, if not several times a day. Maltese must be bathed weekly to keep their coat white and pure.
Your Maltese will probably suffer from tear and face staining, as it is a big problem for most Maltese. But these blemishes are preventable.
- Clean your dog’s eyes every day with warm water and wash your dog’s beard after every meal.
- Teach your dog to drink from a water bottle, drinking water that has a high mineral content can cause stains to appears on your Maltese’s beard.
- Feed your dog from stainless steel, glass, or ceramic bowl, never a plastic one. Always wash the feeding bowl between meals.
Maltese also often have a problem with hair in their ears, they grow an abundance and need them to be removed before an infection can set it. Your can take your Maltese to a vet for this, or you can ask your vet how to do it at home.
Trim your Maltese’s nails once or twice a month depending on how fast they grow.
Barking Level: Maltese are usually very peaceful with the world around them. However, due to some separation anxiety, they can get vocal. They typically bark excessively because they are alone, missing you, and bored, Maltese can also be vocal when they feel a need to protect their home and their family. Other than these two situations, they are normally peaceful quiet dogs.
Tips For Training: Maltese are incredibly smart dogs that can learn many tricks. They do well in competitions as well. They can be taught, speed, agility, commands, etc. The best way to ensure that your Maltese has a lifelong love for learning and training is to start them off while they are young. You can start training your Maltese from as young as 12 weeks old.
How To Feed My Maltese
Maltese will live their best lives if fed a raw, natural-food diet. This type of a diet is one that contains 99% meat/organs/animal fat. Dogs, like ourselves, are living breathing creatures and feel best when they eat natural healthy foods. Although they don’t appear too much like their wild wolf ancestors, their digestive systems still function nearly the same and require a diet derived from raw food sources. Your doggy will love eating raw food!
A high-quality diet of raw food will ensure the best health condition for your pup. Because Maltese are prone to obesity, watch their calorie intake and weight. If you chose to give your dog treats, do so in moderation. Give table scraps sparingly and try to avoid giving your furry friend cooked bones or foods that are high in fat.
After your puppy has been weaned from his mother, he will be ready to start eating puppy food. Start your puppy on ¼ cups of puppy food per day, spread into 3 meals a day. Follow this regimen until your pup is about 6 months, at this age, he will be ready to start eating a healthy adult diet.
Because Maltese are so little, they don’t eat very much. Your dog will do best if you feed him according to his size. Maltese from 2-4 pounds generally eat ¼ cup to ½ cup of food per day. Maltese from 5 and up pounds will eat ½ cup to ¾ cup of food per day. Try to spread your dog’s meals out between 2 meals per day.
To calculate exactly your pup’s food needs, use this calculator!
Health Concerns For Maltese Dogs
- White Dog Shaker Syndrome is a health condition that can cause full body tremors in your dog. Most vets believe that the dog will not feel any discomfort or pain when this happens, but it is thought to be due to an autoimmune reaction. It is fairly common among dogs that are entire, solid white. Not much more is known about this disease, but more research is being done on it.
- Live Shunts is a congenital condition that affects the blood flow to the liver. Because the blood flow is not being filtered properly, wastes can overwhelm the body and cause poor growth rate, weakness, diarrhea, constipation, drooling, increased thirst, increased urination, confusion, and seizures.
- Hip Dysplasia is common in many dogs and occurs when the ball and socket of the dog’s hip slip out of place. It can cause discomfort and even inhibit your dog from performing his daily duties. Luckily, the prognosis is good and if caught early it can be fixed.
- Collapsed Trachea happens when there is a genetic weakness in the rings of cartilage surrounding the windpipe and eventually causes it to collapse inward. It can also happen due to an injury to the neck – sometimes sustained from collar and leash. Treatments can range from medication to surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions About Maltese
Are Maltese dogs smart? Maltese are incredibly smart. They can pick up commands and tricks like new. Just like any intelligent human being, however, they can get bored if they are not stimulated enough.
Can Maltese swim? Maltese are capable swimmers, but they can suffer from arthritis if they get too cold. They can also drown if they get too tired, so always keep an eye on your dog in the pool.
Can Maltese be left alone? These dogs can be left alone, however, it is not a good idea to leave them alone for long periods of time. They are dependent on human companionship and if they are left alone for big stretches of time they can become destructive and disobedient.
When will my Maltese stop growing? By 6 months your Maltese will have reached his adult height of between 7-9 inches and should weigh between 4 and 7 pounds.
Where does the Maltese originate from? The Maltese originated from somewhere over by the Mediterranean basin. The dog has been spotted all through world history, as it is one of the oldest toy breeds.
Will Maltese hair grow back if I shave it? The hair will grow back if it is shaved. It may not happen overnight, but eventually, the long, luscious locks will return to their original state. The best way to get your Maltese’s hair to grow back quickly is to take good care of it and brush it daily.
Why Maltese eyes stain? Since Maltese are dogs with pure white fur, any little stain can seem like a huge mess. Maltese suffer from eye stains because the water from their eyes leak on the surrounding fur. With proper care, these stains can be prevented.
Why does my Maltese lick their paws? Dogs who have an obsession with licking things are diagnosed with ELS- Excessive Licking Behavior. This happens when your pet isn’t feeling well. Often times when they do not feel well it is because of something going on in their GI tract. The best thing that you can do for your dog if he suffers from ELS is to switch his diet. Try a more natural diet, like raw dog food, to help alleviate sickness.
Maltese are wonderful dogs. They can fit into most families with older children and can be the life of the party. He will do great in homes where he can receive a lot of attention. If you are able to provide that for him, he will love you forever. Maltese will protect you until the end of the earth and will stay fiercely loyal forever. They are not the right fit for every person, but if you think a Maltese will work for you, contact a local, reputable breeder today to start a lasting bond with your new best friend.