- SIZE: 1
- GROOMING:: 5
- EXERCISE NEEDS: 1
- GOOD WITH DOGS: 5
- WATCHDOG: 7
- BREED: Maltese
The Maltese is a fine-boned, but sturdy, hardy little companion dog with a luxurious silky white coat hanging straight to the ground on each side of a center part line. It is a member of the Bichon family and is one of the oldest European breeds. This breed is mild-mannered and affectionate, yet playful and full of animation. Despite its size, posses the vigor needed for an excellent companion. This breed is intelligent and easy to train but is very strong-willed. It enjoys being groomed, petted and fondled.
The Maltese is gentle, loving, trusting and devoted to its master. It is spirited, lively and playful. This breed is highly intelligent, good at learning tricks if it feels sufficiently rewarded. It makes an excellent companion dog; graceful and lovable. The Maltese loves to play outdoors but has a penchant for jumping in puddles; a bath must follow. This dog can be snappish with inconsiderate children and may be difficult to housebreak. Sometimes it is a picky eater. It does well with other pets. Do not over-pamper or overprotect this dog, for it may become unstable and jealous of visitors. It enjoys a regular walk or session of frolicking in the park and it remains playful well into old age. Little effort is needed to keep this dog well exercised, because it is very active indoors. It makes a very good watchdog.
Long, straight coat, silky texture. Daily combing and brushing is important but be gentle, as the coat is very soft. Bathe or dry shampoo regularly, making sure the animal is thoroughly dry and warm afterward. This breed sheds little to no hair and is good for allergy sufferers.
Maltese are generally healthy. They are, however, subject to genetic eye disorders. Other health issues include collapsing tracheas, liver shunts, hypoglycemia, skin allergies, and white shaker dog syndrome (disease that causes the dog to have full body tremors, most common in West Highland White Terriers, Maltese, Bolognese and Poodles).
Indoor activity will suffice for exercise, but Maltese will enjoy a walk or a run in the park. An apartment is fine for the Maltese as they are a small, relatively quiet dog if trained. The Maltese makes a good dog for the elderly if they can socialize and take time to groom and play with them. They are very adaptable. The best owner for this breed would be a family or individual with enough time to care for the Maltese, living in a suburban, rural or city environment.
They should be trained from puppyhood not to bark unwarranted or bite, as teething causes most puppies to want to bite everything. But all training should be done with a positive, firm attitude. Maltese enjoy their owners and whatever they wish to teach them, and they are also very intelligent little dogs.