Are you considering adding a Maltese dog to your family?
While these small yet mighty dogs are full of charm, intelligence, and a lively personality, they require proper care, training, and attention to thrive.
So before you bring home your fluffy bundle of joy, here are 12 Maltese pros and cons to consider.
Maltese pros and cons: are they right for you?
Let’s go over some of the pros and cons that come with a Maltese dog, as I’ve discovered through my own personal experience and research.
Maltese dogs fit most lifestyles
Maltese dogs are known for their adaptability and are a good fit for most lifestyles.
Whether you’re single in a small apartment or have a large family in a spacious house, their small size makes them well-suited for city dwellers.
Maltese playful and protective nature also makes them ideal companions for children, which ensures that they act as loyal guardians while providing endless cuddles, too!
In addition, they’re highly adaptable to different activity levels, whether you prefer long walks or cozy evenings on the couch.
Maltese dogs are hypoallergenic and non-shedding
When it comes to choosing a dog, many people with allergies are often left feeling like they have limited options.
Luckily, Maltese dogs are actually considered hypoallergenic because they have hair instead of fur, which means that they produce fewer allergens.
This is great news for anyone who suffers from allergies but still wants to have a furry friend in their home!
Additionally, Maltese dogs don’t shed like other breeds.
This is a major advantage for someone with asthma or other respiratory problems who doesn’t want to deal with excessive shedding or constantly cleaning up dog hair around the house.
Maltese dogs have a long life expectancy
Maltese dogs are known for their exceptional longevity, often living well into their teens and sometimes even reaching 15 years or more.
This impressive life expectancy is a strong point in favor of choosing a Maltese as a pet, as it means you can look forward to many years of love and companionship with your furry friend.
In addition to their long lifespan, Maltese dogs are also known for being relatively healthy overall.
While no dog breed is entirely free from health issues, Maltese are generally robust and don’t have many inherent genetic diseases that you should worry about.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should skip veterinary check-ups and preventative care. Just like any other dog, Maltese still require a nutritious diet and exercise to maintain their well-being.
Maltese dogs are easy to train
Maltese dogs are a pleasure to train due to their intelligence and eagerness to please.
Their sharp minds and natural inclination for learning make training sessions a breeze and they also have an impressive capacity for picking up new tricks and commands at a swift pace.
From my experience, Maltese respond best to positive reinforcement, so using treats, praise, and play as motivators can yield fantastic results in obedience training.
Their ability to learn quickly even extends to housebreaking, which many owners find much easier compared to other small-breed dogs.
Maltese dogs don’t need a lot of outdoor exercise
Maltese dogs make perfect companions for those with a less active lifestyle.
Despite having a lot of energy, they don’t require as much exercise as some larger, more active breeds. This makes them an ideal choice for individuals with less available time or seniors looking for a low-maintenance pet.
Just remember that while they may not need a lot of physical activity, short walks and indoor playtime are still necessary to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
Maltese dogs are expensive
Maltese dogs are often marketed as a luxurious toy breed, and their price tag reflects that.
Reputable breeders invest in extensive health checks, quality care, and socialization for their Maltese puppies, which results in a higher price point. Plus, their purebred status and limited availability also contribute to their high cost.
Although this factor may deter some potential owners, others see the value in adopting a well-bred and healthy dog.
Yet, you should also consider the long-term costs associated with owning a Maltese.
Beyond the initial purchase price, prospective owners need to be prepared for grooming expenses due to this breed’s long hair and maintenance needs.
Maltese dogs require a lot of maintenance
Maltese dogs are undeniably adorable, but their beauty comes with a price – quite literally in terms of maintenance.
Their long, white coat, while beautiful, requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. This means investing time, effort, and money into brushing, bathing, and visits to the groomer.
Also, their white fur is highly prone to staining, especially around the eyes and mouth, necessitating frequent cleaning with specialized pet products.
Beyond their grooming needs, Maltese dogs require diligent attention to their dental health as they’re surprisingly prone to dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Teeth brushing and professional dental cleanings are essential to keep their gums healthy and keep painful oral conditions at bay.
Maltese dogs bark a lot
One common complaint about Maltese dogs is their tendency to bark excessively.
Even though this may be seen as a downside for some, others may appreciate it as a form of protection and warning. Maltese are excellent watchdogs and won’t hesitate to alert their owners to any potential danger or intruders.
That said, excessive barking can become quite an issue if not properly managed.
Positive reinforcement techniques, such as reward-based training, can help curb this tendency in these small but vocal dogs.
Maltese owners should also provide proper training and socialization from an early age to teach them when it’s appropriate to bark and when it’s time to be quiet.
Similarly, keeping your dog mentally stimulated can greatly reduce this behavior, so make sure to provide plenty of toys, puzzles, and interactive games to help keep them engaged and prevent boredom-induced barking.
Maltese dogs are prone to separation anxiety
Maltese dogs are known for forming strong bonds with their owners and can become distressed when left alone for extended periods.
Understanding the signs of separation anxiety, such as excessive barking, destructive chewing, or self-harm, is crucial for providing them with the support they need to feel secure when apart from their owners.
Here are strategies that can help alleviate these behaviors in dogs:
One approach is gradually training them to be comfortable with longer periods of alone time. This can be done by starting with short absences and gradually increasing the duration over time.
In some cases, leaving behind familiar items such as their favorite blanket or toy, and playing some soft music or white noise can provide extra comfort and reassurance.
Maltese dogs are small and delicate
The small and delicate nature of Maltese dogs is part of their charm, but it may come with a need for extra care and attention.
Their diminutive size makes them vulnerable not only to injuries in the home, such as being stepped on or accidentally dropped, but also when encountering larger dogs or animals outdoors.
Therefore, supervise all interactions with larger pets or young children to avoid any accidents and create a safe environment for your dog where they can retreat and feel secure.
Maltese dogs tend to be spoiled
Maltese have a reputation for being spoiled dogs.
This may be due to their small size or the tendency of their owners to lavish them with attention and treats. Either way, this may lead to behavioral issues such as separation anxiety, possessiveness, and even aggression.
Setting clear boundaries, providing consistent training, and ensuring regular exercise can help keep these lovable companions happy and well-adjusted.
While every dog is unique and may have different needs and behaviors, this complete list of Maltese pros and cons can serve as a general guideline for those considering this breed.
Their small size, hypoallergenic coat, and low energy level make Maltese dogs a popular choice for both families and individuals. Their gentle disposition also makes them great companions for children and seniors alike.
However, it’s important to consider potential cons as well.
The Maltese breed is known for being prone to separation anxiety and can be quite demanding of attention, so they may not be the best fit for someone who has a busy lifestyle.