Choosing the right breed of dog to match your specific living situation and taste in pets can be tricky, but if you are looking for an excellent companion dog combined with a pet that is relatively low maintenance, then the Maltese dog may be for you. Maltese dogs have been bred for over two thousand years, and have earned a reputation both as excellent friends and competitors in agility and obedience courses. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of owning a Maltese, so that you can decide if they are right for you.
The Maltese stands at roughly ten inches high at the shoulder, weighing in at no more than seven or eight pounds, ideally. Their coats are long and silky, although they do not have a tendency to shed. They typically live between twelve and fifteen years, and their good overall health means that they have few chronic problems and are not prone to many diseases. The Maltese dog tends to be very affectionate, both with other dogs and members of the family. They are good with children, although they do not tend to show any special preference towards them. They are somewhat fragile animals, however, and children might actually be more of a danger to them, rather than vice versa.
These are excellent dogs for novice owners, as they do not require a large amount of exercise and yet are rather playful. They are easy (not to mention a lot of fun) to groom, making them great for someone who likes to be on the neat side. They do well in an apartment setting, and are easy to train and housebreak, although they often have problems being alone and will often bark or howl when nobody is around. The Maltese dog is also somewhat sensitive as a breed, so harsh training methods may make them somewhat resentful.
The Maltese dog experiences very little wanderlust, a quality attached to dogs when they act too independently and are prone to give chase to just about anything that crosses their path. They also have somewhat subdued predatory instincts, so taking them on walks is more of a social event than an opportunity to try and chase cats or cars. They have decent heat tolerance, although despite their long coat colder weather can get to them, and they may require a sweater during winter.