Maltese dogs are playful, intelligent, and very active household members. They like to cuddle and be a lap dog, but they also enjoy being active. The Maltese is a great indoor dog, apartment, condominium or small urban dwelling. They are more comfortable in smaller spaces, so a small inner city patio is ideal for them. The attitude shown is that of an aristocrat. Maltese is a good watchdog and will observe everything that is going on around it. He is comfortable with strangers. Maltese owners should monitor interaction with children at first; they can become agile with children. They train easily with treats and enjoy doing tricks and have good agility. the owner must be careful, however the Maltese is smart enough to manipulate the human. This can result in a spoiled and misbehaving puppy. Due to the small size of Maltese puppies, it is recommended that they not live in families with young children, where the Maltese could be dropped or stepped on. They are mostly show dogs or family pets and lap dogs.
It is a toy breed, which is the attraction as a lap dog and companion. Adult dogs weigh approximately 3 to 10 pounds. Show dogs must weigh between 4 and 7 pounds. The height of the Maltese is between 7 and 12 inches. With the long silky white coat characteristic of the breed, small is good. Grooming may not be as difficult as you might think, if you are careful. The Maltese should be groomed daily by brushing the coat. Despite the long coat, the Maltese shed very little. In fact, many people allergic to dogs are not allergic to Maltese. Tear stains can be a problem for these dogs. This may require intense effort to prevent the layer from staining. Many sources recommend that Maltese visit a professional hairdresser approximately every 6 weeks. Many pet owners cut the coat into a generic puppy cut to lessen the grooming effort required. The Maltese may exhibit a snorting or gagging sound, especially when excited or playing games. While this worries many owners, it is generally not a problem, clears up within minutes, and is breed specific. For any real concerns in the area, visit your vet to make sure there isn’t a physical problem with the dog.
Maltese will live 10-13 years, typically. They are generally very healthy and the biggest problems are the tear stains mentioned above and dental problems. Due to the tooth problem, it is recommended to brush the dog’s teeth regularly. The problem of reverse sneezing (snorting) was also mentioned earlier. Without proper socialization, the Maltese can become a cheerful and agile little dog. They already have a tendency to be fearless, so if they don’t socialize this can get out of hand, if the owner isn’t careful.