YES! The Maltese hardly sheds or drools, and this makes them hypoallergenic!
They’re cute, they have huge, expressive eyes, and may consider them royalty among toy dog breeds.
The Maltese is probably the oldest toy breed and can be traced back to the island of Malta. Because of the way it looks, and its sparkly personality, it became the go-to toy breed for royal households across Europe.
Most other breeds were originally bred as working dogs, and later became companions for humans. The Maltese, however, was a companion dog from the start.
This highly popular (some say the most popular) breed among fans of small dogs is playful, charming to the extreme, loving, and loyal.
More about the Maltese
The Maltese is a small breed famous for their silky white coat. When you look at it you can immediately see it’s cuddly and lovable.
Its hypoallergenic traits have increased its star status among small breeds in recent years.
Although these pups are mostly white, color variations include shades of cream and ivory – and these are often present in one dog.
Add to the package a pitch-black button nose and eyes that look like those of a baby seal, and you have an irresistible little dog!
The Maltese are around 10 inches at the shoulder and seldom weigh more than seven pounds. They have a sturdy build.
The Maltese’s hypoallergenic qualities
It’s all in that stunning white coat, you see. It’s a single-layer coat – so there’s no undercoat. And the hair grows without kinks or curls. It’s all straight.
They don’t shed, and there’s really no dander to speak of, so the two main culprits that trigger allergic reactions in humans are greatly inhibited.
The Maltese’s character and temperament
It’s all about the sweetest nature imaginable for these little guys. They’re obedient, and amiable, and affable, and friendly, and loving, and so the list goes on.
And they’re really easy to train.
The Maltese are a bundle of raw energy. And it’s smart as a whip. They are simply the best companions imaginable, and they make fantastic dogs for therapy scenarios too.
Their trainability and general intelligence make the breed sought-after competition dogs. They participate with great success in agility, freestyle, rally, and obedience contests.
As a companion dog, the Maltese thrives anywhere, as long as it is by your side. It is the perfect indoor pup and is great for small-space living.
It loves humans and other animals alike. If you bring it into a family, make sure young children understand that a doggie can get hurt too if you play too rough, This is essential with all toys and small breeds.
In short, the Maltese is eager to please. And with its bright little mind and its social character, it’s the perfect canine addition for any family.
How about training?
The Maltese is smart and that makes it really easy to train. But, when it gets bored, that little intellect can be just as creative and absolutely WILL be applied to mischief.
It responds to authority, so tapping into its pack instinct and establishing yourself as the alpha in the pack, will go a long way to raising a well-adjusted, obedient family pet.
The Maltese is probably not the greatest choice for first-time owners. It has a strong character, and if it is not properly socialized it can develop a propensity for snapping at threats – whether perceived or real.
Socialization is critical for raising a well-adjusted Maltese, and this should start as soon as the pup has had his initial shots. Exposure to kids and dogs in a training environment is HUGELY important at this age
They love to play-bite. And this should be discouraged immediately, even though it may seem cute and harmless at the time.
The Maltese is perfect for a cuddle, wherever you are. But, because it was bred as a human companion dog, it needs you as much (more) as you need it.
Too much time away from you or other human companions will lead to separation anxiety. And the breed is known to be prone to this condition.
If you start exposing your puppy to small stretches of alone time from early on, it will help to adjust them. The simplest way to do this is to leave the pup in a secluded, but a familiar environment for around a quarter of an hour at a time.
And then, always make sure to return with a happy-go-lucky, cheerful attitude, and make as much of a fuss of the pup as it is bound to make of you.
Do Maltese yap?
These guys are highly protective of their owners, with a total disregard (or denial) for their own size! They have the nickname Lion Dog for a reason.
They’ll bark, and often do so frequently. It’s easy to train the dog not to bark, however, but the key again is to start young.
Do they need exercise?
They’re a bundle of lightning-like energy, these pups. They’re active most of the time, so they don’t need more than around 30-minutes of designated exercise per day. For this little dog, exercise is fun, and above all, just another opportunity to bond with you!
The Maltese is small, so its space requirements are small too. Provided it gets the relevant quantities of love and attention, it will thrive in just about any environment.
Are they a pain to groom?
Generally, Maltese are low-maintenance. Shaving it to a puppy cut eliminates a lot of the effort associated with maintaining a longer coat.
These little dogs don’t shed, and they hardly produce dander. If you suffer from allergies, a puppy cut is another way to lessen your chances of having an allergic reaction.
Brush them a couple of times a week – they love this and will see it as you doting them with affection. So, for them, grooming and play are the same thing.
If their coats are longer, daily brushing becomes essential to keep it mat-free. And after they’ve been for a romp in the big world outside, check them for debris, as this will almost certainly lead to matting.
A Maltese will need to be clipped every six weeks. It’s simple enough to do it yourself – there are plenty of fun videos that will show you exactly how. Or, alternatively, take the pooch to a doggie parlor. They love Maltese!
In between parlor visits, bath your dog once a week to keep their coat free from debris and mats. No more than that – they have sensitive skins, and too much bathing is bound to cause skin irritations and sensitivities.
Because they’re white and little, Maltese often get tear stains under their eyes. Simply use a damp cloth to wipe these away.
How do I take care of the rest of the Maltese?
Take care of their teeth. May of the smaller breeds have general dental concerns, and the Maltese is no exception. A good brush at least two times a week is a playful way to ward off any dental problems
Keep your pup’s ears free from waxy buildup and hair.
And trim hose nails often. As soon as you can hear them clicking on hard surfaces, haul out the clippers!
Are they generally healthy?
Maltese are hardy little dogs. They don’t have any health issues in general, but they do tend to get injured from time to time. This is simply because they’re so inquisitive, full of energy, and small in size. The combination gets them into trouble!
Here is a short list of the kinds of issue that occur with Maltese:
There are some health issues that often occur in small dogs that may arise in your Maltese:
- Injuries from just being, well, a Maltese
- Dental issues – no more or less than other small breeds
- Excess hair interfering with the ear canal can cause infection
- Matting hair in their eyes may cause irritation and eye infection
- Skin allergies from improper diet and irregular grooming
- Their trachea may pick up problems with certain collars – try using a harness instead
- Dog shaker syndrome can be an issue – this condition, as the name says, causes them to shake as if they’re nervous. There’s really effective medication for this
- Patella Luxation – otherwise known as a floating knee. This causes both pain and lameness, and is easy to spot. If it becomes too frequent or obviously distresses the dog, surgery will correct the problem/
- Portosystemic shunts – this is a malfunctioning liver that releases toxins into the dog’s bloodstream. It happens infrequently, and is corrected with surgery
The general rules apply, though. High grooming standards, the right shots when they’re required, enough exercise, and a healthy diet will keep the calamities at bay. And regular pop-ins at your vet.
A parting shot
These little hypoallergenic pooches are really the royalty of toys and small breeds. It’s not just in how they look, but also in who they are.
Lively and playful, loving and loyal, equally happy to race around the garden and cuddle in your lap around the fire – what more could you possibly want from a dog.
They’re magnificent, empathetic, and understanding companions.