The Maltese is one of the sweetest little dogs you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. It’s cute, it’s small and it’s just so pretty you want to take them all home with you. And while that is quite noble and wonderful, you can’t take every dog home with you. In fact, you shouldn’t even take one Maltese home with you unless you know all about them, what to expect when you get yours home and what life will be like once you are a dog owner. Some people have owned dogs in the past and know what to expect as a general rule, and others are looking into getting a Maltese as their first dog. We’ll be honest and tell you that this sweet little pup makes a great first dog, but that doesn’t mean that you should get one without first educating yourself on the ins and outs of owning a Maltese. So we’ve decided to break it down for you and give you some information that is going to make the process a lot simpler. The more you know, the smarter you become, and the smarter you become, the more prepared you will be for a dog in your life. Here’s what you need to know about the Maltese before you get one of your own.
This is a Commitment
The Maltese can live a long time, more than a decade on average. This means that you have to be prepared to have a dog that is going to live with you for a very long time. This is, hands down, the most important thing you need to know about this breed. When you get it, you have to care for it for the rest of its life. And you should also know that this is a breed that should stay inside and supervised as often as possible since it is small and it could be attacked by larger animals.
Teacup Maltese Puppies aren’t “Real”
You will hear this term, and you should run from it. The concept is that these are smaller than average Maltese puppies that will stay under four pounds. Sounds cute and small, right? Well, it’s not a good idea. You don’t want one under four pounds because you’re getting into a whole new realm of issues when you go this route. They are illegally bred and created, and it’s dangerous and not a good idea.
Smaller Pups Have Bigger Health Issues
The concept of a ‘teacup’ Maltese gets people all the time. They stay small and adorable, but they’re a bundle of health issues and they are not good dogs to have. They tend to end up very sick and very unhealthy because they are not properly bred and cared for. Just stay away.
You Have to Have Vet Information
You cannot bring home a Maltese without first getting information from the vet the dog has been to. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking at a puppy or a grown adult, you need this information. While this is a generally healthy breed, you need to know that it does not have any genetic issues from parentage, and you need to know it’s not already sick when you get it.
This is a very sweet, very loving dog. This is the kind of information you need to know because you have to know what to expect from the dog. It’s got plenty of energy, and it’s very affectionate. It loves to spend time with people and it loves to be the center of attention. It’s not a ‘yappy’ dog and it’s not a loud dog, but it is a very friendly dog.
Nothing Scares this Breed
These are very fearless dogs. This is something you will have to watch out for if you take this dog outside, even if you think 10 minutes in your fenced in yard without supervision is a good idea. It’s fearless, so it has no problem walking right up to a skunk (this could be a gross problem for you) or a coyote, or a stranger, or a large dog or a snake or anything of that nature. It needs to be watched because it is such a brave little dog.
Grooming is Important
Maltese dogs have a long, beautiful coat. It’s part of the reason people love this dog so much. But you do have to watch out for the grooming part. This is not a dog you can ignore. It needs a good brushing each and every day, and frequent trips to the groomer for trims. It will mat and knot easily, so grooming is very important with this breed at home.
They do Like Exercise
It’s considered a dog with medium energy, according to the American Kennel Club. However, this is a breed that does love to exercise and it does love to be outside. You should try to take the dog for a walk every day at least once and let it run around the yard for a bit to let it burn off some energy and get some exercise in throughout the day.
They are Lap Dogs
Typically around 7 pounds, the Maltese is certainly a lap dog. If you are looking for a small dog that loves to sit in your lap and be very close to you, this is the breed for you. It’s not one that will want to do much away from you, and it’s going to want you home more often than not. This is not to say that you can’t leave the house and go to work or have fun, but it’s a dog that you will need to keep occupied and entertained when you are gone so that it doesn’t become bored and potentially destructive.
They’re Good with Kids
These are very sweet dogs with a very gentle nature. They love kids, but they can be a little bit excited at first. Give them a few minutes to see what’s up, to get used to the kids and then they will calm down a bit more. But, as always recommended, never leave any dog unattended with children. It’s just the safest way to have kids and dogs together for both.
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