Many people feel that a home is not a home until there is an animal running around. While we do love animals and couldn’t agree more that a home with a dog is a happier home, we also have to say that dogs are not for everyone. Some people are cat people. Some people are not animal people at all. Some people prefer certain dogs to others, and that’s okay. One of our favorites is the Maltese. It’s a wonderful dog to have in a home with a family. Many people mistake this as the type of dog you steer clear of in a house with small kids since it is such a small breed. However, this is not the case. While very gentle and mild-mannered, this is a fearless and brave breed. The Maltese is a breed that loves kids and adults, it’s very brave and it’s very playful. It’s also not big enough to make you too nervous near the children. This is a dog with a long coat that does require frequent grooming and brushing, but that is not a reason to keep it at bay. If you are looking for a smaller dog to make a part of your family, this is the breed for you.
Like any breed, however, Maltese puppies are not something you should bring into your home unless you are certain your family is ready for a dog. As we mentioned above, not everyone is in the market for a dog and not everyone in the market for a Maltese should get a dog. If you and your family are in the market for a dog, perhaps you should ask yourself a few very important questions first. Knowing you are ready to care for a dog is the most important first step in finding a Maltese, and you have to be 100% committed to raising a dog.
How Old Are Your Kids?
The AKC has plenty of information regarding Maltese puppies and adults, but one bit of information you have to consider is the age of your kids. You might think that a smaller breed is right for you because you have small children who cannot protect themselves against larger animals. However, a small dog could potentially become a toy for a toddler. It’s not impossible for a toddler to actually love a small animal so much it ends up seriously injured or killed. This is not our way of telling you that your kids are awful or that they are sadisitic; we are simply being realistic. A small child who sees a dog as something alive to love on might accidentally hurt the animal by placing it in a bag or squeezing it too hard or putting it somewhere it shouldn’t go and forgetting about it. Small dogs and small kids are not always the best mix.
How Does Your Child Behave Around Dogs?
There are two different angles to consider here. For one, your kids might be terrified of dogs and that will make bringing one into the home a terrible idea. If your kids are scared of dogs, it might be a good idea to expose them to more dogs on a more regular basis to get them used to the animals to see if their behavior improves. Additionally, you also have to ask yourself if your kids are respectful of animals. Not all kids do respect animals. Some view them as things they can control and do with as they wish. It’s something you might be able to change over time, but getting a Maltese in the house is not something you should consider until your kids are happy around dogs and until they have the knowledge to provide all animals with respect.
Do Your Kids Understand Dogs?
We’re not talking about what they want or need. We are talking about how to care for them. Do they understand that the dog you are bringing into your home is going to be there for life and not just for a few weeks? Do they understand that they might have to be responsible for the cleaning up behind the dog, for the playing, walking and even feeding of the dog? Do your kids understand what’s expected of them when a new dog is brought into the home, and are they mature enough to handle the responsibility?
Are You Okay with the Responsibility?
If you have a dog, who will care for it? You might think your kids will, but what if they do not? What if they grow tired of caring for the dog or do not show the kind of maturity level it takes to care for a dog. In that case, you might just have to care for the dog yourself. If you are okay with this, then that’s wonderful. However, if you are not okay with this, then you should really think twice about getting a dog.
Have You Done Your Research?
Did you look up the Maltese? Did you learn all there is to learn about this animal? Have you found reputable Maltese breeder with whom you have spoken to learn more about the breed, the price, the expectations and more? Do you understand that there are many different Maltese breeds such as Maltipoos and Maltese Pomeranians and even Maltese and Shih Tzu mixes, and do you understand the differences between them and what to expect if you get one that is not 100% Maltese? You will need to know what to expect with this breed, what to expect as a puppy, with training, as it gets older, with its behavior and temperament. There is a lot of consideration that goes into getting a dog, and it’s not just breed specific. You will need to do ample research to understand what is expected of you when you bring a dog into your home. You will need to consider the size of your family, the size of your home, the size of your yard, the safety of your yard, the lifestyle you live and what the dog needs to thrive. You will have to be consistent and firm when training the dog and teaching it to obey the rules.
Finding a cute dog like a Maltese is not a good enough reason to get a dog. Even if you really want one, you still need to make sure you and your family are ready for one, or getting a dog will end up being a big mistake.
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