Family life with a Maltese
Maltese make good family dogs for families with older children. This dog is a cuddly little companion and loves attention. They are known to have a lot of energy and are very playful. Maltese prefer enclosed spaces and do well in small yards and even in apartments or townhouses.
Due to its small size, the Maltese is physically very fragile. That is why the breed is not recommended for young children. Accidentally stepping on the dog or sitting on your Maltese can cause broken bones and other serious injuries.
A Maltese requires a lot of socialization as a puppy to be comfortable in a variety of social situations. This breed can bark and bite young children, because the dog does not understand rapid movements, noises, or indirect rough play by children (such as pulling on the ears and tail).
When not properly socialized with the family’s daily routine, Maltese can feel anxious when left alone. Separation anxiety causes the dog to display many destructive behaviors when the family is away from home.
This breed is often taken to shelters or abandoned by owners who cannot tolerate its barking, its irritability with young children, or its separation anxiety issues.
Before giving your family a Maltese, make sure your family can tolerate Maltese behavior for both good and bad personality quirks. It is unfair to the dog and children to break hearts when the dog is not the right fit for their family.
These dogs are known to be hypoallergenic and can be more pleasant to people who are normally allergic to animals. This breed requires daily grooming of its coat and fur.
It is a great opportunity for children to take on age-appropriate tasks of responsibility. These dogs also have their fur around their eyes stained on a daily basis and need daily eye cleaning. Caring for and grooming your Maltese helps promote the bond between your family and your dog.
History of the Maltese breed
The Maltese dog is believed to have originated in the central Mediterranean area, from the island – Malta, where the dog was a companion of noble women.
The Maltese was specially bred to achieve its small size. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the breed became even smaller, so that the dogs were about the size of a squirrel. The breed traveled with nomadic tribes throughout Europe and the Middle East, where the dog protected people from rodents.
In 1888, the purebred Maltese was recognized by the American Kennel Club. This little dog has a classic “halo” effect around the eyes, which means that the dark eyes are surrounded by darker skin pigmentation. The Maltese nose may turn pink or brown in winter, “winter nose” and darken in summer as a result of sun exposure.
In recent years, the Maltese has been bred with Poodles, Pugs, and Shih Tzus to achieve more desirable and social traits, such as being smaller, friendlier, and shedding as little as possible.
Although most Maltese are healthy, the breed is susceptible to some specific health problems. Some health problems that can affect the Maltese breed are:
Patella luxation – Or sliding kneecap, causes pain when walking. Treated with surgery.
Liver shunt– When the blood circulates abnormally and does not pass through the liver, which is important to detoxify and cleanse the blood. It can be treated through diet, medication, and surgery. This condition can also cause the dog to become anemic, if treatment and diagnosis are delayed.
Eye infections due to improper cleaning or infrequent cleaning.
Some people chose to monitor their dog’s health with FitBark, a discreet, wearable device worn on the dog’s collar that constantly monitors your dog’s activity, sleep, and nutrition, and is breed specific. FitBark easily pairs with your Fitbit, Apple Watch, HealthKit, or Google Fit device to monitor progress. Researchers and veterinarians have developed a unique algorithm to provide you with real-time quantitative data on your dog’s health. Great for finding out how your dog is really feeling and making it easy to communicate during follow-up vet appointments.
Developing a strong relationship with a trusted veterinarian is important to maximizing your Maltese’s health.