Things To Know Before Buying A Maltese Dog
The Maltese dog is categorized as a ‘toy’ breed, and is a very intelligent, lively, agile dog that is extremely playful and lovable. However, as with all purebred dogs, the Maltese has its pros and cons and that is what we will look into in this article. If you are considering buying a Maltese, then this article is for you, where we will discuss in detail the possible health problems that may arise, as well as all the good stuff about this amazing breed. Read on to learn more.
Maltese dogs weigh no more than about 7lbs as an adult, and are generally between eight and ten inches tall. This is a good breed for novice owners, though note that the Maltese is a sensitive breed and should not be around loud noises. The Maltese has a glamorous white coat that can be left long or cut short, but they are prone to sunburn on hot days. They are incredibly affectionate, and can go well with other pets, but may not be friendly to strangers. However, because of their intelligence level being very high, it is fairly easy to train them, particularly if you start early.
The first thing you should do is visit one or two reputable breeders of Maltese dogs, because some lines are more confident, while others can be cautious. Therefore, you want to take the time to shop around, and visit the puppies and their parents. These dogs can excel with non-forceful training, and will serve you well if you start training and socialising with them early on. Additionally, enrolling in a training school will help greatly and is highly recommended. The Maltese can do extremely well in obedience training and agility, and even if you don’t enter them into competitions, socialising will allow them to get on with visitors as well as other breeds.
Maltese dogs are a great choice for those with apartments or small dwellings as they don’t need a great deal of exercise. However, they are extremely difficult to house train, and many owners even end up with a litter box, or have a dog flap, so that they can go outside when the need arises. This breed does not like to be left alone: they need company and if left alone for too long, they tend to have separation issues, for example, they may start to tear up your furniture or bark a lot.
Moreover, it is important to know the fragility of a toy breed, because many new owners who purchase a toy breed may be buying because they don’t have a garden, or large dwelling. They may also buy one because they are cute, and have a wonderful expression about them, but you also need to be aware that with a toy breed, they can get into places you wouldn’t think possible. In addition, they can also be sat on accidentally if they are sleeping under a pillow or cover, so you need to be sure of where your pooch is at all times. Keep in mind that children can be clumsy or over playful without realizing it, and these tiny dogs can get seriously hurt, or even killed, especially when in the puppy phase.
The Maltese does not shed as much as larger breeds, so they do well with allergy sufferers, although they do need plenty of grooming and brushing. Alternatively, you can have their coat cut fairly short to avoid all the matting and tangling that goes along with long haired dogs, and this also makes it easier to brush and keep clean. These dogs do not like the cold or damp weather conditions, so if you live somewhere that is cold and damp, then it is probably best kept as an inside dog only. However, your Malese will still need regular exercise, or walks only when it warms up, or be in the garden for a short time.
As with all toy breeds, there are certain health conditions to be aware of, like Patellar Luxation, where the knee joint can slip in and out of place causing discomfort and pain. Collapsed Trachea is another condition many toy breeds suffer from, where the trachea can collapse. However, you can help prevent this to some extent with a harness instead of a leash, as with a leash pressure is put on the trachea. With that said, registering early on and visiting your vet regularly can prevent many conditions, as well as catch any illnesses early on, so they can be effectively treated. Other possible conditions in the Maltese are Portosystemic liver shunt, PRA, Hypoglycemia and White Dog Shaker Syndrome.
Finally, as with all dogs, your vet is your best friend when it comes to your dog’s health. Therefore, be sure to keep appointments and keep up to date with all injections and medications. Remember to tell your vet about any unusual behaviour since your last visit, so that any additional tests can be run if needed. In closing, by following your vet’s advice you will help keep your Maltese in tip top condition, enabling you both to spend many happy years together, enjoying each other’s company for a long time to come.