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Maltese is one of the most popular toy dog breeds, if not the most popular of them all. It is a descendant of dogs from the Central Mediteranean Area and as the name suggests, it is believed that the dog breed originates from the Matla island. There are also other names used for the Maltese breed, for example Maltese Lion Dog, Roman Ladies Dog or Cokie… but in present times, Maltese is the official name of the breed. This dog is a pure bred companion dog, who loves attention and needs to be loved by its owner. They are playful and humans loving creatures that go well with kids, they need a bit of supervision when playing with small kid thou, as some tend to bite a bit. Maltese need company, when left alone, they can become stressed and suffer from anxiety.

My Maltese dog blog features basic but important info about your favorite dog breed, its written in an easy to read form and aimed at beginners when it comes to keeping dogs. In case you own a Maltese, please send me a pciture so I can show it to visitors of this site. Thanks.

Maltese hypoallergenic properties

Maltese have beautiful long coats that are not just lovely to look at, but are also considered safer for the people who usually suffer from dog hair related allergies.

There are a lot of people out there who would love to be able to have a cheerful and devoted pet, but are, sadly, allergic to dog hair and dandruff. Maltese might be the right choice for them. Maltese’s don’t have an undercoat and their coat is not considered fur but hair. It is thick enough to keep the dandruff from easily falling off and doesn’t shed that much. It only falls off if the hair is broken or snapped, which doesn’t occur that often.

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If you would like to see if you might be able to withstand a Maltese’s proximity, try finding someone who has one and then spending some time with the dog. If your allergic reactions weren’t too severe, the chances are good that you’ll be able to spend time with this dog without it triggering a reaction. Some breeders might also be willing to “rent out” a dog for this purpose. You just need to make sure that the dog didn’t have much contact with other breeds before you take him, as you might still have a reaction to their hair or dandruff that got caught on the Maltese.

If you have someone who is not allergic to dogs and who could groom your dog and brush his fur daily, that should reduce the chances of you getting an allergic reaction even further. If you are considering doing this, however, make sure to consult your doctor first, as some people can experience much more severe reactions to dog hair than others, and shouldn’t risk it even despite the dog’s hypoallergenic properties.

Maltese temperament

Maltese are companion toy dogs, which says a lot about their nature. They are very friendly and sociable and don’t mind having strangers in their immediate surroundings. They are known to be extremely playful and energetic, and these traits even follow them into their old age, unlike with most other breeds that lose a lot of their vigor and liveliness as they get older.

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Even thought they are bursting with energy they don’t require too much exercise, you should take them out for a walk once a day and leave them to find their own ways of spending all of that energy on their own for the rest of time. They’ll usually find some adorable way to do so. This excessive energy can sometimes be a bit of a problem for some people, as Maltese can become quite restless and start barking at everything that moves. This has caused them to become one the most dumped breeds in some areas.

They can sometimes cause their owners quite a bit of distress during house training. Even though they are very smart, and usually adopt new tricks or commands easily, they just seem to be unwilling to learn where to go to potty. But if you commend them each time that they evacuate in the proper place and learn to recognize their body language that indicates that they need to go, you’ll soon be able to prevent their little accidents.

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Make sure that you introduce a lot of new people into their surroundings while they are young. That will teach them to socialize and prevent them from occasionally snapping at persistent children, as the ones who haven’t been trained properly sometimes do. You should take good care not to leave your dog alone for too long, as it may develop separation anxiety, a condition not uncommon in companion dogs that is characterized by increased nervousness, and if prolonged, anti-social behavior. They get extremely attached to their owners, and as such suffer a great deal when they are separated from them, don’t torture your dog this way, if you’ve decided to care for a living being you have a responsibility to do it properly.

Maltese can sometimes suffer from what is thought to be a genetic disorder – the white shaker dog syndrome. This usually affects small white dogs, such as West Highland White Terrier and Bichon Frise. Condition is characterized by violent shakes that occur when the dog tries to perform an action such as running or eating. Even though it can prevent your dog from moving during the seizures it is generally not dangerous and can be treated, even though some dogs might need to receive medication for life. If you notice that your dog is experiencing violent shakes, sometimes accompanied by eye jerking and twitching, call the vet and find out what the best course of action would be.

One last thing you need to know is that, even though you should always be gentle and affectionate with your dog, you should make sure that he knows that you are the boss, as Maltese, like many companion dogs, are prone to developing the small dog syndrome, which might make them aggressive and disobedient.

Maltese grooming

Maltese have silky, long coats that are beautiful to behold but that also require a lot of care and attention if they are to remain nice to look at. This is why it is recommendable that you start grooming your Maltese while he is still very young, as that way it will get used to it more easily and will not make problems later, which will make grooming it a much simpler task.

If you opted for the long coat in your Maltese and not puppy cut, you’ll have to brush it daily in order to avoid serious matting. This might seem a bit daunting, but it is an activity that can be enjoyable if you have a well behaved dog. Start by applying spray conditioner on your dog’s coat. It is not always necessary to do so, but it will make it much easier for you to untangle the mats. Once you’ve done this, use long, gentle strokes of a pin brush to straighten his fur. Be very careful while doing this, if you notice that the brush got stuck, don’t pull on it too hard, you might pull the dog’s hair off and cause him serious discomfort. If the brush doesn’t budge after a gentle pull, untangle the mat with your fingers, or if it’s impossible to untangle, cut it off with scissors, just be very careful not to hurt the dog.

You won’t need to bathe your dog that often, once a week should suffice in most cases if your dog has long hair, if not, once every two weeks will be more than enough. You should start by making sure that your Maltese is soaked to the skin. Once he is, start applying the gentlest shampoo you can find by slowly pouring it over his back. You don’t need to rub the shampoo in, and it’s actually not recommendable to do so, as it might increase the chances of the dog’s skin getting irritated. While bathing your dog take good care that none of the water gets in his ears, as this might cause unwanted complications. Once you’ve applied the shampoo leave it in for a couple of minutes, and then rinse it thoroughly. Any shampoo that is left after the bath will cause the dog’s skin to become irritated and sometimes even inflamed.

Tear stains are a common problem with Maltese, you should address this while bathing your dog, you might try washing them out with a no-tear shampoo or one of the many tear stain removing products available, just take good care not to scrub too hard and not to get any in the dog’s eyes, as it will not only cause him discomfort, but also increase the production of tears and be counterproductive.

Once you’re done with the bath check your dog’s ears for wax build-up or odors that might indicate an infection. There is a number of antibiotic ear washes that you can buy that will prevent infections, use them once or twice a month and your dog should be safe from such troubles.

Maltese common health issues

Maltese are generally healthy dogs but, just like other breeds, they have certain problems that are characteristic for them and that occur more often than some other. As an owner of a Maltese you should be able to recognize these problems and react accordingly.

They are known to be prone to skin irritations and allergies which make them lick their fur excessively. This is sometimes caused by their proximity to the ground, which makes them pick up all sorts of dirt and foreign matter that causes the irritation. Allergies are also often caused by flea bites that can get inflamed and drive your dog mad. This is just one of the reasons for the frequent grooming of your Maltese’s long coat. If the dog gets into the habit of licking his fur even when there is no irritation present, the coat may turn pink in color, this is definitely something you want to prevent if you plan on entering your dog into shows.

Smaller companion dogs often have eye problems. Maltese are especially likely to have them because of their long hair that often falls in their eyes and causes irritation or even damage to their eyes. It also increases the tear production which causes the staining of the fur beneath the eyes. They have also been known to suffer from ingrown eyelashes, which can be removed manually if noticed on time.

Bladder stones are another condition often connected to the Maltese. They don’t suffer from it too often, but when they do, and if the condition is left untreated for long enough it can even be fatal. If you notice that your dog is urinating too often, that it has problems doing it, or if you find blood in its urine, contact your vet immediately, as rapid action might be the only thing that will save your dog’s life.

Maltese lose their teeth early and you should take note of that fact and keep good care of their oral hygiene. If the dog’s teeth or gums become infected it can create serious health issues, as the bacteria from its mouth can spread through all of the dog’s body and have extremely adverse effect on its health.

Like many other small dogs, Maltese often have problems with their legs. One of them is hip dysplasia, a condition in which the cartilage in the dog’s hip is torn and ends up being ground by the dog’s tie bone. It can severely impair the dog’s ability to walk and, over time, cause great pain. Another is knee displacement. It may vary in severity, but if left untreated, will get progressively worse and leave your dog unable to walk.

These dogs are known for their inverted sneezing, a snorting sound that they sometimes produce and that might sound somewhat alarming, but is actually quite normal and harmless. The general rule of the thumb is to keep a close eye on your dog, monitor his behavior and if you notice and deviations from the usual behavior, especially if he seems to be experiencing discomfort, contact your vet and have the dog checked out, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Maltese puppy care

Taking care of a puppy and helping it grow up in a healthy dog can be a time consuming and demanding task, if you’re not sure you’re up to it don’t rush in, you might regret it later. If you have decided to buy or rescue a puppy first you need to prepare your house for the coming of a very energetic and curious puppy that still doesn’t know what to be weary of and can easily get hurt. Remove all the items that he could try to swallow, as well as any potentially poisonous things in the puppy’s reach. Buy a crate and if you can, an exercise pen, you’ll have to keep a close eye on your puppy and these are ideal for that.

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Once you have brought your puppy home immediately take him to where he will be sleeping and leave him there. He needs to learn right away what part of your house he can consider his home. Maltese puppies can be a bit difficult to house train, but if you do it properly and without getting irritated at their slow progress they will learn eventually.

You need to take good care of their health, as they are in the developing stage and every glitch or lack of care could have serious consequences. Make sure that you feed them regularly with high quality food and that you have consulted your vet concerning the vaccinations that need to be administered.

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Maltese are companion dogs, which means that they love socializing with people. It is important that you introduce a lot of new people in their lives while they are young, just make sure that you bring the right type of people in their surrounding – gentle, friendly and dog-loving. If your dog experiences any human related traumas at this stage its attitude toward people may become permanently impaired.

 

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