Are Maltese Good with Kids?

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Are Maltese Good with Kids?One of the most important things to consider when you are looking at bringing a new dog home is whether or not they’re going to suit your lifestyle. That means finding out whether they are suited to living where you live, whether they need you there all the time, and, perhaps most importantly, whether they are safe for you to have around children.

Not all dog breeds will be happy to be housed with children, so for their and the child’s safety, it is paramount that you check before bringing home a new addition to the family!

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Should You Be Considering a Maltese If You Have Kids?

In theory, the Maltese is a breed that is absolutely fine to consider if you’ve got children. It’s relatively relaxed in nature, but also full of enough energy to keep the children entertained.

That being said, whilst the Maltese is a good breed to consider with some kids, it is worth doing plenty of research first. The Maltese is a safe breed in some family households, but in others, it’s worth opting for a different breed. It all depends on things like the age of the children and how much time you’re likely to have for your pooch.

Are Maltese Good with Babies?

Despite the fact that the Maltese is a wonderful dog breed with plenty of positive attributes, this is unfortunately one of the downsides. The Maltese is a relative of the Bichon Frise, and as such has a lot of the characteristic traits that we see frequently in the Bichon.

The Maltese, just like the Bichon Frise, is an incredibly sensitive dog. As a result, it can often become frustrated when its owners focus their attention on a newborn or a young baby. It can also be affected by the baby’s cries and tantrums and can become anxious or depressed due to its perceived lack of attention and focus.

Are Maltese Good with Toddlers?

Whilst the breed is generally a wonderful choice, those with toddlers may want to think again. The Maltese is a super small breed, in fact, it is categorized as a ‘toy’ dog breed. Weighing under 7 lbs and measuring 8” to 10”, the breed really is tiny.

As a result, the Maltese is quite a vulnerable dog. It is at great risk of injury when left unattended, and this includes around toddlers. A lot of young children do not realize their own strength, and, when playing, can become rather boisterous. This is not a problem with toys, books, and larger animals or dog breeds, but with the Maltese, a toddler’s strength could seriously injure the breed.

Will a Maltese Be Jealous of Your Kids?

As mentioned above, the Maltese is a really sensitive dog breed. This can be an advantage, as it means the breed is very well suited to picking up on human emotions and will often come to offer support when you need it, but it can also be a disadvantage when it comes to keeping a Maltese around children.

It is normal, when parents bring home a baby or are raising a child, for that kid to be their focus. They still love everyone around them and their pets, but this new, vulnerable little thing is their priority. As a result, dogs can often feel like they’ve been shifted to second place – especially the Maltese.

There are usually a few signs that your Maltese is becoming jealous of your child. If picked up early, steps can be taken to prevent feelings of jealousy from progressing. If you’ve noticed that your Maltese has suddenly become hostile, perhaps nibbling, biting, or growling at you or at the children, this is a big sign that there is jealousy at play.

You might also notice that your Maltese is crowding you all of a sudden as if they’ve become incredibly clingy or needy. This is likely their attempt to distract you and take your attention away from the baby.

Unfortunately, one of the signs that your Maltese is jealous is that they may start to selectively forget their toilet training. This means that you might have to deal with your Maltese going to the bathroom indoors instead of in the yard.

Can a Maltese Hurt Your Kids?

Dogs do have sharp teeth and claws to protect themselves, but the Maltese is not a particularly angry or aggressive dog. It is very unlikely that your Maltese will hurt your children. You are more likely to experience your Maltese barking at them if they’re not interested in playing, or are in pain from being handled too rough.

That being said, there is always some risk with any breed of dog. Dogs are animals, and, if put in the wrong situation, could snap or nip to protect themselves from something that they have deemed a threat.

3 Tips for Having a Maltese Get Along with Your Kids

Below, we’ll look at some tips for helping your Maltese and kids get along.

Set Some Rules for Your Kids

When it comes to creating a safe house for any dog breed and children, it is essential that you set up some ground rules when you first get the dog. The Maltese is no exception. You should ensure that you have a conversation with your children to make sure that they do not feed the dog from their plate, that they do not take food from the dog, that they know the difference between their toys and the Maltese’s toys, etc.

This will help to create healthy boundaries between them and the Maltese and will keep the dog from feeling swamped.

Act Like a Child

Adults and children are very different, and from your Maltese’s perspective, they probably don’t understand what these tiny noisy humans are. So, when you are introducing a Maltese into your home, try to act like a child from time to time to show them that children are no different from adults. This should help boost their confidence and trust around the little ones.

Crate Train Your Maltese

Providing dogs with crates gives them a safe space to retreat to when they need. If you tell your children that they are not to mess with the crate, and then crate train your Maltese, your dog will know that it is somewhere safe that they can hide.

When your children are noisy, or perhaps playing too rough, your Maltese then has somewhere to go and chill out without worrying that the kids will follow!

3 Other Kid-Friendly Breeds to Consider

Next, we’ll briefly look at a few other kid-friendly breeds to consider.


The Poodle is an affectionate breed that comes in three different sizes. It is easy to train and loves being around people – especially its owners. The breed is intelligent and caring, so it makes the perfect family pet.

Learn more about how Poodle and Maltese compare.


The Beagle was quite literally bred to be part of a group. Once a pack dog, the Beagle loves being around others, whether it’s people or dogs. The breed is known for being well-mannered, intelligent, and calm, and will happily play with children to their heart’s content.

Learn more about how Beagle and Maltese compare.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a companion dog through and through. The breed absolutely adores socializing with people, dogs, and anything that will give them the time of day, really! They’re incredibly affectionate and love to cuddle, making them ideal family pets.

Learn more about how Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle compare.


The Maltese does like children and is a good breed for a family with older kids, but unfortunately due to the breed’s sensitive temperament and tiny size, it is not well-suited to households with young children.

If you are considering getting the Maltese, you might also want to read about its pros and cons.

Whether you are looking for food for your dog or other pet supplies, has them all. Right now, they are even running a promotion where you get 40% OFF your first Instinct Raw Frozen autoship order.