Pros and Cons of Maltese Dog to Know Before Getting One

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Pros and Cons of Maltese Dog to Know Before Getting OneMaltese dogs are well-beloved by many and for good reason. They’re a popular toy breed with plenty of personality and can suit a range of households and lifestyles.

But, as with any breed, there are some negatives to consider, and it is important for anyone considering bringing a Maltese home with them to be aware of both the pros and cons of Maltese dogs!

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Pros of Maltese Dogs

Anyone who has owned a Maltese will know that there are plenty of upsides to owning one of these gorgeous white fluffballs. They’re great dogs and are loved all across the world because of it. Let’s look at some of the reasons why.

Maltese Dogs Are Incredibly Affectionate

One of the things that the Maltese dog breed is actually known for is its ability to love unconditionally. The breed was used predominantly as a companion dog in the past and has continued to be just that.

Those that love the idea of a doting and loyal canine friend who will happily provide unlimited cuddles, puppy kisses, and attention will love the Maltese. They are often described as velcro dogs because they stick to their owners’ hips. They are at their absolute best when they are included in family activities, and will do everything they can to keep you happy.

The Maltese, as well as being quite an affectionate breed, is also happy to do things like share its toys with other dogs. This is rare, as dogs are usually territorial when it comes to their belongings.

Maltese Dogs Are Quite Adaptable

Since the Maltese is a toy dog breed, it is super small. The breed, as a result, is fairly adaptable when it comes to living spaces and activity levels. It is happy to be an active and sporty dog or lead a more chill and relaxed lifestyle. It all depends on its owner. The Maltese doesn’t require much exercise each day, so as long as you’re providing it with its minimum (30 mins a day) then it will pretty much follow your lead.

Likewise, unlike larger dog breeds that may require yards and lots of space to run around in the home, the Maltese does not require this. It needs enough space to eat, play and sleep, and regular exercise. Other than that, it is a dog breed that will mirror your activity and is fine living in a small apartment.

Maltese Dogs Are Hypoallergenic

No dog is 100% allergen free, it’s not possible for them to be. Dog allergies are usually to various proteins produced in dog urine and saliva, and this gets spread across the dog’s coat when it grooms itself. Then, when the dog sheds its fur and replaces old skin cells with new ones, dispersing this protein across its environment. This causes those who are allergic to suffer a reaction.

Some dog breeds, though, are genetically advantaged and do not shed as much. This means that they are less likely to cause an allergic reaction, with the Maltese being one of these dogs.

Classified as hypoallergenic, the Maltese is a breed that will be much easier on those who suffer from dog allergies. It may still cause some reaction, but it will be much easier to manage than other dog breeds that shed or drool a lot.

Maltese Dogs Are Compact

The Maltese is a very small dog, hence why it is categorized as a ‘toy’ breed. The breed is so small that they are really well suited to people who intend to take their dog around with them. The Maltese can easily fit in a bag on public transport, in a car, or on a plane.

It is a breed that is fairly easy to manage and control physically where needed (i.e., for bath times, when providing medicine, etc), and even if the breed pulls a lot on the leash during walks, its size and stature mean that this should be reasonably manageable for most people.

Maltese Dogs Are Easy to Train

The Maltese isn’t the smartest breed out there, but it is pretty good at picking up commands. The breed is often used as a therapy dog, and in the past has worked in circuses and even been used as canine babysitters. As a result, they are quite easy to train.

The breed also loves to please. It’s happy when you are, and so when it comes to training, the Maltese will do pretty much all that it can to keep you cheery. That means it’ll try its very best to learn whatever you’re trying to teach it.

Maltese Dogs Are Great with Children

As mentioned above, Maltese dogs were once used as babysitters. The breed is incredibly well-suited to a home with teenagers or children.

They’re gentle and careful and know when not to play rough, but likewise, when playing with older children or teens they are capable of being mischievous and a touch more adventurous. The breed is really good at matching the needs of the child when it comes to playing.

We wrote more about how good Maltese are with kids here.

Maltese Dogs Are Good at Reading Emotions

A lot of Maltese owners have reported that their little fluffy friend is especially skilled at reading their emotions. To some extent, all dogs are able to pick up on human emotions through smell and tone, but the Maltese is especially sensitive to these as a breed.

People have said that their Maltese will run up to pregnant women and cuddle them, or will sit on the laps of their owners when stressed in an effort to ease their negative emotions.

Cons of Maltese Dogs

As well as pros, the Maltese dog breed does have a handful of negative sides, too.

Maltese Dogs Are Quite High Maintenance

The Maltese coat is pure white, and it can get dirty really easily. As a result, a lot of time will be spent battling tear stains in the corner of the breed’s eyes, as well as food and mud stains on the Maltese’s body.

In addition to tear stains, the breed’s long and low-shed coat means that there are often tangles forming. This requires owners to brush them on a very regular basis. At least every couple of days, if not every day, owners should run a brush through the breed’s fur.

Fortunately, the Maltese is a breed that groomers will often provide a stylish trim that helps to make brushing much easier by preventing too many mats and tangles. This can be really time-saving and can prevent any discomfort on the Maltese’s part.

Maltese Dogs Are Vulnerable

The breed’s small size is a pro to some people, but to others, its status as a ‘toy’ breed can be a negative as it makes the breed much more fragile and vulnerable. This is particularly important to those who have small children in the house who perhaps have not handled dogs before. Children should be taught how to handle the Maltese before introducing one another to save the Maltese from harm.

Likewise, it may be worth considering a bigger breed if there is anyone in the home who suffers from poor sight. Otherwise, you risk the Maltese getting stepped on or knocked over, which should obviously be avoided.

Maltese Dogs Suffer From Separation Anxiety

The Maltese, like many of its fellow toy breeds, is a very sensitive dog. It’s very emotional and forms very strong bonds with the people that it lives with. As such, it can often develop quite severe separation anxiety if left alone too often or for too long.

This can pose issues for those who have to go to work during the day or who have a particularly active social life. It is definitely something to consider when looking at getting a Maltese!

Maltese Dogs Can Be Noisy

Small dogs often get a bad reputation for being really noisy. In some cases, it isn’t true. In this case, though, the Maltese is quite a noisy dog. Its sensitivities mean that it quite often mistakes things for threats and can bark a lot to express how it is feeling.

This can sometimes be trained away, but should certainly be considered by those looking at a Maltese as their next dog breed.

Is the Maltese a Good Dog to Get?

For those who do not expect to leave their dog at home very often and who have a lot of time to put towards socialization and providing their new pet with plenty of attention, the Maltese could be the perfect pet. Happy-go-lucky and full of love and energy, the Maltese is a pet that would suit a small family, a couple, or even a single person.

It can be quite high maintenance when it comes to grooming and ensuring it feels well-loved, but in return for all the effort, it will provide owners with unconditional love, entertainment, cuddles, and a friend for life.

The breed does have downsides, but most of them can be solved through training or can be negated by an owner with a suitable lifestyle. If you think your lifestyle suits a Maltese’s high expectations, then it is definitely a good breed to get. You may never be alone again, but you’ll always be showered in affection.


The Maltese is a toy dog breed with a gorgeous white coat that has won the hearts of people all over the world.

It’s easy to see why, when the breed is gorgeous, loving, loyal, smart, easy to train, fun, entertaining, and easy-going; but the breed does also have some negatives. It can be high maintenance when it comes to grooming, and it can be quite a fragile dog, making it a potential risk around children or those with bad eyesight.

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