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How Good Will a Maltese Be With Kids: Vet-Verified Facts & FAQ

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

Little girl is with maltese dog indoors in domestic room

How Good Will a Maltese Be With Kids: Vet-Verified Facts & FAQ


Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo


Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca


The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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If you’re looking for a family-friendly dog that’s both adorable and affectionate, look no further than the Maltese. These fluffy little pups make fantastic companions for kids, thanks to their gentle demeanor, playful personalities, and compact size. They are easy to train and eager to please, making them a great choice for families with little ones.

Plus, with their soft, fluffy fur and expressive eyes, Maltese dogs are simply irresistible — it’s no wonder they’re one of the most popular toy breeds around. So, if you’re considering adding a kid-friendly dog to your family, they’re definitely a breed to consider. Let’s discuss how and why to add one of these friendly and playful pups to your home.

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Maltese Dogs Are Great Family Pets

Maltese dogs have been bred as companion dogs for centuries, and they make excellent family pets. They are known for their playful and affectionate personalities, and they thrive on human companionship. Maltese dogs are small in size, usually weighing between 4 and 7 pounds, which makes them perfect for families living in apartments or with limited space. They’re also an excellent choice for families with children, as they’re gentle and patient with kids of all ages.

One of the great things about Maltese dogs is that they’re highly adaptable. These dogs are just as comfortable lounging on the couch as they are playing outside, and they are able to adjust their energy levels to match their family’s lifestyle. Whether your family is active or more laid back, a Maltese will be happy to be by your side.

oil painting of a white maltese dog
Image Credit: Hans Benn, Pixabay

Preparing Your Home for a Maltese

Before bringing your Maltese home, it’s important to prepare your home for their arrival. Maltese dogs are small, which means they can easily get into tight spaces, so it’s essential to make sure your home is safe for them. Start by creating a designated space for your young pup, such as a crate or bed. This will give them a sense of security and a place to retreat when they feel overwhelmed.

So, make sure to remove any hazardous items from your home, such as toxic plants, sharp objects, or small items that your pup could swallow. Also, keep in mind that these dogs are sensitive to extreme temperatures, so make sure to provide them with a comfortable and cozy space to rest.

And lastly, go out and invest in some essential items for your Maltese, such as food and water bowls, a leash and collar, and some play toys. Maltese dogs are playful and energetic, so make sure to provide them with plenty of toys and activities to keep them entertained.

Training & Social Activities for Your Maltese

Training is an essential part of your Maltese dog’s development, and it’s important to start early, as soon as they arrive home (8 weeks is ideal). Begin with housebreaking, which involves teaching your pup where to go potty and what behaviors are acceptable in the home. Next, you’ll need to move up to basic obedience training, as it helps to establish boundaries and teach your dog essential skills that they’ll need when out of the house. Start with basic commands and gradually move on to more advanced training such as leash walking and off-leash training.

Socialization is another important aspect of your Maltese dog’s development. They can be shy and sensitive, so it’s important to expose them to different people, animals, and environments from a young age. This will help them feel more comfortable and confident in new situations.

Woman trains her white maltese dog in the park
Image Credit: Monika Wisniewska, Shutterstock

Introducing Your Maltese Dog to Family Members

Introducing your Maltese to family members can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you have young children or other pets in the home. Start by introducing your pup to one family member at a time, and make sure to supervise all interactions. Teach your family members how to interact with your Maltese, such as how to approach them, how to pet them, and how to play with them. Make sure to set boundaries and establish rules for behavior around your pup, such as not pulling their tail or ears.

Also, make sure to give your Maltese dog plenty of time to adjust to their new surroundings before introducing them to too many people or pets at once. This will help them feel more comfortable and reduce the risk of stress or anxiety.

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Common Mistakes to Avoid When Introducing a Maltese to Your Family

Introducing a Maltese dog to your family can be a bit of a challenge, and there are some common mistakes to avoid. One of the biggest mistakes is introducing your pup to too many people or pets at once. This can be overwhelming for your pup and increase the risk of stress or anxiety. Another mistake is not setting boundaries regarding your pup. Make sure to establish rules for behavior around your pup, such as not grabbing or petting them too aggressively, and make sure to enforce them consistently.

kurzhaar and maltese dogs getting to know each other during walking with cropped owners on green lawn in park
Image By: BAZA Production, Shutterstock

Toys & Activities for Your Maltese Dog

Maltese dogs are active and playful, so it’s important to provide them with plenty of toys and activities to keep them entertained. Invest in some chew toys, puzzle games, and interactive toys that will keep your pup mentally stimulated. Maltese dogs need mental stimulation and plenty of exercise. They love walks and playtime.

Make sure to provide them with plenty of opportunities to play and explore, both indoors and outdoors. Also, note that training is an essential part of your Maltese dog’s development. So, start with basic obedience training and perhaps even try clicker training initially. They should know how to come, sit, and stop walking on command. This will help build a strong bond between you and your pup and make it easier to manage their behavior when they grow up.

Preparing For & Preventing Common Health Issues in Maltese Dogs

Maltese dogs are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they are prone to certain health issues. One of the most common health issues in Maltese dogs is dental problems, such as periodontal disease. To prevent dental issues, make sure to brush your pup’s teeth daily, visit your vet frequently, and provide them with tasty dental treats and toys.

They have sensitive skin, which means they are prone to skin irritation and itching. So, to prevent skin problems, make sure to keep up-to-date good quality flea and other external parasite treatment and visit your vet if you notice any signs of itchiness or excessive licking. And, in some cases, Maltese dogs will also be prone to eye problems such as entropion, cataracts, glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy. To ensure good eye health, make sure to keep your dog’s eyes clean and free of debris, and take them for regular check-ups with a vet.

maltese poodle puppy sad laying on couch with tear stains
Image By: Rushay, Shutterstock

Where to Buy a Maltese Puppy?

If you’re looking to buy a Maltese dog, there are several options available to you. But one of the most popular places to find Maltese puppies is from a good breeder. You can speak to your vet to help you find a reputable Maltese breeder in your area.

Another great option is to adopt a Maltese from a rescue organization or animal shelter. Many Maltese dogs end up in shelters or with rescue groups due to various reasons, such as their owners not being able to care for them anymore.

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Final Thoughts

Maltese dogs are the perfect family pets. They’re playful, affectionate, and gentle with kids of all ages. They’re also highly adaptable, and they thrive in both active and laid-back households. With proper training, socialization, and care, your Maltese will be a loyal and fun-loving companion for your family to enjoy.

Note that bringing a new pet home is always an exciting experience, but introducing a Maltese dog to your family requires some extra care and attention. Maltese dogs are renowned for their loyalty, affectionate nature, and playful demeanor. However, they can also be reserved and sensitive, making it essential to create a warm and welcoming environment for your new pup.

Featured Image Credit: Standret, Shutterstock

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