7 Secrets Only Maltese Owners Know About Their Pups

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As a Maltese owner, you're privy to secrets that go beyond their plush coats and petite frames. You understand their noble lineage, linking back to ancient, grand civilizations where they were treasured by aristocracy. You're aware of their surprising vocal nature, often expressing more than typical barks. Their emotional acuity mirrors your own feelings, making them unique companions. However, beneath the surface, there are hidden health issues and grooming challenges that demand your attention. These insights into their training needs and the nuances of their aging process are pivotal. Curious about how these aspects influence your Maltese's life and behavior? Let's explore these secrets further.

Ancestral Ties to Ancient Cultures

connection to ancient civilizations

The Maltese breed traces its origins back to ancient Mediterranean civilizations, where they were revered as symbols of wealth and luxury. As you explore the history of your Maltese, you'll find that these dogs weren't only pets but also status symbols among the elite. They graced the laps of noblewomen and were often featured in portraits, showcasing their silky white coats and elegant demeanor.

Historical records from Greece and Rome show that Maltese were highly prized. Philosophers like Aristotle mentioned them in their writings, highlighting their beauty and distinct qualities. In fact, the breed was so esteemed that they were often given as precious gifts to dignitaries and royalty across Europe.

As you walk your Maltese today, you're not just tending to a pet; you're caring for a piece of living history. This breed's millennia-old lineage is reflected in their refined behavior and graceful movements.

While they no longer sit in the courts of kings, they still carry the regal air that once captivated the hearts of the most powerful people in ancient civilizations. Understanding this deep historical connection can enhance your appreciation of your furry companion's prestigious past.

Surprisingly Vocal Personalities

surprising animal communication methods

While you cherish your Maltese's noble heritage, you'll also discover their unexpectedly expressive nature. Their vocalizations aren't just barks; they're an entire repertoire of chirps, howls, and whines. Each sound is a different attempt to communicate with you, whether they're alerting you to someone at the door or simply expressing their joy when you return home.

You'll notice that your Maltese tends to be more vocal than many other breeds. It's not just about volume; it's about the variety of sounds. They might greet you with a series of high-pitched barks followed by soft, pleading whines when they want your attention or dinner. Despite their small size, they've a powerful voice that they don't hesitate to use.

Their vocal behavior also includes a notable chatter. When you're busy around the house, you might hear them softly talking to themselves—or perhaps to you, if you're paying close enough attention. This chattering can increase when they're excited or happy, providing a constant stream of canine commentary.

Understanding and responding to their vocal cues can deepen your bond. You'll start to recognize what each different sound means, turning their vocal nature into a language of love between you.

Exceptional Emotional Sensitivity

exceptional emotional sensitivity explored

Maltese dogs often mirror your emotions, showing a remarkable sensitivity to how you're feeling. It's as if they've got a sixth sense for your moods. If you're down, don't be surprised to find your Maltese quietly snuggling up beside you, offering silent comfort. And when you're brimming with joy, expect them to be bouncing around, fully sharing in your exuberance.

This breed's emotional attunement makes them exceptional companions, especially if you thrive on close bonds. They're not just pets; they're empathetic friends. This sensitivity, however, means you need to be mindful of your own emotional state. Your stress can become their stress. If you're anxious, you might notice them becoming more clingy or even showing signs of anxiety themselves.

To maintain their emotional health, it's vital to provide a stable, peaceful home environment. Positive reinforcement and routine also help them feel secure. Remember, their ability to connect with your feelings isn't just a quirk—it's a core aspect of their personality.

Embrace it, nurture it, and you'll have not only a loyal pet but a profound bond that enriches both your lives.

Hidden Health Concerns

good choice

Understanding your Maltese's emotional needs, you should also be aware of some specific health concerns that can affect this breed. Patellar luxation, a condition where the kneecap dislocates, is common among small dogs, including your Maltese. You might notice them skipping a step or suddenly limping during play. It's something you'll want to keep an eye on, especially as they age.

Dental issues are another big concern. Due to their small mouths, Malteses are prone to overcrowding of teeth, leading to dental disease if not properly managed. You'll need to stay on top of their dental hygiene with regular brushing and check-ups to prevent any serious problems.

Don't overlook their susceptibility to hypoglycemia, especially in puppies or active adult dogs. This low blood sugar condition can cause weakness, confusion, and in severe cases, seizures. Ensuring they eat regular, balanced meals can help manage this risk.

Lastly, while they're bustling with energy, their tiny stature makes them vulnerable to injury. Be cautious with rough play and high jumps to keep them safe and healthy.

Staying informed about these health issues will help you provide the best care for your furry friend.

Grooming Needs Beyond the Coat

grooming for a healthy coat

You'll find that grooming your Maltese involves more than just taking care of their luxurious coat. Beyond regular brushing and bathing, paying attention to their eyes and ears is important. Maltese are prone to tear staining, so daily wiping of the area around their eyes with a soft, damp cloth helps prevent unsightly marks and infections.

For their ears, regular checks are necessary because their floppy nature can trap moisture and dirt, leading to infections. Use a vet-recommended cleaner and gently clear the outer ear areas.

Nail care is another essential aspect. These little dogs don't always wear down their nails naturally, especially if they spend a lot of time indoors. Overgrown nails can cause discomfort and even affect their walking posture, so clipping them every few weeks is necessary. If you're unsure about doing it yourself, consider a professional groomer or vet assistance.

Lastly, don't forget about dental hygiene. Maltese can develop dental issues without proper care. Brushing their teeth several times a week with dog-specific toothpaste can prevent tartar build-up and gum disease, keeping their tiny mouths healthy. This routine ensures your Maltese not only looks good but feels great too.

Training Challenges and Triumphs

effective training strategies implemented

While grooming your Maltese is important, training them presents its own set of challenges and rewards. You'll quickly find that their intelligence makes them quick learners, but their spirited nature can lead to some stubbornness. Starting early is keypuppy classes might seem like an extra step, but they're indispensable.

You'll find that positive reinforcement works wonders. These pups thrive on praise and treats, so keep these handy during training sessions. It's also essential to be consistent. If you're not, your Maltese can get mixed signals, making training more difficult. They're sensitive to tone, so always aim for a gentle, encouraging voice.

Housebreaking can be a particular challenge due to their small size. They've tiny bladders and will need frequent trips outdoors. Patience here is critical. Celebrate their successes, no matter how small, and don't get discouraged by the setbacks.

Lifespan and Aging Insights

exploring lifespan and aging

Maltese typically enjoy a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, presenting unique aging challenges and considerations. As you watch your Maltese age, you'll notice changes that might need special attention. Their once important energy might wane, requiring fewer intense play sessions and more gentle walks. It's important you adapt their exercise to maintain their health without overstraining their aging bodies.

You'll also find that their dietary needs shift. They might start to gain weight more easily as their metabolism slows, so you'll need to monitor their food intake and possibly adjust it. Consider switching to a senior dog food formula that supports joint health and maintains a healthy weight.

Dental care becomes increasingly vital as your Maltese grows older. Regular vet visits for dental check-ups and cleanings can prevent common age-related issues like tooth loss and gum disease, which can greatly impact their quality of life.

Lastly, don't overlook their mental health. Keep their mind active with puzzle toys and simple training exercises to help stave off cognitive decline. Engaging them mentally can make a big difference in how gracefully your Maltese ages, letting them enjoy their golden years beside you.


You now know the secrets that make your Maltese so unique—from their ancient roots to their vocal nature and emotional depth.

Remember, keeping up with their grooming and health is essential, as is providing consistent training from an early age.

Embrace the challenges and celebrate the triumphs as you enjoy a long, loving journey together.

It's not just about caring for a Maltese; it's about understanding and cherishing every facet of their distinguished, delicate lives.


I am the owner of Shihtzuadvice.com and the proud parent of two black and one gold Shih Tzu's. I belive that the Shih Tzu is the best all-around dog for anyone and want to share with you as much valuable knowledge as possible about this great breed!

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