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What do you need to know before you adopt a Maltese? We asked the experts!
Maltese are wonderful companion dogs. However, they are not appropriate pets for small children. Maltese are high-maintenance dogs with long life expectancies. Constant grooming is a must and so are regular dental examinations and cleanings. The work and investment will be paid back many times over by this sweet breed.
The one big thing people need to know about Maltese is that they have no undercoat and can freeze to death in the winter if left outside very long, and in the summer they can get sunburned. Maltese are great companion dogs, but not great with small children since they like to pick them up and many times drop them. They usually love people and want to be with them out of the house as well as in the home. They also need to be groomed often, since they are always white in color. Maltese can have a small amount of tan color on their bodies.
Most people love the Maltese because of their small size; however, many of them now are being bred much too large. When someone buys a Maltese they are all very small as puppies but some grow larger because of poor breeding. The average size of a normal Maltese is 5 to 6 lbs and not more than 8 lbs. The dogs that are bigger still make wonderful pets, however.
Maltese are a not a good choice for families with young children or planning to have children. Maltese are frequently surrendered when they show aggressive behavior toward the toddler or small child. Most reputable Maltese rescue organizations do not adopt Maltese to families with children younger than 6-10 years of age. Maltese enjoy older, calm children.
A Maltese is a great choice for a person who has previous experience grooming a Maltese or a Poodle. As the Maltese puppy grows, the grooming requirements increase. It is common for Maltese hair to mat (clump together) if daily brushing is not performed. Although a Maltese does not shed, their white coat requires bathing every couple of weeks. It is important to keep the hair around eyes trimmed or secured with a rubber band as hair rubbing the eye leads to brown tear stains. Many Maltese owners like the short puppy haircut, which is done every 6-8 weeks by a groomer. The cost of professional grooming should be a consideration when planning to adopt a Maltese rescue.