Gentle, playful and sweet-tempered by nature, this toy-sized breed is popular for a reason: they are easy to adore. From their ridiculously soft coats to their velvety kisses (don’t pretend you’ve never accepted one on the mouth) a Maltese carries a lot of love-at-first-sight potential. Those who know them best are intimately familiar with these characteristics:
Bright and teachable, the Maltese is a relatively easy dog to train—so long as you use a lot of positive reinforcement. They aim to please, but keep that squirt bottle of water aimed somewhere else, please.
Smart as a whip, the Maltese enjoys playing games and solving puzzles, like Where Is the Squeak Toy and How Many Belly Rubs Is Too Many? Basically, anything that reinforces your love and adoration is welcome, including that monogrammed plush pet bed with extra blankets.
The super soft white coat of the Maltese is stunning, though it requires daily brushing to avoid matting. The upside? This beautiful breed hardly sheds at all, making them a favorite among neat freaks and people with navy velvet couches.
Their big personalities can sometimes make you forget that this breed can be quite fragile and vulnerable. Maltese parents know never to sit down on a rumpled blanket without checking for a white fur ball underneath first!
In addition to attentive listening and adorable head-tilting, the Maltese also offers constant companionship at no extra charge. They don’t do well with long stretches home alone, though, so if you could work that out with your boss, that’d be great.
Notoriously hard to housebreak, the Maltese just doesn’t see the point in holding it until you can let them out, nor do they find grass superior to carpet or rugs. And if it happens to be raining outside? Fuggetaboutit.
Literally. Cold and wet climates don’t mix well with Maltese, who not only have trouble regulating their heat in cold temps, but like, totally hate how their hair looks when its wet. Seattle in January is their version of hell.
Maltese are known for having sensitive skin, which can result in lots of itching and scratching on their part, and lots of googling home remedies on their parents’ part.
Perfectly suited for apartment living, a Maltese won’t outgrow your small space or read real estate listings that boast large yards and spiral staircases when you’re not looking. In fact, the fewer stairs they have to climb, the fewer couches and chairs there are to leap off, the healthier their small frames will be.
Yipping is the primary language of the Maltese, and they speak it fluently. If not kept in check, it can get out of control and cause you to gift multiple baskets of fruit to suffering neighbors.
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.
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