New Maltese Owner (Soon) is a way to find and share information. You can ask questions on any Maltese dog topic, get answers from real people, and share your insights and experience. Sponsored by the largest and most active Maltese dog website in the world. Professionally moderated.
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:48 pm

New Maltese Owner (Soon)

Postby Krayjee » Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:50 pm

Hi All,

I am in the market for a Maltese and absolutely adore these dogs.. But I am doing a lot of research and found they're great with kids (I have a 7 year old son) and also I have allergies so a hypo-allergenic dog is definitely what we're looking for. My biggest question is... how long can these dogs be left at home? Even if crate trained, which I am going to look at 2 this week but they are crate and pad trained but I work a typical 8 hour day.. so is this not the right dog for us? Just curious on your thoughts? I am a single mother so it's just us... my bf comes by and can help now and then but he can't all the time obviously.. What do you think or suggest? How long do you leave your dog alone for?


Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:33 pm

Re: New Maltese Owner (Soon)

Postby MomOfSugar » Sat Oct 04, 2014 5:10 pm

Maltese dogs are companion dogs and are very prone to separation anxiety. When I got my Sugar (at 14 weeks), she had terrible separation anxiety. I couldn't even take out the trash without her having a fit. She followed me around everywhere and I had to be in her sight at all times. No way could I close a door on her!!! She still comes into the bathroom with me. (She will be 7 yrs old next month.)

Fortunately, I was able to take her to work with me every day. She had a crate under my desk and a bed under my computer desk. I took her everywhere with me except the grocery store or a restaurant, because the first time I left her to go to the grocery store, I blocked her off in the kitchen with a baby gate, a kong, some treats and toys. I put my cassette recorder on (with an hour tape), and left. When I got home (45 minutes later), I could hear her screaming the instant I got out of the car. She was panting so badly that I thought she was going to have a stroke or lose consciousness. She hadn't touched her treats, kong or toys and was lashing at the baby gate. (Yes, I left the TV on, too.) As soon as I picked her up and sat down, she was fine, except it took her forever to stop panting and for her heart to slow down. She was also very restless all that night. When I listened to the tape, she was screaming the entire time, except when she would pause to catch her breath. I could even hear her heart pounding and gasping for air on the tape. It was terrifying!!! A couple of weeks later, I tried it again. Same reaction. It got to the point that I had to do my grocery shopping and run errands during my lunch hour, take everything home and then go back to the office. (There would always be somebody in the office while I was gone.) She wouldn't scream when I left, but would lie against the door until I returned.

I know there are some Maltese owners who leave their dogs while working, but personally, I wouldn't do it -- especially when they are young puppies. It took my Maltese 5 years before I felt comfortable leaving her for more than a couple of hours. It would be good for you to hear from someone who leaves their Maltese during the day, to find out how it works out with them.

Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:35 pm
Location: Southwestern Ontario

Re: New Maltese Owner (Soon)

Postby mdoll » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:10 pm

Hi Katie,
Not sure if you have already made your final decision. I have only been a Maltese mom for about 1.5 years to the most adorable little guy named Opie. He was just under 14 weeks of age when we brought him home. I am certainly no expert on the Maltese breed, but I am going to share my opinion with you because I think it is very important for you to be aware of what you’re getting into as a single working mom to a young son.
Although my husband and I are both dog lovers, we have always had large breeds, either German Shepherds or Labrador’s, and Opie is our first small dog after having to put our King Shepherd of 11 years old down for medical reasons.
Because we knew nothing of small breeds, we spent over a year researching the Maltses breed to be sure we were making the right decision. Our children are grown and out of the 3, we only have one 20 year old son still at home, as well we also have an 8 year old granddaughter that visits regularly with my oldest daughter. My husband and I both work full time, but we work opposite shifts, so Opie is almost never alone. When he is left home alone, it is for very brief periods of time, such as an hour while we go get groceries and he doesn't cope well with even that.
All of the research we did lead us to believe that the Maltese breed is a very needy breed and that research as proven true. We felt with our children being grown, we no longer run to sports games or activities with the kids, we don’t go out as much, as we have also settled down and we now have the time to devote to our pet.
I do not regret our decision at all; I can’t imagine not having Opie in our lives. We both absolutely love him, but our lives have totally changed. He takes up all of our time. I don’t know, if we have gone overboard, he is definitely spoiled rotten, but to me that is the whole point of getting a little lap dog. No one chooses a 6 lb dog for protection, or to take long walks with or for rough house playing. With that being, he takes up all of our time and we are doing it with 3 grown adults in the house.

Being totally honest, I would never recommend having a Maltese if you can’t devote a large portion of your time to your pet. And I also, do not believe that they are the best choice when having small children in the house. My 8 year old granddaughter is very well behaved, but I am always so worried that she is going to bounce on him, step on him, or accidently hurt him. Opie is between 6-7 lbs and it certainly wouldn't take much too seriously hurt him. Not only would this be traumatizing for the dog, but for the child as well.

I don’t want to discourage anyone to experience the love of the Maltese breed, because out of any small dog, Maltese is by far the best in my mind, but I don’t believe it is the right time at this point for your family. Raising a son, I speak from experience, I know what boys are like, they are full of energy and love to play like boys, especially when you have a group of his friends over, and maybe a hardier breed would be a better choice. In addition to that, 8 hours is a very long time for a Maltese to be left alone, they really do demand a lot of your time. They are totally lap dogs, devoted, loving and amazing, but they need to with their people, they do not do well being alone. You want this pet to be the best experience for both you and your son, and the Maltese breed might not be your best choice for this. Good luck to you. I’m sorry for sounding so negative, but I feel that you, your son and your pet deserve want this to be the best experience it can be

Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:16 am

Re: New Maltese Owner (Soon)

Postby JFShea » Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:47 pm


First, congrats on considering a Maltese, my experience with my three guys has been wonderful (more than a decade now).

When I bought a new home after years of an apartment, I had the opportunity to get dogs, which I've always loved and had as a kid. Like you, I worked long and sometime irregular hours, which meant that a single dog might get lonely, and would suffer if I wasn't there to walk them and let them do their business in a timely manner. So, this led me to the decision to get a small dog, so they could be piddle pad trained (you can imagine that a large dog may 'overwhelm' the pads and your house). Further, to keep the dog from being lonely I felt I had to get more than one.

I ended up with two brothers, and a year and a half later added a third (their younger brother). This has created a nice stability to their relationship, without question they are very happy and even at their mature age (now 11, 11 and 9.5) show no signs of slowing down (I often wish I could live their lifestyle).

In short, my opinion would be if you do get Maltese and know you'll have an irregular work schedule, get at least two for companionship. And I suggest piddle pad training them. My only concern would be young children; Maltese are neither big nor resilient, and may not be the best breed for rough-housing.

But I wish you luck whatever you decide, and you'll find Maltese ownership very rewarding I'm sure.

Posts: 246
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:41 pm

Re: New Maltese Owner (Soon)

Postby merryblueeyes » Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:06 pm

I am the mom to a wonderful little female Maltese. I love her with all my heart, but she has terrible separation anxiety and cannot really be left alone very long at all. Luckily, I am retired and she is with me all the time. On the few occasions when I can't bring her, she stays with good friends, but even then she is not happy.
As a breed, the Maltese is bred to be with humans and they are anxious when they are not fulfilling that destiny. I would also caution you that they are playful and largely fearless, but they also have tiny bones and can break easily, so a seven year old boy may not be the best partner for such a dog.
They are wonderful, will completely take over your heart, but it is the rare Maltese who can handle being alone all day.

Return to “Discussion of Maltese Dogs”