Dog Breed Group: Companion Dogs
Height: 8 inches to 11 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 3-10 pounds
Life Span: 12 to 16 years
The body is compact with the length equaling the height and the tail is almost always curled. The drop ears with (sometimes) long hair, and surrounded by darker skin pigmentation (called a "halo"), gives Maltese their expressive look. Lacking exposure to a lot sunlight, their noses can fade and become pink or light brown in color. This is often referred to as a "winter nose" and many times will become black again with increased exposure to the sun. The Maltese's paws are very sensitive to touch.
Maltese are bred to be companion dogs. They are extremely lively and playful, and even as a Maltese ages, its energy level and playful demeanor remain fairly constant. They also adore humans, and prefer to stay near them. The Maltese is very active within a house, and, preferring enclosed spaces, does very well with small yards. For this reason, the breed also fares well in apartments and townhouses, and is a prized pet of urban dwellers.
Maltese have no undercoat, and have little to no shedding if cared for properly. Like their relatives, the Poodles and Bichon Frisé, they are considered to be largely hypoallergenic and many people who are allergic to dogs may not be allergic to the Maltese. Daily cleaning is required to prevent the risk of tear-staining. Many owners find that a weekly bath is sufficient for keeping the coat clean, although it is recommended to not wash a dog so often, so washing every three weeks is sufficient, although if the dog keeps clean even longer than that. They need to be professionally groomed about once every month and a half.
Regular grooming is also required to prevent the coats of non-shedding dogs from matting. Many owners will keep their Maltese clipped in a "puppy cut", a 1–2 in (2.5–5 cm) all over trim that makes the dog resemble a puppy. Some owners, especially those who show Maltese in the sport of conformation, prefer to wrap the long fur to keep it from matting and breaking off, and then to show the dog with the hair unwrapped combed out to its full length. Some Maltese need to be blow-dried in order to prevent mats because drying is ineffective to some dogs.
Maltese dogs can exhibit signs of tear staining underneath the eyes. Dark staining in the hair around the eyes ("tear staining") can be a problem in this breed, and is mostly a function of how much the individual dog's eyes water and the size of the tear ducts. To get rid of tear staining, a solution or powder can be specially made for tear stains, which can often be found in local pet stores. A fine-toothed metal pet comb, moistened with hot water and applied perhaps twice weekly, also works extremely well.
Maltese are exceptionally gentle and affectionate. Typically, they desire nothing more than to hang out with their human family.
Maltese are generally well-suited to apartment living.
Though long-haired, the Maltese do not shed.
In general, Maltese like to stick close to home.
Maltese are intelligent and like to please, making them relatively easy to train.
Puppy Care Guide
Coming home will start out with a car ride from our home. Try to keep this from being an overly stressful experience for the puppy. The main problem dogs have with car rides is not what we humans refer to as motion sickness, but anxiety about the vibrations, sounds in an unknown environment. We do not put puppies in a crate during their first trip they are small and easy to hold at 8-10 weeks of age if you have a companion to help you. If you have someone other than the driver hold the puppy in a blanket or towel, and in some way try to distract him from the car ride, face puppy away from the window it will feel more secure and at ease.
Once you arrive at your home, let him “go outside” for a few minutes, if he” goes” praise him.
Remember, in the winter months this may be very first experience with snow, ice, or cold mud – keep it short 3-4 minutes, let the delicate puppy paws get used to the cold gradually. You can increase time outside (depending on the temperatures of course) in time. In our homes, we plan for this introductory period by keeping the puppy involved with plenty of attention from children and other family members. When we are not with the puppies, they are sleeping. Please don't over do it , puppies need lots of rest at this age. You will be amazed how time spent in this manner will speed up the housebreaking process.
TRAINING PUPPY TO GO OUTSIDE:
When you bring your puppy home, it was exposed to and accustomed to a clean environment. Your pup would have learned to eliminate on a pee pad and get accustomed to a clean indoor area where it sleeps eats and plays with toys. You should immediately establish a specific “going outside” area for your puppy in your yard or at home once you bring him home. That area should be separated from the rest of your yard maybe somewhere in the corner of the yard further away from the house (dogs naturally like to go to the far end of the area allowed to do their ”business”). Remember to use firm low tone when you say the command “outside”. Praise him once he has finished eliminating in the appropriate area. Reward him with a praise that includes cue words like “good outside "etc. Food treats and "Clicker" work wonders.
FEEDING YOUR MALTESE:
First days at home mixing food for your puppy: You have got some food from us, start by giving only this food, next day mix 2/3 of this food with 1/3 of the new food you will be using, on a next day mix 1/2 and 1/2, and finally on the 3 day of mixing use 1/3 of our food and 2/3 of your new food, by the next day you can use 100% of your food. This will protect your puppy from digestive stress and diarrhea from changing diet. Your 10 weeks old puppy should be eating three meals per day for the first week or two, than you can switch to twice a day.
Feed puppy good quality premium dry food 28-32% Protein and 16-21% Fat balanced for all life stages. We recommend minimum, or no supplementation during first 6 months.
Feed twice a day and provide plenty of fresh water.
Very important is the amount of Calcium and Phosphorus and their ratio. Beware some cheaper foods have too much Calcium in ash form. Calcium to Phosphorus ratio should be about 1:1 – 1.2:1 (the worst problems occurred in many studies when the Ca/Phos. balance was greater than 1.5:1). Amount of Calcium in dry food should be 0.7-1.2% to decrease incidence of developmental orthopedic disease (hip and elbow dysplasia).
Puppy goes through increased growth phase between 2 and 6 months of age – feed during this time increased amount of food to accommodate for the growth. After that 1 1/2 cups (8 OUNCE CUPS) max for an adult Maltese per day.
Avoid – raw hide bones and treats that can be unraveled to few feet of length by chewing and suffocate the dog when he will try to swallow it–if you like raw hide, use ground up and molded to a bone shape treats, also beef bones are nice.
Here are some snacks good for Frenchies
Raw ground beef, lamb, venison, cooked chicken or pork, raw eggs (free range small farm) or soft boiled from the store, yogurt, cottage cheese, small cubes of cheese (you can freeze them for summer treats), watermelon with rind, bananas, apples with core, carrots, and any fruit or veggie they are willing to eat. Keep in mind when you use these foods as snacks not as a part of a raw diet, use fruits and vegetables in small amounts - no more then 1/4 of an apple in size a day and a meat portion, about size of a small meatball once a day.
Avoid- hot sunny places without shade and water, short nose dogs can't tolerate heat. At home if you can’t provide air conditioned area maybe cool basement floor or a fan can provide some comfort for the dog on hot days. Never leave dog in the car unattended, car can reach 120F in few minutes on a sunny day. Cracked open window in the car will not be enough for any dog in the summer heat. Giving dog ice cubes, wetting dogs head will keep them cooler.
In case of serious overheating rubbing alcohol applied to arm pits and groin area may help to save them. When trying to save them don't dump a bucket of icy cold water on them, this will put them in the shock. Luke warm water is enough.
To protect against flees, ticks, mosquitoes, heart worms, ear mites and mange we use one topical product called Revolution it is a prescription item (you need to ask your vet about it) we apply it to the back of dog’s neck monthly during warm months, and one dose in January and we’ve never seen a flee, tick, or an ear mite on any of our dogs for years. It is safe even during pregnancy. We love this product!
Your Puppy has been vaccinated against Distemper and Parvovirus, we suggest same shot again at 10-12 weeks of age, then at 14 weeks. It is said that all earlier vaccines maybe killed by mother’s immune system still active in puppy until 14-16 weeks of age, hence those 14 and 15 weeks of age vaccines are very important to give immunity to your puppy for the year to come. Parvovirus is very real and dangerous disease in puppies under 8 months of age. It is extremely contagious, very common (especially in the spring). One single ounce of infected dog feces contains about 35 millions of parvo particles, dog needs only a thousand to get infected, so you see, it doesn’t take much for a puppy to get sick. So please vaccinate! Of course you also must vaccinate according to the law for Rabies (we try to postpone this vaccine as long as we can- it has been linked to some autoimmune problems at older age). These are our suggestions but your veterinarian will be your best advisor when it comes to vaccinating and dog’s health.
If you have a new dog or a puppy, you can use the crate to limit his access to the house until he learns all the house rules—like what he can and can't chew and where he can and can't eliminate. If you properly train your dog to use the crate, he'll think of it as his safe place and will be happy to spend time there when needed. Your dog's crate should be just large enough for him to stand up and turn around in. If your dog is still growing, choose a crate size that will accommodate his adult size and use a divider. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: the crate should always be associated with something pleasant, and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Encourage puppy to enter the crate, drop some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. Each time you feed him, place the dish a little further back in the crate.
Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat his meal, you can close the door while he's eating. After your dog is eating his regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine him there for short periods of time while you're at home. Call him over to the crate and give him a treat. Give him a command to enter, such as "crate" Repeat this process several times a day. With each repetition, gradually increase the length of time you leave him in the crate and the length of time you're out of his sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you out of sight the majority of the time, you can begin leaving him crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting him sleep there at night. You might also want to leave him with a few safe toys in the crate. A crate is not a magical solution. If not used correctly, a dog can feel trapped and frustrated in it. Remember that puppies under six months of age shouldn't stay in a crate for more than few hours at a time. Also, puppy can hold (pee and such) for as many hours as it is old, for example: 3 months old puppy will hold comfortably for 3 hours. Just because pup can hold sometimes longer, don’t expect him to do it all the time. It is more of a mental maturity then a physical ability. Crate is a great tool that may prevent your dog from being destructive or from hurting itself.
REMEDY FOR CHEWING
Young puppies like to "mouth" everything. I use Bitter Apple spray on all my furniture corners weekly until puppy can be 100% trusted. You don’t want to take a chance on your favorite chair. Also, when pup is putting his mouth on something you don’t want him to, say “no” with low voice (never use high pitch, exited voice to train or reprimand the dog – he/she will not respond with respect, you need to establish an authority and a low, calm voice is the key to it) and then give him a toy that he is allowed to chew on and praise him for doing so.
Basic grooming done once a season should provide adequate care for a coat, ears and the nails. Also, check ears on the inside for accumulated wax – this can be removed by squirting good amount of ear cleansing solution, massaging (folded in ear) for a few seconds, and then wiping it with a cotton ball. Red ears on the inside spell some type of trouble; when yeast infection is present you will see redness, sometimes swelling, and odor.
Ear mites can be easily controlled and prevented by using Revolution (product mentioned earlier as an excellent flee, tick and heart worm protection remedy). However if mites are present you need to get a medication to get rid of them. Pet stores carry variety of ear mite meds or your vet can provide you with one. The sign of ear mites infestation is red/black/dark brown wax inside the ear, sometimes redness. Dog most often will try to scratch their ears or will shake the head, but don’t rely on that, some dogs and puppies are very tolerant to discomfort and will show no visible signs (the reason for regular inspection of the ears). Dogs with infected ears will scratch themselves often to extend of ripping their skin or creating a hot spot and that could be a bigger medical problem.
Always when in doubt check with your veterinarian.
When it comes to care for nails; if a dog has daily excess to some concreted area ( during a walk or in an outside run) it usually will file its own nails just by walking and playing, if not they will need to be trimmed, be careful not to cut a quick (small vein inside the nail). Electric nail grinders are helpful since if you grind too short the grinding motion will seal it and dog will not bleed.
ENJOY YOUR NEW PUPPY!