Bringing a pet home is a joy for the whole family. Dogs, cats, rabbits, snakes, birds, etc., are animals that provide many benefits to their owners from a physical and emotional perspective.
Dogs are the most popular and common pets worldwide due to the loyalty, affection, and other benefits they offer. Each canine has a characteristic that identifies it and clearly differentiates it from other breeds, whether in terms of physical appearance, personality, behavior, etc.
When it comes to acquiring a dog, in this case, a Maltese, we cannot get carried away just by its cute appearance. We have to take into account other important aspects such as personality and behavior since that is what will allow us to know if the canine can adapt to our lifestyle.
The Maltese arose from the Mediterranean Basin. Specifically, the origins of this breed are related to Malta, Italy, and Croatia. It is a small dog that weighs between 3 kg and 4 kg, and its maximum height is 25 cm. The Maltese dogs have a long, smooth, and silky white coat.
These dogs can be cheerful and fun, especially with their owners. They love spending time around their loved ones and other people. They are very playful and can get bored easily, so they need to be entertained from time to time.
Due to what we just mentioned, we can say that Maltese dogs suffer from separation anxiety when they have left home alone for long periods. That can cause them to develop destructive and irrational behaviors which affect their emotional state.
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What is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety is a behavioral problem suffered by most breeds of dogs when they are left home alone or separated from their owners for long periods. In fact, some canines become anxious simply by losing eye contact with their loved ones, although that will depend exclusively on the specific personality of each Maltese dog.
It is vital that we know a little about some of the causes that generate separation anxiety in dogs. Some of them have to do with when the canine is left alone at home (or anywhere else) for several hours.
Traumatic situations and experiences can also generate a state of anxiety in Maltese dogs. Another common cause is the change in family routine which often affects the emotional state of these canines.
Separation anxiety in this breed generates certain inappropriate and destructive behaviors:
- Excessive chewing.
- Whining and crying.
Can a Maltese Really Be Left Home Alone?
It is really not advisable to leave a Maltese dog alone for a long time. However, we can leave this canine at home at specific times, depending on its age. A puppy will be able to stay alone for less time than an adult Maltese.
Maltese puppies should receive a lot of attention and care as they are not mature enough to be independent. Maltese dogs under 6 months of age can be left alone for a short time, specifically for about 2 hours.
Adult Maltese dogs can be left alone for 6-8 hours as long as they have been trained. That doesn’t mean it’s all right to leave them at home unsupervised.
They need to be entertained to avoid getting bored and prevent them from developing destructive and inappropriate behaviors. You can take them for a walk or play with them using their favorite toys. You can also feed them their favorite treats.
If you live with several members of your family, you can leave your canine with one of them while you go to work. In the same way, you can ask a neighbor to help you take care of your Maltese while you are away, although this option is not recommended if you work every day.
Maltese dogs are not as energetic, so 2 walks a day will be enough to satisfy their exercise needs. That is good for them as it keeps them healthy, and they spend quality time with their human family. In addition, that will allow your pet to stay home for more hours.
What If I Leave My Maltese Dog Alone for a Long Time?
When a dog of this type is left alone and away from its loved ones for a long time, it is normal for them to develop inappropriate behaviors:
Each pet of this type has its own personality. Some may be calmer while others not so much. Regardless of the case, if you leave your Maltese alone at home for many hours, it is likely to start barking loudly. This situation will annoy or irritate your neighbors, and that could be a big problem.
Maltese Destructive Behavior
Despite being very small dogs, they can cause a lot of disasters when they feel anxious and stressed. This type of behavior occurs in dogs that suffer from separation anxiety.
We have to bear in mind that these dogs tend to get bored easily since they are known to be energetic and require a certain amount of exercise daily. If you do not provide Maltese dogs entertainment through training, walks, games, etc., it will show destructive behavior by biting and breaking various things in your home.
Maltese Erratic Behavior When It Sees You
After so many hours of waiting, your Maltese could feel very excited to see you, leading it to show erratic behavior. Your pet may start to jump on you looking for affection, which could be a bit annoying for you.
We have to remember that this breed of dogs loves to be with their loved ones, so it is normal that they miss you a lot after being alone for many hours.
Maltese Urine and Feces Accidents
Like humans, animals also need to relieve themselves. Unfortunately, when you are not at home, they cannot go out on their own to urinate or defecate.
That is a problem since if your Maltese has been holding the urge to relieve itself for some hours, that feeling will intensify, and it will be more impatient. In the end, the canine will end up expelling everything inside the house.
This breed of dog needs a place in the house where it can calmly urinate or defecate while you are away. Therefore, it needs to receive potty training.
Training Process to Help a Maltese Stay Alone for Several Hours
This type of training will help our Maltese to be home alone for several hours.
If we want to help our dog in this aspect, we can do it through two types of training:
- Obedience training.
- Crate training.
- Potty training.
Maltese Obedience Training
Teaching your dog the basic commands will allow it to build good habits progressively. That means that it will be challenging to engage in unwanted behaviors outside the range of what you have taught.
Teach it to sit, stay, or lie down somewhere in the house while you are not with it. You can do that through various commands:
Hold a treat in your hand to get your dog’s attention. Move it slowly over its head to make it sit automatically. Quickly say “yes” and reward it with the treat.
Command your dog to sit and then say “stay” so that it does not move from its place. Then, take a step back and say “yes” and praise your dog if it has stayed in the same place. If not, say “no” in a firm tone of voice and repeat the process until it suits.
Maltese Crate Training
Place the crate in a suitable place in the house for your Maltese. Of course, this space has to be where family members spend time.
The training consists of accustoming your pet to stay inside the crate for short periods and, little by little, increase that time. Place inside the crate things that make your canine happy such as its favorite toy, a bed or blanket, treats, etc.
Once your dog is used to entering the crate, you can start giving it its favorite foods. That is very important since, as we know, any type of dog loves to eat. Therefore, if your canine eats inside the crate, it will associate it with a pleasant moment and always want to return there.
If your dog has already gotten used to eating inside the crate, you can close the door. Every time it finishes eating, open the door, so your pet can come out with complete confidence. Progressively increase the time your pet stays inside the crate.
Maltese Potty training
You can take advantage of the first training mentioned to teach your Maltese to urinate and defecate inside the crate. You can also use a piece of paper or newspaper on the floor where your canine can relieve itself.
Locate the place where your puppy should relieve itself and take it to the same place and at the same time every day. Do the same every three to four hours and 20 minutes after the meal. Reward it every time it urinates or defecates in the right place.
Never punish your Maltese when it urinates or defecates in the indicated place, as this could create a negative effect. You always have to be positive and patient during that process.