I had a Maltese named Angel when I was growing up and her best friend in the world (besides me of course) was our other dog Katie (who was a Yorkie). I’ve been thinking about them lately and it got me wondering do Malteses do better if they have another dog in the house? Here’s what I found out.
Malteses can greatly benefit from having another dog in the house as a friend and companion. It can provide them with a playmate that will take some pressure off of you for entertainment and attention. You will need to consider your motivation for adding another dog to your household, and you will need to choose carefully the sex and the breed of your additional pet. If your Maltese is not well behaved and you are wanting to get him/her a companion because you think that will help him be less bored, think again! I’ll explain why that might just add to your problems instead of helping. You will also learn about the best companion breed for your Maltese and how to introduce them to each other successfully.
How to Tell if your Maltese is Lonely
You may be wanting to get a friend for your Maltese if you think they are feeling lonely and need some companionship. Here are some clues that might indicate your Maltese is lonely.
- Your Maltese follows you around the house everywhere
- Your Maltese howls or cries when you leave
- Your Maltese is less interested in playing and sleeps more than usual
- Your Maltese licks their fur so much that they start to lose their hair
- Your Maltese is being destructive and getting into trouble
Reasons Why You Should Get a Friend For Your Maltese
Maltese are gentle affectionate, and playful. Like most dogs, they love nothing more than to play with and be part of a pack! Getting another dog for your Maltese to play with and grow up with can be a great idea for many reasons but your Maltese will need to be well socialized and trained before you bring home another pet. Having a playmate can help keep your Maltese from getting lonely, and can help to ease their anxiety when you have to leave them alone for short periods of time.
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Having more than one Maltese can be a lot of fun for you. It was so much fun to see how my Yorkie and Maltese interacted together. We have countless pictures and videos of their playful antics. We also got lots of extra loves and snuggles. Animals are so fun to watch and their horseplay is always entertaining. Just think about how many hours you can spend on YouTube watching cute doggy videos.
If your Maltese has separation anxiety and gets very lonely when you leave him alone getting him a companion to keep him company could be a great comfort and help to him.
Maltese are so small and eat so little when compared to the rest of their doggy counterparts that adding another one really won’t be too much of an additional cost as far as that goes, although you do need to think about the cost of vet visits and grooming or training that you will need to invest in.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get Another Dog for Your Maltese
If you are thinking of getting a companion for your Maltese because your Maltese is bored and getting into a lot of trouble, think again! You shouldn’t get your Maltese a companion dog if your Maltese is not already well behaved. Finding that tipped over garbage can with chewed up tissue isn’t fun for any pet parent, but it will be double trouble if you add another puppy to the mix. You may think that he’s bored and his antics of getting into the garbage can or constantly barking at the neighbors indicates he needs a playmate, but that’s not necessarily true.
If your Maltese is getting into a lot of trouble you may need to think about how much time you are able to devote to your dog. If you’re not able to give them several hours (not necessarily in a row) of your time each day to walk them, play with them, teach them, and groom them, then you are probably not ready to get another dog that will also demand more of your time and attention.
Make sure your Maltese is well trained and socialized first! Not only will this make it easier on you now, but it will also be easier if you do add another pet down the line.
I love the Maltese Breed and would really love to get a purebred pup, but wow can they be expensive! If you aren’t prepared to deal with the financial cost of another dog, please don’t go into debt or overtax yourself finacialy. You also need to consider the cost of grooming (and lets be real Malteses need a lot of grooming), vet visits, vaccinations, flea treatments, treats, and toys can all add up. You don’t want to feel like you need to get a second job to pay for a second pet.
If you have a very senior dog then getting a puppy might not be the right fit. Sometimes puppies can help keep a senior dog fit and active, but more often it can cause your senior dog stress, and be very bothersome for them.
Do Maltese Get Along With Other Dogs
Maltese are generally outgoing and friendly. If your Maltese is very well socialized from a young age and has had a lot of practice around other dogs it’s likely that they will do great with another breed. The size and temperament of both dogs are big factors. Maltese are very small and fragile and often forget their size when playing or interacting with other dogs. Whenever my little Bear (my Maltese Chihuahua Mix) gets around larger dogs I’m right close making sure he is safe!
Some popular combinations for Maltese Friends are:
- Yorkie and Maltese
- Poodles and Maltese
- Bichon and Maltese
- Shih Tzu and Maltese
- Sheltie and Maltese
- Australian Sheppard and Maltese
Does Age and Sex Matter When Getting a Maltese Companion
Does age matter when thinking about getting another dog? Why not just get 2 puppies from the same litter, or even just 2 puppies at the same time? Well, there is something called littermate syndrome which you can read more about here, but basically, 2 puppies can get so attached to each other that it can cause extreme anxiety and behavior problems for one or both of them. This will cause a lot of extra care and work on your part to fix.
In order to avoid littermate syndrome, Behaviorists recommend waiting until your puppy is at least 1 or 2 years old and has some good solid training before adding another addition.
For older dogs, it could go one of two ways. If you have a relatively healthy older Maltese then having a puppy around could be great for keeping them playful and youthful, but if you’re older Maltese has health issues, and doesn’t have a lot of energy, having a puppy around could cause a lot of added stress for them, either way, you will want to have space where your older dog can go to escape and be alone when they want a break.
What about Gender? Generally speaking dogs of the opposite sex to best with each other. This is because they can both be the Alpha of their own gender, so you will most likely have less squabbling and fighting. If you do end up getting two of the same gender, two males usually do best together.
How to Introduce Your Maltese to a New Pet
Ok guys after doing my research and writing this article I’m sold! I’m ready to go get a friend for my pup Bear. It’s worked great for a lot of other owners…… Piece of cake! Well…. even if your Maltese is really well behaved it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be smooth sailing. Most of the owners I talked to say it takes a bit of time and planning to make things turn out successfully. It also takes some patience and understanding that your new dog and Maltese will most likely not instantly become best friends.
So here’s what you can do to help foster a healthy friendship!
Prepare Before hand:
You will want to have a separate space for your new dog where he can feel safe and secure in a new environment.
- separate feeding bowls in different areas
- separate crate of playpen
- separate sleeping area
- separate toys and chew things
Your dogs will hopefully end up sharing a bed, and possibly other things as well, but to begin with, it’s important that the dogs have no reason to feel threatened by each other. They need to know that they are not going to miss out on anything by having the other one around. Also if you are bringing a puppy home they will need more confinement as they are learning to be trained as well as a separate space to sleep since their sleep cycle will be very different than an older dog.
Carefully Introduce Them:
It’s best to let them meet each other on neutral territory. Somewhere outside the home, or even in your front yard (away from your front door), a neighbors yard, or a nearby park with no one around or limited distractions.
Have them both on a leash and harness and let them smell each other on their own terms. Don’t force it. If they start showing signs of nervousness or aggression, it’s best to back off and try again later when they are calmer and in a quieter place with less distraction. Praise and give rewards to both dogs for positive interactions.
Once they have had a good first meeting you can bring the new dog inside and take a chance to show them around. You’ll want to keep them separated at first and closely monitor interactions while introducing them to each other a little at a time. Some dogs will get along right away, others will take a little longer.
It’s best to have a backup plan if the meeting doesn’t go well or your new dog doesn’t get along with your existing one. If you are able to have the new dog or puppy on a trial basis to make sure things work out that would be the best option. That way the breeder or previous owner is prepared to help find another family if needed. If you have another family member that can get involved and take and care of the new dog, that could be another option for a backup plan.
Chances are with the right environment and loving care your new addition will get along fabulously with your little Maltese and they will be on their way to a long-lasting and wonderful friendship!
What Other Maltese Owners Say
Have your Maltese with you when you consider adopting.
My boy has 2 best friends that are black mini schnauzers.
Maltese, poodle and 2 Australian Shepherds!! Great pairs and all together!! p.s. 4 lb poodle is in charge!!
Golden retriever. They play and love each other. Golden can be scared of Maltese.
I have 6 Rottweilers who live outside. My Maltese plays with them and puts them in their place when needed.
I have a Yorkie and they get along great.