Taking on an 8 week old puppy is a big commitment. Young puppies should be fed 3 or 4 times a day, and need to be house trained. You can find excellent tips on the best food to feed your maltese puppy on worldsbestdogfoods.org. Malteses are naturally pack animals and do not like being left alone. It is unfair to get a maltese and leave it in solitary confinement all day whilst you are out at work. Malteses should have at least two walks every day, regardless of the weather. This means taking the maltese out before you go to work, and after you get home, even if it is dark outside. Large malteses and working breeds need at least two hours of exercise per day. Consider the maltese’s activity levels against your own. Do not get an energetic breed that requires lots of exercise if you are not prepared for a long walk at least once a day. Before getting a maltese, find out if all family members will take a share in maltese walking duties. Also consider what you will do with the maltese when you are away on holiday or want a night away from home.
Be Prepared to Train Your Maltese
If you take on a puppy or young maltese, you will need to teach it basic obedience commands, such as “sit”, “stay”, “fetch”, to return a ball, and come when called. Some malteses may not be fully house trained until they are 9 months old, so expect a few accidents in the house. Time should be set aside daily for maltese training, which is very important to achieve a well balanced and obedient pet.
Consider grooming requirements and how much hair the maltese will shed on carpets, clothing and furniture. Some breeds do not shed hair, but require regular trims. Some people may have allergies to malteses, which make it impossible to live in the same house, and may result in the maltese having to be re-homed. Certain breeds may have a tendency to be aggressive. Choose carefully if you want the maltese to get on with children and other pets. Maltese behaviour is partly inherited, so find out if the maltese’s parents are good natured. Make sure you know how big the puppy will grow. Calculate the monthly cost of maltese food, vet bills and pet insurance. Some breeds have a strong prey instinct, and may chase and kill cats and other small pets.
Puppy or AdultTake your time choosing the right maltese for your personal circumstances. To speed up this process, a puppy should be offered the chance to toilet outdoors every one or two hours, and every time they wake up or eat. Puppies also need to be trained how to walk on a lead and to follow commands. In many cases, it will be easier to take on an adult dog. Do consider the many dogs in Rescue centres which are looking for new homes.