The Maltese is often mistakenly referred to as being a terrier, which they are not and therefore they do not have a "terrier" mentality. With this said, they might seem delicate and fragile with their long flowing coats and topknots, but in truth, the Maltese is a determined and robust little dog by nature. They are fearless and never too afraid to show their feelings and being so intelligent, the Maltese quickly learns how to please their owners and families.
Maltese as previously mentioned are very alert and intelligent characters and they boast having sweet, fun-loving natures. They are lively and yet affectionate and because they thrive on getting as much attention from people as possible they hate being left on their own for any length of time. Even as a Maltese gets older, their energy levels remain high which means these little dogs remain lively and playful right through to their golden years. They are quite independent spirits too which is yet another reason why the Maltese has consistently been a popular choice as a family pet and companion dog here in the UK and throughout the world.
These little dogs crave human company and they really do not like to be left on their own even for shorter lengths of time. They suffer from separation anxiety which can result in dogs developing unwanted behavioural problems including howling, barking, chewing on furniture and scratching at doors and floors. They are the ideal choice for people who work from home or who spend a lot of time in the house, but the Maltese is not a good choice for people who are rarely at home because it would make for a very unhappy dog.
The Maltese is a great first-time dog because they are so biddable by nature and therefore easy to train. With this said, they can be a little harder to house train than other breeds of a similar size, but with patience, perseverance and gentleness, a Maltese can be taught to do their "business" outside.
The Maltese is a social character by nature and they get on with other animals they meet which includes other pets in a household. They don’t like straying from their owners which generally means they are less likely to take off after an animal they may have spotted in the distance.
The Maltese remains very puppy-like in their behaviour well into their senior years and being so intelligent, they quickly learn what pleases an owner. They are playful dogs by nature without being overly demanding although they hate being left on their own for any length of time.
The Maltese is a very versatile and adaptable little dog being just as happy living in an apartment in town as they are living in the country, providing they are given enough attention, mental stimulation and daily exercise.
Unfortunately, the Maltese is known to like the sound of their own voices a little too much. As such, it's essential that owners gently curb their pet's desire to bark when puppies are still young, but this needs to be done carefully so as not to frighten them which could end up with them barking even more. It's also important to understand that the Maltese thrives on being around people and will bark incessantly if they find themselves on their own for long periods of time. In short, a Maltese would bark to get attention and to let the world know how unhappy they are at being left alone.