If you are parents to one of the smallest breeds of dog in the world, then you would know what amazing furballs a Maltese can be! However, sometimes the excessive barking can be daunting.
Despite their small and innocent-looking exterior of playful eyes and shiny white coat, these pets could be extremely irritating due to their incessant need to bark.
There are a number of remedies to handle the noise. The solution is found from first understanding their necessity to bark.
Why Do Maltese Bark?
Temperamentally, the Maltese are known to be quite interactive. Despite their small size, they are a powerhouse when it comes to their bark.
Irrespective of the breed, barking is a way for dogs to communicate their needs and feelings. Different dogs have different temperaments. While some breeds are quieter, the Maltese are relatively found to be more communicative than the rest.
If you are experiencing too much noise from your pet that would be because of one of the following reasons:
Barking in Order to Seek Attention
The Maltese are usually categorized as toy breeds due to their small size and playful nature. They are great with kids and easy to handle. They are also one of the most attention seeking breeds of dogs.
This is one of the most important things to know if you are still deciding on getting a Maltese. They love being the center of attraction which usually means there must be some form of constant interaction with them. Not getting enough attention is one of the major reasons why they bark.
These extremely cute creatures need their daily dosage of love and cuddling to maintain a calm temperament in the house. However, there is a very thin line between giving them the adequate attention they functionally need and spoiling them. A little care in the way you treat them as a pup goes a long way in the way they behave as an adult.
Barking Induced by Feelings of Loneliness
It’s a well-known fact that as compared to other pets, dogs are very social. They love company and so do the Maltese. Whimpering and whining are common in them if they feel lonely from time to time.
Therefore, it is imperative for you, as the owner to gradually get them used to short spells of alone time. It is all behavioral and how you teach your pet to handle different situations can drive their responses to those experiences in a favorable direction
Separation anxiety is very real in dogs across all breeds though the degree of it may differ. Getting your much-loved pets to periodic absences may help them get accustomed to your lifestyle and routine. This will also go a long way in helping them deal with time alone when no one’s around the house.
Related: Can Maltese Be Left Alone?
Barking as a Method to Communicate Want
The Maltese spoil easily. Yes, that’s true!
They are a breed usually favored by aristocrats who leave no stone unturned in pampering their pooches. They are also part of the lapdog category because you will generally see them being carried around in their owner’s arms.
They are not predisposed to serve a function like watchdogs or companion dogs do.They are great at using their charm to demand what they want but if that doesn’t work, most Maltese will bark to get their way.
These dogs can be demanding based on the lifestyle of their owner. Experienced breeders will tell you to exercise restraint in pampering these little pups. Usually pet parents give in to their sweet antics and later that can pose as a nuisance.
Barking to Express Hunger
This is one of the most common reason for any dog to bark incessantly. An easy remedy to tackle this problem is to stick to a routine. If you can get your pet used to a timetable around the frequency of his meals, this unnecessary barking should not pose as a nuisance for long.
Usually the Maltese have their meals twice a day. It is also suggested to not leave their food out all day because that may lead to obesity which then gives rise to a different set of health issues.
Barking Out of Fear
Well, this not only applies to the Maltese but to any pet. Any foreign sight, smell or sound could set them off like a never-ending alarm bell. Pups take some time to get accustomed to new spaces and surrounding.
Their senses take time to settle into alien people and places. Needless to say that you may experience your pet barking a little more frequently than is usual, in the first few days of bringing him home.
One solution to remedy this in the long run is to expose him to as many new experiences in the first few weeks as possible. This allows him to store a range of sensory details which can act as a good enabler t tackle fear in future.
Barking as an Outlet of Pent-up Energy
This is a tricky one and can prove to be quite difficult to understand for busy owners, but if your dog is not getting enough exercise that could lead to a build-up of nervous energy which then results in continuous barking.
A healthy amount of exercise in the form of playing fetch or brisk walking if highly recommended.
Can Excessive Barking be Tackled?
Toy breeds like the Maltese are known to be noisy pets. It is in their nature to be loud but that does not mean that they are not teachable. They may not go extremely quiet if that is what you are going for, but they can be taught to communicate smartly and behave reasonably.
What most owners do not know is that the Maltese are loud on account of their tiny size. They are vulnerable as a result of which the barking works as a defense mechanism. Once you understand this clearly, the solution presents itself quite clearly!
Tips and Tricks to Train Your Maltese to be Calm
All pets are like children. So, handle them like you would your kids. If you can develop a relationship with your dog in which he feels loved, protected and safe, you will have no reason to worry about setting him off.
Related: Are Maltese Easy to Train?
The Maltese are known to be friendly and playful. They are extremely dexterous and since they are so social, it becomes easy to teach them.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while training them:
- Establish that you are the master of the house – Your pet must understand that you are the leader and he is the follower. This will help in keeping any rogue behavior in check.
- Do not reward naughty behavior – As a pup, he may not know right from wrong. While some of his antics may seem cute in the beginning, it may become irritable mischiefs later. It’s best to keep your emotion in check and not offer encouraging responses to such behavior.
You can practice ignoring your pet when they excessively bark. It may sound difficult but eventually they will tire of getting no response and stop.
- Establish boundaries with commands – This may take some time but it can be effective. Your pet will relate to your sound and the actions and approvals associated with it. It’s a tenuous task but is has its proven benefits.
Certain breeders use ‘quiet’ commands to maintain the decorum with their pets. And once your dog stops barking on the command, you definitely should give him a treat to re-enforce it as a positive response to your given command.
Best Time to Train a Maltese
You need to be careful of the window when you can teach them house rules and mannerisms. They are highly impressionable and easier to initiate into new routines as pups. But as they grow older the window to inculcate new things in them narrows as by that time they are already set in their certain ways.
It is imperative and recommended to invest some time and effort at the very beginning in conditioning your dog in order to reap the rewards of a well-trained pet. Having said that, Maltese take relatively longer time to control their barking. They are known to learn tricks and lifestyle routines faster than they do in controlling their barking. However, it is not something that is impossible.
The Maltese are a sociable breed that are known to bark a lot. They are playful and are usually a favored pet in cultured circles and can be construed as a symbol of wealth. Being one of the smallest breeds of dog in the world, their bark serves as a means to protect themselves and quite understandably so.
However, this should not be a deterrent in having them as a pet. With a well-rounded environment and proper training to thrive and grow in, these angelic little creatures can be taught to behave and control their barking.