One look at the Maltese, and you can immediately guess that this one would be a family favorite. Indeed, very few dog breeds can match the appeal of a fluffy white Maltese, but we sometimes want more.
It could be a simple question of a dog enthusiast wanting to diversify his collection of breeds or a more specific need.
Are Malteses good with other dogs? The simple answer is yes! Malteses are often described as a dog breed that’s gentle and fearless and greets everyone as a friend. While the Malteses have no doubts being in the company of other canines (including cats), Malteses generally tend to prefer the company of their human owners.
If you have decided to run a multi-breed household, you must be faced with a few questions about how to make that work. If yes, I’ve got you covered.
I have set out to provide answers to questions like why Maltese is good with other dogs? Are there breed preferences for Maltese compatibility? Can I get my Maltese to be compatible with other dogs? And so much more!
Why Is Maltese Good With Other Dogs?
It’s in the Maltese nature to be outgoing and curious about everything around them. Some lines (or some individuals) are more confident and friendly, while some are more standoffish or cautious.
A Maltese from the ancient lineage would more readily adapt to the presence of other dog breeds than would one from the latter lineage. This behavioral distinction would, however, be more apparent the older the Maltese is.
Training and socialization also play critical roles in how a Maltese turns out. The younger the Maltese, the easier it might be to get them to get along with other breeds, and vice versa (especially if they have been over-pampered by their owner).
For most people, a Maltese is enough. But for some others, they want more than one canine at home for specific reasons like preventing a burglar from easily carting away your prized possessions, including the nearly irresistible Maltese on guard duty than they would with a terrier.
There are other proven benefits of owning more than one furry canine such as:
- More companionship for you and your pets.
- Your dogs will never be bored together which helps ease separation anxiety.
- Making puppy training easier.
- Saving more dog lives.
Are There Breed Preferences for Maltese Compatibility?
Here the simple answer would be no, but it’s not so simple. When it comes to choosing a compatible breed for your Maltese, there are a couple of things you might want to consider, like your preference.
“Why do you need another dog when you already have one?” is one of those speak-for-yourself kinds of questions. For some persons, it is as simple as, “I love dogs, so I want more,” while for others, it could be more specific and even complicated.
In so far as your needs and personal preferences may determine what kind of breeds you may want to own. In addition to your Maltese, there are also other essential issues to consider, like the other dogs in your house.
While Malteses are generally peace-loving and get along with just about any other breed of dogs, the same cannot be said for all other dog breeds.
Keeping an eye on your preferences and needs as the dog owner, the characteristics of the other dog is a strong compatibility point to consider.
Here’s a list of other dog breeds that would usually more easily get along with your Maltese:
- Basset Hound
- English Foxhound
- Cocker Spaniel
- St. Bernard
- Great Dane
- Coton de Tulear
While the above list is lengthy, it is by no means exhaustive or final. A cursory glance through it reveals that a majority of the breeds fall into the same toy category as the Maltese.
However, when the question of Maltese compatibility was posed to Maltese owners on quora, their responses exposed some crucial facts. One of which is that Maltese compatibility is not necessarily restricted to these similar breeds.
The following are some of the important things to consider when choosing a second dog for your family.
Combining a large breed like Dobermann with a Maltese in the same household may not be a great idea. Accidents can happen, and your Maltese can get hurt even while they are just playing.
The large Dobermann could also trip over the Maltese and cause a severe injury because of how fragile Maltese dogs are.
Instincts and temperaments
It’s hard to erase an animal’s instincts, and some dogs are, by nature, more predisposed to aggression. Placing such breeds in the same space as a Maltese pup is a recipe for chaos. For example, a terrier-type breed is likely to get very violent with your Maltese.
Terrier breeds like the American Pitbull Terrier and Kerry Blue Terriers are very temperamental and are likely not to get along well with most breeds, not just Maltese dogs.
Getting it right with time
Dogs are intelligent social animals, and catching them young could prove profitable. As young pups, they are more emotionally pliable and less dangerous to themselves. Raising your favorite breeds together from puppy to adulthood could prove to be quite the masterstroke.
Astute timing could save you a load of time, effort, and cash while allowing you to possibly take advantage of any puppy giveaways at the time of purchase. Smart move? I guess, yeah.
Generally, most experienced dog owners would advise you to introduce a younger pet of the opposite gender if you intend to have a multi-breed or multi-dog household. They insist that this combination often proves to be the least volatile possible.
The next question is a must answer if you already own one of the less agreeable breeds and are keen to add a Maltese to the furry mix.
Can I Get My Maltese to Be Compatible With Other Dogs?
Absolutely! Yes. And while this may not be as simple as bundling them into the same cage and saying some gibberish in elvish, it could prove to be a gratifying experience. Here are a few tips to help along the way.
Neutral turf at first sight
By bringing a new dog into another pack’s territory, you are running the risk of the existing pack becoming assertive or aggressive to defend what is theirs.
Depending on the new dog’s energy, they may become wholly submissive and fearful, or they may fight back. Your Maltese, despite their fragility and small size, may opt for the latter, to his/her detriment.
To avoid your dogs getting off on the wrong paw, it is advisable to introduce them at a neutral ground, with the sense of territory out of the way, they can get down more quickly to the business of liking each other.
You may also try introducing them through a barrier, such as a fence; that way, they can get used to each other’s scent more gradually.
Introducing your new pet to one dog at a time, as opposed to the entire gang, is also advised if you own a pack.
Animal behavior can be complicated, and you may want to be careful with interpreting some of the early signs as your furry family gets acquainted with each other.
It is advised that you pay close attention to both dogs at this time, noting signs of aggression and be sure to keep them from getting at each other’s throats.
Also, watch out for positive signs and encourage them without being pushy. Your dogs shouldn’t be left together unsupervised until they have become familiar with each other.
Time the first few meetings
Like human relationships, canine relationships also take time to build. The dogs will have to figure out a lot about each other, and this process cannot be rushed to avoid backlash.
Usually, they would have to work out their relative positions in the canine hierarchy, learn each other’s scent, and get used to being around each other.
The first few meetings between the dogs shouldn’t last longer than ten minutes at a time, with frequent interruptions or treat-breaks to reduce the tension between them.
If you succeed in peacefully getting your furry family introduced, congratulations, but it doesn’t end there now. Conflicts are bound to result as your pets continue to interact with each other going forward.
Here are a few things you can do to keep the peace:
- Break up fights promptly, Malteses are fragile and can be easily injured in a fight.
- Identify dog stressors and triggers for disputes and avoid them in the future.
- Socialization is critical.
- Remain vigilant for signs of aggression and seek animal behaviouralist help if necessary.
Malteses are fun to own and are a quick family favorite. They equally get along with other breeds, but caution is advised as they are fragile and may advertently or inadvertently be injured or worse when kept around other dogs.
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.