How Much Space Does a Maltese Need?

How Much Space Does a Maltese Need?

Any family that decides to get a dog has to consider its natural space requirements. There are lots of things to think about before you determine the amount of space your dog needs.

Its size, energy levels, noise, sociality, and comfort are some of the most significant considerations. Some dogs require spacious outdoor environments to thrive, while others are typical apartment dogs.

For Maltese, their space requirements are quite minimal. They’re tiny dogs that enjoy being carried and being around their human companions. They only require a small portion to retire to when they’re tired and want to sleep. A playpen or a small gated area of the apartment usually suffices. 

It’s the lifestyle and predispositions of your pet’s breed that determines how much space it requires. So it’s essential to understand what the breed has evolved to be around.

If a Maltese is what you want, you are in luck because they don’t have much space demands. Let’s find out why they are comfortable living in a small area.

Reasons Why Malteses Are Great in Apartment Spaces


It’s possible to have a member of the household with dog allergies, and it could be a problem if you own a dog that is capable of triggering that allergy.

Maltese dogs don’t shed and are hypoallergenic, which simply means they are perfect even for people with allergies. The fact that they shed very little also means they can be indoors and make very little mess.

Small Size 

Due to their small sizes, Maltese dogs are incredibly comfortable living in small apartments.

Although they would also enjoy living in a much bigger space, they would typically mark out a tiny portion of that plentiful space as theirs and spend more time within that little space.


Maltese dogs have natural alertness that makes them useful in some active services. For example, they can be great medical alert dogs.

This natural alertness means they are very likely to draw your attention to a dangerous situation sooner than you would’ve ordinarily noticed. A Maltese will consistently alert you of a visitor at the door or any other new development around the house.

Loving and Affectionate

Thousands of years of breeding for royalty and the aristocracy have shown Maltese to be a well-mannered pet. They are very loving and affectionate creatures that yearn for and thrive on the attention of their owner.

This is a dog breed that isn’t very independent and typically prefers to look to you for protection and love. A Maltese’s favorite spot is right beside its owner.

Good With Kids and Other Pets

Maltese make for great family pets because of their jovial and playful nature. They also get along with other family pets and are great with older children.

With younger children, you need to be careful because Malteses are little and quite fragile. Despite their jovial and playful nature, Maltese can be quite reserved around strangers, and they aren’t afraid to challenge other dogs much bigger than them. 

Lifestyle Requirements 

There’s no need to make out a place in the yard for a Maltese; they’re well evolved to thrive indoors. Also, Malteses are very sensitive to extreme temperatures and dampness, so they rather stay all the time indoors.

Malteses don’t need much space and do very well in small apartments. They need only about 10-20 minutes of exercise every day and are usually active enough to meet that requirement indoors. 

The ideal space for a Maltese dog is an apartment, as it allows him to be always close to its owner. Maltese require human company and don’t fare too well when they don’t get the attention they desire. 

Moderate Energy levels 

Although Maltese dogs are very energetic for their size, they are nowhere near the most active dog breeds.

There are dog breeds like the Greyhound, Dalmatian, and Jack Russell Terrier that have much higher energy levels and require much more space to roam and exercise to keep them happy. Maltese dogs, on the other hand, have perfect energy levels for apartment spaces.

Low Exercise Needs

Maltese exercise needs can be satisfied in 20 minutes. All that is needed is one or two short walks a day, at a pace that is brisk for the puppy or adult Maltese.

A quick run or game of fetch is also a welcomed idea. Having a very short threshold for exercise, once a Maltese is satisfied, it becomes more relaxed and settled at home. 

Require Small Space for Training

An essential aspect of caring for a dog is its training, and again Malteses don’t require much space to be adequately trained.

Unlike some other breeds that are bred for particular purposes like sprint racing, endurance racing, and obstacle course competitions, Maltese dogs just require simple training to be great family pets.

Need for Attention 

Maltese is one of the dog breeds that can get sick from a lack of attention. Separation anxiety and stress resulting from feelings of isolation are common with this breed.

They can play alone and seem to be in a world of their own, but they like to know that you’re within arm’s reach when they need you.

Maltese Space Requirements 

Maltese Puppy 

Maltese puppies are very hyper and energetic, always wanting to be seen and heard. They love to interact and play with you all day, every day. While this is necessary for creating a good bond between you and your pet, it can be very demanding.

You would need to be careful enough to allow your puppy to play alone with his favorite toys. This encourages independence and some level of self-reliance as it matures. Puppies take up very little space as your space is usually where they want to be.

Adult Maltese 

Adult Malteses are usually calmer and less demanding than puppies, but they demand more space. This extra space is certainly not huge considering that Maltese dogs are still quite small at maturity.

Bear in mind, though, that an adult Maltese would still be very alert and active well into its adult years, so it is likely to be in your space always.

Special Space Requirements 

If You Have Other Pets

A Maltese gets along pretty well with other pets in the household if they’re raised together. The key here is to create a private space for it to retreat to if it needs resting or just not up for play.

It’s a different story if the pets in question are unknown to the Maltese because then it tends to be wary, which can lead to barking and restlessness. 

Of course, if you have multiple pets, you may need a bigger apartment with much more space. 

If You Have Kids Below 11

Maltese get along with older children very well because of their playful nature and seemingly unending energy. They can play and match these kids’ energies for hours.

But when it comes to children below 11, more care is required. They could injure the Maltese unintentionally or put it in tight spaces and make the Maltese irritable. Either way, that’s a no-no! 

Typical Living Spaces for Maltese

Maltese need to have some sort of safe space or den to make theirs. This is because giving your Maltese free reign in the house makes your absence more obvious when you’re away.

The following are common types of indoor dog dens:

Dog Playpen

A playpen is the most suitable space for a Maltese to function in. Having a good-sized playpen with enough room for it to move around and play goes a long way to getting your Maltese settled in your apartment.

If stuffed with enough of its favorite toys, with the TV and light on, it can help your Maltese to cope better in your absence. 

Gated Section 

Alternatively, you can use a small plastic gate that is strong enough to hold a Maltese, to gate off a small portion of your apartment for your Maltese.

You should furnish this corner with toys to make it more comfortable and acceptable to your Maltese. This setup is similar to that of a playpen as it gives the Maltese enough room to stretch its muscles.

Dog Crate 

Many experts believe a dog crate is confining and increases the stress levels of dogs. However, some think it can be a heaven for your Maltese if used rightly.

If you decide to use a crate for your Maltese, consider applying the following rules:

  • Never use the crate as punishment. You should never use the crate as a “time out corner” when your dog shows poor behavior.
  • Select a crate that is spacious enough for your dog to stand and turn around in.
  • Ensure you take your Maltese out to potty before putting her in the crate
  • Take your Maltese puppy out to puppy after at most 4 hours in the crate. 

Some experts believe following the above guidelines will not only help to potty-train your Maltese but also present the crate as a den where she can feel secure. 

Maltese is an ideal pet for the modern metropolitan resident. Whether you live in a studio, condo, or large apartment, a Maltese will comfortably fit into your lifestyle.

John Carter

My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially 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.

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