Malteses are very energetic dogs that are famed for their excessive barking and constant activity. Maltese puppies are known to bark all night, making it quite a difficult first few months for a new Maltese owner.
For these reasons and more, the question of how to get Maltese to calm down is a common question within the Maltese owners’ community.
The most effective ways to get Malteses to calm down are through exercise and training. Walking your Maltese puppy or dog often gets her to be more relaxed afterward. If energy levels are still too high, then you can increase the level of exercise to include some running by playing games like fetch. Do this until you find the right balance of activity for your Maltese.
Except you get incredibly bored and you’re badly in need of company, you probably don’t want a pet that is always hyper. So it’s good to know you can control your dog’s behavior if she gets too hyper.
The first step to achieving that is to understand why she’s like that, and here’s why
Why Are Malteses Hard to Calm Down?
A typical Maltese is a happy dog that doesn’t know how to calm himself down sometimes. He seems to get excited about everything and anything his owner does.
Things can excite a Maltese include the arrival of guests, when it’s food time, the sound of the neighbors’ car pulling up in the driveway, and just about anything can get a Maltese excited.
As his owner, seeing your Maltese excited is a joyful sight, but when it becomes uncontrollable, then it becomes a problem.
Overexcitement is a common issue with Maltese dogs, more especially Maltese puppies. If not handled properly, it could become a problem as your Maltese matures.
Another side effect of over-excitement could be excited urination. When dogs get overexcited, they tend to pee themselves especially when they’ve not fully learned self-control.
Very High Energy Levels
The saying that “dynamites come in small packages” is especially true for the Maltese breed. These little ninjas are packed full of enough energy for an average-sized dog.
The resultant effect, therefore, is them being all over the place, almost all the time. Usually, when your Maltese refuses to calm down, it’s because she’s trying to get rid of pent up energy.
High energy levels make Maltese an ideal dog choice for those in need of constant companionship. A Maltese is always going to keep you on your toes and never bored, maybe tired, but never dull!
But when you can’t match the energy and attention demands of your Maltese, it begins to feel like a burden.
Usually, there’s a need to control the energy level of your Maltese, and the best way to do that is through regular exercises.
A Breed Likely to Be Spoiled
It’s almost inhuman to see a Maltese and not instinctively reach out to pet him. This is because of how cute they look with their silky white hair and baby-like facial expressions, all wrapped up in a petite body.
For this reason, it’s quite easy to find a spoiled and overindulged Maltese. A spoiled Maltese like a spoiled child is going to exhibit bad behavior.
Behaviors like not following instructions quickly enough or at all, aggressive behaviors like barking and biting with the intent to do damage are all signs of an overindulged dog.
Lack of Training
It’s usually challenging to get an untrained dog under control. An untrained Maltese has not learned how to behave correctly, and so she cannot be expected to do so.
There are different kinds of training available for dogs these days, some aimed at physical health and others for cognitive activity. Engaging your Maltese in proper training sessions makes getting him under control an easier task.
Other Reasons Why Your Maltese Might Not Calm Down
Besides training, these are the other reasons your Maltese might not be calm.
A negative experience in the past can alter your Maltese behavior and make her apprehensive of new situations. This is particularly true if you purchase an older dog, a dog with previous owners, or a dog from a poorly run breeding house.
Maltese is a breed that is prone to experiencing separation anxiety. They love to be around their human companions and can become miserable when they can’t do that.
This can lead to terrible behavior like constant barking while you’re away. A Maltese with severe separation anxiety issues might develop negative behaviors she thinks will make you spend more time with her.
Getting Your Maltese Under Control
Now that we know the reasons a Maltese can be a handful let’s explore the means to keep his behavior in check.
Train Your Maltese
One of the best ways to get your Maltese under control is through training. Getting a professional dog trainer to train your Maltese while it’s just a puppy can go a long way to determining just how well behaved it will be when it’s mature.
If you prefer to train him yourself, try to be disciplined and stick to the training structure.
For example, if you don’t want your Maltese on the chair, never pick him up to the chair, not even when you’re overexcited. Doing that will send mixed signals, which ends up confusing your Maltese.
Try to use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior, but remember the most important key here is consistency.
Any form of inconsistency will have a negative effect on the entire training process.
Through training, you can get your Maltese to avoid the pitfalls of overexcitement. For example, if your dog gets overexcited when you reach to pet him, you should retrieve your hand.
By bending your hand away whenever he gets overexcited, you’re passing the message that overexcitement stops the petting.
If you do this consistently enough, you’ll find that your dog is better behaved when you pet him. If he gets really excited whenever he hears a car pass outside or whenever somebody comes visiting, and he refuses to stop barking, try not to pick him up.
Being picked up is interpreted as being rewarded in “dog language,” so you won’t see the end of that behavior.
Exercise Your Maltese
Exercise is a great way to release pent up energy. Malteses are usually active enough indoors almost to meet their exercise requirements, but two or three short walks a day would be just beautiful.
The trick is to find the perfect balance of exercise for your pet since different dogs have different energy levels.
There’s an adage that states, “a well-exercised dog is a well-behaved dog,” I’m sure you’ll find some truth in that when you begin exercising your Maltese regularly.
Another way to teach your pet how to behave is setting up play dates with other well behaved dogs. If you have friends with dogs, it could be a great move to meet regularly and let them play together.
Otherwise, you could belong to a dog club or enroll your Maltese in a school with his kind.
A Maltese can develop poor social skills if he doesn’t learn how to socialize early enough. So it would be best if you started when he’s still a pup.
Experts and some dog owners have found certain music to be quite helpful in getting dogs to be relaxed. Music specifically developed for pets is used to calm pets down, most notably those with separation anxiety.
Signs of an Untrained Maltese
It’s quite easy for an experienced dog owner or breeder to spot an untrained dog, but the same cannot be said of a first-time owner.
If you’re new to having pets, here are some signs that indicate your Maltese is not properly trained.
- Excessive Barking: There are reported cases where a Maltese gets on a barking spree and refuses to stop. This barking could be provoked by anything, barking at visitors at the door, at strangers on a stroll, barking all night for no good reason, anything at all! Although there are other possible reasons for this behavior, inadequate training and overindulgence are usually at the top of the list.
- Refusal to Follow Instructions: If you find yourself in a position where your pet refuses to follow your instructions or hesitates before he does, you’re probably living with an untrained pet.
- Jumping on People: This can be interpreted as excitement or playfulness, but at a point, it becomes clear what it is, a discomforting habit.
- Biting: It’s okay to get playfully bitten by your dog every once and again, but then, sometimes your dog bites with the intent to cause harm. If this is you, then the chances are that you’re living with an untrained dog.
Now that you understand why a Maltese can be a handful and how to direct her energy more positively, you have a better knowledge of this breed than the average dog owner, and your Maltese is in much better hands.