Maltese dogs are pretty clingy and love grabbing your attention all the time. With their petite bodies, long silky hair, and adorable personalities, they are lovely pets for your family.
But, are Maltese friendly with strangers?
Maltese are not aggressive to strangers unless you overly pamper them, ignore them suddenly, or fail to let them socialize. Typically, Maltese are good with people and like to play and seek attention. Moreover, the Maltese are protective of their owners and only relax when they don't sense a threat.
Are Maltese Friendly With Strangers?
Although most dogs love strangers, some are super sociable and relish meeting new faces. Like other dogs, Maltese can be friendly or aggressive, as canine aggressiveness isn't an issue of the breed.
If you keep introducing your Maltese puppy to new environments and individuals, they are likely to end up being friendly.
On the other hand, depriving your Maltese of their social life and not being keen on their happiness is likely to result in them not warming up to strangers.
In short, Maltese are aggressive to strangers when you ignore them or fail to curb their temperament while young.
How Do You Make Your Maltese More Friendly
Getting your Maltese to be less aggressive may be challenging.
However, certain aspects can help you ensure your pet keeps its temperament in check.
Determine the Groups Your Maltese Is Aggressive Towards
Do you have toddlers in the house? Maltese tend to hurt little kids and hence aren't the best dogs for young families. Maybe your Maltese doesn't like a particular gender or a particular skin color.
Aggression towards a particular group of people may be due to a previous harrowing experience induced by an individual within that group. It may also be due to minimal encounters with the group leading to fear expressed as aggression.
Introduce Your Maltese to a Wide Array of People
If your Maltese dislikes particular cohorts of people, you should let them socialize with these groups. Take your Maltese to meet these people in a setting where they feel safe.
Invite your pals within that group over for the weekend and ensure your Maltese is on their leash always. Let your buddies give treats to your pooch whenever they behave accordingly. As your Maltese starts associating strangers with treats, they will gradually let down their guard.
A crowd may easily overwhelm temperamental dogs resulting in aggression. So, invite a few friends at a time.
Associate With Strangers
Treating your Maltese well makes you earn their trust. If your pet trusts you, they will start being friendly to strangers if they see you being friendly.
Even chatting with people at the park may help get your Maltese to relax. If you converse in low tones with strangers, your Maltese realizes that they aren't threats.
Although your Maltese may whine and bark a little at first, they are likely to stop if they notice you are ignoring their cries.
Carry treats with you as you go out to meet new people. Whenever your aggressive Maltese politely approaches strangers, praise them and give them a treat.
When you have people that your dog is unfamiliar with coming over, you can give your Maltese treats when they relax, even if they aren't cozy to strangers. This way, you can get your Maltese to be more open towards interacting with strangers.
You can even let strangers offer the treats to your dog and see if they will take them.
Converse With Your Maltese Before Meeting Strangers
Speaking to your Maltese in a friendlier tone can get them to relax around strangers. If the Maltese dog starts throwing a fit, hush them in a firm, low tone that will make them focus on what you are saying.
A firm voice informs your Maltese that they need to listen to you and it isn't time to mess around.
Speak with strangers pleasantly and excitedly. Doing this gets your Maltese to exhibit the same emotion to those people bringing you joy.
Are Maltese Good With People?
Besides being an adorable toy breed, Maltese dogs are friendly and fearless pets. They love to interact with people, whether familiar or strangers.
Although they don't require too much exercise, they are a bubble of energy and are typically down if anyone wishes to play with them.
Maltese dogs require you to give them lots of attention. If abandoned for too much time, your Maltese will likely suffer from separation anxiety and similar behavioral issues.
These dogs are not suitable for large families or those that have many pets. If your Maltese feels left out, they may end up showing aggression.
How Do I Prevent My Maltese from Being Overly-Friendly?
Your Maltese cozying up to your family or friends is an excellent thing. However, not everyone welcomes an overly friendly dog. While some individuals get aggravated by the fur on your pet, others may end up harming the canine.
Moreover, some places do not allow you to walk around with your canine if they are not on a leash.
Therefore, it is imperative to have a gentle dog but not one who rushes to play with just anybody.
So, how do you tone down excessive friendliness in your Maltese?
- Train your Maltese in social situations to help them determine which strangers are okay to play with and which ones may cause them harm.
- Take your Maltese for professional canine training, or train them yourself.
It is vital to remember; you are training your Maltese to be less friendly but not turn into an aggressive canine.
You want the Maltese to maintain their sweet nature yet be more responsive to your commands. Your Maltese should respond promptly when asked to come, avoid a place, sit, or lie down.
Take around 10 minutes every day to practice a few tricks and fine-tune your Maltese behavior. Try commanding your pooch to come to you and when they do, shower them with lots of praise and give them healthy treats like bananas.
Get the Maltese to stay with you, and if they can restrain themselves from playing, reward them with words and treats.
Use a leash to train your Maltese to calm their excitement around other people. Gently tag on the leash while giving the “come” command. Only reward your pet when they know that you are beckoning to them and respond by coming to you.
To get your Maltese to stay relaxed, hold the treat a little beyond their reach. The Maltese will end up understanding that the only way to get the treat is to stay still at your feet.
With time, your Maltese will understand you need her close when you give the command, and you won't have to use the leash a lot once that happens.
Training your Maltese takes time for them to grasp. You may notice your Maltese does not respond after a while. If so, take a break and resume training the following day.
Ensure you have your Maltese on a leash while in public. If your dog shows a desire to follow a stranger, do not shout at them or show dread. You want your Maltese to desire to be with you because you are more fun and give them treats.
Why Are Maltese So Mean?
Maltese and other toy dog breeds are overly mean due to the small dog syndrome. A Maltese with this syndrome assumes the position of alpha in the house.
They will snarl, lunge, and bark when you touch their feet and ears, cuddle them, or take away their things. Any instance that may seem like your Maltese's alpha position is getting challenged will be met with aggression.
To break the small dog syndrome, don't let your Maltese assume a higher pack position than anyone in the house, guests included. Don't let them do activities synonymous with large dogs, like pouncing on you.
Avoid caring for the Maltese around. Moreover, ignore their barks when they are demanding something from you. Never pet or cuddle the Maltese when they bark or snarl at strangers. This action acts as praise hence encouraging your pet to be mean to new people.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Maltese Protective of Their Owners?
Maltese are protective of their owners and whatever else is theirs. Typically, your Maltese will bark at anyone or anything that approaches you.
These dogs are highly alert and bark whenever they hear unfamiliar sounds.
Maltese will bark at anyone near your door until they confirm the person is not a threat.
Are Maltese Dogs Good With Kids?
Maltese are a playful lot and like learning new things. They may not be the best for toddlers and tend to snap at noisy babies.
Nonetheless, children able to walk and do most things independently can enjoy having these pets as playmates.
In most cases, Maltese are friendly to strangers, although a few may be aggressive.
While you can combat aggression in various ways, never act menacingly or shout at your Maltese. Doing this may only make them misbehave more.