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Chewing and Teething
Overview

Chewing issues with your Maltese dog can cause havoc in your home.  Teething issues can cause discomfort for your pet. 

If you have a puppy it is important to understand the teething phase that your little one is going through.  As a loving owner, you can offer your dog relief during this time.  

Teething for a dog will begin at the approximate age of 5 months and continue on until your pup is about 1 year old.


Your puppy will be in an almost constant state of needing to relieve the pain they are feeling.  Steps can be taken so that your shoes, furniture,  pillows and other items are not destroyed.


If you have an adult dog who seems to want to chew on everything except their toys, this can be addressed as well.  An adult canine will chew for several reasons, all which can be resolved with a bit of training.  Your Maltese may chew on inappropriate items because of:

  • Boredom
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Nervousness
Each reason has its own set of symptoms.  Once the cause is determined, help is on its way with a dose of training to help your Maltese cope with the underlying problem and be a happy and content dog.
  Maltese teethingA Maltese puppy can have extreme teething issues

One must understand that no matter how frustrating a chewing habit is; a dog wishes to please their owner.  If that dog is shown how to behave and alternative behavior routines, chewing can be one element that is not a negative issue.   Even adult dogs that were not previously trained properly can learn how to behave.  The old adage of  "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" is false.

Teething

Having a puppy is so rewarding.  An owner has the opportunity to bond with their dog while they are still young.  Learning happens rapidly as each new day brings a new chance for a pup to understand about the world.  This is also the time that one must show their Maltese appropriate behavior.

A Maltese puppy begins to lose their baby teeth when the dog is about 4 to 5 months old. When a dog is teething, they will have an undeniable urge to sooth their woes.  Everything is up for grabs!  During this time, an owner should remove as many items as possible from ground level.  For this temporary phase, shoes and other items should be placed up high and out of reach.   If your dog cannot reach an item, they cannot chew on it!

However,  things that cannot be moved will be used as chew toys if an owner does not implement training and offer appropriate items.  

How to Help

A puppy must be watched closely during this time.  Since an owner is most likely already carefully watching their puppy for reasons of housebreaking,  you can do "double duty" to watch for destructive chewing.
See Housebreaking
The Maltese requires
special housetraining



A dog should never be allowed to gnaw on anything other than toys.   If you allow your Maltese to gnaw on an old end table, your pet will never understand the difference between that and your expensive antique coffee table! 

Whenever you see your Maltese puppy heading for something to chew on, slap your hands and/or call their name to get their attention.  In an excited tone, say "Here's your toy!" and give them a dog toy that is recommended  to help with teething.   Not just any dog toy will do; the toy ideally should have 2 elements:
  • It should have small parts that extend out of the base so that the puppy can reach the small areas between the teeth and gums
  • It should be a toy that can be put in the freezer to make it cold; this helps greatly
Offering your puppy ice cubes is very helpful.  Pups love to chase around sliding cubes and the very cold ice is soothing to their gums.

Ages of Teething

Maltese puppies begin to grow in their puppy teeth at about 8 weeks old. This breed develops puppy teeth at a later age than many other small breed dogs.

At what age does a Maltese start teething?  The puppy teeth begin to fall out and are slowly replaced at approximately 5 months old.  You will usually not see a puppy tooth that falls out, as most puppies swallow them.  However, sometimes with this dog breed, the adult teeth may start to grow in while the puppy teeth remain.  Some dogs will then have a "double row" of teeth.  A veterinarian will then usually remove those puppy teeth to allow the adult teeth to grow in properly.  Once must keep a close eye on this, as you will want to catch this as soon as possible.

Adult Chewing


Boredom is one major cause of an adult dog expressing negative behavior.  A Maltese owner should offer plenty of exercise, interaction, attention and also a wonderful supply of dog toys.  While it is expected that an owner cannot spend every second with their dog; one should take the time to schedule daily activities.  Walks should be taken each day, play is very important and when at home, a dog should have their own toys to go to when they need some fun.
See Exercise
Learn how to provide
enough  activity  for
your  pet  Maltese

Maltese chewingSeparation Anxiety is closely related to boredom issues.  When your dog is alone, they may suffer nervousness and anxiety until their owner returns.  When a dog knows that they can depend on certain things, this can take away much worry.  They should always know where their toys are.  It is recommended to give your Maltese their own dog toy box.  No one else in the family should rummage through this box; your Maltese will become very protective of their toys once you teach them to appreciate them; they should feel as if the toy box is their own special property.

Toys should be interactive ones; such as noise makers and squeakers.  In addition, dog toys that hold treats inside are wonderful.  A Maltese can be entertained for quite a while when they are playing with a toy that holds a yummy dog treat inside. 

If you ever see your Maltese with something other than a dog toy in their mouth, take the item away, saying in a negative tone, "No".  Replace the object with a toy, offering a happy and pleasant tone of "Here's your toy!".  Reinforcing positive behavior and remaining consistent with your rules is the key to a happy and well behaved dog.

The best time and method to train your Maltese to love their dog chew toys is when you are arriving back home.  When you enter the house, your first words should be, "Where's your toy?".  Repeat this and encourage your dog to grab a toy and show it to you; only after they do so should you then give lots of attention, hugs, kisses and pats.  This will train your Maltese to learn that when they have a toy ready for your arrival, they are rewarded with their favorite thing: you!

                 

                                                       


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