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Maltese Barking
Maltese Barking Problems

The Maltese breed are amazingly lovable and amusing dogs; most describe their Maltese as being a family member as opposed to a pet.

While these white balls of fluff bring so much joy and happiness to their owners, there are some issues which one may deem a bit frustrating.

Barking is one of the top issues that owners have questions about.  Our experts discuss all aspects of Maltese barking issues:
  • Why a dog barks
  • Appropriate and inappropriate barking
  • How to stop a Maltese from barking
Is it Really Necessary?

Many owners and soon-to-be owners wonder if the Maltese breed barks a lot... Many people have stereotyped all small dogs as being very vocal.

This issue really has nothing to do with size or breed type. A dog does not usually bark without reason.  While you may sit and stare at your Maltese, holding your ears and wondering why in the world he or she is causing such a ruckus; your pet has a very good reason for exercising their vocal cords.  The key to control barking is to:
  • First understand why your dog is barking
  • Determine if your dog has a valid reason
  • Implement "stop barking techniques" depending on the cause
Maltese barkingValid Reasons

Protection:  Your dog's best way of communicating with you is to bark.  Your Maltese may also learn to make gestures such as leaning their head to one side or take action such as jumping up on you; however barking always has been and always will be the most efficient method a dog has to relate their emotions, feelings and thoughts.

All canines, no matter which breed, have a natural and undeniable instinct to protect.   Maltese barking may occur when the dog is trying to warn or protect its human family from danger... or at least what he or she perceives to be a threat (and owners often do not agree!).  One element to fix a Maltese barking problem is to teach the puppy or dog what YOU consider to be a danger and what is not.  Without this, your Malt may bark at everything from the the neighbor who is watering their lawn...To the sound of cars driving by.

In some cases, this can be quite severe. The key is to determine if the danger is valid.  Many dogs will perceive an element to be threatening when it is indeed benign.  Therefore; when your dog is barking up a storm,  you must access the situation.  If you do not recognize a clear and present danger, it will be your job to teach and train your Maltese to also understand that their barking is not necessary.

A dog's barking may be triggered by unlimited elements; loud noises, certain types of people, cars driving by...the list is quite endless and in some cases you may never know what causes your dog to act up.  Since a dog can hear noises from miles away that your ears will not be able to detect and a male dog can smell a female dog in heat for up to 3 miles away,  you must only realize that if a danger does not exist you can train your Maltese to stop barking.

A dog will also protect items that they consider to be their own: dog food,  toys,  blankets and more.  An owner should always keep their dog's food in 1 location and ensure that no one disturbs this area.
See Proper Feeding
Important information
to  ensure  the   good
health of your Maltese

Having the security of knowing where their foods, toys and other belonging are, is very important to a dog's emotional health.   If you disrupt their environment, they are sure to act out in one form or another.

Techniques to Stop Maltese Barking

When your dog is barking and you are quite sure that there is not a legitimate reason in your eyes,  you must then relay this to them.  Your behavior is vitally important.  If you get upset, yell or storm around in frustration, your dog is going to believe that you too feel a threat and a need to make noise.

When your Maltese barks, make a calming "Shhh" noise.  Take a deep breath to relax , pat them and in a loving and unconcerned tone state that, "Everything is alright",  "It's okay" and so forth.  You must NOT pat your dog in such a way that it would be taken as an attention reward. 

The pat should be a light and short pat to show your dog that all is calm and fine.  When they calm down, you should then praise them and show that you are very happy that they have stopped.  Repetition is the key just as it is with house training... When done consistently and frequently, your Maltese will learn the behavior that pleases you.  When a dog is barking out of control, they need their loving owner to teach them to remain in control.


Many dogs will bark simply out of boredom.  While some may assume that a dog does not need very much stimulation, quite the opposite is true.  To be content, they must have many types of stimulus and activity:
  • Interaction with family members
  • Indoor and outdoor exercise
  • Interactive toys and chews
  • Daily schedules which include grooming, feeding, walks, times for elimination, and sleep
Basically, your dog's day should be rather busy; left to his own devices and paid little attention to, this can be a recipe for disaster.  A dog will usually then act out by barking, biting, excessively chewing, even destroying a home's contents and more.   Try to keep a regular schedule for your Maltese.  Toys are crucially important.  A simple rubber chew will only keep a dog interested so long.
See Chewing & Teething
Help  your  Maltese   with
chewing & teething issues

Additionally, if you and/or other family members do not have enough free time to interact and exercise your dog, think about hiring a dog walker/ companion.  Just as one would not leave a toddler alone all day, a Maltese should not be left alone, bored and lonesome.

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