The Maltese dog is highly sensitive to Separation Anxiety. This is a very real condition that can occur when the dog is left alone. This can happen in as little as 1/2 hour.
Symptoms can be severe:
Destruction of household objects
Elimination in the home - due to nervousness
Change in the dog's coat, thinning
Leaving Your Maltese Home Alone
No one can be with their Maltese every second of every day; however this breed does require quite a bit of attention. They desire the comfort, security and companionship of a human family member just about all of the time. However, since we must leave our dogs for a certain amount of time each day, there are many methods to help our Maltese cope.
The key element is to train your dog to understand that everything will be alright when you leave, that their world will not fall apart. It is also vital to set up an environment in which your Maltese will be as happy as possible.
Training Your Maltese to Cope with Separation Anxiety
If you have trained your Maltese to eliminate outdoors, it is very important to not leave him or her home alone for longer than Mother Nature can wait. At 6months old, your dog will be able to wait about 6 hours to go to the bathroom, at 7 months it will be 7 hours. The maximum amount of time that any dog can or should wait is 8 hours. Expecting a dog to holds its needs for longer than that is unrealistic and will only produce "accidents" over which the dog has no control.
Before You Begin Training
Before you begin training your Maltese to be home alone, they must have the essentials of a happy and active environment.
Your dog should have a great area of the house that is reserved for when they must occupy themselves. It is best if you can offer an entire room. If not, you can section off a room with gates. Alternatively, you may purchase a large play pen. Your Maltese should have several specific areas within this location:
A place for their toys - it is very important to supply your Maltese with a huge assortment of toys & chews. Toys that are designed to hide treats work wonders. As your dog smells the treat, they will work for hours to find it and retrieve it from the toy. Teething dogs must have dog toys that are specifically designed to help with their woes. Interactive dog toys are great. If your budget can afford it, having a Toy Dispenser is very helpful. This device is timed to gently dispense a toy at given intervals.
Your Maltese should have an area to rest, optimally this should be a very cozy dog bed.
He or she should also have a designated area for drinking water.
You may also find it useful to leave on a radio or television, so that your Maltese hears human voices.
Their litter box or piddle pad, if you have trained your Maltese to eliminate indoors
Take care that the house is at an ideal temperature. It may be cool when you leave, but heat up quickly while you are away. Implement cooling or heating for a regulated temperature of approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21.11 Celsius)
Once you have this great environment, you will implement the training method of Desensitization against Maltese separation anxiety. This training method should not be used for a time period of
more than 8 hours. If no one will be home for 9, 10 or more hours, a
caring owner must locate a friend, family member or neighbor to check
in with the dog. Alternatively, a dog watcher or "baby" sitter can be
Separation Anxiety occurs when an owner leaves their dog and the dog
does not have the coping skills needs to handle the situation. A dog
can be shown and trained to learn about this non-optional part of life.
Via the Desensitization Method, an owner must not make a big fuss when
leaving. If you behave as if you are saying goodbye forever, your dog
will believe you! It is best if you give hugs & kisses well before
it is time to leave. When you are ready to exit the home, throw a dog
toy to your Maltese and quietly leave. The 2 secrets? Come back
inside 3 minutes later and have the inside environment set up for
Each day, you must go through these motions, however you will be adding 2-5 minutes onto each time that you leave. While this does take some time until you achieve the amount of time that you will normally be gone for, this is well worth the effort. Without this process, a dog can suffer from Separation Anxiety for their entire lives. This can lead to emotional and physical health problems.