If you’re a Maltese dog owner or planning to be one, you may have noticed that these adorable canines have a lot to say, often expressed through their frequent barking. Maltese dogs, with their flowing white coats and expressive eyes, are known for being affectionate and loyal companions. However, their vocalization can sometimes be a point of concern for owners.
It’s not that Maltese dogs are excessively noisy without reason; they bark to communicate various needs, emotions, or warnings. In this blog post, we will explore the six main reasons why Maltese dogs tend to bark more than other breeds. Understanding these triggers can help you form a stronger bond with your furry friend and make both your lives more peaceful.
Are Maltese Dogs Quiet?
Many Maltese dog owners often find themselves puzzled by their petite pals’ incessant barking. The reasons behind this can be multifaceted. While external triggers like territorial instincts can prompt barking, internal factors like fear, frustration, or sheer boredom can also play a role.
Reasons Maltese Dogs Bark
If your small Maltese is barking, it might be trying to catch your eye. These dogs form strong bonds with their humans and can become particularly vocal when they feel ignored. The barks are often accompanied by whining and usually cease as soon as you give them the attention they crave.
To Warn/Alert Their Owners
Maltese dogs are protective by nature and serve as excellent watchdogs. They will bark loudly to alert you of anything they perceive as a threat. This could range from strangers at night at the door to unfamiliar animals in the yard. Their warning barks are usually loud, sharp, and become more aggressive if the “intruder” comes closer.
These adorable dogs can hardly contain their excitement when you come home, if you have a furry cat friend or when they see you preparing a treat. This type of barking is generally short-lived and subsides once the initial excitement wears off.
Stress and Frustration or pain
Maltese dogs prefer the comfortable, familiar environment of home. Changes or unfamiliar noises can stress them out, causing them to bark. Likewise, if they are frustrated—perhaps because they can’t reach a toy—they may bark until the issue is resolved. Or sometimes their skin suffers from bathing your maltese too often. Next to stress it can be pain in the ear or the body from Shaker Syndrome or when you have a puppy teething.
Responding to Other Dogs
If you live in a neighborhood with other dogs, expect your Maltese to join the canine chorus. Dogs often bark in response to other dogs as a way to mark their territory or express their feelings.
A bored Maltese is a noisy Maltese. If your dog is barking excessively, it may be trying to alleviate boredom. Physical and mental stimulation can often remedy this.
How to Stop Maltese Dogs From Barking Excessively
The first step in curbing excessive barking is understanding why it’s happening in the first place. Spend time observing your dog to determine what triggers its vocalizations. Once you identify the root cause, you can tailor your approach to reducing the barking.
Training is a two-way street that helps both you and your dog understand each other better. Simple verbal commands like “quiet” or “no bark” can be highly effective. Maltese dogs are generally easy to train, but if you encounter difficulties, consider enlisting the help of a professional dog trainer.
Celebrate Positive Achievements or Progress Promptly
Dogs respond well to positive reinforcement. Whenever your Maltese stops barking on command or shows improvement, celebrate this with a treat or some loving attention. This encourages good behavior and helps solidify the training.
Don’t Leave Them Lonely
Maltese dogs are social animals that thrive on companionship. Leaving them alone for long periods can trigger barking due to separation anxiety or sheer boredom. If you have to be away for extended periods, consider doggy daycare or hiring a pet sitter.
Eliminate Stress Triggers
Address any environmental factors that may be causing stress or anxiety for your Maltese. This could mean closing the blinds to block their view of the street or putting them in a quiet room when you have guests over.
Don’t Scold Your Dog Too Much
Scolding can make the problem worse by causing anxiety and confusion. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement to encourage the behavior you want to see.
Regular exercise is not only good for your Maltese’s physical health but also for its mental well-being. A tired dog is less likely to bark excessively. Simple activities like walks, fetch, or even agility courses can go a long way in burning off that extra energy.
Some fun ways to exercise your Maltese include:
- Playing hide and seek
- Trying out agility classes
- Going for a swim
- Taking them for a walk or jog
- Playing fetch
- Visiting a dog park
Understanding why Maltese dogs bark more than other breeds is crucial for both new and seasoned owners of this wonderful canine companion. Barking is a form of communication, and it’s essential to approach it with empathy and understanding. By identifying the triggers and applying the appropriate solutions, you can build a harmonious relationship with your Maltese. Remember, patience and consistent training are key to reducing unwanted barking and strengthening the bond between you and your furry friend.
Recommended Products for Managing Barking
If you’re looking for some additional help in managing your Maltese’s barking, consider these products:
- Anti-Bark Collars: These can be effective but should be used cautiously and as a last resort.
- Interactive Toys: Keep your Maltese entertained and mentally stimulated.
- Comfort Items: Blankets or articles of your clothing can help soothe an anxious dog.
If all else proves ineffective, your next step may be to consult with a qualified dog trainer or behaviorist. These professionals can assist in pinpointing the causes of your dog’s excessive barking and offer targeted strategies to curb it. Additionally, they can assess whether any underlying health issues, like liver shuts or hip dysplasia are contributing to the behavior and advise on appropriate treatment.