Archived Message

maltese small/children

by cathy brown

Over the months that I have been posting and reading posts on this board, there's been lots of discussion about adopting maltese babies when there are small children in the home. Today, I learned about a maltese 4 yr old who is about to become a rescue dog. The reason: he bites and has a "terrible" dispostion. And the reason for that dear friends is this: The people who bought him later had a baby or two. Apparently, the children "teased" and otherwise manhandled the dog to the extent that it began to bite in self-defense. Now, mom and day want to be rid of this evil-tempered pup and its teeth this second if not sooner. When the dog has been fully evaluated to see what the extent of its "ill temper" is, I may get to be a foster parent for a while--if the problem is too heavy, they will try to place him with someone who can extinguish the biting behavior with some behavior mod. For anyone who has a question about whether small children and small fur balls mix, this is an example of what one outcome can be. Of course, it's the DOG who's at fault and now needs a new home. I can't help wonder what the children have learned from this experience...to say nothing of the poor pup!


Dear Cathy, Thank you so much for your message reminding pet owners about small children. I have read messages and replied on this discussion group about the importance of this. We are concerned about dog obedience.... I feel that many times that it is the children that should have the obedience. I wish the dogs could talk..... Barbara Woodhouse said, "I can train any dog in five minutes. It's training the owner that takes longer." Bel and the m & m & m girls
-Bel and m & m girls

The dog is better to leave this situation. My little rescue Maltese was supposed to bite children, but he loved my 4 year old Granddaughter and played with her constantly. He sat in her lap and watched Barnie and loved every minute of it. I watch my 2 year old neice loving her puppies and taking care them with a gentleness that makes me proud, but again, her mom has worked with her and these babies, teaching her not to pick them up and how to pet them. It is sad when parents do not teach children how to treat Gods little creatures. Wonder how they will treat things smaller than them when they are grown.
-Marsha A.

We have had two Maltese sweeties and they were and Gabriel still is real good and gentle with children.

I had a great reminder of this this past weekend. My sixteen month old neice spent the weekend with us. We could not let Sassie out of our sight because Racheal wanted to sqeeze her everytime she got close enough to touch her. The safest thing to do was to keep Sassie in her crate when Racheal was playing. It was ok for a weekend (Sassie had just been spayed so she need the sleep anyway). On a daily basis it would be unfair to a dog to spend that much time in a crate. As a side note. Sassie loves attention so much, I think she would have let Rachel do anything to her no matter how much it hurt.

This is another reason for my dog gates. I have the two carpeted rooms gated off. I have two small grandchildren that are not allowed around the dogs yet. They are too young to train. My 1 1/2 year old goes to the gate, all the dogs rear up and give her kisses. We have her (granddaughter) trained now not to pull hair, but it will be a few years before she will be allowed past the gate to play with the dogs. When company comes over with small children, they are only allowed to the gate as well. My dogs are all good with children, but they have had no bad treatment from them.
-Marsha A.

I was single when I got my maltese. She was loved and cared for by me, but when she got around my nieces--and I had the dog in my arms--my maltese would try to bite with no provocation. I think sometimes they sense a "little person" and probably think it could be a dog and not a person. She also growled when little children were around and not provoking her as well.

I got my first Maltese 17 years ago, little Marpesa Rose. My sons are now 13 and 6, and we are on our second Maltese and first Yorkie, 2 and 3 respectively. My boys have always been kind with the dogs, and the dogs loving with them. They are gentle children, with tender hearts. However, the children of some of my friends are straight from the bowels of Hell! I have had to put my dogs in the bedroom and lock the door several times, to keep them safe. I think it is the parent's fault for not training the kids!! I don't think it is fair to discriminate against families, but you sure to have to evaluate the situation on a case by case basis. I would never place a tiny Maltese with rough children or wild toddelers.

I too have a kid biter. He has never sunk his teeth into a kid yet, thank goodness. When they get close to him he growls and has tried to nip. Thank goodness I am always close and can put my hand around his mouth and tell the kids to go slowly and pet him and tell him to be a good boy. My friend has is half-brother and he loves everybody. We have no little kids in the house.

Copyright 1996, 1997© Maltese Only All rights reserved