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Pups and Babies

by Derek Kenny

I have an 8 month old daughter. I also have recently bought a Maltese puppy that will be 12 weeks old when he arrives. There are many good reason why I bought the puppy. But, one thing that I am confused about is that some of the breeders I contacted said very opposite things. Some claim that infants/children DON'T mix with a Maltese, while others claim that a Maltese is the best choice for a family dog. Both kinds of breeder reenforced their opinions very well. Unfortunetly, it left me very confused. The dog is on it's way, so I need tips galore. Thanks


Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that many of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinarian medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.

It has been my understanding that kids and Maltese are good together because Maltese is a very loving dog. However, the breed is very delicate, I was once told about a young boy who had a Maltese and dropped it, the dog now has hip problems for the rest of it's life. Because your child is young right now and so is the pup, you need to watch the child. Make sure( once she is old enough to understand) that she must be very carefull. I hope that this helps. I wish you all the luck. Yavonda& Fergie

I feel that this breed does well with older children. My kids are 9 and 13, and I feel they are old enough to be responsible. Our dog is around young chilren occasionally, and I have to always be on the lookout. These dog is so fragile, and accidents can happen so quickly, I would not recommend this breed to a home with infants or young children. Babies love to pull hair, which this dog has a lot of, and because of its small size, and spunk, can turn to fight instead of flight, when aggrevated. In your case, I would just be certain to never put the dog in any potential dangerous situation. These dogs are lap dogs by all definitions, and so with young children, also opting for this position, be careful. Good Luck! Patti

Many parents do not supervise their young children when pets are present or teach their children how to behave around the animal. Maltese are small and delicate and could be easily injured by a small child. Babies and toddlers have no idea that animals have feelings and tragedies have resulted both to the animal and the child. Until your infant daughter is MUCH older, you should stay with her and your Maltese when they are together, and gradually teach her how to pet and play with the dog. I have a 5-year-old son. He must sit on the floor when playing with my Maltese who is 6 months. I still supervise them because my son sometimes gets too excited and can play too rough, which I will not allow.
-April B.

Hi, I two received differing opinions re: Maltese & children. I had difficulty getting a breeder to sell me a Maltese and therefore purchased ours from a petstore. My children were age 2 & 5 when we purchased Pepper last Dec. I agree with all the opinions stated here previously. Maltese are very very delicate creatures and most are very small. Pepper happens to be a little larger, he is 10lb. He is very very gentle with the kids, but the children were never allowed alone with him and were never allowed to pick him up for fear that they may drop him or hurt him accidently. He has a fabulous loving and very tolerant personality. However, I'm sure each dog is different. I believe also that one of the breeder's fears is that children would tend to tease such a small animal and in turn the dog would try to protect himself by biting them creating an ugly situation for everyone. (A very legitimate concern). At any rate, I do feel if the children and dog are properly supervised, things can work out very well and the dog and children can become best of friends. Pepper follows my girls everywhere and can't wait for them to get up each morning. P.S. Also on the archives of this page this topic is discussed under the heading "Too overcautious" if it is still available, you will find many opinions which you may find helpful. Some of which came from responsible breeders who are frequent visitors to this page who have very legitimate concerns about the welfare of these furry little balls of joy. Good Luck and I hope your situation works out as well as it has for us. Your children will never have a more loyal and loving friend.

I must say that having a baby and a puppy in the house is at best extremely difficult. Only those among us who are superenergized should dare go there. Both babies and puppies require tremendous amounts of energy and time if they are to be raised properly. Having said that I, too bought Herald, now 8 months, though I have a two year old and a five year old. He has done well with them but I am also home to supervise continually. My 5 year old is extremely gentle. The two year old is a little more rambunctious and "experimental" but so far things have gone quite nicely. I never let the kids get carried away. They must play gently or not at all. Herald obviously has alot of affection for them both as he sleep in the bedroom of the two year old by choice. There was a period of time when Herald was between 4-6 months when I questioned my own judgement in trying to "Do it all all at once", because I was housebreaking the dog, and teaching him all of his house manners and at the same time doing the same thing with the two year old and there were a few days when I felt stretched way too thin. But that appears to be behind us now. Herald is housebroken and behaves very well. ( I wish I could say the same for the baby). But it isn't for everyone and it is very difficult to do well. My advice would be to take a good hard look at your life. Be as realistic as possible asking yourself if you really think you have enough time and energy to do both things well keeping a good attitude toward all concerned parties, and if you think the answer is yes, then proceed with the understanding that there will be no turning back, but if you have any reservations whatsoever, then wait until the child is older. There are enough thrown-away dogs in rescue programs and pounds all over America that someone thought they had the time and energy to raise properly. Adding yours to the pile would truly be an avoidable tragedy.

Thank you all who replied. Your Suggestions were very helpful. We now have our Maltese puppy. He is some what mischief! but very adorable. We monitor our childs behaviour/actions as well as Cyrus's(chosen name). For the better part, they simply love each other. Cyrus is adjusting well with our family. We all love Cyrus and will do everything to have a healthy puppy/dog/friend/new family member! thanks again.
-Derek Kenny

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