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maltese & children
by Deb G
maltese & children I am thinking of buying maltese for my 2 year old - are they good with children?


Well, they generally like children as a rule and don't tend to be "nippy", but they are such tiny fragile little dogs and can't handle the kind of play a child can dish out. I don't mean this as an insult to your child, but you have to be realistic -- at two, a child can't understand that it could hurt the puppy. If you do get a Maltese, make absolutely sure they are never together unsupervised until the child is old enough to be trusted fully. Otherwise, they are great dogs and make wonderful loving pets. They are very easily socialized to humans (maybe too easy!), so they don't tend to be people agressive. But a few bad incidents with a small child pulling ears, or tail, or hugging too tight can make any dog into a problem-animal, so do think this over carefully.

Personally, I would not get a 2 year old a Maltese. Unless the 2 year old is very inactive, its not a good idea. A Maltese is a fairly fragile dog, fine bones, etc. I have a 2 year old Grandson and I cringe when he comes over. He will not leave Taffy alone, chases her, grabs for her, and has even fallen almost on her. I put her in my bedroom now when he comes. Maltese can get hurt in a number of accidental ways, and 2 year olds are just too active and curious, I feel, for this type of dog.
Robin K.
Hi! My Maltese is not fussed on children, but he does not come in contact with too many. Yet, my cattle dog just adores children - he played with children prior to moving in with me. So, it really depends on what they are use to. Good luck .
Hi,You have asked one of the most contraversial questions on this board. My best advice is to go to the archives of this board and read the section titled "too overcautious". I think you will find very helpful advice from many good breeders re: Maltese and children. Also, you must know your child and your child's behavior and never leave your child unattended with the puppy.
My little rescue is very good with children, she will just lay there and let them play with her or she will turn in to a ball of engery, and have the best time playing running around, being a white streek, anything that gets her the attention. The other day I had her with me, and there was a three year old girl of course the little girl feel in love with the dog at first sight, and wanted to pet her, my dog just layed down and let the little girl pet and play with her, the petting which included some hair pulling and typical 3 year old dog interaction, the dog even took the little girls hand into her mouth so gently that there was not any marks at all, the dog just loved playing with the child. The hard part came when I had to leave, the little girl just burst into big roll down the cheeks tears begging her mommy to buy the dog, now matter what I said the girl would not stop crying. My dog has never shown any adverse reaction toward children in any way.
Maltese are wonderful with children. I do not place any Maltese puppies with children under the age of 7. The children just don't understand how delicate this breed is and the risk of hurting the dog is just too great. If you are thinkin of purchasing a dog for your family and you have young children I would suggest going with a bigger breed or waiting until the child is older. When my daughter was 6 months old we purchased a Boxer puppy and he is now 9 and so is she and she loves him and he loves her and they were great companions.
Deb, you are very wise to ask this question before purchasing a dog. I have a six year old grandaughter and a four and a half year old grandson & they were living with us until a week ago. My Phoebe is almost seven months old. I firmly believe that a lot of the answer depends on the child, another large portion of this answer depends on you. My grandchildren have spent their entire lives with animals, mostly cats but I had a Yorkie and a Shih Tzu for their earlier years. However my Yorkie was a wise old man who was with these kids since birth and he was fully acquainted with the idea of hiding when they got rambunctious and generally staying out of the way. A Shih Tzu is a dog of sturdier bone and size.

I don't think a two year old is the best candidate for a Maltese in the house. I have a pen for Phoebe, it stays in our living room and the kids have been 100% supervised whenever allowed to play with her. If I have her running loose in the main living area it's when the kids are occupied outdoors or in their rooms. She adores them, but for saftey of her tiny bones I never let them loose together. For training her it has also been best to have the time with the kids restricted, because little pups nip and chew everything. I went through much consideration and thought before getting my Maltese, had I had any doubts about my ability to keep control of the situation I would not have gotten her at all, but rather a larger and sturdier breed - or an older dog. My first suggestion will be that no puppy would be a good idea with a two year old, a dog of at least one year of age would be much easier to deal with on many levels. (a rescued older dog) My second suggestion would be a different breed. However if you are set on a Maltese it should be for you rather than the two year old - any dog for that matter as it will be you who gets to care for and train the new addition. It takes much devotion and focus to handle a two year old child in any circumstance and a dog will require just as much devotion from all family members. Frankly I would go with a cat, not a kitten, and wait until your child is a couple of years older before getting a dog.

Maybe this is not the advice you are seeking, but it comes from experience. I don't know if you have ever had a dog or other pet, but I appreciate your consideration of asking before jumping out there and getting a cute little pup. Please give the matter much thought, study, and consideration before you make your final decision.
Leslie R

Deb G ! It depends on the child and the parent, I would definitely not recommed a Maltese puppy in your situation, puppies are fragile and young children do not know how to handle one as a rule, they are also very active and some nip playfully which is often not understood by any child..you may not have a puppy by the end of the week because one fall on the puppy by your baby can really do a job ! The Maltese is really a Ladys lap doggie, consider a sturdier doggie and get one at least 5-6 mos old you will all be happier !
You should get your baby a cat to play with first and see how that goes before getting a puppy. Good luck
I have a five year old and I would not get a any puppy with a two-year old, unless you plan on supervising 100% of the time. Little ones are unintentionally rough with animals, and any animal will defend itself if pushed too far.
My little Sophie absolutely adores children! Anytime she sees a child, her tail just starts fluttering away! (I just quit working at a private school where she used to spend some days with me) The children she was around were 6 and older. However, I did babysit my three-year-old niece the other day, and was an absolute nervous wreck when she was around Sophie. Young children are working on their motor skills at this age, and can be quite clumsy. My niece jumped up and down giving Sophie praise for going potty in the right place. Well, my niece lost her balance and Sophie was fortunate enough to scramble out of the way in the nick of time before my niece came tumbling down! If she had fallen on her, she could have broken Sophie's leg, ribs, or back and caused serious injury to this lovable, licking fluff-ball. My advice to you is if you are set on a Maltese, to wait a few years until your daughter is older. If you want a companion for her to grow up with, I would suggest a larger breed. My in-laws got their German Shepherd puppy two weeks before their son was born. The GS dog is a ferocious guy of 135 whopping pounds, but gentle as can be, and best friends with their 4 year old son! Good luck and if you choose to wait for Maltese remember . . . good things come to those who wait! You won't be disappointed!
Deb-I agree with the others. Two is not the age to be getting a Maltese. I have a son who is 6. He was 5 when I got my Maltese. He is never allowed to play with Noah unsupervised and he is never allowed to pick him up but must sit on the floor when playing with him, but Noah belongs to me. A Maltese takes a lot of grooming and attention. I would wait until your child is a little older if your heart is still set on the Maltese.
April B.
I have to agree with the others in that (1) 2 years old is too young for a Maltese for obvious reasons stated above. (2) While there are very definitely concerns for the dog in a case like this, (3) don't forget that ANY dog will bite given the right circumstances. I believe any small dog would be the wrong choice and I'm not sure I'd even want to be the stressed larger dog being chased by a 2 year old! You'd have to supervise every move. Can you do that?

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