Click here to visit the most complete Maltese site on the WWW
Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that most of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinary medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.
Archived Message

2nd Maltese or Not?
by Claire
2nd Maltese or Not? I need your help. I tried reading past discussions but could not get into archives for days now. For those of you who have gotten a second maltese, could you share with me some pitfuls of having two. I know you love them to pieces, but please be as honest as you can about problems of having two. I am real happy with my one maltese who is 2 yrs old but I wonder if she is lonely while I work. I can't check on her during the day, too far. Would she be happier with a maltese-partner or would she be extremely jealous? She has never taken any particular interest in any other animal, dog or cat so I don't know if having another would make her happy or not. Does having two help them live longer? Also, I feel that having two does limit taking them out with me. I like to take the one I have with me whenever I can but two???

Another question, since I work outside home, will the puppy get the idea of depositing on wee-wee pads like big sister? They would be confined to a small area, not having the run of the house. I appreciate your help.


Claire: I have three maltese. I think it would be a great idea for you to get a second maltese! Your baby will love it! It really will be good company for her while you are at work. I have all three of mine wee wee pad trained and I keep them in my kitchen when we go away. They do not have the run of the house. I leave their beds and toys and water and food and a radio on for them. And of course their wee wee pad. The new pup will learn to use the pad especially since she or he will see the older baby going on it. It will help her(or him) to understand. Again, it would be a wonderful decision to have two!

Hi Claire, O.K. You asked for honesty...I had Pepper for a year before we got Baby. Pepper was 14 months at the time. We wanted a second dog mostly for a companion for Pepper and because we love the breed so much. The first few weeks were a bit rough. Pepper was scared of Baby and wouldn't eat etc. By the second week, they were playing and chasing each other and continue to do that (occassionally there is an argument over a treat or toy). However, there is always guitly feelings on my part. Baby isn't 100% housebroken & I feel guilty that Pepper has the run of the house and Pepper is out with us wherever we go and Baby is stuck in her crate. There is guilt on my part that Pepper was used to being an "only child" and may not necessarily have wanted a sister. There is also double work involved regarding care and maintenance of them. This past week both have been sick with vomitting and diahhrea. The clean up and Vet bills this week have worn me out. In total honesty, I wouldn't trade either one of them, but given the opporunity again, I'm not sure that I would take on two again. I also have children ages 3 & 6 who are equally "high maintenance." I guess everyone's situation is different and it is all dependent upon how much time you can devote to the situation. Good Luck with your decision.
Claire, I'm exactly in the same boat as you and your little one. I posted about two weeks ago under the entry "Company?" I feel horrible about leaving Cydney at home while I'm at work. I am debating getting a sister or brother for her but have to remeber that I have to love this new little pup in its own right (which I think would be pretty easy) as well as not depress Cydney with divided attention. I am going to put Cydney in Puppy day care for a little bit to see how she feels about other dogs since like yours- she doesn't express much interest in other dogs but adores people. Could your vet maybe provide you with the name of a good puppy day care to try the same experiment? Hope this helps.
Claire,Getting the second Maltese was one of the best things we're done. Munchkin loves Amber so much. They play all day together, share the same toys and drink out of a same water bowl. Only thing they do not like to share is food. So I feed them different times. We did not have any problems when we brought Amber home. Just for the first week or so Munchkin completely ignored Amber. That was it. Now they are the best friend. Munchkin is almost 7 years old, she got much more active and playful since Amber came. So I recommended highly. Have a great day!
Two can be a handful but I prefer to say heartful! I have four fur-babies. They are each individual and special. They love each others company, it keeps the older ones young and they miss each other when they are apart. When a new pup is introduced it learns from the elders...in all matters! Good and Bad! It would be harder to take two with you and they would have to share your attention. If it were me I would not get another dog for the one you already have. It is accustomed to being alone by now. Only get another if that is what YOU really want to do. You are the one who will have all the work and responsibility. How will it fit into your life as you are accustomed to it now? Weigh the pros and cons and make your decision based on your desires not what you feel your present fur-baby might need. Good luck, let us know what your decision is.
Claire, I wouldn't get a second puppy just because you think your 2 year old is lonely. Does she seem well adjusted? If so, she probably isn't as lonely as you may think. Our baby is almost 4 years old now and has always had to be alone during the day. We live too far from work to go home for lunch also. As much as we hate to leave her, she seems to accept it fine and she seems perfectly well adjusted and happy. She's not standing by the door crying as I leave or hanging on to my leg with her little paws or anything. As a matter of fact, she knows when I'm about to leave and usually I have to go find her so I can give her a kiss goodbye. She is usually already sleeping on the bed or in one of her other napping places. And I truly believe she likes being an only child. And it is so funny how she knows the difference between the work week and the weekends. On weekends, if we make any moves like we might be going someplace, she will literally sit on my husband's foot so he can't leave without her. So funny & cute. So what I'm saying is, Claire, if you make the decision to get another puppy, you will probably be doing what is right for you but don't base your decision on the perceived lonliness of the doggie you have now. Good luck in your decision.
Sandee M.
Claire, I feel truly blessed in that my Rudy, who is now 7 mos old, and Baxter, now 2 yrs 4 mos, got along famously right from the first moment we brought Rudy home. I was prepared for anything. In fact, I told the breeder that I wouldn't be surprised if Baxter cocked his leg on Rudy. Not that he has ever had that kind of behavior, but I had read so much and was prepared to deal with anything. Baxter was an "only dog" and just like a little person to us. We had made the commitment and were prepared to deal with ANYTHING that Rudy's presence caused. Elation isn't a strong enough word to describe the feeling I had when these two babies of mine touched noses for the first time and within minutes were guardedly playing, face to face with butts stuck in the air. I was too in awe to take pictures. How often I think about how easily it could have gone the other way. One thing we did that is very important, is from the very first meeting, Baxter was made to feel like he was still number one dog and he has maintained that place with us. He gets spoken to first, fed first, treats first, etc. It's not that we ignore Rudy, but when you go down to touch them - the hand for Baxter reaches him first, etc. Baxter is very comfortable with Rudy now, to the point he doesn't HAVE to be first all the time. Right now, Rudy is in my lap and Baxter is content curled up at my feet. The biggest thing is the company Rudy is for Baxter (and vice versa). We work all day (my husband comes home for lunch and let's Rudy out to pee). He is in a large crate in the living room and Baxter has free run of the house. Rudy will join him when he's ready (past the chewing stage and when I feel I can trust the two of them together - they play kind of rough sometimes and Rudy is still quite small). They are both puppy john trained.

It is harder to take two along, but we still do it. That was one of the things we considered before we made the leap. When they are left alone, however, I feel less anxiety than when Baxter was home all alone. There is more time needed also to groom. I probably don't do it as often as I used to, but with a combing every day, a bath every two weeks is sufficient. My guys don't spend a lot of time outdoors, so it's not a problem. As for costs, keep in mind you already have all the equipment (crates, etc.) needed. But, there will be more in vet bills.

As usual, I've probably rambled too much, but once on a roll, I'm hard to stop! Good luck in whatever you decide to do and let us know if you have any other questions.

P.S. Baxter & Rudy are in the photo album close to the bottom.

Claire,I had Bailey for about 2-1/2 years, until I got Buddy. For a while, Bailey was "in denial" that he even existed. Now they play together all the time, chase each other around the house, play tug of war (THAT'S really funny!) Then they lay down and rest next to each other.

Because Buddy is only 10 months old, and very puppy-like, he does get on Bailey's nerves, so sometimes I separate them. Bailey is submissive and Buddy is dominant, and this was immediately established.

Since I am gone all day at work I also liked the idea of having two, to keep each other company. My vet agreed with me. I can tell you this, it is just as easy to feed, walk, and take care of two as it is one. The only down sides that I see, are picking up the yard after them, and the additional cost. But I will honestly tell you that if I had to do it again, I would!

Most of the time, Bailey is on my lap, and Buddy is curled up at my feet. Don't think of it as double the work, think of it as double the fun! Good luck with your decision.

E.B. White was an only child for eight years before I added Lilli. E.B. was so scared of her the first night that he hid behind the toilet. Now, all of these months later they are buddies. (Lilli is ten months now.) E.B. has become much more active and has regained his slim, svelte figure. He has finally remembered how to play, and they spend a good bit of time wrestling with each other. I think it was very good for E.B.'s psyche to have Lilli come. He always had major separation anxiety problems before. The downside is that it's much harder to take two along when I go shopping, etc. It's also harder to deal with leaving two behind when I need to go to overnight meetings or even day trips out of town since both of mine are trained to go outdoors. Then there's also twice the groomer's and vet's bills. Daily grooming takes longer, too. So far I think it has been worth the extra bother, but I am not sure I will immediately add another when something happens to one of mine. I will probably enjoy the relative freedom of having one dog again. However, after a taste of freedom, who knows?? Puppies are such fun!
I had two Malteses and a Lab Mix for twelve years. All three dogs got along great! My little guy "Barney"[4 lbs] would always remind the Lab "Daisy" who was boss. Daisy's attitude was "yeah right, who are you fooling". Of course Barney lost his teeth at a very young age and the other two knew he was harmless. Our female Maltese "Peaches" who is our lone survivor of the three these days always played with Barney. When our Lab died last year of kidney failure the other two didn't sense the loss. However, when Brney died three months ago of heart failure, Peaches became very depressed along with my wife and I of course. We're still thinking about getting another Maltese to keep Peaches company. We never regretted having three dogs. All three had their own personalities and shared their love with us equally. Getting a second Maltese, definitely I'm in favor for.
Jay Soucie

Copyright 1998 © Jay Bianco All rights reserved.