The Maltese is a lively and energetic dog that loves nothing more than to be with its family. Despite its tiny size, it is a robust dog that is determined and fearless. It is very vocal, which may pose a problem to neighbours if it is not socialised and trained early to curb its desire to bark. With this said, it is also an excellent watchdog, quick to alert when there are strangers in the area.
The Maltese forms strong bonds with its family with its affectionate nature and eager to please attitude. However, the downside is that it is prone to suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for longer periods of time. Since it is a people-pleaser, it responds well to training. It is quick to learn and will not hesitate to show off tricks to entertain its family. Surprisingly, Maltese dogs also excel in canine sports such as agility, obedience, rally, and tracking trials. They are also popular as super therapy dogs.
The Maltese's biddable nature makes it an ideal choice for first-time dog owners, although it can be a bit hard to house train than most toy dogs. It is very versatile and can adapt to different environments. It can be happy living in a city apartment or the country, provided that it gets enough mental stimulation and exercise.
Maltese dogs are better suited to families with older children as they tend to be snappy with toddlers. Nevertheless, interaction must always be well supervised. When it comes to other household pets, the Maltese gets on well with other dogs, but care should be taken when they are around small animals.