Many people around the world live in apartments, these smaller living spaces are cheap and economical. Finding a dog for a place without a yard can be quite a challenge though. Maltese are one of the world’s smallest dogs at only 4-7 pounds. Surely a dog so small as a Maltese would easily live in an apartment? But there are other factors to consider as well. Can you spend the time that these lovely dogs require to flourish?
Maltese can live in apartments. At only 4-7 pounds, combined with low exercise requirements, there are few other dogs that would flourish in such a small space as a Maltese. Factors to consider before getting one would be; do you have the time necessary for potty breaks, short daily walks and all the affection that they require?
While apartment living with a Maltese is about as easy as it gets when it comes to dogs, there are responsibilities that do have to be taken care of so that your dog has a good life experience.
The Maltese may be small, but their time requirements are much larger. You’re going to need to take the time to potty train them and be able to go on nice daily walks. Play, love, and care are all essential as well. This guide should help to give you and your canine companion a great start.
The Pros and Cons of Living in an Apartment with a Maltese
Before knowing if the Maltese are going to be the right apartment companion for you, it’s important to consider some of the various pros and cons that you may face.
- Low exercise requirements: Malteses are delightful and playful, but like there size, only in small doses. You won’t need to be going on long walks or have to give them a heavy exercise regimen like you would with a Belgian Malinois or German Shepherd.
- Small size: At only 4-7 pounds these little fluff balls should be able to fit in even the smallest of apartments. Studios, flats, and economy-sized apartments should all be large enough to house a Maltese.
- They get to be close to you: Maltese are strong companion animals. They’re a toy breed, so their purpose is loving you and getting love in return. Living close together you will be able to experience a level of intimacy with your dog that is often missed when living in a house with a yard.
While the pros of living with the breed are great, there are also some definite negatives to living with any dog without a yard.
- Frequent bathroom trips: Despite their smaller size, this doesn’t mean that they need to go to the bathroom any less frequently than larger dogs. Expect a potty break at least 3 times a day. You can get doggie litter boxes for your Maltese friend though, which could make life a lot easier.
- No fence: Without a fenced yard, every experience of the outside will be regulated by you. For your dog to breathe in some fresh air will require an expenditure of your energy. In an apartment you cant just open a door and let your dog out, you have to walk out with them.
- Boredom: Not being able to play outside, it’s important that you make the extra effort to provide them with a lot of toys and games. Regular playing sessions would be a must. Of course, this could be considered a pro as well.
- Apartment rules: While this isn’t going to be too much of a problem for a small dog like a Maltese, But some apartments have onerous rules for pets. Make sure you know the pet policy and approve of it or you might want to live elsewhere.
Choosing a Dog Friendly Apartment
Picking or having the right apartment is one of the most important parts of good dog ownership. The wrong kind of apartment could lead to a frustrating life with your Maltese. The right apartment, however, could make things as easy as pie.
What are some of things that would make an apartment ideal?
- Nearby walking trails
- Dog parks in close vicinity
- An accommodative pet policy
You’re going to be doing a lot of walking. When living with a Maltese at a house you may never need to take your walk at all. This isn’t the ideal way of taking care of a dog, but it is how many people do it. One of the advantages of canine apartment living is that it forces you to get out. See the sights and smells with your beloved Maltese in tow.
Dirty car filled streets make for a very negative walking experience, which no one would enjoy. The greener and shadier the area the nicer. Pleasant shaded walking spots will allow your Maltese some cover from the sun on hot summer days.
Dog parks will allow your dog to get to play with other dogs and gain valuable socialization as well as access to all kinds of fun games. Playing with people is nice but playing with other dogs is veritably divine.
So when considering apartments, try to get one with relaxing shaded green space, where your dog can prance happily. To reduce driving requirements, the closer it is to dog parks the better. Of course, there’s also that pet policy to consider. Just ask the front desk and they should gladly help you.
Apartment Training Your Maltese
From not chewing on your valuables to potty training, making a dog fit to live in an indoor space can be challenging. Fortunately, with a little Maltese these things should be much easier. After all just how much trouble could a little 5-pound dog get up to? Possibly a lot, but with a bit of training maybe none at all.
Positive reinforcement training is I believe the best kind of training to do with dogs. Harsh words, and being angry at them all the time doesn’t work well. Usually, they don’t even know that we’re angry at them for a specific reason. To a dog, we just seem like a usually nice person who yells for no reason at all.
When training your Maltese use rewards like their favorite treat. Whenever they do something good or respond to a demand, give them a biscuit. If they don’t like biscuits then discover what really gets them hyped up and give them that. When they do something bad, use redirection. Tell them no, and then point them to a similar behavior that’s not so bad. For example, if they’re chewing on the leg of your heirloom dining table, give a harsh no and then point them to a wonderful chew toy.
These forms of training will pay off a lot more in the long run than just being mean and yelling.
Maltese Potty Training
The first step in any potty training regime for dogs is taking a deep breath and accept that accidents will happen. This is especially true in the early days when they are still learning. A Maltese in an apartment who has never lived in an apartment before is kind of like a baby, except that they don’t have any diapers. Sometimes they won’t be able to hold it, or they won’t understand where exactly you want them to pee and miss it by a small amount or a lot depending upon their level of understanding.
Expect to have to take your dog out to potty at least 3 times a day. This number could be larger, especially if you have a puppy. With a Maltese puppy you might need to make them considerably more frequently. Puppies lack the superior bladder control of an adult dog. Sometimes they’ll need to go again after only 30 minutes while other times they could hold it for hours.
Puppy pads or doggie litter boxes can be used as well. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Puppy pads will work well but one of their problems is that your dog may mistake what it is that you want them to do. They might think that your okay with them peeing on just any old piece of paper. Seeing a magazine on the floor they might think hey that’s my toilet and not understand the difference between a magazine and a puppy pad.
For this reason, litter boxes can sometimes be more effective. They also help to hide the odor. But you can’t be as lax cleaning them as you might with a kitty litter box. Dog wastes tend to start to smell bad much quicker even when covered in litter. Having a regular schedule of cleaning the litter box will help with this.
Maltese make excellent apartment companions. Can Maltese live in apartments? Most certainly yes. But there are some things that need to be done to make sure that they enjoy it to their fullest.
Check with your apartment’s management and see what their pet policy is. If you can manage it the ideal apartment will be one with shaded walking trails, dog parks, and a dog-friendly staff.
Training your Maltese for apartment living is important as well including potty training and making sure they don’t chew your valuable furniture. Use some positive reinforcement training giving them treats when they’re good and redirecting them when they’re bad will give you the most positive mileage.