Are Maltese Good With Kids? Guide For Parents

Are Maltese good with kids? Any family thinking of getting a dog that has children should be considering this question. After all Maltese are tiny and kids are tiny, so it would seem to be a good match, but there are many factors to consider. For example, the age and personality of the child could be a factor. Gentle kids could have great fun with the playful Maltese, while children with a rough temperament could hurt the dog. When you’re as small as a Maltese it doesn’t take a lot.

Intelligence, affection, and gentleness are the words that the define the Maltese. A kind family with older and careful kids, the Maltese could do exceedingly well with. Be cautious with younger and rougher kids as they could inadvertently hurt the tiny Maltese.

Maltese are the veritable angels of the dog world. With their effervescent white plumage, they can sometimes seem to float above the ground as opposed to walking on it. With kids, a Maltese will be playful and lively. Enjoying excellent pastimes such as learning tricks and pleasing their owners, this dog needs childish companions with an even enough temperament to match its own. Young children are not good with a Maltese if they have not yet developed an understanding of the implications of their actions.

Needless to say, any dog that is in pain or feels threatened by a small child might lash out at said child out of fear. For this reason, the most important part of children and the Maltese getting along is the behavior and temperament of the kids.

Maltese and Children: Things to Consider

  • A Maltese loves attention: This can be great with children who often will want to shower loads of it upon any family canine. Basking in the glow of being at the center of the family, a Maltese will be perfect for kids who all they want to do is pet it, love it, and play gentle games.
  • Maltese are good for kids with allergies: While no dog is ever truly hypoallergenic, some breeds are more so than others. For those kids suffering from allergies, a dog like a Maltese is much less likely to induce the terrible sneezing and watery eyes that pet dander can bring.
  • The Maltese belongs to the toy dog breeds but is itself not a toy: Being a great companion for children, it’s important that kids understand that the Maltese is a living creature and not a plastic dress-up doll. Any children that understand this will be adored by this dog that possesses lovely white locks.

Special Considerations For Children Under The Age of 8

A Maltese and very young kids can be a bad combination. Their bones are very small and frail. Just accidentally sitting on them could hurt badly. Young kids often haven’t learned self-control yet. Used to everything around them being much bigger and stronger than they are, they may be too rough with the dog.

Of course, 8 is not a hard and fast number. People grow up at different speeds so you will need to know the maturity level of your specific kids. Some kids under the age of 8 will do well with a Maltese. But many will not, and could hurt or scare the dog. This could lead either to terrible injury for this lovable canine or harsh bite for the kid.

Families that have very young kids who aren’t responsible should strongly question getting this breed of dog. If their kids are rowdy they might do better with a dog breed of a more sturdy composition.

Maltese With Older Kids

It is with older children that the Maltese truly begins to shine. Older kids have a greater capacity for gentleness and they may better appreciate these delicate dogs. By older I don’t mean children who are really old but rather those above the age of 8. Of course, maturity level still matters and some kids may need to be older to have the proper traits for caring for this dog.

Here the kids can begin to enjoy the more subtle pleasure of Maltese ownership. Like their exceedingly playful nature and their high dexterity. With their high intelligence and willingness to play, there are endless combinations and games to be between a clever child and a Maltese.

The more common games such as fetch and all manner of ball games can be played. But the Maltese also excels at complicated searching games. Such as hiding a treat under a cup and then mixing it with a bunch of other cups.

They also love to pull treats and toys out of small spaces. This gives them a great opportunity to show their handlers their finesse.

Are Maltese Good With Babies?

While Maltese are generally extremely friendly to everyone they meet. With babies, there are certain precautions that need to be taken with them.

Whenever your baby and Maltese are in the same room, they both need to be supervised. An unwatched baby might pull or do something else to the little dog. Being that a Maltese is so small they could engage in defensive biting hurting the baby or the baby might hurt the Maltese.

When you already have a Maltese and expecting a new baby to be added to the family. Then there are some basic steps that you can take to ensure that your dog accepts your baby without any hiccups.

For several weeks or better yet months before you are expecting, introduce your dog to the baby’s clothes, blankets, diapers, and other things they will associate with the baby. Bring the Maltese into the baby’s future room from time to time to smell the crib and other baby belongings.

Then when the baby arrives allowing the dog to smell the child. Don’t turn them away because of the baby. Always watch both of them but allow your Maltese to be around the baby. This method my parents applied with me and their dog. Doing these things will likely make the dog accept the child should reduce the chances of problems later on.

Maltese Training and Socialization

Training and socialization are key to any dog. While Maltese have a natural aptitude for peace and love, they still need socialization and training. It will play a very large part in how they turn out.

If you treat them as helpless creatures this will cultivate insecurity and dependence in them, leading to future bratty behaviors that could be annoying and unpleasant.

Though they’re small you shouldn’t let them off the hook of polite manners. Things that you wouldn’t tolerate from a larger dog should also not be tolerated from a small dog. Even one as tiny as a Maltese.

To make sure that your Maltese is well socialized with kids, introduce them to all manner of children from a young age. They’re so cute that this shouldn’t be hard at all. In fact, you might find you and your new puppy being love-bombed from all corners.

Dog parks can be a great opportunity for a young Maltese to meet children. At a dog park, they’ll also get the chance to meet lots of fellow canines. Socializing your Maltese towards kids shouldn’t be the only form of socialization. Socializing them with other dogs remains crucial as well.

Extra Tip For Maltese and Children

An easy way to make sure that your dog falls in love with kids. Give the children some treats. Preferably they will be some of the dog’s favorites.

Then let the children give the treats to your Maltese. Maybe have your dog perform a trick or basic discipline command like sitting or laying down for them. When the kids give the treat to the Maltese it will help their little hearts to swell towards all childkind.

It’s important though that you keep a sharp eye on these proceedings. You want to make sure that the kids treat your dog well. Make certain that they do everything like you told them to.

A Few Things Kids Should Never Do To a Maltese

  1. Be careful with kids picking up your Maltese: Malts are so small that their just begging to be picked up, literally in many cases. This is perfectly fine and natural. But there is a danger to it. Sometimes especially with someone they don’t know well they can get wiggly. They might wiggle out of your grasp and fall from too great of height potentially leading to injury.
  2. Don’t pull on the dog’s tails or other parts: Never allow kids to pull on your Maltese tail or other body parts. This won’t only just cause harm to the dog but could also lead to harm to the child. Any dog that feels scared and corner could lash out with their teeth towards the object of their distress.
  3. Don’t yell or throw things at the dog: Dogs don’t really understand yelling. It doesn’t help get your point across to them. All they sense is your anger and aggression. This could add to their stress levels and possibly make them aggressive as well. Monkey see monkey do.


Maltese are good with kids, but they do best with older children. Older kids better understand their delicate nature and how to be gentle with them. Younger kids might cause some problems. As they don’t fully understand how much harm they could deliver to these small beautiful dogs even accidentally.

Old kids will do great with these dogs but younger children about 8 and under should always be supervised by an adult whenever interacting with the dog.

With babies introduce their clothes and other belongings to the Maltese prior to actually introducing the baby. This will help them to psychologically prepare for the new arrival. When you do have the baby around allow the dog to sniff them and say hello. Try not to ever turn the dog away because of the baby. This will help them to never resent the child and form one of your best chances to ensure your Maltese and baby form a life long relationship.

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