Is A Maltese Rescue The Right Dog For You?
| Are you looking for a small, fluffy white dog that
is smart, affectionate, funny, and more like a baby than a dog? If so, a Maltese might be
the right dog for you. Maybe you saw a Maltese champion at the Westminster Dog Show or a
local show, or youve seen Elizabeth Taylors Sugar or Tony Bennetts Boo.
In that case, a Maltese might still be the dog for you, but perhaps one of our rescues is
not exactly what you had in mind. So, before you decide, lets talk Maltese.
The AKC standard for Maltese calls for a dog that weighs under 7 pounds (4 to 6 pounds preferred) with a long, flat, white silky coat, "black points," and "a long-haired plume tail carried gracefully over its back." This is the dog you see at Westminster, in Elizabeth Taylors arms, and at Tony Bennett concerts. But, 99 times out of 100 these are not the dogs that show up in rescue. Most of the Maltese that come through our rescue operation weigh in at between 8 and 12 pounds. They range in age from 4 to 10 years (this isnt "old" for a Maltese, their normal life span is 15 to 17 years). Some of our dogs are the products of backyard breeders; some began life in puppy mills. Usually, they dont have long, silky coats because a long coat takes a lot of work. A Maltese must be brushed every other day and bathed once a month at the very least. They need a good grooming (by you or a groomer) about once a month, and should have their teeth brushed daily. Maltese are the best, but they are definitely "high maintenance" dogs. If you dont have the time (or money) to take care of their grooming needs, this probably isnt the right choice for you.
Maltese are very social animals. They were bred to be companion dogs and thrive on love and attention. Some of our rescues came to us because they suffer severe separation anxiety and spent their lonely days barking, soiling the carpet, or being destructive in other ways. While these are extreme cases, Maltese (or most breeds for that matter) should not be made to endure long periods of isolation. You dont have to spend every waking minute with your Maltese (though you will want to), but if your lifestyle keeps you away from home for long periods of time each day, a Maltese might not the best choice for you. If your work requires you to be away for more than 6 to 8 hours, you will need to have a dog walker or a friend drop by to give your little guy or gal some quality time. They will miss having you around and will need companionship as much as they need a quick walk outdoors.
Smart and Easily Trained
Choose Love...Rescue A Maltese
Written by Cathy Brown
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