There are some misconceptions about Maltese being non-allergic. In fact, it is not unusual for a person with allergies to dogs to have an allergy to Maltese dogs, although they do not shed. What causes the allergic reaction is the dander, not the hair. Dander is the microscopic scales of dead skin that animals, including humans, are constantly shedding. Some people are less allergic to breeds such as Maltese, Poodle, and Bichon Frise. This is likely to occur because these breeds require frequent shampooing and grooming, resulting in less dander in your home.
I can speak from experience, as I have allergy-induced asthma myself. While I am not completely allergy free with my Maltese dogs, I am less allergic that with some other breeds. I have had severe asthma attacks in reaction to some dogs.
My household includes a Maltese that was surrendered by
his original owners because of allergies. They had obtained him because they thought he
would be non-allergenic. In fact, their grandson, who had a number of allergies, went into
anaphylactic shock and was hospitalized after coming in contact with the Maltese. This is
not meant to discourage you but to encourage you to explore your own tolerance of Maltese
dogs before you commit to adopting one.
Thank you for you interest in rescue,
Volunteer and Board Member
Metropolitan Maltese Rescue