Can Maltese Be Left Alone For Very Long? (Explained For Beginners)

When deciding to take home a furry friend, there are certainly many factors you will need to consider.

Finding the perfect addition to your home takes a little research, but at the end of the day, you will have a new best friend to love and care for.

If you have considered taking home a Maltese puppy or adult dog, you are probably wondering, can Maltese be left alone?

The good news is, Maltese can absolutely be left alone. However, they feel much safer and behave better when it’s only a short period of time. Adult Maltese can be left alone for up to six hours, while puppies can only be alone for a maximum of two hours. 

So how long exactly should you leave your Maltese alone?

Can Maltese puppies be left alone?

Can they be left outside? Do Maltese suffer from separation anxiety?

You might have quite a few more questions when it comes to your Maltese, but don’t worry! We have everything you need to know, including the answers to every one of these questions as well as how to actually train your Maltese to like being alone and where to safely keep them when you’re gone. 

Do Maltese Dogs Do Well by Themselves for Very Long? 

While technically, your adult Maltese will be able to make it through a six-hour stint without you home, they probably won’t like it very much and not respond very well, and they even may start misbehaving.

Of course, these problems are typically symptoms of separation anxiety, and it’s important to understand if Maltese experience this unfortunate affliction. 

Do Maltese Have Separation Anxiety?

Because Maltese are such affectionate and loving dogs, they get very attached to their owners and therefore will most likely suffer from separation anxiety if they are left alone for too long or too frequently.

Common symptoms you may notice include but are not limited to:

  • Defecating or urinating in the house. 
  • Barking or growling right after you leave. 
  • Chewing, tearing, or destroying things. 
  • Pacing when they know you are heading out the door.

Now, these responses could in fact be due to a number of different situations or ailments, and they may not be specifically showcasing separation anxiety.

It’s important to pay attention to your dog’s personal habits; if they still misbehave or appear anxious even when they know you’re not going anywhere, it may be a different problem altogether. 

When it comes to leaving your Maltese alone, as we have learned, it should not be for longer than six hours, and it really should not be several times a week. 

However, even more important than timing is how you train your Maltese how to stay home alone and encourage them to feel safe and secure, but we’ll learn more about that later!

For now, let’s answer another part of this important question, can Maltese be left alone outside?

Can Maltese Be Left Outside?

The simple answer is yes, Maltese can typically be left outside. Although there are many important factors to consider before you do so. 

The first thing to remember is that Maltese are tiny! They could easily escape through a little hole in a fence if they are bored, anxious, or simply become tempted by something outside their safe area. 

The next is that once again about these little guys’ miniature sizing.

Unfortunately, they cannot easily defend themselves, and often look like a tasty snack to hawks and other birds of prey, as well as other dogs and wildlife that may live in your neighborhood. 

If you do decide that your fenced-in yard is escape-proof and that there is no possible threat to your Maltese, it’s essential that if they are left outside they have access to cold drinking water and a shady cool space to lay down in or a safe space where they can protect themselves from the weather. 

Before we go ahead and actually learn how to train your Maltese how to understand and feel comfortable being left alone, it’s important to talk for a moment about what Maltese puppies need.

Can Maltese Puppies Be Left Alone?

So far, all of our research and recommendations have been based on the needs of an adult Maltese, however, it’s time to talk about puppies! 

If you have ever seen a Maltese puppy, you know that they are quite possibly the cutest little white fluff balls on the planet!

If you think a Maltese is small, wait till you see one at eight weeks old!

Of course, Maltese are really big personalities in a tiny package, and even from a young age, Maltese want to be with their families, which is or is about to be you! 

Once they realize that you are their pack, they are going to want to be with you all the time.

Now as an adult, they still have this tendency, but they also understand better what their role is and that you are never going to not come home (if they are healthy and well-adjusted that is). 

When they are puppies under a few months old, they need your constant attention for their emotional well-being but also for their physical safety. 

You should never leave a Maltese puppy home alone for more than two hours at a time, and if you do decide to leave them, they absolutely need to be placed in a small safe space.

They could easily get stuck in a small hole, lost, hurt trying to move on and off furniture, or just as important, begin developing separation anxiety at a very young age. 

When a Maltese puppy is little, they are full of non-stop energy, so not only do they need your presence, they really need to be actively played with to ensure they get it all out in a healthy way, instead of a destructive way. 

While Maltese are not particularly challenging to care for, some experts do recommend bringing home two instead of one as they will be able to not only play together and tire each other out, but they are also less likely to suffer from separation anxiety when you do eventually have to leave them for some period of time. 

If getting two dogs isn’t in your budget or plans, don’t worry! You can actually train your Maltese to tolerate staying home alone so it won’t get them down. 

If you want to learn more about when Maltese puppies start calming down, be sure to read our detailed article about young Maltese behavior stages.

How to Train a Maltese to Stay Home Alone by Itself

Training an adult Maltese is possible, however, it can be slightly more difficult as they may already have some habits and fears in place and you may have to re-train them. 

However, no matter the age of your dog, the training process is actually the same for how to help them stay at home alone by themselves. Here’s what you need to know:

  • When training your Maltese to stay home alone, it’s best to start with small increments of time and gradually increase the time away. 
  • While you are gone, your Maltese should stay in a small area where they feel safe. An office, large bathroom, or sunroom may be a good option. The room should always have water and a comfortable space for them to relax.
  • Don’t make a big deal about your departure! They will encounter more stress if it feels like a big change is coming. 
  • If they do begin to show some signs of separation anxiety, make sure not to punish them for it as this will only increase their distress. 

Of course, there are a few other helpful hints and tips that we recommend to not only make sure your Maltese can be left alone without suffering from anxiety but to also make their time alone a little more enjoyable. 

  • Make sure they have entertainment! Leave them with a favorite toy or treat to enjoy. 
  • Feeding, exercising, or even both before you leave will most likely make them sleepy and they may simply rest the whole time you’re away.
  • Leave them a safe area to go to the toilet where they won’t get in trouble, like a pee pad or newspaper. 
  • Have someone check in on them periodically and take them out for at least a bathroom break and maybe even a little run around the yard. 

Even if you follow these specific guidelines, it could be that your Maltese simply does not like to be alone, no matter the circumstances.

Never forget that while certain breeds do have personality traits and tendencies, every dog, just like every human, is completely different! You will need to learn what works and does not work for your Maltese. 

Final Thoughts

So can Maltese be left alone? Hopefully, you now understand that while Maltese can be left home alone, it shouldn’t be for a very long time. 

Adult Maltese can be safely home alone, if properly trained, for up to six hours, whereas puppies should really only be alone for two hours maximum if it’s completely necessary. 

Bringing home a dog is a big commitment, and a Maltese while being a wonderful addition to your family, will need a lot of care and affection, as well as your personal presence. 

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