Having a Maltese puppy can be a joyful experience, but you may be wondering when they will calm down. With proper training, exercise, and attention, your Maltese puppy should become less hyper by the age of 18 months.
In this article, we’ll look at why Maltese puppies exhibit hyperactive behaviors and what you can do about this.
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Are Maltese Dogs Naturally Hyper As Puppies Or Adults?
While some breeds of dogs are naturally hyper, the Maltese is not one of them.
Dogs that have a tendency to be full of energy are usually dogs that were bred for high-energy tasks like herding or hunting. The Maltese were originally bred as a companion or a lapdog.
Any dog breed, including the Maltese, can become hyper and problematic if they do not have enough stimulation and exercise.
Overall, puppies tend to be much more high-energy than adult dogs.
What Are Problems Arising From A Hyper Maltese?
When a Maltese has too much energy, this can cause them to have challenging behaviors.
One way that a hyper Maltese may behave is by excessive chewing on shoes or furniture.
Since this behavior can destroy your belongings, you’ll want to put a stop to it quickly.
Provide your Maltese with actual toys designed for chewing and redirect her to these when she chews on other things.
Peeing In The House
Over-excited Maltese dogs may start peeing in the house. Assuming that your Maltese has been trained to pee outside, doing so indoors is frequently a sign of hyperactivity.
You can avoid this behavior by ensuring that your dog has frequent access to the outdoors.
Learn to recognize the signs that your dog shows when they need to pee, like sitting by the door or sniffing the ground.
If your dog pees inside, immediately take them outside so they learn to associate needing to pee with being outdoors. Never punish or hit your dog for peeing indoors.
Biting And Nipping
Maltese dogs can bite when they are excited. The best way to avoid this behavior is to provide them with enough physical and mental stimulation.
Keeping your dog busy and active will reduce the likelihood that it will bite out of boredom.
If your Maltese bites or nips, you will need to train them not to do so! When it happens, make a loud yelping sound as if you were in pain and let your hand lie still.
This will teach your dog that they have hurt you and they will eventually learn not to do it.
What Are The Behavior Stages Of Maltese Puppies By Age?
- The neonatal stage of development for a puppy lasts for the first two weeks. During this time the Maltese puppy is entirely reliant on their mother.
- From 2-4 weeks, the puppy is in the transitional period. During this time the puppy’s teeth start to come in and they learn to bark (lucky you!).
- The socialization period is from 3-12 weeks. Puppies learn how to play and interact with other dogs and with people. This is the stage when puppies start to nip and bite.
- From 3-6 months, your puppy is in the testing period and may start to exhibit challenging behaviors.
- During this stage, your puppy will be teething and may start chewing on things. Teething usually ends by 6 months.
- Puppy adolescence takes place from 6-18 months. In this stage, your dog may show aggression, pee inside, or exhibit other destructive behaviors. So long as you continue with regular training, these behaviors will diminish.
Two Primary Solutions To Calm Down A Hyper Maltese
There are two main components to calming down a hyper Maltese dog: physical exercise and mental stimulation!
Ideally, your Maltese will have access to space where it can run around off-leash.
Many communities have off-leash parks designed for this purpose. If you have a fenced yard, this can be suitable as well!
Allowing your dog freedom to run off-leash helps with hyperactivity since the dog is allowed to go as fast as it likes.
When walking on a leash, the dog is restricted to the pace that you set, which may not be fast enough to expend the dog’s excessive energy.
You can also engage your Maltese in other outdoor activities like hiking or swimming. Despite their small size, this breed is hardy and usually enjoys walking on trails or swimming in shallow water.
Maltese dogs can also get exercise indoors if you have a large basement or open area.
Some Maltese dogs will enjoy running up and down stairs or playing fetch.
A dog’s hyperactivity can be caused by a lack of mental stimulation. Just like humans, dogs need to engage in activities that work their brains and challenge them.
Otherwise, they will get bored which can lead to destructive behavior.
Providing your Maltese with adequate stimulation doesn’t have to be complicated or cost a lot of money. Here are some games and activities to try with your dog.
The easiest way to work your dog’s cognitive abilities is to teach it commands.
Start with the basics like Sit, Stay, and Come. Once your dog has mastered these, you can move on to commands that are a bit tougher, like Roll Over, Shake a Paw, and Play Dead.
These activities provide mental stimulation for your Maltese and you can always come up with new commands to teach.
Some dogs will enjoy learning to “work” for you–for example, bringing you slippers or fetching the newspaper from the porch.
Your Maltese will love an indoor or outdoor obstacle course.
While you can purchase obstacles meant for this purpose, you may also use items you already have around the house like cardboard boxes, pylons, and hula hoops.
The obstacle course can include things your Maltese can run through, like tunnels, or duck under, such as tables.
You can have items set up that your dog needs to jump over, as well as pylons that they need to weave through.
You’ll need to show your dog what you expect from them in the obstacle course a few times before they understand the objective.
Once they know what to do, you can turn it into a race, giving your Maltese an opportunity to burn off energy.
Hide And Seek
There are two ways to play hide and seek with your dog.
- The first way is to actually hide yourself. You can do this inside or out. Tell your dog to stay, then find a spot where he or she can’t see you easily.
Then, call your dog to find you. Start off with easier hiding spots so your dog builds confidence in its abilities. Later you can increase the challenge with more difficult spots to hide.
- The second option is to hide toys for your Maltese. Again, you will tell your dog to stay, then move out of sight and hide one of the toys. Then, call your dog to find it.
Start with easy hiding spots, for example, sticking out from under a cushion, or tucked under the table. Once your dog gets the hang of the game, you can find trickier spots to hide the toys.
Most puzzle toys involve putting food or treats into them and then requiring the dog to figure out how to get them out.
Depending on the dog, some will learn quickly and others will take a longer time to learn the tricks.
There are hundreds of puzzle toys on the market, so if your current toy isn’t stimulating enough for your Maltese, you have plenty of options to choose from.