Can a Maltese Be a Service Dog?
Who can resist the snow white coat, dancing eyes, and spunky nature of the Maltese? This cute, spritely little pooch excels at many things like agility, tracking, obedience, and rally.
Can a Maltese be a Service Dog? If so, you would be able to go anywhere you go with your Maltese!
Read on as we explore the world of service and how the Maltese may be of assistance.
General Traits of the Maltese
Over the decades, the Maltese have been given many names. These include;
- Melitae Dog
- Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta
- The Roman Ladies Dog
- The Comforter
- The Spaniel Gentle
- The Bichon
- The Maltese Lion Dog
- The Maltese Terrier
Today, he is known just as the Maltese.
This beautiful breed has flowing silky white hair, giving this dog the illusion of floating when walking. Because the Maltese don’t have an undercoat, it sheds very little and has been acceptable for those that suffer from mild pet allergies.
The Maltese needs minimal exercise and is therefore quite adaptable to living in apartments, condos or homes with small yards. However, it does not do well left alone for long periods-of-time. In fact, a neglected Maltese can suffer from separation anxiety which can lead to destructive behaviors such as excessive barking and chewing,
Personality wise, the Maltese is a lot of dog packed into a small package. He loves the companionship of his family and takes well to positive reinforcement training methods (treats, praise, and play).
They are a fearless breed that gets along with most people and other animals. If you are looking for a dog to alert you to strangers at the door, the Maltese is very responsive to his surroundings.
As with all dogs, to have a well-rounded Maltese, experts recommend early socialization and even puppy kindergarten classes. These are both excellent ways to expose your pup to new people, other dogs, and outside situations.
Fast Facts About the Maltese
Height: 8 to 10 inches at the shoulder
Weight: Up to 7 pounds
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
The Maltese as a Service Dog
Although the Maltese would not be suited for heavy service work, such as pulling a wheelchair, this breed can be helpful in other areas.
Because this breed is very trainable, a person needing help with opening low cabinet doors or retrieving small objects may find the Maltese a valuable asset.
The Maltese can also be trained as a Medical Alert canine. This includes giving people a warning when they have a drop in blood sugar, for epilepsy, low oxygen levels, etc.
Therapy work is another area of service where the Maltese will excel. The breed is small and compact enough, so people who are dealing with emotional or psychiatric conditions can bring the dog along for support – it loves to be cuddled, and thrives on human attention making this area of service work a natural fit.
This little pooch would also make an excellent outside therapy dog bringing joy and comfort to those folks in nursing homes, hospitals, palliative care facilities, schools, or disaster relief situations.
What to Look for in a Potential Service Dog
The breed isn’t the only factor you need to look for in a Service Dog. Here are some additional qualities a good Service Dog should possess;
- Intelligence, obedience and the ability to problem-solve.
- Should be the right size, and have the proper amount of strength, and stamina to perform the duties.
- The dog must be physically active, yet calm and well-behaved when in public. Not hyper, snappy or creating a ruckus.
Can a Maltese Be a Service Dog?
With the proper training and early socialization, there are many areas of service the Maltese would excel at. If you are looking for a compact pooch with a lot of love to give, you can’t go wrong with the Maltese.
As with any canine, be sure to seek out a reputable breeder or rescue organization to adopt your Maltese. These people can direct you to the best puppy they have for the task of service work.
Getting the help, you need to make your life a little bit easier can be found in the perfect Service Dog. Find one today that suits your needs and get back to living a healthier lifestyle.