Solutions to a Barking Maltese Dog

Maltese dogs often receive the reputation of being a yappy dog or a dog that barks excessively. In reality the Maltese dog is no more of a barker or yappy dog then any other typical toy sized variety of dog.

Often a dogs excessive barking comes from lack of training and is something that can be rectified quite easily. It is often how the owner reacts to the dogs barking that will play a major role in the amount of barking and the ability to stop it from occurring.

Issues that will be covered in this article are the common barking issues for Maltese dogs including night time barking and out of control barking which occurs when a Maltese is not obeying the owners requests to stop.

Is your Maltese misbehaving and barking all the time ?
Is your Maltese misbehaving and barking all the time ?

Common Reasons Maltese Dogs Bark

There are some common barking issues with Maltese dogs, these include:

Barking at everything. This common issue means that your Maltese barks at anything it is disturbed by and that can be literally anything. Things that may trigger this kind of barking are outside noises. cars driving past, people walking in the house, birds flying into the yard and so much more. This kind of barking can be very annoying as it seems that anything and everything can set the Maltese off on a barking session.

Your Maltese does not have the ability to calm down. This one is a common issue. Often when a Maltese starts barking they continue for quite some time. Owners may tell the dog “no” or ‘stop” in an attempt to quieten the dog but this is not always successful. Another method people often try is to yell, thinking that if they are louder than the barking dog that it may stop or listen to what they are saying. This often does not work and your Maltese puppy just gets louder and its barking becomes more intense in nature.

Barking when out on a walk. Because of the constant barking, walking your dog may become very difficult. If your Maltese is barking at people and other dogs as they are walking past it makes it very uncomfortable and even embarrassing for the owner. The Maltese puppy will often jump up or lunge towards other people, dogs or any other triggers it sees and will not heel or stay by the owners side. This can also make the Maltese seem like they have an aggressive behavior.

Barking at night time. This is a real issue with any breed of dog as it is going to cause problems not only for those living in the house but for your neighbors around you as well. Barking at night is most common in puppies or young dogs but can also be seen in dogs of any age. When it is a Maltese puppy that is crying or barking at night it is instinctual of you to want to go to it as you would a baby. You may be thinking that your presence will make the puppy more calm, comforted or reassured. This often does not work as the puppy learns that crying or barking leads to getting attention and it will do more barking to get the attention they seek. A dog barking at night can also be a problem as the more the puppy barks at night the more often you will be awake. This then leads to sleep deprivation, irritation and stress in relation to how to solve the problem. The bright side of this problem is that night barking is a solvable problem and with dedication on the owners part can be resolved in less than a few weeks.

Night time is barking time for some Maltese
Night time is barking time for some Maltese

Solutions to a Barking Maltese Dog At Night

Commitment to the issue of a barking dog is of paramount importance. It is important that you are dedicated to doing the same thing every time your Maltese barks as this will help your dog learn the new routine.

The tips to getting your Maltese to stop barking is as follows:

  1. Creating the right environment. For your Maltese to cease night time barking you need to ensure that it has an environment in which it feels safe and secure. You need to create an area in which the dog has access to the tools which it will need to soothe itself back to sleep and also something to allow it is entertain itself independently while you are sleeping. Having these elements available means that your Maltese is able to start learning how to soothe itself and be somewhat independent. These elements are also useful to the dog in the daytime when it may be alone also.
  2. Having a playpen for your Maltese is highly suggested. These dog or canine play pens are readily available in pet stores. A playpen will make your dog feel more secure as it is enclosed and creates that den type feeling which makes the dog feel safe and secure. Using a playpen also means that everything your Maltese needs is close by and within reach and will help your dog in various ways. A playpen is often better than a crate especially for puppies. This is because a playpen does not give as much of a claustrophobic feeling as a crate does and will help limit the amount of stress the dog will feel. In the playpen you want to have a good quality plush bed. This bed will allow the dog to snuggle in and get comfortable which will help it to feel relaxed enough to sleep. A simple towel or blanket on the floor will not suffice. It needs to be a bolstered dog bed which is a size that is recommended for toy sized dogs such as the Maltese.
  3. Ensure there are Toys for your dog to play with. There should also be at least 2 toys available to the dog. Pet toys which encourage interaction are recommended as they will help occupy the dog and help it to stay busy while you are not there. Toys which hold and dispense food are highly recommended. This is because they give the dog something to work for and this helps keep them occupied for an extended period. Another style of toy recommended are those that mimic an animals heartbeat. This gives the dog comfort as if they were with another animal or mother and this rhythmic heartbeat helps to soothe and relax them. Some of these toys also give off warmth which is another aspect which will help comfort and soothe the dog when you are not present.
  4. The ability to know when to tend to the dog and when to ignore them. Most owners thinking that when a puppy starts to cry at night it is automatically because the dog needs to go to the bathroom. While sometimes this is true, this is not always the case. It is often the case that an owner may think that a barking puppy is not for this purpose so they ignore it and then in the morning find the dog has relieved themselves or that they have tended to the dog and taken them out and they have relieved themselves. This can make it seem like all night barking is toilet related when it is not. Most puppies especially under 5 months are not trained well enough to know that barking with illicit the response of you coming and taking them to the toilet. Puppies usually will go to the bathroom at most once in the night so other bouts of barking will not be related to toilet needs.

As you read through the advice given here please keep in mind that any lessons and habits your dog learns now will be the foundation for the dogs confidence skills and also their abilities to soothe themselves. If this advice is adhered to your dog will learn lessons which will carry through its lifetime. Constant tending to the dog every time it barks in the night will not benefit your Maltese and will simply reinforce a negative behavior.

The first time your Maltese barks at night you should take the dog outside. This is a time for toileting only, so keep it serious, no playing and no excess stimulation. It is a good idea to not speak to the dog other than to praise it if it does do its business. Do not speak to the dog otherwise and do not pat or play with the dog, you want the dog to realize this time is for toileting purposes and nothing more. When your dog is done going to the toilet return it to its sleeping area.

After this if your Maltese begins to bark again you need to simply ignore it, you know its toilet needs are taken care of and it is warm and safe. By ignoring your dog at this time it will learn to explore its environment and either keep busy with toys or self soothe itself and go back to sleep. Because the play pen or den area you have created for your Maltese has some toys your dog will learn to turn to those things for comfort, soothing and entertainment.

It will take a week or two but you will find that once your Maltese learns that if it continues to bark you will not come they will then learn to put their attention onto going back to sleep or entertaining itself with its toys.

If it moves your Maltese will bark at it
If it moves your Maltese will bark at it

When your Maltese barks in the house or home at everything

Maltese barking in the home is a common barking problem. It is very annoying when your dog continues to bark at seemingly nothing or everything. Especially when nothing you seem to do or say can rectify this behavior. Use these tips to stop your Maltese from barking at night.

  1. Make sure that your Maltese is not needing anything and that its needs are taken care of. If your dog is barking because its favorite toy is stuck under some furniture or he needs to go out to the bathroom then simply assisting it is going to stop the barking. If there are no obvious needs or problems then take steps to cease the barking.
  2. Make sure your Maltese is getting enough exercise every day. Small dogs can have a lot of pent up energy and it is important that they are able to express this in a healthy way. Walking the Maltese 2 times a day will ensure that this energy is being expended. For an adult dog walks should be at least 20 minutes at a time and you should try to keep it going regardless of the weather. Even if it is raining a simple small coat will protect your dog from the rain. You should do the same for your dog as you would do for yourself.
  3. Making sure your Maltese is getting enough mental stimulation. Because Maltese dogs are very active, not only physically but also mentally, they need to be stimulated to be content. The simple act of being around for them is not enough stimulation. Mental stimulation can come from things they see on their walks but some stimulation also needs to come from time spent with their owner. It is important to set aside some time every day to spend one on one time with your Maltese. This one on one personal time can include things like training to learn simple commands, playing hide and seek, fetch and other ball games. Games and training methods that dispense treats are very effective. If your dog is being stimulated physically and mentally during the day then it is easier for your dog to be able to relax and rest at other times throughout the day.
  4. Make sure your Maltese has a calm environment where possible. Obviously there will always be times when the home is a little more chaotic and busier than normal especially if there are kids in the home. But as a rule try and make your home calm for your dog as much as possible. When environments are very busy and loud it can become overwhelming for your dog. If there are lots of people, loud noises, pets being loud or even loud TV and music then this can unsettle your dog. When the environment around your dog is chaotic and loud it will often mimic that environment and become loud and disruptive itself. Obviously there are times when it will be less calm but you want the normal everyday situation and environment of your dog to be a calm and happy one.

So ultimately any training or correction to stop barking should only be undertaken once it has been assessed that all of the above issues are addressed and taken care of. If you believe you have done everything you can to stimulate and tire out your dog then you should try these more extreme training methods to stop the barking.

  1. Using the “Interrupt and Redirect” method with your Maltese. This technique is very effective and can work very well if it is followed and performed correctly. You begin by interrupting your dogs barking. Most people find that simply shouting “No!” is not effective. They just hear you yelling and often feed off that energy and then they can become even louder. You will need to make short, sharp sounds which will cause your Maltese to stop and give its attention towards you. For some dogs a simple clap will work but others may need a whistle or some kind of dog behavioral alerting product. This can be very effective as the noise gets their attention and it makes them pause. They will stop barking and will try and figure out what the noise is. Now you have the Maltese attention and they have stopped barking you need to redirect their interest onto something else that will keep their attention. It is ideal to have “special” toys which are kept away and brought out for this purpose. If you try and give the dog the same ball that the dog has been playing with all day it is unlikely to keep their attention. By giving your Maltese something special they are interested in you are more likely to keep them focused on the item. Toys that are recommended for this purpose are toys that make some noise to hold their attention or toys that dispense treats as they give the dog something to do but also a reward is inbuilt.
Maltese like to bark at other dogs and people on walks
Maltese like to bark at other dogs and people on walks

Barking at other dogs or people when on walks

Since you are not able to remove the thing that is triggering your dog when you are out of the house you can not effectively use the previously training technique. The most effective approach in this type of situation is to ignore the trigger and keep walking and pretend that nothing is happening. Once your dog stops barking reward it with treats so it knows that if it stops barking it will be rewarded.

It is best to walk your Maltese on a lead and harness. This way your Maltese is safe but is not putting itself at risk of injuring itself like it would be if you were just using a collar around its neck and a lead. The lead and harness combination means that there is no stress being places on the dogs neck and any tension and stress is dispersed evenly over the Maltese’s body. Because Maltese dogs are so small finding a harness can sometimes be tricky. It is recommended that you go to a pet store to make sure that you get the correct sizing for your dog. If you buy online you should look for a toy breed size harness.

When walking make sure you keep your Maltese to the left hand side, and give only enough leash to allow it to be at the side of you. You do not want the dog to go ahead of you and begin pulling. If the barking begins make sure you keep the dog at your side and walk at your normal pace and ignore the barking all together. Once the distraction is out of sight and the barking has stopped make sure to reward your dog with praise and a treat. When you are walking your Maltese for every 5 minutes that the dog walks without barking give it a treat, this reinforces the idea that not barking means it will be rewarded with a treat. A good idea is to make these treats something special which your dog does not consume every day so it makes them all the more special.

Did we help you with your Maltese Barking Problem and exactly what you need to do now

Hopefully the tips and tricks in this article have given you some hope in order to fix your barking Maltese problem. But all the tips and tricks and ideas will not help if you do not put them into action. Sometimes doing these techniques can be emotionally draining but you need to stick it through in order to fix the problem. Try a few different techniques to see what works for your situation. But take action as only implementing these techniques will fix your problem.

If these tips did help you with your barking Maltese issue then let us know how it went ? Do you have more tips that we can add to this article ? Was there something missing from this article that you feel would help our readers ? if so please let us know as we are always looking to provide the best information and most complete information for our readers.