Though they demand constant affection and tend to ignore you at times, you’ll have lots of fun training your Maltese. Least you risk your dog being afraid of you, roughness in training is unnecessary. An easy way to get your dog compliant, is to associate training with playtime. There are two things that my Maltese, Yuki loves: food/treats and toys that squeak. We use his treats as a training device.
Teaching him to fetch was easy. First, I got him to sit then praised him with a treat. Next I showed him the ball, squeezed it to get him to focus on the sound. I had his undivided attention the moment he perked up. While raising my hand with the ball, I direct him with my other hand and voice, showing and telling him to stay. Once he’s followed my direction, then I throw the ball yell “Fetch.” He retrieves the ball, gives it to me and is rewarded with another treat. Then it was on to tug of war with his rope bone. He was a natural. This turned out to be his favorite game and I didn’t need to reward him.
Maltese dogs are smart, lively, observant, and playful. Their energy level and frolicsome demeanor remains constant. Solitude is for them is no bother, as they tend to go off on their own and play by themselves. I’ve never believed in crating, so I don’t. They’re naturally affectionate dogs and don’t appreciate being locked away. Instead, I’ve allowed Yuki have the run of the entire house and for the most part, it’s been a trouble free experience. However, if you find them chewing anything you don’t want them to chew on, I advise you to simply close off the area. I close most of the bedroom and bathroom doors when I am not home because he has been known to take things from the trash bin and chew on electric cords. The only door I leave open is the one where his bed is just in case he wants to sleep there. Also, because Yuki is a fairly small dog (he’s only 9 months), I don’t allow him to jump from high places as I fear he’ll break a limb. Training your Maltese dog shouldn’t just be for obedience, it’s a chance for both of you have fun while bonding. Enjoy!