Activities For Malteses

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Introduction

The Maltese dog packs a great deal of personality into a tiny body. This toy breed sports a beautiful, silky white coat. Some owners may clip the coat, but other owners opt to allow the majestic coat to grow into its own. The Maltese often exhibits spurts of energy during which they may run and jump with little abandon. The Maltese is generally healthy, but some dogs will experience joint issues such as patellar luxation and hip dysplasia. The Maltese is meant to be an inside dog primarily, but they do enjoy playtime outdoors as well. Owners must take caution when it comes to exercise for the Maltese pup during his first year of life. The bones of the Maltese are still developing and it is not recommended that the Maltese do any exercise other than walking.

Flirt Pole

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
20 min
Items needed
pre-made flirt pole or PVC pipe
string (such as jute string)
toy to run string through
Activity description
The flirt pole game could also be called "fishing for dogs." You can either purchase a pre-made pole complete with a built-in string, or you can make one yourself. In order to make a flirt pole, purchase a small PVC pipe. We recommend drilling out a hole where you can tie your jute string. It is also the recommendation of the author that you select a toy that you do not mind drilling a hole into as well. Should your pup decide to play a little tug of war, you want the toy to remain tied to the string.
Step
1
Prepare the toy
Select a small piece of PVC pipe. Use a drill to fashion a hole in the end of the pipe. Pull the jute string (this is craft string) through the hole and tie it securely. Once you have selected a toy to use with the flirt pole, punch a hole into it as well. Tie the string securely through the hole. You are now ready to play!
Step
2
Run!
It is now time to activate your pup's need to chase prey! Call your pup's name. Tease them with the toy. Always keep it just out of their reach (this is to entice them to follow you). Saying "Come on, come on!" lure your dog to chase the toy. If you are in a large area, you might run slowly while carrying the flirt pole. You should stop from time to time and allow the pup to "catch" the toy.
Step
3
Take a break
Always allow for breaks after about ten minutes of play. Be sure to encourage your pup to drink plenty of water during playtime. You can adapt this game for outdoor play, but, remember, the Maltese does not need to exercise in extreme cold or heat.
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Go Fetch

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
20 - 30 min
Items needed
Chew Toy
Ball
Activity description
Fetch is perhaps one of the easiest and most common games to play with a pup of any breed. The Maltese will certainly love a game which gives him the opportunity to burn off any excess energy. Although most individuals believe that Go Fetch is an easy, straightforward game to play, there are some steps to avoid. First, make sure that the fetch toy is the appropriate size for your dog. The Maltese generally weighs seven pounds or less; in addition, the typical tennis ball might still be too big for your toy-sized dog. You might want to replace the traditional tennis ball with a ping pong ball, or you might be able to find smaller balls that still resemble the tennis ball (but are more durable and fit the mouth of the Maltese much better). If possible, keep from throwing regular limbs or sticks when playing fetch. Splinters can get into your dog's mouth and cause a lot of discomfort. Finally, try to keep each fetch session to ten minutes with a short break between ten minute play times.
Step
1
Introduce the game
The first few times you play Go Fetch, you may need to show your pup what you expect from them. You may need to throw the object, then say, "Go get it!" You may need to run to the object yourself, and you may need to show your dog that you expect them to put the object in their mouth and bring it back to you.
Step
2
Play the game
Remember, the Maltese is a quick learner. You may only need to show them how to play the game two or three times. It will not take long for the highly intelligent Maltese to pick up what you expect, particularly if you shower them with praise or even a treat for returning the fetch object to you.
Step
3
Remember to rest
Although the time description above mentions twenty to thirty minutes of play, you should make your dog take a break after ten minutes of play time. Remember that the Maltese should never be allowed to play during the hottest times of the day, and play in very cold temperatures is never encouraged either.
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Search and Sniff

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Rainy Day
Cheap
Easy
30 min
Items needed
small treats
Activity description
Search and Sniff is a great indoor game for the small Maltese, particularly on rainy, dreary days. One should keep in mind that the Maltese is very intelligent, and training them to play games such as Search and Sniff will take little time and effort. In addition, this is a great game for young Maltese pups with developing bones. Older dogs that might experience trouble with arthritis are also happy to play Search and Sniff-style games. This game will keep your Maltese mentally sharp, and, of course, they always enjoy the reward of a tasty treat at the end of the game!
Step
1
Place the treats
The great thing about Search and Sniff is the fact that this game can be played anywhere, anytime, and in any type of weather! When it comes to training the Maltese to play this game, you will only need a few reps before they catch on. First, place the treats in a variety of places around the house. You might have to take the puppy to the first or second treat locations and show them the treat while saying, "find it." Once the dog has found the treat, heap praise on them. Once your dog has mastered finding treats by smell, you may simply command them to "find it."
Step
2
Practice makes perfect
When first establishing this game, you might want to challenge your pup by varying the hiding places of the treats. You might want to move them from room to room, for instance. (during one game, put the treats in varied places in the kitchen; during the second game, put them in the living room). Encouraging variety is the key to keeping this game exciting for your dog.
Step
3
Take it outside
This game can also be played outdoors, provided the weather is agreeable. Most experts advise only allowing the Maltese to run free in a fenced-in area. You might be able to place treats on porch steps or on outdoor furniture. Remember, the Maltese needs to be kept inside during extreme heat or cold.
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More Fun Ideas...

Tug of War

Grab a soft toy or rope and encourage your pup to play a good game of Tug of War. While you are playing Tug of War, work on commands such as "give."

Go Fetch - Swim Style!

Most pups love the water, and it is likely that your Maltese does as well. Fit your pup with a life jacket (yes, they are available for pups of all sizes). In a pool, throw three or four toys that will float (you might pick up some rubber children's bath toys) into the pool Turn your pup loose and watch them play!

Conclusion

The Maltese is  a fun, playful, and energetic little bundle. They are highly intelligent, and they catch on to games and tricks rather quickly. They will learn what you expect of them rather quickly, and they respond well to praise and treat rewards. They will enjoy any interaction with you. Always remember to keep your Maltese in a temperature-controlled environment, taking breaks after about ten minutes of play.