As a dog owner, I have often wondered why Maltese dogs whine so much. It is intriguing to discover that this breed has a genetic predisposition to being vocal. Maltese dogs were originally bred as companion dogs, and their tendency to whine may be a result of their ancestors being used as alarm dogs. This trait has been passed down through generations, and now Maltese dogs have a strong instinct to alert their owners to any potential danger or discomfort.

Understanding the reasons behind why Maltese dogs whine so much can help us address this behavior. Aside from their genetic inclination, Maltese dogs may whine due to separation anxiety or feeling bored or lonely. Providing them with sufficient exercise, mental stimulation, and attention can greatly reduce their whining tendencies. Additionally, proper training and socialization can help them feel more secure and confident, resulting in less whining overall. By addressing their needs and ensuring they feel loved and cared for, we can create a harmonious and peaceful environment for both the dog and its owner.

why do maltese whine so much?


Why Do Maltese Whine So Much?

Maltese dogs are known for their adorable appearance and playful nature, but one behavior that can sometimes be frustrating for their owners is their tendency to whine. This article will explore the reasons behind why Maltese dogs may whine excessively and provide insights into how to address this behavior. If you are a Maltese owner or considering getting a Maltese, understanding why they whine can help you establish a harmonious relationship with your furry companion.

The Sensitive Nature of Maltese Dogs

Maltese dogs are known for being highly sensitive creatures. They form strong bonds with their owners and thrive on attention and companionship. This sensitivity can manifest in the form of whining when they feel anxious, lonely, or neglected. These small dogs are often referred to as “velcro dogs” because they want to be with their owners all the time. When they are separated or in unfamiliar situations, they may resort to whining as a way to communicate their discomfort.

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Additionally, Maltese dogs have a keen sense of hearing, which can make them more prone to whining. They may react to noises that humans cannot hear, such as distant sirens or high-frequency sounds. For a Maltese, these sounds may be overwhelming and trigger anxiety, leading to whining.

How to Address Excessive Whining in Maltese Dogs

While some whining is normal for Maltese dogs, excessive and persistent whining can be a sign of underlying issues that need to be addressed. Here are some tips to help you manage and reduce your Maltese’s whining:

  1. Identify the triggers: Observe and take note of the situations or events that seem to cause your Maltese to whine. Understanding the triggers can help you address them proactively.
  2. Provide mental and physical stimulation: Maltese dogs are intelligent and energetic. Ensuring they have plenty of exercise and mental stimulation can help alleviate boredom and anxiety, reducing the need to whine for attention.
  3. Establish a routine: Maltese dogs thrive on routine and predictability. Having a consistent daily schedule for meal times, walks, playtime, and relaxation can help them feel secure and minimize anxiety-related whining.
  4. Practice positive reinforcement training: Using positive reinforcement techniques can help teach your Maltese alternative behaviors to whining. Rewarding them for calm and quiet behavior can encourage them to seek attention in a more peaceful manner.
  5. Consider professional help: If your Maltese’s whining persists despite your efforts, it may be beneficial to seek guidance from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist who specializes in small breeds like Maltese.

Separation Anxiety in Maltese Dogs

One common reason why Maltese dogs may whine excessively is separation anxiety. These dogs form strong attachments to their owners and can become distressed when left alone. Separation anxiety can manifest in various ways, including excessive whining, destructive behavior, and even self-harm.

To help your Maltese cope with separation anxiety, try the following:

  • Gradual desensitization: Start by leaving your Maltese alone for short periods and gradually increase the duration over time. This can help them build confidence and reduce anxiety.
  • Create a safe space: Provide a comfortable and secure area where your Maltese can retreat to when they feel anxious. This can be a crate or a designated room with their bed, toys, and familiar scents.
  • Use calming techniques: Playing soothing music or leaving a piece of clothing with your scent can help comfort your Maltese while you are away.
  • Consider companionship: If feasible, consider providing your Maltese with the company of another pet to help alleviate their anxiety in your absence.

Medical Issues That Can Cause Whining

In some cases, excessive whining in Maltese dogs can be a result of underlying medical issues. Pain or discomfort can lead to increased vocalization as a way for dogs to communicate their distress. If your Maltese’s whining seems unusual or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it is essential to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health problems.

Common medical conditions that can cause whining in dogs include dental issues, gastrointestinal problems, or musculoskeletal pain. A thorough examination by a veterinarian can help identify and address any underlying medical issues that may be contributing to your Maltese’s excessive whining.

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Seeking Professional Guidance

If you are still struggling to manage your Maltese’s excessive whining despite your best efforts, it may be beneficial to seek professional guidance. A professional dog trainer or behaviorist can work closely with you to develop a personalized plan that addresses your Maltese’s specific needs. They can provide expert advice, guidance, and techniques to help manage and reduce the whining behavior.

#Separation Anxiety: Steps to Help Your Maltese Cope

Creating a Peaceful Environment

When dealing with a Maltese that whines excessively, it is essential to create a peaceful environment for them. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Designate a quiet space: Provide a dedicated area where your Maltese can rest and feel safe. This space should be away from excessive noise or commotion.
  • Ensure comfortable bedding: Invest in a cozy and comfortable bed for your Maltese. Having a comfortable place to sleep and relax can help reduce anxiety and stress.
  • Use calming scents: Consider using aromatherapy products designed for dogs to promote relaxation. Lavender and chamomile are known for their calming effects.
  • Play soothing music: Leaving soft, calming music or white noise can help drown out external sounds and create a soothing atmosphere for your Maltese.

Consistency and Positive Reinforcement

Consistency is key when addressing excessive whining in Maltese dogs. Establishing clear rules and boundaries, along with positive reinforcement, can help curb this behavior. Here are some additional tips:

  • Be patient and persistent: Changing behavior takes time. Consistency and patience are crucial when training your Maltese to overcome excessive whining.
  • Avoid reinforcing whining: It’s important not to inadvertently reinforce your Maltese’s whining by giving in to their demands. Instead, reward quiet and calm behavior with treats, attention, or playtime.
  • Redirect attention: If you notice your Maltese starting to whine, redirect their attention to a toy or an activity that can distract them from the need to vocalize.


Understanding why Maltese dogs whine excessively is the first step towards addressing this behavior. Their sensitive nature, separation anxiety, and underlying medical issues can all contribute to excessive vocalization. By providing a calm environment, addressing separation anxiety, and seeking professional guidance if needed, you can help your Maltese develop healthier and quieter ways of communicating their needs and emotions. Remember, consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key to managing and reducing excessive whining in your beloved Maltese companion.

Key Takeaways: Why Do Maltese Whine So Much?

  • Maltese dogs often whine to communicate their needs or emotions.
  • They may whine when they are hungry, thirsty, or need to go outside.
  • Whining can be a sign of anxiety, fear, or discomfort.
  • Maltese dogs are known to be sensitive and may whine for attention or reassurance.
  • Proper training and socialization can help reduce excessive whining in Maltese dogs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you curious about why Maltese dogs tend to whine a lot? Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about their whining behavior.

Why do Maltese dogs whine so much?

Maltese dogs are known for their affectionate and sociable nature. They often whine as a way to communicate their needs or emotions. It could be a sign of hunger, boredom, loneliness, anxiety, or even excitement. Since they are small in size, whining is their way of getting attention or expressing themselves.

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Furthermore, the whining behavior may be a result of improper training or reinforcement. If a Maltese dog receives attention or rewards when they whine, they learn that this behavior is effective in getting what they want. It becomes a learned behavior that they continue to exhibit.

How can I stop my Maltese dog from whining excessively?

To address excessive whining in your Maltese dog, it’s crucial to understand the root cause of their behavior. If their whining is due to a specific need like hunger or a need to relieve themselves, make sure those needs are met timely. Establish a consistent routine for feeding and potty breaks to address these needs.

If the whining is due to anxiety or boredom, providing mental stimulation and regular exercise can be helpful. Engage your Maltese in interactive toys, puzzles, and activities to keep their mind occupied and reduce anxiety levels. Additionally, providing them with a safe and comfortable space, such as a crate or a designated area in your home, can help alleviate anxiety and reduce their tendency to whine.

Is whining a sign of pain or discomfort in Maltese dogs?

Whining can indeed be a sign that your Maltese dog is in pain or discomfort. If the whining is accompanied by other signs like decreased appetite, lethargy, or changes in behavior, it’s essential to consult a veterinarian. They can examine your dog to determine if there are any underlying health issues causing the whining and provide appropriate treatment.

However, it’s important to remember that not all whining indicates pain or discomfort. Maltese dogs are known for being vocal and expressive, and their whining can also be attributed to other reasons like seeking attention or expressing excitement.

Can separation anxiety cause excessive whining in Maltese dogs?

Yes, separation anxiety can be a common cause of excessive whining in Maltese dogs. These dogs form strong bonds with their owners and can feel anxious or stressed when left alone for extended periods. Whining is their way of expressing their distress and seeking companionship.

To help alleviate separation anxiety, it’s important to gradually train your Maltese dog to be comfortable being alone. Start by leaving them alone for short periods and gradually increase the duration. Additionally, provide them with engaging toys or puzzle feeders to keep them occupied while you’re away. Creating a relaxing environment with soothing music or leaving an item with your scent can also help ease their anxiety.

Can I train my Maltese dog to stop whining?

Yes, you can train your Maltese dog to reduce excessive whining through consistent and positive reinforcement techniques. Start by teaching them a “quiet” or “enough” command. When they start whining, use the command in a firm, but not harsh, tone and reward them when they stop whining.

Consistency is key when it comes to training. Reinforce the “quiet” command consistently and avoid inadvertently rewarding the whining behavior. If the whining persists, consider seeking guidance from a professional dog trainer who specializes in positive reinforcement techniques. They can provide additional strategies and tailored guidance to address your Maltese dog’s whining behavior.

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7 Reasons Why You Should Never Own Maltese Dogs

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