Whether you train your new Maltese Puppy or dog
yourself, take classes, or hire a private trainer, some
basic training tips should be tackled right out of the
gate. These top 10 tips from professional dog trainers
at the top of their game will help get you going.
Aside: When your Maltese Puppy is old enough, think
about getting him or her neutered or spayed, likewise if
you adopt a dog. A neutered or spayed dog is more
docile, less aggressive, and may be more open to
Top 10 training tips
1. Choose your dog's name wisely and
be respectful of it.
Of course you'll want to pick a name for your new
Maltese Puppy or dog that you love, but for the purposes
of training it also helps to consider a short name
ending with a strong consonant. This allows you to say
his name so that he can always hear it clearly. A strong
ending (i.e. Jasper, Jack, Ginger) perks up Maltese
Puppy ears - especially when you place a strong
emphasize at the end.
If he's an older dog, he's probably used to his name;
however, changing it isn't out of the question. If he's
from a shelter, they may neglect to tell you that he has
a temporary name assigned to him by staff. If he's from
a breeder, he'll come to you with a long name, which you
may want to shorten, or change. And if he's coming out
of an abusive situation, a new name may represent a
fresh start. But we're lucky: dogs are extremely
adaptable. And soon enough, if you use it consistently,
he will respond to his new name.
New name or old, as much as possible, associate it
with pleasant, fun things, rather than negative. The
goal is for him to think of his name the same way he
thinks of other great stuff in his life, like "walk,"
"cookie," or "dinner!"
2. Decide on the "house rules."
Before he comes home, decide what he can and can't do.
Is he allowed on the bed or the furniture? Are parts of
the house off limits? Will he have his own chair at your
dining table? If the rules are settled on early, you can
avoid confusion for both of you.
3. Set up his private den.
He needs "a room of his own." From the earliest possible
moment give your pup or dog his own, private sleeping
place that's not used by anyone else in the family, or
another pet. He'll benefit from short periods left alone
in the comfort and safety of his den. Reward him if he
remains relaxed and quiet. His den, which is often a
crate, will also be a valuable tool for housetraining.
4. Help him relax when he comes
When your Maltese Puppy gets home, give him a warm hot
water bottle and put a ticking clock near his sleeping
area. This imitates the heat and heartbeat of his litter
mates and will soothe him in his new environment. This
may be even more important for a new dog from a busy,
loud shelter who's had a rough time early on. Whatever
you can do to help him get comfortable in his new home
will be good for both of you.
5. Teach him to come when called.
Come Jasper! Good boy! Teaching him to come is the
command to be mastered first and foremost. And since
he'll be coming to you, your alpha status will be
reinforced. Get on his level and tell him to come using
his name. When he does, make a big deal using positive
reinforcement. Then try it when he's busy with something
interesting. You'll really see the benefits of
perfecting this command early as he gets older.
6. Reward his good behavior.
Reward your Maltese Puppy or dog's good behavior with
positive reinforcement. Use treats, toys, love, or heaps
of praise. Let him know when's he's getting it right.
Likewise, never reward bad behavior; it'll only confuse
7. Take care of the jump up.
Puppies love to jump up in greeting. Don't reprimand
him, just ignore his behavior and wait 'til he settles
down before giving positive reinforcement. Never
encourage jumping behavior by patting or praising your
dog when he's in a "jumping up" position. Turn your back
on him and pay him no attention.
8. Teach him on "dog time."
Puppies and dogs live in the moment. Two minutes after
they've done something, it's forgotten about. When he's
doing something bad, try your chosen training technique
right away so he has a chance to make the association
between the behavior and the correction. Consistent
repetition will reinforce what's he's learned.
9. Discourage him from biting or
Instead of scolding him, a great way to put off your
mouthy canine is to pretend that you're in great pain
when he's biting or nipping you. He'll be so surprised
he's likely to stop immediately. If this doesn't work,
try trading a chew toy for your hand or pant leg. The
swap trick also works when he's into your favorite
shoes. He'll prefer a toy or bone anyway. If all else
fails, break up the biting behavior, and then just
10. End training sessions on a
Excellent boy! Good job, Jasper! He's worked hard to
please you throughout the training. Leave him with lots
of praise, a treat, some petting, or five minutes of
play. This guarantees he'll show up at his next class
with his tail wagging - ready to work!