Your Maltipoo will have needs that go beyond just food, water, and shelter. As a companion animal, it will also need a lot of love and affection from you.
The good news is there are many ways you can ensure this.
Playing and Bonding With Your Maltipoo
There are several ways you can show your dog you love it.
For a dog, a petting will feel like a gentle massage. Petting can calm down an uneasy or nervous dog. The thing is that dogs don’t like to be touched on the top of their head, which is a pity because many people like to pet dogs beginning with touching the top of their head.
They will not show any resistance if you do this, however. But many don’t like it. The right way to pet a Maltipoo begins with a light touch to the back of the neck.
From there, you move in long, slow strokes in the direction the fur goes, not against it. You can also do light scratches instead of long, slow strokes.
Rubbing their ears
This might seem cliché, but a dog loves it when you rub their ears. This is because, in canines, there is a high concentration of nerve endings around their ears, making it very sensitive to the touch.
So when you rub their ears, and they look like they are enjoying it, they actually are.
Feeding them by hand
Putting food into a bowl for your dog to eat is one thing, but feeding it by hand is entirely another. It’s a trust exercise the goes both ways; the dog has to trust you that you are giving it something safe, and you have to trust
the dog that it won’t bite you. If you are concerned about getting bitten, you shouldn’t worry.
The muscles on a dog’s jaws allow them to exert the slightest force possible, and they can also tell when they are clamping down too hard on anything and relieve pressure immediately.
Belly rubs also feel good for dogs because stimulating the hairs in that area sends signals of pleasures to the brain. When your dog approaches you and exposes its belly, it’s actually a sign that a dog trusts you and submits to you. This behavior comes from their ancient ancestors.
To show submission, a dog will expose its belly – hence its vital organs – to the pack leader.
Maltipoos like to be caressed in the base of the neck, the shoulders, and their chest. Some also like to be touched under the chin and the back part where their body meets the tail.
Telling them you love them
Dogs are smart, and they can seemingly understand some words or at least the feeling behind the tone associated with these.
This is proven by their recognition of their names and their response to obedience training. Tell them you love them will reassure them that you have a special place in your life.
Make sure the tone of your voice matches the message. It would be best if you didn’t scold a dog in the same tone of voice you use to express affection or praise.
You might think that because a Maltipoo is a small dog, it doesn’t need exercise. However, like humans, they also need it.
Dogs get the same benefits we do when it comes to exercise. It builds muscles, im- proves the blood flow, promotes a healthy heart, and keeps the weight down.
Regular exercise will also lead to a healthy appetite and regular sleeping patterns. In dogs, regular exercise will also burn off any extra energy.
This is energy that might be spent chewing on anything it shouldn’t be chewing around the house.
A dog that stays indoors will not get as much exercise as a yard dog. This is why you should encourage your Maltipoo to play outside every once in a while.
Considering it is such a small animal, playing around a yard for 30 minutes is enough.
If the weather happens to be particularly hot like in the summer or cold like in the winter, you can cut down the time to half. If you live in a part of the country that sees snowfall, be sure you are there to watch over your dog.
Walking Your Maltipoo
Playing around the yard should never take the place of walking. Aside from being the best form of exercise for your dog, it’s also an experience for your pet; it gets to deal with different kinds of terrain, it gets to see and smell different things, and may also even meet other dogs along the way. Make sure you and your dog are ready to deal with the outdoors.
Leash and harness
Some cities have laws against dogs if out in public places without a leash. Getting the right leash and harness for your Maltipoo will be discussed later in this article.
Your dog should have a collar stating its name, your name, and your address. Your contact details can also help, although many dog owners prefer just to put their address.
Why do we recommend a leash and harness combination instead of a leash and collar? A harness is better when it comes to exerting control over your dog when it is out in public.
When you attach a leash to a collar, you are putting it at risk be- cause the collar wraps around the dog’s neck. There is always a risk of suffocation if the leash is pulled too high. You can also damage the dog’s trachea if you suddenly yank the leash.
When you pull on a harness, the pressure will not be concentrated on the dog’s neck. It will be distributed throughout its chest, back, and shoulders. A harness will also make it easier to pick up the dog in case the need arises.
This will be for the water for both you and the dog.
Pour water into this container to let your dog drink. Many pet shops now carry various models of this kind of container.
Tissue and plastic baggie
This is for when your dog might have an accident out in the street. It is good dog owner courtesy to clean up after your pet.
You most likely want other pet owners to observe the same courtesy, after all. Cleaning up after your dog is also a good way to prevent diseases from spreading among animals in a neighborhood.
Why bring dog treats during a walk? So you can reward it for any good behavior it shows. Who says training begins and ends in the house? Two 20-minute walks per day should be enough for a Maltipoo.
During hot weather or anything above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, make sure your dog is equipped to deal with the environment.
You may not be able to feel the hot pavement because of your shoes, but for your dog, it will be like its walking on hot coals. Have your dog wear dog booties or apply pad wax to their feet before you set off.
Consider a shorter walk if the temperature happens to be high. This will also cut the risk of your dog getting heat exhaustion or a heat stroke.
You can also try walking early or late in the day to avoid the worst of the heat altogether.
Maltipoo Separation Anxiety
The first time you brought home your puppy was its first experience with separation anxiety. It likely cried and whimpered all night, or at least most of the night, because it missed its littermates.
You eventually became the family it no longer had, and you even became the pack leader. However, one day, you just suddenly up and left. You might just be out for work or groceries.
But the dog doesn’t know that. It also doesn’t know if you will be back. When your Maltipoo realizes that it is alone and that it cannot find you no matter where it looks, it will start to get stressed and anxious.
It will again experience separation anxiety. If the dog’s unease goes on for a prolonged period, your dog will start to channel that worry into activities, kind of like the way we humans do when we want to distract ourselves from thinking about something too much.
Unfortunately for humans, those activities are destructive, dirty, or downright disgusting.
A dog suffering from separation anxiety can start chewing on things. And this can be anything it can reach or come across like books, furniture, throw pillows, the carpet, and even your shoes.
A dog distressed will likely scratch at any door, thinking it might find you behind it. The more is scratches, the likely it will destroy doors or injure itself.
Incessant barking and whining
Barking and whining is one way for dogs to get attention, and it will do this if you are gone because it thinks it will get your atten- tion and bring you back to it.
Just like a worried human, a dog left alone will be pacing to and fro with apprehension.
Going pee and potty
Dogs usually do this to mark their territory. However, exactly why dogs do this when under anxiety has not been fully explained. They just do it. Needless to say, it will be very messy for you when you come home.
The dog going pee and potty isn’t actually the worst thing that can happen. Sometimes they can practically feel so much distress they begin panting excessively. This has even led to heart failure.
Do not mistake these things, especially the destructive behavior, for acts of vengeance your dog is carrying out for leaving you alone. They did these things be- cause there was no other way for them to express their worry and agitation.
How do you deal with separation anxiety? It all goes back to the first night the puppy spends at your house. Remember that we suggested to let the puppy spend the night alone.
Within hearing distance of your voice, but alone, nonetheless. This is to teach it to learn to be by itself for short periods.
You can reinforce this behavior in two ways; by rewarding good behavior like being quiet and settled down, and by deepening your dog’s trust in you.
You can begin teaching your dog to get used to time alone by having it lie on the floor. You then hide from view but come back.
Discourage it from looking for you. After it has understood what behavior you want from it, increase the time you are out of sight.
Don’t make a grand exit when you go or grand entrance when you come back.
Make sure the dog gets the idea it will become a routine event that you will occasionally disappear but always reappear.
Building trust will further enforce the dog’s belief that you will always be back no matter how long you are gone. There are several things you can do to strengthen the trust between you and the dog.
Act like the pack leader
This doesn’t mean you order the dog around all the time and continuously boss it. This means you maintain a calm demeanor that the dog will interpret as confidence.
A house with a lot of shouting and tension will have adverse effects on a dog. In your case, if you show behavior where you are almost always upset or agitated, the dog will get the impression you are not in control.
Dogs are very sensitive to loud sounds and will interpret big noises as danger. If they are constantly living in what they perceive to be a threatening environment, then they won’t have much trust in you.
So even if you are angry, don’t slam the door. If you are enjoying music or a movie, don’t turn the volume way up.
If you are upset at someone, do your utmost not to raise your voice. If you are excited, minimize the screaming.
Even the hum from electronic devices that we can’t hear can be painful for dogs, so turn them off when not in use.
Show by example
When you see your dog do something it isn’t supposed to, your first instinct might be to spank it. The problem is that the dog won’t under- stand why it’s being spanked.
It will only realize, that for a brief moment, you suddenly caused it pain and that you might be able to do so again. For example, if you see your dog biting something it shouldn’t, don’t resort to spanking.
Say “no,” accompanied by a flick of the nose, then direct them to what they should be chewing, in this case, a chew toy.
If you catch them in the act of peeing, say “no,” accompanied by a flick of the nose, and take them to the dog litter box.
Be the dog’s pal
Even as you are the pack leader, you can still be a “friend” to the dog. Be the one that comforts it when it is scared, the one who opens the door when they need to go potty, the one who fills up the water bowl.
Doing little things like these, among others, will reinforce the dog’s belief that you are someone it can rely on and someone who has its interests at heart.
The more your dog trusts you, and the better it is trained to spend time alone, the easier it will be to leave the dog alone for longer periods.
As a last resort, you can resort to giving your dog a companion toy. This is a toy that looks like another animal that can give your dog the illusion that it isn’t alone until you get back.