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Can a Maltese Be a Service Dog? (New Owners Guide)

Maltese are playful and intelligent breed dogs. They have a silky white appearance. Most people own them as a family dog.

But Maltese can be a good service dog also. They are super loyal and intelligent. If you are thinking about owning a Maltese as a service dog, you can do it without hesitation.

You know, many people suffer from various mental and physical health issues. They need service dogs as their companion and for monitoring their condition.

Being intelligent, friendly, and loyal, Maltese are suitable as service dogs. In this article, we will tell you about how Maltese can be a service dog.

Can a Maltese be a service dog?

Yes, Maltese can be a service and therapy dog. Maltese are very sensitive and intelligent. Moreover, they are friendly, loyal, and at ease in all situations. You can train them efficiently to alert if any help is needed. These characteristics make Maltese suitable for working as a service dog.

The main characteristics of being a good service dog are intelligence, obedience, and easily trainable.

All these characteristics go well with Maltese. Maltese love to be with people. They are also playful and energetic. Despite their small size, Maltese is one of the popular breed service dogs.

You can train Maltese to do specific and essential works for you, for example, monitoring blood sugar, creating an alert, etc. You can instruct your Maltese as a service dog with training and socialization.

Are Maltese good therapy dogs?

Maltese are excellent therapy dogs. They are well-behaved and love companionship. They also love to cuddle.

Maltese give affection and comfort to people in different places. Hospitals, schools, nursing homes often take them as therapy dogs. Maltese also can help children with learning difficulties.

Therapy dogs have to be sensitive and friendly. They must have the temperament. Considering these characteristics, Maltese is the perfect choice as a therapy dog.

Maltese love to be with family and are capable of giving emotional support. If you want to have a Maltese as a therapy dog, you have to train him. Make him use his intelligence when you need help.

Are Maltese good emotional support dogs?

Yes, Maltese are good emotional support dogs. They have the characteristics of being friendly and supportive. They love to sit on the lap. Maltese can be supportive of people who has anxiety and socialization problems.

Maltese aren’t sports dogs. They are breed dogs for families. So, their characteristics are also familiar with family dogs. You can efficiently train Maltese to help with psychological issues like phobias, stress disorder, anxiety, etc.  

Maltese are protective of their owners. They can be both protective and gentle. Some people take Maltese as a supportive dog. Because they can train Maltese easily to help psychological issues like phobias, stress disorder, anxiety, etc.

Are Maltese friendly & affectionate?

Maltese dogs are really friendly and affectionate. They are often good with strangers. Some Maltese may bark seeing a stranger. But after being familiar with them, Maltese show them affection. Most people find Maltese playful, peaceful, adorable, and easy-going.  

Maltese have good manners also. Like other small breed dogs, they don’t become aggressive seeing strangers. Even if you adore the Maltese, he will cuddle with you and will show you friendly behavior.

Some Maltese may bark seeing a stranger. But you can train your Maltese with positive behavior. They are easily trainable.

Moreover, their shiny white appearance also impresses people. They are also good with the older and children. You can own a Maltese in your house and train him without any hesitation.

What to look for in a potential service dog?

Choosing a potential service dog is not easy. You have to consider many factors before owning a puppy. Service dogs provide specific tasks. So, you have to keep in mind that whether the dog can do the job or not. Let’s see what to look for in a potential service dog.


If you want to take a puppy to train as a service dog, look at his parents. The puppy’s mother resembles most of the things the puppy will get when he grows up. So, search for the qualities you want in the parents of the puppy.


Retrieving exercise can expose how the puppy will become when he grows up. The puppies who do well in retrieving exercises can be more trainable. Having retrieving activities means that the puppy is eager to please. So, you can look for retrieving practice.


Service dogs must be intelligent enough to do their tasks when needed. Service dogs are trained to do specific things. So, they need to understand which job has to be done when. So, you can look for whether the breed is intelligent or not.

Size and strength:

Size and strength are essential for being a service dog. If the dog has enough stamina to perform the task, the dog can be a service dog.

The dog should be right-sized for the tasks they are going to do. So, look for the right size and strength in a potential service dog.


The dog must be calm and well-mannered. Because if the dog is hyper or aggressive, the dog can’t do his tasks properly. Look for the behavior of the dog you want to own as a service dog.


Sometimes, accidents might happen to your dog, or he might get hurt unintentionally. Especially, children can be clumsy with dogs. Some dogs can be sensitive and aggressive. So, make sure the dog has a forgiveness attitude.

Quick recovery from being startled:

Some dogs can have higher sound sensitivity. They can get fear from new sounds and harsh sounds.

If the dog doesn’t recover quickly after being startled, he might not be the perfect choice as a service dog. So, look for dogs or puppies who recover quickly from being scared.

What is the best small therapy dog?

Chihuahua is the best small therapy dog. Their small size makes them perfect for therapy. Even they are one the smallest therapy dogs. They love to travel. So you can take them wherever you go.

They love to be with their owners. Despite their size, they are intelligent. They are easy to train. So, you can make them obey you readily. Their captivating behaviors can take your mind off your worries.  

Chihuahuas are smart enough to learn new things. Moreover, their small but cute appearance will make you adore them. They also like to cuddle. They need no professionals to train them. So, you can own a Chihuahua as a small therapy dog and train him yourself.

How to have your dog as a service dog?

Service dogs are essential to help us with mental and physical issues. People with disabilities need a service dog for assistance and doing a specific task. So, training a dog as a service dog is essential. Because the dog will behave what he learns. Let’s see how you can have your dog as a service dog.

  • Identify your dog’s breed and ability to become a service dog.
  • You can find a trainer for your dog or train him yourself.
  • Take enough time to train your dog correctly.
  • Make sure the dog has the temperament, retrieving behavior, and not aggressive.
  • Apply for service dog certification and registration.

How to start training a service dog?

Service dogs are specially trained to perform specific tasks for people with a disability or medical condition. For their training, you have to keep in mind some factors. Let’s see how you can start training a service dog.

  • You can start with house training, like following commands.
  • Socialize the dog with unfamiliar people, things, and places.
  • Teach your dog to focus on the handler.
  • Teach the dog to ignore distractions.
  • Teach him to do specific tasks after seeing signs.
  • Teach him to calm and non-reactive.
  • Finally, take him to test his ability to a training center.

Maltese are friendly and intelligent dogs. They have an elegant appearance also. They can be a good companion in your house.

Moreover, they are suitable to be service and therapy dogs. Their characteristics like gentle, loving, loyal, and supportive make them ideal for emotionally supportive dogs.

Some small dogs are perfect to become service dogs. But they need to train first. You can have Maltese or other small breed dogs to train the dog yourself as a service dog.

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