During training, Maltese respond well to encouragement, praise and rewards. Consistency and repetition work better than punishment to shape new behaviors. Short, entertaining sessions keep the dog's attention and strengthen the bond between the pet and its owner. Yelling should be avoided because it only frightens the dog and may lead to anxiety.
To housebreak a Maltese, a good potty training schedule that is followed with consistency and persistence provides the best results. Watch the dog carefully, providing treats when he sticks to the routine. Most Maltese are very cooperative and respond well to this.
It is best to train a Maltese in the basic obedience commands while it is still a puppy. Many respond well to clicker training. This training is a good time to bond with the puppy, and it provides the dog with physical and mental stimulation.
In some instances Maltese develop bad habits in response to environmental stimuli. Excessive barking and chewing are two common problems that proper training can eliminate. Excessive barking is often a symptom of separation anxiety or a need for attention. Consistency and positive reinforcement are the best solutions. Over time it can work out well to ignore the animal while it is barking, and to respond with a treat when it obeys the command to be quiet. The use of chew toys early in life and consistently emphasizing what is appropriate and inappropriate for chewing can prevent this behavior problem.