Those who want to own a pet are likely to spend a lot of time trying to decide on the right breed. This is imperative because you want the animal to fit in with your lifestyle and home. Though it can be a tough decision, we can help you with some important information about the Maltese vs Westie.
The Maltese is from Italy, while the Westie is from the UK. Both of them are roughly the same height and weight. You’ll also find that both of these breeds like to chew; consider finding the right bed to prevent them from eating on everything in sight.
How the Maltese Is Described
As a toy dog, the Maltese is quite small and is only about 20 to 25 centimeters in height with a weight of between one and four kilograms. It features a rounded skull, brown eyes, black nose, and floppy ears. Often, it has a feathery, curled tail with a long silky coat.
It has a pure white coat, but no undercoat. You’ll find that this breed is considered hypoallergenic because it doesn’t shed. Most owners like a short coat that is all one length, though you will find some have longer coats toward the back.
These small dogs are bred to be a companion. Though they are little, they still need to be trained and socialized because they can be snappy, especially toward children. Training shouldn’t be hard because the dog is quite intelligent.
When they are educated at an early age, they are very good with children, other pets, and the elderly. They tend to love the family in which they are placed and want to be with them all of the time. Maltese dogs are playful and energetic, as well, so they love playing games.
How the Westie Is Described
The Westie, on the other hand, is about 23 to 28 centimeters tall and weighs between seven and 10 kilograms. Therefore, it is bigger than the Maltese. It features a more rounded head with black eyes and nose, with a carrot-shaped tail.
Its coat is pure white and hard. You’d think it would be soft and fluffy, but it isn’t. Thus, it’s considered a hypoallergenic dog for that reason and because it doesn’t shed much.
Often, the coat is trimmed to two inches long with an undercoat, as well. These dogs are bred to be hunters, but they are companion dogs for the most part now. Their smallness and energy mean that they are rambunctious and need to be trained and socialized.
They do tend to be good with kids and other pets. However, they do require more maintenance than the Maltese.
Health Issues and Concerns
Typically, the Maltese breed is quite healthy and can live up to 15 years. That said, they do develop skin problems, such as sebaceous adenitis. This is an inflammation of the sebaceous glands and not very common in most breeds.
Sometimes, these dogs can also develop hypothyroidism. This means that their thyroid doesn’t produce the right amounts of hormones. That can cause your dog to become cold all the time, gain weight, or lose their hair.
The West Highland White Terrier is also quite healthy, though they can develop hip and patella dysplasia as they get older. It’s best to have their hips and patella evaluated periodically. You should also get their eyes checked.
Usually, the Westie has problems with allergies. They may sneeze a lot or scratch their dry, itchy skin. This means they can lose their hair without the right treatment.
Personality and Characteristics
Of course, the biggest benefit of the Maltese is its smallness. They can adapt easily to any lifestyle, including life in the city. If you live in an apartment building, though, it is a good idea to focus on obedience training that includes no barking.
Often, these dogs are quite responsive and loyal, so they are good family dogs. You’ll also find that they are great playmates for children, but you do need to teach your child to be respectful of animals. Dogs tend to nip or get aggressive when children tug on their tails or pull their hair. This also means teaching your dog how to behave around your kids.
People may also wonder about other pets. Generally, the Maltese gets along with other dogs and even cats, but there is likely to be a period of animosity as they all get to know each other better.
Westies tend to be alert and active, so they don’t necessarily need to be pampered. They do become sensitive when you reprimand them, so it’s best to be patient and calm rather than yell and get upset.
They are quite faithful and intelligent, so they are relatively easy to train, but expect it to take a lot of patience and time on your part. In fact, they are quite agreeable in training, but they’re not fully eager to please.
These dogs have a mind of their own and prefer to work alone. That’s how they were bred, and though they are domesticated, they haven’t lost that sense of independence.
Generally, Westies are pretty good with kids, but they do have that wild streak in them. They may think it’s all fun and games and playfully nip your child. It’s a good idea to teach them both how to be respectful of the other.
Care for These Breeds
In most cases, it is best to feed your dog commercially prepared food that is designed specifically for small dogs. Nevertheless, you may supplement with home-cooked items, such as turkey or chicken, as well as raw or cooked vegetables.
The Maltese breed can have dental issues, so it’s best to brush their teeth twice a week. While the Westie has no significant dental concerns, but brushing the teeth is still a good idea.
Maltese vs Westie: The Conclusion
Whether you’re actively looking for a new dog or you just want some information, you can’t go wrong with either breed. In the Maltese vs Westie debate, we think both animals could make a great addition to your household.
That said, the Westie tends to be a bit larger and has fewer health concerns. We believe this might be the right option for the elderly, households with children, and pet owners in confined spaces.