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Old 03-15-2017, 06:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
Name: Bonnie Dessart
Dog's Name: Berkley, Baylor, Brooklyn
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: DeBary
Posts: 21
Default Jealous Maltese

Hi, I have had 2 maltese, a male and a female for around 6 months. They have gotten along very well.

Recently I brought another maltese female into the mix.

They are between 1 and 2 years old. The male has become aggressive to the new little female, lunging at her and frightening her.

He is my shadow, and I have been trying to give him as much attention as he got before, but of course the new one is sharing me also.

I have had 3 maltese before and even if they weren't best friends they tolerated each other.
Does anyone have any suggestions to help curb the jealousy? I would be happy if they would at least get along. Thanks, Bonnie
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Dog's Name: Daisy, Maxwell, Henry and Bunnie
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 3,006

Hi Bonnie,
I know how stressful this can be. I had a similar problem when we adopted Bunnie. Daisy and Max were both about a year and a half old, and Bunnie was 5 months. She was crazy, full of energy, always wanting to play, and they didn't like her and would hide under the couch from her, or Daisy would fight with her. Not serious fighting, but growling and lunging at her.
I had a behaviorist trainer come to the house to observe and work with us.
A few things that I learned -
The most important thing that I learned, is to make your boy dog think that it is just the greatest thing in the world for your new dog to be around. So whenever you are holding or patting the new dog, give them both lots of treats and praise. Also, try to be aware of your own emotions. Dogs pick up on our feelings, so if you are nervous about them interacting, it might make your boy nervous and cause a reaction.
You want to be sure to "protect" your new dog, and not let her live in fear (if she is). This might mean keeping them separate until they all get along okay. If you can keep them separate with a gate or pen so that they can see each other and smell each other, that can help give them time to adjust.
They are all in their adolescent years, which is probably part of the issue. They will mellow out as time goes by. All of mine get along fine now, but it was rough going for a while.
It can help to walk them together if you can. I always walk Daisy and Bunnie together, and I think it makes a big difference.
A book that I found helpful is "Fight" by Jean Donaldson.
Some if it is for more serious aggression, but I found a lot of book dealing with the "why" helpful. Maltese are usually such sweet dogs, that I couldn't understand their behavior.
You also might want to google "resource guarding." It sounds like your boy is very attached to you and might be "guarding" you as his own.
Positive reward based training, just basic commands, can make a big difference too. It can help them become more confident, and get rid of some of the extra energy. We did a lot of clicker training.
If things don't improve, you could consider working with a dog behaviorist who can help figure out why the behavior is happening.
I hope things improve soon! You must be very worried, but I know it will get better.

Daisy, Maxwell, Henry and Bunnie
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Old 03-16-2017, 06:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
Name: Bonnie Dessart
Dog's Name: Berkley, Baylor, Brooklyn
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: DeBary
Posts: 21

Hi Kathleen,
Thank you so much for your very insightful letter. You have hit the nail on the head with your comments and I am going to check out both the book and about resource guarding, i do think that it is part of the issue.
I know what you mean, I was surprised because I have never had a Maltese that did this, but I have had mostly girls and he is very attached to me.
I am going to take your words of advice and work with him and make him realize he is still just as important to me as he was before she came.
Thanks again for taking the time to help me out with this, I will let you know how things are going along soon. Bonnie
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