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Old 05-04-2019, 12:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
Name: Lily
Dog's Name: Simon
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: United States, Midwest.
Posts: 11
Default What's your "schedule" for your Maltese?

Hi all!

If my story is too long for you - feel free to skip to the bottom for a summarized version!

So I think I may have done something wrong while raising my Maltese puppy (he's 10 months now) because he seems to have a few behavioral/manner issues. He's sweet as heck and has never showed aggression so that's a plus, but he's super reactive to noises and people. So much that (disclaimer) we have to use a barking collar inside (it vibrates) because he's so barky and we don't want to get kicked out. I feel like this anxiety he has attributes to all his other issues (tugging hard/frantically on our walks, barking at people and other dogs any time he sees them through the window or while we're outside, barking/growling/whining if he hears noises inside, and marking inside and obsessively outside). We just got him fixed so hopefully that will stop the marking.

This isn't something that concerns me that much but he also follows me absolutely everywhere and will whine if I leave the room for more than a few minutes. Sometimes he's good and will wait and sometimes he'll whine a bit. He's also good in his crate most of the time. He responds well to commands if he's inside but using the command to "walk away" (without a treat) from stimuli outside doesn't seem to work like our trainer suggested. I've never seen him so fixated on something before until we're outside and he sees people or dogs. We've encountered residents before who let Simon come up to them with their dogs and he stops barking and just sniffs/backs away, but no one lets us get close enough to try that, and we're too embarrassed to do it anyway.

Something interesting to note, we took him on vacation to see my husband's mom who took care of Simon for a few days and he seemed wonderful with the residents there. I'll just be frank and say that most of the residents at her apartment are mostly mature and seniors and took to Simon immediately. They asked to pet him, they approached him slowly and called him adorable, etc but where we live at our apartment, they're all younger and don't seem to like Simon/smaller dogs and will ignore him or give looks. They all have big dogs at our apartment so I think it's just the area.

My mother in law also said he seemed spoiled and untrained but she said she worked with him and he stopped tugging on leash. So I don't know if I'm to blame or if the environment we're in makes him nervous. He also didn't bark at all in her apartment (mostly because she's in a better apartment in a city and it's more sound proof) but he seemed so happy at her place. Now that we're back, he seems super nervous all the time. We're also by the front door where people come in and out all the time so that doesn't help.

In short, my 10 month old Maltese seems very reactive and nervous where we live and I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong. I've done puppy training, use a bark collar (it only vibrates) to stop the inside barking which works a bit, got him training for his reactiveness and all they said is that he's an excited puppy, but he looks distressed all the time and whines/barks at everything inside, and tugs/barks at stimuli outside. He responds well to treats but it seems to spoil his breakfast/dinner as we usually have to give him about 5 treats per person we see outside to divert his attention. We give him 1-2 ten min walks a day and take him outside every hour and a half for potty breaks and romps around the yard. We play inside in total throughout the day for about 30 minutes. As we speak, he's nervously pacing the apartment holding his "comfort toy" and whining, despite there being no noise. He has tons of toys and chewing bones/sticks but chooses to either stare at me or whine and pace. I just took him on a walk.

Should I incorporate more training exercises? He seems to love performing and doing tricks. He also loves playing. Should I take him on longer walks and play with him more? Jog with him? I just want him to stop barking and scaring people and be a normal dog when we go out. What do you guys do? What does your schedule look like and how did you train your puppies? Do they have any nervous tendencies still?

Thanks for reading everyone! A picture below of the little devil if anyone wants to know what he looks like.

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Old 05-04-2019, 11:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Name: Denise
Dog's Name: Bella
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Sunny Fla
Posts: 48
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Hi, i’m a newbie but I have had more than one Maltese and in just MY opinion it sounds like he isn’t socialized enough. The first Maltese I had acted like that. My hubby and I both worked so time was limited. Try daycare or something so he gets use to being around people more. Walks etc., aren’t really socializing if it’s just the dog and you. I hope this gives you suggestions. Good luck
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Name: Maggie
Dog's Name: Sweetness and Tessa
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Chicago - Western Suburbs
Posts: 10,092

There may be a number of different factors at play here, including anxiety. I suggest you find a professional animal behaviorist (not your every day dog training that you find at pet stores) who can help you with this.
Sweetness and Tessa
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