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Lately, Koa has been acting very strange. Sometimes he acts like he doesn't even know me, and that he thinks I am going to hurt him or something. Recently when I walk into the kitchen (where he is secluded to) and try to pick him up, he'll run away and hide. It seems different than when he's playing. Then other times, he'll bark aggressively like he is mad at me. Recently, after I give him a bath, I put him in his bed/box with a towel while I cleaned up. I do this every time and usually he cuddles up with the blanket until I am ready to blow dry him. This time he went into attack mode and barked like crazy. I tried to calm him down and he kept at it and didn't want to be picked up. In both of these situations, I try to calm him, maybe coaxing him with treats. Then I pick him up and try to pat, cuddle with him. By then he calms down, but it seems like he is forgetting me or something?

I've never hurt him and try to give him a lot of attention. I go to school or work for only six hours per day, and during that time he is crated. When I scold him, it's never physical; maybe a firm "No" and then some positive reinforcement. I don't understand his behavior, but it is scaring me. Could it be that he is going thru puberty? He has gotten "excited" a few times in the last week, but it isn't all the time. My husband just left for a few weeks... could it be a reaction to his departure? He isn't around too much in the first place though. He works a lot so it's usually just Koa and me.

Sorry to be so wordy. Thanks for any help you can offer.
 

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Originally posted by Koa@Nov 15 2005, 01:23 AM
Lately, Koa has been acting very strange. Sometimes he acts like he doesn't even know me, and that he thinks I am going to hurt him or something. Recently when I walk into the kitchen (where he is secluded to) and try to pick him up, he'll run away and hide. It seems different than when he's playing. Then other times, he'll bark aggressively like he is mad at me. Recently, after I give him a bath, I put him in his bed/box with a towel while I cleaned up. I do this every time and usually he cuddles up with the blanket until I am ready to blow dry him. This time he went into attack mode and barked like crazy. I tried to calm him down and he kept at it and didn't want to be picked up. In both of these situations, I try to calm him, maybe coaxing him with treats. Then I pick him up and try to pat, cuddle with him. By then he calms down, but it seems like he is forgetting me or something?

I've never hurt him and try to give him a lot of attention. I go to school or work for only six hours per day, and during that time he is crated. When I scold him, it's never physical; maybe a firm "No" and then some positive reinforcement. I don't understand his behavior, but it is scaring me. Could it be that he is going thru puberty? He has gotten "excited" a few times in the last week, but it isn't all the time. My husband just left for a few weeks... could it be a reaction to his departure? He isn't around too much in the first place though. He works a lot so it's usually just Koa and me.

Sorry to be so wordy. Thanks for any help you can offer. 

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Just curious.... when you say "secluded to".... how many hours a day is he secluded?
 

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I'm wondering if I misread your post? Do you crate him while you are gone and keep him in the kitchen even when you are home?

If this is the case, I have to ask: why have a Maltese and seclude him to the kitchen? These little guys are lapdogs and need to be with their people as much as possible. Perhaps he just needs a lot more cuddles and to be near you at all times when you are home.
 

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You didn't say how long you have had the pup or how old he is??

You may not have created a strong bond with the puppy, yet or at the beginning. I would imagine each dog is different as to how long it takes to bond.

You should be the dog's "pack leader", he should be looking to you to fulfill his needs and protect him. By hiding from you, he is showing that he doesn't completey trust you. You may have to start all over again with the bonding process.

Just yesterday, I took Max to the Vet for his shots. I held him as the Vet gave him the shot and he let out a loud cry. Now, since I was holding him, he associated that "pain" with me. So, I said to the Vet, great he will hate me for a while. Now, today I tried to comb him, and as soon as I got to the butt area with the comb (gently) he began to growl (seriously) and went to nip at me and attacked the comb. I didn't budge, I firmly said "NO" and continued to gently comb him....he calmed down, when he realized it wasn't going to hurt, and let me finish...he was gentle then. It just goes to show you how things get imprinted in thier head and you have to regain that trust as protector and mommy.

You may have done something to frighten him without knowing or someone else in his past perhaps? either way, he didn't properly bond to you...he should be excited to see you, not frightened.

Here is an article on bonding...it's pretty good. Good luck, it's never easy.

http://netscape.petplace.com/Articles/artShow.asp?artID=2547
 

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I don't know where you got Koa from, but it sounds like maybe he wasn't handled by much humans early on, when he was with his mom and littermates. It's odd behavior for a puppy so young.

I've read (and posted) several articles that stress the importance of early and frequent human contact in those early weeks to a puppy's attitude towards humans later on. I believe the window was about 8 weeks for this socialization, which they called "primary socialization". Anything after that is supposedly less effective (secondary socialization).

Since you are going to have to make up for what Koa most likely didn't get in those first few weeks, I'd suggest not putting him a secluded place unless you can't watch him and handling him as much as possible and keeping him with you.
 

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Another tip~ when you come home....put all your stuff down, take off your shoes, put away your jacket THEN take the puppy gate off the kitchen door way. Then walk away and let HIM follow YOU. That is the way it's supposed to be anyway, if you are trying to establish pack leader/mommy title.

Also, when he comes looking for you, and he will, give him a special treat when he approaches you. Positive experiences with food and owner = bonding.

When I come home, I do that same thing. Do everything I have to do then calmly take the fence down and about 20 seconds later I calmly pick him up....he is usually jumping on my leg to be picked up.

Also, when I first brought him home, I just opened up his carrier and let him deside when he was comfortable enough to come out. I also let him deside when he wanted to approach me, and we played for about an hour.

They just want to feel safe and loved....safety has to come first and that is with trust being built.

Sorry to ramble, but my pup is also at that fragile state and I am trying to provide as many positive experiences as possible with trying to prevent him from being frightened from anything for a few months.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Originally posted by Kallie/Catcher's Mom+Nov 15 2005, 02:39 AM-->
<!--QuoteBegin-Koa
@Nov 15 2005, 01:23 AM
Lately, Koa has been acting very strange. Sometimes he acts like he doesn't even know me, and that he thinks I am going to hurt him or something. Recently when I walk into the kitchen (where he is secluded to) and try to pick him up, he'll run away and hide. It seems different than when he's playing. Then other times, he'll bark aggressively like he is mad at me. Recently, after I give him a bath, I put him in his bed/box with a towel while I cleaned up. I do this every time and usually he cuddles up with the blanket until I am ready to blow dry him. This time he went into attack mode and barked like crazy. I tried to calm him down and he kept at it and didn't want to be picked up. In both of these situations, I try to calm him, maybe coaxing him with treats. Then I pick him up and try to pat, cuddle with him. By then he calms down, but it seems like he is forgetting me or something?

I've never hurt him and try to give him a lot of attention. I go to school or work for only six hours per day, and during that time he is crated. When I scold him, it's never physical; maybe a firm "No" and then some positive reinforcement. I don't understand his behavior, but it is scaring me. Could it be that he is going thru puberty? He has gotten "excited" a few times in the last week, but it isn't all the time. My husband just left for a few weeks... could it be a reaction to his departure? He isn't around too much in the first place though. He works a lot so it's usually just Koa and me.

Sorry to be so wordy. Thanks for any help you can offer. 

<div align="right">index.php?act=findpost&pid=119769
Just curious.... when you say "secluded to".... how many hours a day is he secluded?
<div align="right">index.php?act=findpost&pid=119779
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When I say secluded I mean that we've "roped" off the kitchen so he can't go into the other rooms. He is just over four months old and whenever we try to open the condo up to him, he poops or pees on the carpet. I posted the problem on this forum, and everyone said that I was giving him too much freedom and that he should stay in the kitchen. I guess I used the wrong word.

I give Koa a lot of attention. When I am on the computer he is in my lap. The same when I watch TV. I usually try to carry him around the house whenever I am doing something. I even bring him into the bathroom with me and sing to him when I shower. hehe. I have a little dog purse too so I try to take him with me whenever I go shopping. I'd say he is downright spoiled. :)

He is actually behaving like normal now. His oddness started right after my husband left on deployment, just under a week ago, and ended about a day after I posted this question. I think he was suffering from withdrawl or something? Is that possible? Anyway, no more running from me, and no more fear. He seems back to normal. Yippee!!!
 

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That's great news! I guess he was just upset that your husband had left. These little guys are so sensitive!

It sounds like you are doing everything right with little Koa.
 

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yep, he deffinitely could have been missing your hubby, especially if he's back to normal. That's terrific.

Yup, you are also right about too much freedom. My pup is pooping all over my condo (carpeted too, yuk). I have been too much of a coward to confine him to his own "safety space" like all the training books and my own Vet said to do.


I will soon, though...I will have to or he will stink me out.
 

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Oh I can relate to them missing hubby when he is gone. Scooby is like velcro with his daddy when he is around but when he is out it's like he sits there waiting for the back door to swing open and he will sit there for however long it takes. He never gets nasty about it though, but I can see a change in him, sort of like he blames me because his daddy is missing. He just pouts and sighs and barks at any little noise he thinks sounds like a car in the garage.
I am convinced that in his eyes I am just the go getter and provider and the one who gets to go out in the heat or the cold when he wants to go potty, and the one he comes to if he happens to hurt himself or is not sure of something, but daddy is his constant companion and playmate. I will say this though, Scooby does what I tell him, but when hubby tells him Scooby ignores him if it is something he doesn't want to do. I think I am the alpha and Scooby thinks he is next then comes poor hubby on the end of the string
 
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