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Bella (a sweetheart 99.9% of the time) is developing a really awful habit. When people come over she barks like crazy, non-stop until they sit down, and sometimes longer. After awhile she calms down and wants to be their friend, but just until they stand up again and then she tries biting their pant legs (this will be a huge problem when its not cold and people are wearing shorts!) We can't let anyone pet her if she doesn't know them really well because we can't trust her to be nice, she tried to bite someone yesterday. What should I do? She has never been friendly to UPS people but lately she's mean to all guests except for my cousin (over all the time) and one of my friends, and my grandparents. Shes especially aggressive towards my brothers friends. I don't know what to do. I know this is my fault, maybe she wasn't socialized properly or something. She's such a sweetie around people she knows. What's weird is she makes up her mind about people automatically. Bella has always been especially loving towards my cousin, but especially mean to my brothers friends, whats the deal?
 

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Brinkley is this way also. I can't stand it! I feel bad b/c I know people think he is a brat yappy dog, when that is not really his way at all.


Anyway, I will let you know what has worked for us...off and on...none of them have been consistent...b/c we don't get consistent company.
(wonder if HE has anything to do with that?!)

I have tried to tell him "no bark" and put him in the kitchen when he got out of hand. Then when he calms down I let him out. If he starts it back again, he goes back into the gated kitchen.

I have also tried making the guest hold him/love on him immediately when they come through the door. (only dog lover friends do this willingly)

I tried having the guests give him treats.

I tried having the guests play fetch with him.

I once had a guest take off her glasses b/c I thought that was what was upsetting him. None of us wear glasses. That worked! HA!!!

The best thing I have done is put him in the kitchen before hand...when I KNOW someone is coming over so that he cannot greet them at the door. When we are all settled, I let him out after a few minutes. So far, this has worked the best.

Good luck!
I understand your frustrations.
Brinkley has nipped at guests as well. It makes you feel horrible!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the suggestions! I think I can try a lot of them, Brinkley sounds a lot like Bella

I guess I'll have to try a crate instead of a baby gate though, because Harley can jump the gates and she tries to reprimand Bella when she's barking at guests, and I can just see her jumping the gate and trying to take care of Bella herself, wouldn't the guests find that interesting
I think I should invest in a soft sided crate that I put Bella in just until she calms down, then maybe when she stops barking I can give her a treat and let her out. I think the friends that are going to keep coming around she will learn are her friends and learn to greet them and let it go. Poor baby, I know I dropped the ball somewhere along the line, but we'll figure it out.
 

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My first maltese did this as well. as soon as some one would enter she would bark bark bark until they sat down... as soon as they stud up again she was at it... and she would follow them barking all the way... I thought it was because my girfriend always use to come over and then we would take missy outside to play and go jogging. yes she did jog with us actually she was like a lap ahead of us. lol... So i thought she did this because everytime someone would come by she thought she was going out side.. but after seeing this I guess it was something else.. all i could do was hold her when they came over... she was fine when I did that
 

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the way we solved our problem is to make sure that they're a little hungry---and when the guests come over---offer treats. yummy treats. try using human food...like steak or something.
and just keep making her sit or do a down.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
the way we solved our problem is to make sure that they're a little hungry---and when the guests come over---offer treats. yummy treats. try using human food...like steak or something.
and just keep making her sit or do a down.[/B]
I'm embarrassed to admit this, but Bella hasn't been taught to "Sit" or lay "down", my fault entirely. I'm reading a training book right now, but I should have taught her this a long time ago, she's nearly four now.
I was so silly for thinking she didn't need training, I'm sure she will be more confortable later when she realizes she doesn't have to control the houseguests. That must feel like a burden to her
 

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The best thing I have done is put him in the kitchen before hand...when I KNOW someone is coming over so that he cannot greet them at the door. When we are all settled, I let him out after a few minutes. So far, this has worked the best.[/B]
I have heard to not let the dog see the guests arrive and leave. That helps in my situation... they both are still terrible when company is here but not having them see the "intruders" arrvive, does help. If I have overnight guests, after a while K & C must feel that they are part of our pack because they start acting normally after a few hours .....
 

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My first maltese did this as well. as soon as some one would enter she would bark bark bark until they sat down... as soon as they stud up again she was at it... and she would follow them barking all the way...[/B]
That is exactly what Bella does, plus she tries to bite their pant legs. As soon as they sit down shes an angel.

The best thing I have done is put him in the kitchen before hand...when I KNOW someone is coming over so that he cannot greet them at the door. When we are all settled, I let him out after a few minutes. So far, this has worked the best.[/B]
I have heard to not let the dog see the guests arrive and leave. That helps in my situation... they both are still terrible when company is here but not having them see the "intruders" arrvive, does help. If I have overnight guests, after a while K & C must feel that they are part of our pack because they start acting normally after a few hours .....
[/B]

I'm sorry others are having the same problem, but I feel better knowing I'm not alone
Our kitchen is where the dogs can't see guests come and go, so I'm thinking of crating Bella in the kitchen until she's calm, but what do i do since there are two? Won't Bella be jealous if Harley is free to greet them (she thinks everyone is her friend) and Bella is stuck in the kitchen?
 

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I'm sorry others are having the same problem, but I feel better knowing I'm not alone
Our kitchen is where the dogs can't see guests come and go, so I'm thinking of crating Bella in the kitchen until she's calm, but what do i do since there are two? Won't Bella be jealous if Harley is free to greet them (she thinks everyone is her friend) and Bella is stuck in the kitchen?[/B]
Bella might actually feel safer in the kitchen. I think they "act up" because they are overhwelmed and not sure of the situation, so they try to take charge of it... That's just my take on it after having this problem with my first Maltese, Rosebud, and K & C, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think I'll try that. I don't know when I'll be having guest again, but I'll let you all know how it goes, fingers crossed!
 

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Those were some great tips, especially making the strangers give the baby treats, I read that in a training book, as well.

Max is great with strangers, he loves attention...but, all I did the first month I had him was taking him everywhere encouraging strangers who wanted to pet hiim to do so...even children. He has grown to love and expect it. He barked at the CVS cashier who was ignoring him...so, they have different reasons they bark.

When my 12 year old nefew first met him, Max was barking at him. So, I asked my nefew "you want to hold him" and my nefew said, no, he doesn't like me, he is barking at me. I said he is barking because you aren't giving hiim enough attention. So, doggy language can sometimes be misunderstood.

Every time Max barks at a cashier or something, I just say...he is looking to be acknowledged...and he is. The only person he really barks at is the Chinese man that delivers our food once in a while.

Are you interpretting your pups "barks" the way he intends you to interpret them? Because sometimes it isn't aggression at all...it might be saying hello. If teeth aren't being shown toward the strangers, it may not be intended to be aggression.
 

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i didnt think sprite needed training either....when i first got her. and then when i got ellie---i realized my mistake and put them in training(sprite was over a year old
). it seriously helps a lot...especially if you're out and stuff.

books are good, but honestly---its even better when you go to a class. you can see everyones mistakes and then you can from puppy play groups.

how is she doing now?
 

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Well I want to give you all a happy report, but our Christmas guests were recieved with mixed messages from little Bella. My cousin and her parents came over and Bella barked for a few minutes, but she didn't bite anyones pant legs. She settled in with them like they were her best friends and always had been. The next day, one of my mothers friends came over and Bella LOVED her. Maybe it was because the lady loves dogs and wasn't the least bit afraid. Well, I was dumb and didn't crate her or put her in the kitchen when my brothers friend came over and Bella went nuts (meanwhile Harley was looking at Bella like she had lost her mind and was just sitting there wagging her tail). I'm seeing now that the problem is me. When I see someone coming that Bella already knows and has a good history with, I let her stay on the ground and greet the person and I'm relaxed and calm (Bella has free run of the house and is totally contented). On the other hand, if its someone she was shy of when she was a puppy, or someone who we dont see that often (my brothers friends) I coddle her and carry her and the barking madness begins! I think Bella might think that I see certain people as intruders (I don't) and is trying to protect me or something. Anyway, I dont know If I should just crate her for a few miutes until the barking stops or let her run free no matter who the guests and see if that works. Confused
 

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It was me, Bella's perfect!!!! I'm so excited. Bella is notorious for attacking one of my brothers friends, as I mentioned before. Well he just came over and Bella was great!! I think I needed to just remain calm and firmly (but quietly) tell her no the second she started her attack mode. Bella just looked at me like she was confused and kept barking, but she backed off and didn't even try to get at his pant legs. This is a huge improvement and before he left she let him pet her. Just had to share, even if its a baby step!
 

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It was me, Bella's perfect!!!! I'm so excited. Bella is notorious for attacking one of my brothers friends, as I mentioned before. Well he just came over and Bella was great!! I think I needed to just remain calm and firmly (but quietly) tell her no the second she started her attack mode. Bella just looked at me like she was confused and kept barking, but she backed off and didn't even try to get at his pant legs. This is a huge improvement and before he left she let him pet her. Just had to share, even if its a baby step![/B]

Great News!
Brink is improving also!!! I wish more people would come over so I can try it out some more!
I can't get enough consistency...
 
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