Maltese Dogs Forum : Spoiled Maltese Forums banner
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
389 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got Preston two months ago when he was 6 months old. There is a lot of emphasis on this forum on getting your dog from a "good breeder," but does that just mean a breeder that breeds show quality dogs? What about the way the dogs are socialized before he comes to your home?

Preston definately came with issues. His personality changes all the time. He can be loving or aloof. He doesn't like Hispanic people and growls at them when we are out. When I approach him he rarely just sits there and lets me pet him or pick him up. He usuallly looks afraid and runs off. He's better with my daughters but seems to be afraid of me. When a stranger comes over to him he can be nice or he can growl. Today he let these little girls pet him and then he suddenly started to growl. I guess he got stressed out. Unless we're out of the home he's not really a lap dog. If I'm out he's more comfortable with me, but at home he just wants to be alone and explore.

I wanted a lap dog. If I'm on the couch watching tv, the best I get is him sitting next to me. Last night he went to my husband and girls but wouldn't come near me:unsure:. My trainer says he's bored with me because I'm always there for him. She said to ignore him and make him beg for my company. That just doesn't feel right to me. She also wants me to continue his training with lot of positive reinforcement and treats, which I do agree with.

Is this behavior typical of your dogs? It seems like everyone has a complete angel with minor potty or barking issues. What about the dogs that are acquired later in life? Any suggestions? I don't want to spend the next 15 years with a dog that's not that interested in me.

Thanks!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,273 Posts
I don't own a Maltese yet so I may not be of much help. Owning Yorkies and having many friends with yorkies, I have seen how much individual personalities can vary from Yorkie to Yorkie. From what I know about Maltese, they are on average much more calm and tend to be more of a lap dog than Yorkies, as Maltese were bred to be companions. However, I imagine personalities can vary quite a bit among individual Maltese as well. I'm sure some Maltese are more independent, some more clingy, some more active, etc etc.

Did you discuss what you were wanting as far as personality goes with his breeder? Did you tell him what you wanted, and did his breeder give you a description of his personality? Did you discuss what kind of training/socialization the puppies get prior to going to their new homes?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,659 Posts
What does your trainer say about the growling? That would concern me.

IMO, a good breeder will evaluate a family and puppy to see if it's a good match. Did you speak to Preston's breeder about what you were looking for? Getting an older puppy usually makes it easier to match the puppy with the perfect family as the personality is more developed.

My Lady is a rescue, adopted at 4.5 years old. We are extremely bonded (she's 14.5 now), but she has never been clingy. She is sweet, affectionate and fun, but doesn't need to keep me in her sight all the time - which I like. She has always had a very mellow, laid back personality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
389 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I told the breeder exactly what I wanted in a puppy. I said I wanted a dog who sits on my lap, loves people, is outgoing and friendly without being obnoxious. I also said that I wanted a smart dog that I could train. He said this would be the right dog for me. He said he's a very happy, well adjusted dog.

As far as the growling, I think he has a lot of fear agression issues and that is part of it. It also concerns me that he seemed okay with these kids and then suddenly growled. The mother grabbed her kids and ran!

I'm sure that he wasn't socialized properly before he came to me. I was stupid because the breeder told me he stays in a large dog crate with a wee wee pad and the puppies get played with a couple times a day. That's not enough. When I first got him I tried putting him in a large dog crate with a pad one night and it was a disaster. He threw the pad all over the place and was a mess in the morning. It's hard to imagine that he lived that way. I just wonder if other people are getting dogs with these issues and if they are able to socialize the dog at an older age. If I had to do it over again I would want to get a very young puppy from a breeder that really interacts with her dogs and makes a great effort to socialize her puppies.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
24,028 Posts
I really haven't had that type of problem and I got Tyler when he was 8 months old. He's bonded to me from the get go and also is very close to my husband. Loves meeting other people...will lie down on the rug in our hallway for neighbors to pet him. He's never growled and he gives plenty of cuddling and kiss time. The one thing he won't do is take treats from my hand. I have to lay it on the floor. Don't know where that came from but assuming a treat might have been given before he did something he didn't want to do. He isn't very treat oriented which makes training harder but he has been coming along very well. I've taken him on the subway, park, street, car rides and he's totally adjusted. I don't know if it's the breeder, the personality of the dog or the pairing that is off in your case. I hope you have some luck with the trainer. Have you ever spoken to the breeder about it? Maybe he has some ideas.
Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,659 Posts
I told the breeder exactly what I wanted in a puppy. I said I wanted a dog who sits on my lap, loves people, is outgoing and friendly without being obnoxious. I also said that I wanted a smart dog that I could train. He said this would be the right dog for me. He said he's a very happy, well adjusted dog.

As far as the growling, I think he has a lot of fear agression issues and that is part of it. It also concerns me that he seemed okay with these kids and then suddenly growled. The mother grabbed her kids and ran!

I'm sure that he wasn't socialized properly before he came to me. I was stupid because the breeder told me he stays in a large dog crate with a wee wee pad and the puppies get played with a couple times a day. That's not enough. When I first got him I tried putting him in a large dog crate with a pad one night and it was a disaster. He threw the pad all over the place and was a mess in the morning. It's hard to imagine that he lived that way. I just wonder if other people are getting dogs with these issues and if they are able to socialize the dog at an older age. If I had to do it over again I would want to get a very young puppy from a breeder that really interacts with her dogs and makes a great effort to socialize her puppies.
I don't think it was the age you got him, just the lack of socialization. We have members who have gotten older, even "teenage" puppies from responsible breeders who are very well socialized.

Hopefully you and your trainer wil be able to work with him. The growling would concern me, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,273 Posts
I don't think it is the age either. I think either it is his individual personality or it was a lack of socialization/training while with the breeder. I actually would prefer a 5-8 month old puppy as long as the breeder has started basic potty training and is socializing the puppy...if the breeder does no training and no socialization as the puppy ages, it can create a nightmare i imagine. But if a breeder is working with the puppy, there should be no issues with getting an older puppy in my opinion. I have no idea what Preston's breeder does or does not do as I have never spoken to them and won't make a judgement about that..but I would suggest speaking with them and other owners that have puppies from the breeder and comparing experiences.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,246 Posts
I got Nikki when she was older and we didn't have issues. It sounds like you dog wasn't properly socialized but I'm not a trainer or behaviorist. Dogs who growl aren't usually being aggressive, they're afraid.

IMO, you will have to patiently work very hard with your dog to overcome its current issues, but it CAN be done. Don't be discouraged and give up hope. It will just take some time.

I have a book called "Scardy Dog." by Ali Brown that covers this topic very well.

I wish you the best.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,471 Posts
I agree with what everyone else has said. I think it was the way he was socialized from the begining. That makes a big difference! I would continue to use positive reinforcement with him and of course give him as much love and attention as you can.

Being in a crate, with the potty pad doesn't sound like a fun thing. Sounds like he was more in the crate than out. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,288 Posts
Your dog's issues are not due to the age that you received him, but more likely to inherent personality traits combined with a lack of socialization. Your dog may have missed out on a critical period of socialization. Remedying that takes time and effort...it does not change overnight.
I don't really look at pups under 5 months any more...but purchase from breeders who do an exceptional job with their pups.
A reputable, responsible breeder does show their dogs, but there are many other essential attributes that must be there to make a breeder reputable - socializing their pups properly is one of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,502 Posts
I wanted a lap dog. If I'm on the couch watching tv, the best I get is him sitting next to me. Last night he went to my husband and girls but wouldn't come near me:unsure:. My trainer says he's bored with me because I'm always there for him. She said to ignore him and make him beg for my company. That just doesn't feel right to me. She also wants me to continue his training with lot of positive reinforcement and treats, which I do agree with.
QUOTE]

I don't agree with your trainer. Ignoring your malt and making him beg for your company just doesn't sit right with me. I think you should continue to reward him with positive reinforcement.

When Jill was a puppy, she was very aloof and rarely came near me or my husband to just "hang out". Yet Jack was all over us all the time. However, as she got older, Jill became more and more attached to us. Now she loves sitting on our laps, but she's still not as affectionate as Jack is. I think it's just their personalities. However, I'd give him more time. Let him get more comfortable with you and I'm sure he'll slowly grow more attached.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
389 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I agree with all of you. I'm really trying to be patient and I'm always very loving with him. I should point out that I'm mentioning the problems that I have with Preston, but Preston has some wonderful qualities as well. He's very smart, he absolutely loves my youngest daughter, he's adorable, he sleeps all night in his little crate without a peep, and I can take him anywhere and he's a good boy (except when he growls at people he doesn't like).

The biggest problem is that he is very opinionated about who he doesn't like and lets that person know it in a scarey way. Yesterday my daughter had two friends over. The first one he hated. He barked his head off and growled at her. I had her give him a treat which calmed him down for a minute. The next girl that came over he liked. He probably would have let her hold him. She gave him a treat as well.

Preston hates my daughter's boyfriend who doesn't like to come to the house anymore because of the barking and growling.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,319 Posts
Wow, I hate that this is happening because it seems like the breeder should have known how he was. I got both of my girls ([email protected] yrs old and [email protected] l 1l2 yrs old) and they came completely trained and have always been sweet as can be. Rain's condition was deplorable but I found out she was healthy and her appearance was a fixable condition. You do take your chances....I wanted when I got each, a puppy but they did not have any and offered a young adult. I have been so pleased that I did not have to go through all the training and early, early stages of a little puppy. I did miss the sweet stages of that but all in all, I was pleased with their socialization. Have you called and talked to the breeder about this? He is just a doll and I wish you luck with his problem. I know it is making you sad and I quite understand. Maybe you should talk to the breeder....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,659 Posts
I agree with all of you. I'm really trying to be patient and I'm always very loving with him. I should point out that I'm mentioning the problems that I have with Preston, but Preston has some wonderful qualities as well. He's very smart, he absolutely loves my youngest daughter, he's adorable, he sleeps all night in his little crate without a peep, and I can take him anywhere and he's a good boy (except when he growls at people he doesn't like).

The biggest problem is that he is very opinionated about who he doesn't like and lets that person know it in a scarey way. Yesterday my daughter had two friends over. The first one he hated. He barked his head off and growled at her. I had her give him a treat which calmed him down for a minute. The next girl that came over he liked. He probably would have let her hold him. She gave him a treat as well.

Preston hates my daughter's boyfriend who doesn't like to come to the house anymore because of the barking and growling.

How old are your children and their friends? Some little dogs are afraid of small children with their high voices and quick movements. Preston's growl may be warning them because he is afraid of them.

You absolutely must keep him penned up and away from any children who may be visiting. Should he bite one of the children, the bite has to be reported by law. You could face a lawsuit. This is not something to take a chance on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,653 Posts
im sorry you are going thru this and it does sound like a socialization issue. not the age. I got Dolce at 4 months and he is the definition of lap dog, he loves being next to us especially me and on me.however he is terrified of laying on his back terrified. He loves children and ppl , is not scared of any stranger , his only prob is the barking when they ring the bell and his not wanting to walk outside ( even though he is getting better) however im not having alot of luck with training. but maybe that is my fault as i dont train everyday.

it also doesnt sound right to me for ur trainer to say to let him come to you and to let him be, i think repetition is key , positive reinforcement and treats , cuddle him , put heim next to u on the couch and just stroke and treat and maybe he will get it , it might also justbe his temperament.

good luck , n he is a cutey btw
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
389 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm sure that it is socialization. As far as my "children," they are 18 and 22 years old. He loves them. They're not around that often so maybe my trainer is onto something when she says ignore him (not always, just don't be so available). A few minutes ago he was standing at my side. Normally I'd pick him up (he's so cute, how could I not?) but instead I looked the other way and totally ignored him. He started hopping and begging to be picked up. I guess I do need to play hard to get. Another thing I've done a lot of today is reward him with a treat when he is on my lap or in my arms. Everyone knows the way too a mans heart is....
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,225 Posts
I told the breeder exactly what I wanted in a puppy. I said I wanted a dog who sits on my lap, loves people, is outgoing and friendly without being obnoxious. I also said that I wanted a smart dog that I could train. He said this would be the right dog for me. He said he's a very happy, well adjusted dog.

As far as the growling, I think he has a lot of fear agression issues and that is part of it. It also concerns me that he seemed okay with these kids and then suddenly growled. The mother grabbed her kids and ran!

I'm sure that he wasn't socialized properly before he came to me. I was stupid because the breeder told me he stays in a large dog crate with a wee wee pad and the puppies get played with a couple times a day. That's not enough. When I first got him I tried putting him in a large dog crate with a pad one night and it was a disaster. He threw the pad all over the place and was a mess in the morning. It's hard to imagine that he lived that way. I just wonder if other people are getting dogs with these issues and if they are able to socialize the dog at an older age. If I had to do it over again I would want to get a very young puppy from a breeder that really interacts with her dogs and makes a great effort to socialize her puppies.
A dogs personality is inherited from it's parents. Some has to do with socialization. Maltese in general are very loving dogs and love to be with their people. When entering a new home it takes some adjustment, but they shouldn't be acting the way you are describing.
Temperment is inherited. The puppy may never see or be with their dad, but act just like him in temperment. The seminar at the National Specialty with Claudia Orlandi, really emphasized this over and over.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
So sorry you're going through such a tough time with Preston, especially after trying to do everything right to help eliminate the chances of such problems by going through a reputable breeder. I am surprised that the breeder acknowledged your desire for an outgoing, social, lapdog and yet paired you with a pup that seems to be a bit fearful and aloof.

Like others have said, working with a trainer is probably your best bet. There are also some socialization type classes you can take at some places to help expose him to different types of people, things, dogs in a controlled environment. Maybe try to find one of those, or "create" one on your own.

Best of luck. I hope in a few months we'll see a thread on all Preston's progress and how great he's doing :thumbsup:
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top