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J

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I am a little upset with Lacey. Today she was laying on the carpet chewing her pigear. I walked by her and she growled at me and tried to hide her pigear under her body. I took the pigear from her and told her it was mine and I could take it anytime I wanted to. I keep it for about 15 minutes on the desk with it hanging over the top so she could she it but not get it. Keep touching it and ignoring her. I gave it back to her and 5 minutes later took it from her again...no growling this time. I am going to start taking her toys and chewies out of her mouth when she is playing with them to show her I am the boss. Is this a good ideal? Anyone else had this problem? She also barked at my husband the other night when he was getting into bed...she and I were sound asleep and he woke her up. Ever since then my husband has purposely been waking her up to show her he is the boss. Lacey is now 8 months old and she is starting to go through the "teenage years."
 

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i would try petting her often while she is chewing on her treats and eating her food. she is worried you are going to take it away. so i think if you take it away when she growls, it is possible you will worsen the condition. but im not a behavior expert.
 

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I was watching Animal Planet yesterday morning and there was this training expert giving some tips to correct unwanted behaviours.
In his opinion, you HAVE to let your baby know that you are the boss, that all the toys and food is yours, and you are sharing them with her. He recommended putting your hand in her food bowl while she`s eating and praising her when she lets you , taking away toys and using a take and give command and praising when she gives the toy back.
Maybe they will air this show (good dog u) again and you can watch it.
I hope this helps,
 
J

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Thanks guys. Several times today I have taken her toys from her while she is playing and she has let me with no problems. She has never growled at me before so I was concerned. She is the only dog in the house, along with two cats and no children. The cats don't take any attitude from her. They will play with her but when they have had enough they let her know. She is such a joy to have I was just very concerned about the growl. I am her favorite person and she has never shown me or anyone else any attitude problems. Hopefully that show will air again and I can watch it. I have a few coworkers that breed or have breed dogs and shown them so I will ask them for their advice tomorrow at work.
 

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In my opinion you are right to be concerned and you are doing the correct thing by taking action NOW. Years ago, before kids, my husband and I got our first dog - a black cocker spaniel. It was during the height of that breed's popularity and we got her from an ad in the paper. I believe that bad breeding was the main culprit, but we really didn't know how to establish ourselves as Alpha. The first time that she ran under a bed with a shoe and I went after her she growled and snapped and I backed off. For the next 14 years she was the alpha and we never got control back. No one would have wanted her and we loved her but we really screwed up. We now have a 9 yr. old bichon and a new little Maltese (got her last week) and we don't make those mistakes any more. We take their food, toys, put our hands in and around their mouths, ears, feet, etc. to make sure that we have control. One other thing - I never play tug of war with my dog. They are not supposed to think that they win cause in their mind the alpha dog is always the winner in "contests". And we want to make sure that we are alpha!

By the way, your little Lacey is gorgeous!
 

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i agree with most of the opinions here but also want to put a different spin on it, the bed thing is one thing, our space is our space, but our Malts are put into our worlds to live outside of theirs, Sampson and Maggie both love the chicken flavored nylabones (sp), I am not sure Maggie can even growl :D but Sampson will if I try to take it away, and I let him "win", there are not many things that are "theirs" but I believe they need certain things that are truely their own, just my opinion
 

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i think what you're doing is totally right. never baby your dog or else it will become insecure and might get those bad behaviors. for example---like when you're dog is scared, and you pet him....you're encouraging that behavior.

oh, like a few days ago, i dropped something in the sink and it sounded like glass breaking...i sorta freaked out cuz i dropped the plate---and from the corner of my eye i could see the dogs jump...but i totally ignored them.

about the dog being possessive of the treats and stuff, dont say in a baby voice "im not going to take it away" and start petting him---because he thinks that you think its ok with what he's doing. with all three of my dogs...i literally bug them. i'll take a toy away or i'll push them around, pull their tails, look in their ears, play with the paws---and they have to take it.
 

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Originally posted by doctorcathy@Oct 18 2004, 08:46 AM
about the dog being possessive of the treats and stuff, dont say in a baby voice "im not going to take it away" and start petting him---because he thinks that you think its ok with what he's doing.  with all three of my dogs...i literally bug them.  i'll take a toy away or i'll push them around, pull their tails, look in their ears, play with the paws---and they have to take it. 

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I'd bug them, but I wouldn't take their stuff away! Woops! Oh well, for now, I'll just bug them until they stop growling, and THEN, start taking it away.
 

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Lexi did this once. She growled and bared her teeth at me when I took a greenie from her. I did the NO and stared her in the eye. She's never done it again. She was 7-8 months old at the time. I think it was just her testing me. Going through her teenage years.
 
J

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Thanks everyone. When I first brought Lacey home I would take her toys and chews away from her. I think she is now going through the "teenage years" and she was testing me. I won! Been taking chews rights out of her mouth and she hasn't given me anymore trouble since yesterday. I think she was testing me and if I would have given in to her I would have lost and then who knows what else she would have tried. She has been a very loving and sweet little puppy since the day I met her.

Oh and thank you for the saying Lacey is gorgeous. I have to agree! Everywhere I take her people are just amazed at how pretty she is. She has all the qualities that you want in a maltese. I have been very lucky with her appearence. But I am her mom so I think she is beautiful!
 
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