Okay, I think I've done it. This is why we don't have kids. I think I've spoiled our little female Maltese into being a one family puppy. She's almost 6 months old, and barks at other people when we walk out the front door, even our neighbors who have taken care of her a few times. She is particulary jumpy when I am holding her and someone tries to pet her. She tries to crawl around the side of my neck and on top of my head to get away from them. When walking her, she will bark when she sees someone, even across the street, and start pulling me all over the place--and forget skateboarders, she's terrified. I was so nervous about her getting parvo, that I kept her strictly around our house for the first 4 1/2 months. Everyone says I am way overprotective. Does anyone have any suggestions? She is real good with dogs, as we have one, and my sister has 3. But I want her to warm up to other people better. If I put her on the ground (I thought she might feel threatened in my arms) she does a little better, but still wants nothing to do with other people. Have I ruined her? Since my grandmother died, she has been the only thing that has cheered me up, and I'm always kissing and loving her--maybe too much?
Pamela - Every Maltese I've seen has the unique ability to become spoiled very quickly. I would suggest you check with your local kennel club or with local dog trainers to see if you can find a puppy socialization class. If that is not available, try to walk her around people - perhaps at the park or at a shopping center. Don't force her to go to other people but try to make her think it's her idea. Maybe give a fried some of her favorite treat to give her for starters. Good luck!
-Vivian -Fantasia Maltese
It is pretty normal for them to bark, some. I want my puppy to be friendly with everyone. Every time someone comes over, they give Noah a treat, and a pat on the head. It is working. Obedience training helps, too, I'm told, We start next week.