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megan is 16 wks old now. she is the most wonderful "pet" i've ever owned. (although sometimes i wonder who owns who) the only problem i have with her is her spiteful behavior. she refuses to be chastised in any way, shape or form. she gets so much attention, you wouldn't believe, but it never seems to be enough. for example, every day when i get home i pick her up and hug her and love her, she is sooo happy. when i put her down she always runs to get one of her toys and brings it back to me. i will play with her for a looooong time, but i also have other things to do. when i stop playing and go to the kitchen to cook or clean she will hit my ankles with the toy in her mouth. (mind you, i would never fuss at her for this...it too cute). but after a while when i won't stop to play with her, she bites the corner of her wee wee pad and runs off full speed with it in her mouth. this, i fuss about! i'll catch her (with great effort and speed on my part, after chasing her for 10 min.), bring her, and the diaper back, and put it down. i tell her "no! bad girl!" i know she understands me because she will lay down and pout a few feet away while i'm watching her, but the minute i turn around, she's back at it! as soon as she knows i've caught her, she'll drop it and run behind the sofa. she is sooo cute, but it drives me up the wall that she knows it! another example: (not to run on) when i fuss at her for something i.e. chewing sofa, pulling my hair, grabbing magazines off tables, etc. she will walk right up to me, just as calmly and quietly as you please, getting as close as she can to my face, and bark..... at me!!!!! i could go on forever! if anyone has any ideas for me to teach this little imp who is the boss (contrary to what she believes) please let me know. i absolutely hate fussing at her, but i don't want her behavior to get out of control:/


Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that many of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinarian medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.

Oh, boy, do I see familiar signs. My Louie is 3 years now and very sweet, calming down nicely. He was fond on barking back at me if I would dare tell him no, but it was a combination of things that set us on the right track. First, there is obedience training (which I know something about and didn't do formally). This gives the dog confidence and improves your communication with him/her in general. Generally Louie is happier if he knows what I want him to do. Second, study up on alpha dog tendencies and be sure you don't create one. Then, be firm because the dog must learn to amuse itself without trying to get your attention, even if only in a negative sense. I tended to crate Louie when he needed to calm down. (Others must have better suggestions for you, I know.) Third, communication is what the dog is attempting to do. Even after Louie had learned to play on his own, he still barked back at me, which I found really annoying. Then I entered into an intensive conversation phase, in which I just talked to him alot more and listened to him a little more. I stopped threatening him with strong negative words (like bad dog) because I discovered he sometimes growled out of fear. Now when I say bad dog, it's never heated or loud, and the result is still effective -- now he just goes to his bed and stays there after I say it (but he doesn't talk back). I use distraction to stop him from doing inappropriate behavior. I stop him from barking by watching for his "wind up" -- he raises his chin before barking and sometimes all it takes is for me to either lower it or talk it down. Sorry for the long message, hope I've said something that makes sense.Diane
-Diane Kaylor

My Jessie was also very aggressive when when we got her. She is now 8 months old now and has calmed down a lot. The thing we used was that when she did something we did not like, we never hit her, we just said "bad girl"!. And we would not pay any attention to her for about 20 minutes (which was enough for her)!. Like your puppy, she always wanted constant attention. When she did things we liked, we praised her and paid alot of attention to her. I think positive/negative reinforcement works very well. I hope this helps. Your pup will probably calm down soon......

I had to laugh when you described the "great wee-wee pad chase." Our SweetPea did the same thing at that age. She'd grab the corner of her newspapers, and take off through the house with the papers billowing out behind her like a sail! If she had just USED the papers--well, you know! She did grow out of this puppy joke, and I did weigh the corners of the papers with red bricks!

I wonder if it is a breed charachteristic or something. Herald was also really snappish and aggressive when he was a teeny baby, but is much better now at 8 months. When he was 5 months I thought I would lose my mind he was so aggressive at times. He still chases my feet, biting them, when I walk fast or if I am talking on the phone, but other than that, he has really calmed down. I found that time-out worked really well. Just put her in the crate for about 5-10 minutes to calm down and she will have a few minutes to switch gears. It sounds to me like you play and play with her and then she just can't calm down and wants you to play some more. Time out should really help. And time will work even better. Good luck!!!

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