Click here to visit the most complete Maltese site on the WWW

Archived Message

Max cries when I leave

by Cindy & Max

Here's the scoop. A couple wanted to find a home for their 7 year old maltese. A lady I knew was interested. I picked up the dog and that night she called and said she had changed her mind. Her husband didn't think it was a good idea. She hadn't told him until after I had picked up the dog. I could have taken the dog back, but after a little snooping I discovered Max belonged to this mans first wife. She died recently. It was his "new" wife that decided to get rid of the dog. She's a very jealous person and probably didn't like the idea of him loving something that belonged to his first wife. She has a sheltie of her own and they're keeping that dog. Anyway, I have fallen in love w/ Max and he has a strong attachment to me. I want to keep him but I'm having a little problem. He cries terribly when I leave and it drives my husband crazy. If I'm going to convince my (grumpy) husband to let me keep Max I have to curb this behavior. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Max is totally attached to me and I've only had him since Friday. It would break both of our hearts if we were separated! So please help us. Thanks!


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.

Get him a "bye-bye" bone. It is a hollow nylon or rubber(?)bone that you can fill with peanut butter or some other treat. Give it to him only when you leave. He will be so busy trying to get at the treat, he will concentrate less on you leaving. A friend of mine has done this with her yorkie with great success. Now, he eagerly waits for his treat and seems glad she is leaving! Good luck.
-April B.

Cindy, April has a great idea! Another idea is to drop a pop can with stones in it near (be careful not on!) the dog whenever he starts to cry. I've suggested magazines--anything that will make a loud noise to interrupt his behavior. It is important that he not associate the sound with either you or your husband (don't let him see you do it). When he starts crying again, do it again. A friend of mine kept opening the front door (when the dog thought she had left) and throwing magazines down to make the noise. It only took 3 or 4 times until the dog didn't want to be startled again. Training experts recommend this when trying to get a dog to break a habit. Good luck, and keep us posted!

We have taken in many "second-hand" dogs. Without exception. each one has been very "cling-y" at first--this stage seems to last a week or two. I have always thought it was because they were nervous with a new home, happy to be somewhere they were loved, and so "clung" to me. This total obsession phase has passed without me really doing anything about it. However, I don't make a fuss when I leave--no long loving good-byes! I did like the suggestion above to leave a treat--I always feel so sorry for a dog no one wants that I can't be harsh! Max was probably doted on by his first "mom" and now that he's found another "mom," he just doesn't want to lose you, too. When he's confident you always come back--maybe he'll stop making such a ruckus when you leave.

Good news! I've had Max a week now and although he is still very clingy, he didn't cry when I left tonight. I called my husband to see how Max was doing and he said he was fine. I told my husband to take him out for a walk after I left, thinking maybe that would get his mind off of me leaving and at the same time it would give them a chance to bond a little. It seemed to work.Thanks everyone for the great advice. I absolutely love this website!

Copyright 1996, 1997© Maltese Only All rights reserved