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by Nancy Dienes

We have two Maltese, a 4 lb. littly boy who is perfect, and Abbi an adorable 9 mo at 2.2 lbs. Abbi is a little angel with a couple of problems. The first one is she bites at your feet as you walk. If you have socks or bare feet her sharp teeth really hurt . Other than I am concerned she will get stepped on this isn't really too much of a problem (she also unties shoes - cute!). Next, she runs away when you walk toward or bend over to pick her up. I tend to think that maybe she is afraid to be held up so far above the ground. She comes up and scratches your leg or scratches on the bed to get up or puts her front paws on the furniture but when you respond she runs away. If you get up to get her she keeps on running and is hard to catch. If you catch her, she loves to be loved but only for a minute and then the starts squirming to get down, all four just flying. She has never been abused in any way, it is just my husband and I and we adore her and the breeder is very reputable and wonderful (I got both dogs from her). There are isolated cases throughout each day that she comes to you and lets you pet her, flattenes to the floor and appears to love being rubbed and scratched. Last, when she potties it goes all over her rear legs, always. She has to have her rear legs washed constantly because they are always full of urine. That is the worst problem and the one I hope someone can help me with. The other two problems I can live with a lot easier because she is so much fun. Thanks for any help you can give me.


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.

Nancy: I had the same problem with KoKo, she would run when you went to pick her up. We went to obedience school and they said put her on a long rope in the house and call her to come. If she doesn't pull her with a firm "come" command and reward her with love or treat, your choice. Teach her to sit and stay. Everytime I walked the girls where they were puppies, we would come in and they had to sit and stay for their treat. Now I don't have to ask, after they do business if I say doggie treat, we come into the house and they immediately sit and stay while I get the treat. KoKo still will run if I don't say "sit and stay" before I pick her up. Shayna on the other hand, will lie on her back if she thinks I'm going to pick her up. Shayna is a lover and KoKo is independant. Don't have the problem with wetting themselves. Maybe they are so tiny when they squoat their hair gets in the way. I have to keep both girls backsides trimmed close or they dirty themselves. Good luck with you babies.

It is imperative that our dogs learn to come when called, not only for obedience, but for their safety. It has been my "ace in the hole" to teach them the word "cookie". Max used to have wonderlust. Occasionally and very rarely he'd escape and run like the dickens. I'd have to yell "cookie" to get his attention. It worked every time.
-Sharon K.

I have a 7 month old named Peanut. He loves to chase feet and trys to catch any family member walking by and yes, those teeth are sharp. He absolutely loves string so of course any shoes at his eye level that dangles by will get a tug. Peanut does the same thing with acting like he wants to be picked up on furniture etc.. then running away when we try to accomodate him. I have figured out that that is his way of saying he wants to play. Maybe thats what your darling is trying to get across to you.

At 2, Lucy is no longer a "puppy" girl and is quite the young lady. She too did the foot biting, shoe lace untying routine as a baby--a rare occurence now, and I admit I miss it (and you will too!). As for the wanting to be picked up, then flying away, this is still one of Lucy's favorite games--in her case she wants to play catchmeifyoucan and will race around letting you get within a hair's breadth of grabbing her before taking off again. She thinks it is great fun (me, too--I usually end up sitting on the floor laughing and THEN she comes over and climbs into my lap for a snuggle.) If you pay attention to all these little behaviors, you will see there is a method to your fluff ball's madness. They can't "talk," but do a pretty good job of showing you what's on their mind.
-cathy brown

I would like to thank all of you for your responses. Yes, I have finally figured out, thanks to you that Abbi is just trying to play. I now just lay down on the floor and she is all over me and wanting kisses and more kisses. I just hadn't figured out that it was her way of telling me she wanted to play, I thought she was afraid for some reason and it didn't make sense to me. Once again, thanks. Nancy

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