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nervous maltese
by Rachel
nervous maltese My little maltese, Nelson, is a real worry at times. He is very affectionate and very much a lap dog. On the whole he is well behaved but if he does anything naughty and is growled at he turns into a real sook. He has a habit of peeing inside (mostly on plastic bags) at night when we are all asleep. Once my husband gets up in the morning, he seems to know he is going to be in trouble and skulks around with his head down, either hiding or trying desperately to get me to pick him up. If hubby does growl at him, Nelson is likely to shy away from him for days, not in a haughty manner though, he acts like hubby has beaten him with a belt. He seems so frightened. We can't even say the word NO within his earshot as he gets so upset. He is pampered and fussed over like a baby by everyone and we have only dared to smack him probably twice in his life ! (he is 2) We don't go around yelling at him or growling, so i don't know why he becomes so frightened. Sometimes he seems depressed and really tired, i don't know whats wrong!HELP.


I know what you mean. Cubbie will not come anywhere near me unless I make a strong command when I am sitting in the living room. He will gladly go to anyone else, especially my daughter or mother. He acts scared of me. The only thing I could think of is this: I usually groom Cubbie sitting in the living room, something he hates because grooming sometimes hurts (pulled a tangle too hard). So, he thinks that I am going to groom/hurt him if I'm in the living room and call out for him to come sit with me. On the other hand, the only person he will fly up the stairs to go "night-night" is with me! Maybe my experience will sort of explain what's going on with your Maltese.

Hi, are you sure nobody is hitting and or scaring your dog when you are not home? Do you have children in the home? From what you wrote in your post, it sounds like your dog has the run of the house at night? Maybe you need to put him in bed and close the door so he can't run the house and have accidents and get in trouble by your husband in the morning. Has the dog always demonstrated fear like this or is this a recent thing? I would recommend a visit to your vet, and a discussion with everyone who lives in your house to see what and or who could be causing and or contributing to this fear your dog displays. There is something going on here and you need to get to the bottom of it for that dogs sake. Take Care!
I can really understand what you are going through, I have a little rescue nammed Aurora, who loves me and is scared to death of me at the same time true confussion, she has gotten better over the past three months I have had her, but it is so sad to see the way she turns her 3 little circles and hugs the ground as close as she can get to it, whenever I pick her up, once I pick her up she is relaxed and does cuttle with me, but she is scared of every quick movement I make.

I have a wife and a daughter that she will run to whenever she sees them, even if she is asleep in my arms, she will perk up and want to play with them, she will not play with me. She will not take a treet from my hands. Today I put a treet down in front of her she was moveing closer to it snack I moved my hand she stopped and back off, I have never hurt her in any way, but she is still afraid that I will. The only thing I can figure out is that her prior owners had a male or two that were abussive to her, she does love me but her fear is so built in that it will take sometime to overcome. When I take her with me and that is often she loves to go out, and is the best behaved dog I could ask for, everyone just loves her, and she is allowed in anywhere, and when she does not see me she will panic and come looking for me, so she does know who I am, and is attached to me, but will still hug the ground when I come close to her.

The first day I brought her home I put her down and she took off across 3 years in a white streek, could not get far enough away from me, now when I call her she will come, but when she gets within 10 feet she will hug the ground and wait for me to pick her up, so be patient with yours they has a love in them that will over power fear, but it just takes a long time, and do remember there is nothing more dangerous than a maltese on a love mission.

Nelson sounds a little like Shayna. Shayna is our Little Rascal and if I say Oh No she acts the same as Nelson. #1 I think it is submissive behavior after they have been caught. #2 They are looking for attention, even if it is negative. #3 They are Little Rascals. We make Shayna come around after a punishment. I pick her up and let her know I still love her, but she must follow the rules. Last night she got one of my Collectible Boyd's Bears, she only had it a second, but I let her know they were off limits. We had company and they could not believe how Shayna ran, tail between her legs to a corner to hide. I showed her the bear and said NO NO this belongs to Mommy. It was over in a minute and we made Shayna stay with the family afterward. She is very different than KoKo, but so were my two children, so I understand. They need to be treated as individuals, but the must follow the rules of the house. Good luck and let him know when he is good too. They love to hear Good Girls, Mommy and Daddy love you and I sign to them, I Love You.
Rachael, Nelson is a submissive dog and in addition, is very sensitive. That's okay. He's lacking in self confidence and you can help by teaching him some obedience commands such as sit, down, etc. The more you can teach him, the more he is capable of learning. Use treats to teach, then withdraw gradually, using only lavish praise. No negatives!! I would definitely use a crate for him at night....he'll more than likely welcome it, being submissive. He'll like having his own spot (den) and will have fewer or no accidents. Good luck! By the way, ignore the accidents as far as getting after him. Just clean them up when he's not looking. Vinegar and water is great.
I also have a maltese (11 weeks) old that appears to be exibiting submissive behavior. she plays with her sister but if you pick her up and hold her - her behavior takes a 360 degree turn - she will become very submissive and avoid eye contact with me I love them both very much but i just do not know what to do. I have been using the reward system and she will come to me if she is on the floor the problem is when I pick her up. So if anyone can help me I would appreciate it.
Disneyrm, I don't understand. When you pick her up and she won't look at you, what is she looking at and doing? Does she growl at you? Something doesn't sound consistent with submissive behavior. When she comes to you and you pick her up, what EXACTLY does she do? I need details ( lots ).

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