How do I socialise my 4 year old Maltese?
I adopted him in October '07, I love him to bits and he's the perfect ideal dog, except he seems to snap at other dogs. When we are out walking, he sees other dogs and wags his tail and goes over to the dog to sniff but if the other dog sniffs him back my dog will snap. How do I teach him to be a bit more social? I'd like to adopt another dog as a playmate for him eventually.
Answer: How do I socialise my 4 year old Maltese?
Good on you for adopting! With adopted pets you can never be unsure of their past and you can never 100% correct unwanted behaviour. I think the best method for you will be to encourage good behaviour, by the way of treats, praise, pats and lots a loving. Timing is the key, as soon as he reacts favourably to another dog: jump right in there and go over the top with the verbal praise and treats! Get him really excited, even if he diverts his attention from the other dog to you ? its good. You want him to get super duper over the top excitable when he sniffs that dog. But, you have to get in there before he has the change to snap or growl. So timing is the key. Turn meeting new dogs in to a great experience from him rather than a possible threat.