Barking maltese with mommy only, but not with daddy

Posted by mizkytee
Aug 15, 2011
I have a 1 1/2 yr old male maltese who tends to bark at anything: wind, wind chimes, trees moving, when he senses cats and skunks outside, at his reflection, etc. The strange thing is that when it is him and myself only (his mommy) is when he does it. If he is alone with my husband or my husband is sitting with us, then he doesn't bark either at all or no where near like he does with me. I figure he must feel protected with his daddy but with his mommy he feels, he has to protect me so he barks at everything. If so, how can I change this?
Posted by KOPCaroline
Aug 18, 2011
Hi mizkytee!

Does your malti listen to your husband more than you as far as commands and behaviour? Do you think its possible that your husband is more the dominant owner of your pup? Its pretty common for a man in the household to be considered more dominant in the dogs eyes - they are less likely to allow naughty behaviour, or baby talk the dog, etc. We girls are just bigger suckers for cute antics

If you think this could be the situation, try being a bit tougher with your malti, so that he doesn't feel the need to act out around you with barking. It could be protection, but it could be a bit that he knows by now he can get away with it around you. Does he respond when you say "no" or "enough" to his barking?

If you do baby talk him, try to cut down on that - this usually encourages naughty behaviour more than anything. Make him wait til you say its ok to eat his food, jump up, etc. Give him attention when he's calm, not when he's begging for it. Little things like this will make him see you more and more as a dominant figure to be well behaved with

You can also try the time out method with his barking - immediately remove him from whatever he's barking at, and put him in a dark, quiet room/area on his own. Keep him in there for about 10 minutes, or until he's totally calm, then let him out again. The trick to this is to IMMEDIATELY get him out of the situation making him bark and put him in time out. You can give a "no" command with the action, to enforc the idea. And you need to be sure to put him in time out every time he does it - no excuses! I used this with my dog to stop him barking at the front gate and it worked really well, didnt take long for him to catch on at all

Hope this helps, just try to be a bit more stern with him and make him respect you as his owner/protector - hopefully he'll stop thinking its the other way round! Keep us posted, please!