Originally Posted by Kateryna
All of you are truly amazing. You definately lfter my spirits with your help and encouragement. Thank you so much for that.
Ok I skimmed quickly through all the posts..
Quite frankly YOU are the problem here. YOU need to change.
I had a client with a dog (also a maltese) that acted just like yours, a little uncontrollable terror. When ever he came over to my house, he was perfectly fine (less a few initial flare ups), but I set strict rules and know how to deal with problem dogs. The client tried trainers, and quite frankly simply did not follow their advice. She ended up deciding to rehome the dog, and the last I heard he is doing just fine in his new home.
The fact your sister has a well behaved dog, simply means he is a good dog, doesn't necessarily make her qualified to deal with a problem dog. There are dogs out there that will little training and guidance maker perfect pets, there are dogs who require a little more effort, and then there are dogs who require a lot more effort.
It's not necessarily your fault that you got "dealt" a difficult dog you were not experienced enough to handle (I'm assuming you got him from a pet store, or a byb, and not a reputable breeder who would have never sold you a pup like this if they knew you weren't experienced enough to handle him, and would have offered you support in changing his behaviours asap). Lot's of people buy a dog because it looks a certain way and then have no idea how to deal with the dog's character. It is however your fault that you did not resolve these issues earlier. To me that speaks volumes about your attitude towards the dog and his training, and that needs to change if you're hoping for any slim chance of adjustment in his attitude. At this point you will definitely need professional help from some one very experienced when dealing with aggression. Don't even consider sending your dog away for training because while his habits need to be changed it is far more important that YOU re-learn how to deal with this dog.
You can't have people over? Is the dog putting a gun to their heads? Ofcourse you can have people over! Just put the damn dog away and don't let him rule the house hold! He should never even have the opportunity to try to bite some one. The people didn't stop coming over because of him, they stopped coming over because of you! Not many people want to deal with a person unwilling to control their dog. It speaks volumes about the lack of respect you have for those people and that you feel your dog's freedom some how trumps their safety and comfort. Why would I want to be friends with some one like that? If a stranger comes over, the dog goes into his crate. Otherwise the dog ALWAYS has a leash on him, even a muzzle (especially when around the children). He should never have the opportunity to bite your hubby's feet. He should have been stopped the second he takes a few steps towards his feet. Buy him a basket muzzle (not the tight nylon ones) so that he can wear it for long periods of time with out any effect other then preventing him to bite. If he's not good with a crate, you need to start crate training 101 as that will be a big management tool for you and will help you with training.
He sounds a lot to me like an insecure fear biter dog that over time has been allowed to think he rules the world and the only way he knows how to get any thing he wants is through intimidation and aggression. It's very common, and what you're describing sounds like a classic example. It's absolutely treatable, but it will take a lot of time and effort before you start seeing changes.
How is his obedience training? Again, that's going to be a massive tool for you in helping change him. He is definitely not a candidate for group classes, so don't even consider that either. If you can't even control him at home, how is he supposed to learn any thing in a class?
You definitely have your work cut out for you.. The books you got are ok ones, but I would also strongly recommend you read "The Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson, it's written in a very easy and funny every day language and I think really helps non-dog people or people who lack that innate understanding of how to react to a dog. It will help you understand some of what is happening and hopefully you will be able to recognize what you are doing wrong and how the dog perceives your actions.
I think it would be a great shame to put this dog down, that would be failing him. I think it would be a far better option to rehome him into a home that is well aware of his issues and is also CAPABLE and experienced enough to deal with him and rehab him.