So my girlfriend got her first dog, male Maltese, in September last year. Few weeks after we went on a walk and all was fine, after that few more walks, but I has never been at her home, where she lives with her mother and sister (so 3 females, and he is male). When I visited them for the first time, he started relentlessly barking from safe distance. We thought he is still young so I didn't visit them for few months and then I started visiting, every time the same story, I come he barks, for hours.

So we tried me sitting on floor, she playing with him when I visit. Nothing worked. So I ordered special (and expensive) treats for him that I only give him when I visit them. First few times she gave it so he knows they are good, and then me for last few months.

After 2-3 hours of barking he stops, but me talking, coughing or laughing and touching my girlfriend makes him jump and start barking again. We thought that he is protective of "his" home, but one time, when he stopped barking she picked him up and I tried to give him my hand to sniff it (palm down), he got so scared that he peed.

And after two months of casual wait for him to get cool, then give him treats (in meantime, he came carefully to smell me a few times). Yesterday when me and my girlfriend fell asleep, he got his toy and brought it to me and I threw it and he brought it back, and we played for half and hour. He smelled me, he took treats from my hands, lick my hands and finally he fell asleep, and I thought that that is finally it.

But today I visited, he started barking again, I wanted to give him my hand to smell it, he peed again and didn't stop barking. Like nothing happened.

I know that is a big post, but I am out of ideas and he is so cute. It's truly concerning situation.

What should I do?

In short:

  • I love dogs, dogs usually love me.
  • I never ever, steeped on him, yelled on him or anything bad.
  • He lives with 3 females.
  • He usually barks, on new males, but stops after 5 minutes.
  • I sat on floor, gave him best treats for two months.
  • We were friends for few hours and next day he forgot that.
  • You could try talking to a vet about sedatives so the beast doesn't panic so quickly and thoroughly. But this is likely to take a lot of time and patience.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 4:04

2 Answers 2


I left my used t-shirt with my girlfriend so he can get used to my smell, and when I am there I played with his toys and after some time he gets interested. I gave him treats and after some time we got into a better relationship :D He is barking now when I come but his tail is up and he seems happy. He still gets scared if I drop something, but slowly we are getting there. Patience, treats and play and we will get there :)


I have a friend with a dog like this. My dog also became nervous as he aged. You can try getting the dog a thunder shirt to help him feel like he's being held. However, since he peed while your girlfriend was holding him, I don't know that this will work. Another good thing to try is calming treats. They can be bought at PetSmart and it should calm the dog down within 30 minutes to an hour. Try to think back and see if there are any smells on you when you come over that could alarm the dog. For example, it is possible that the smell of other dogs scares the puppy. It is also possible that the dog is scared of males because of a previous experience.

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