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In October, I rescued a maltese named Sparky. [He's in my avvie.]
His owner was very old and sick, and couldn't feed him or anything. We got him straight from her house, underweight, matted and terrified of people. When he arrived he hid under the table shaking for the first day and under the bed shaking for the next four. After a while, he became attatched to me and still fallows me everywhere. He's been getting a lot better but doesn't trust other people, and still occasionally hides under things. Before he came to us, he'd never gone outside before and had no interactions with other dogs. He loves being outdoors but is absolutely terrified of any dog he meets, from two inches high to standered poodles. Sometimes he'll bite unexpectedly.. and he barks like crazy. He's grown out of a lot of his old bad habits, so I'm hoping it will be the same.. Is there anything I can do for him?
He loves me but sometimes won't trust me so I'm trying to strengthen our bond by doing a little agility with him- but he's 8 years old and very slow. He's an outstanding jumper, though, and we have fun setting up little obsticles :D Sometimes, I even get him to jump with no leash but it's rare..
When I first got him, he totally glued himself to me and I took him on walks with no leash just a week or so after he moved into our house. Now, he always tries to turn around. How can I encourage him to have fun on walks?
He steals food from people's fingers- and occasionally catches them in his mouth- can I stop that?
He has so many problems but he really is a very nice dog. I <3 him and don't have an idea how I could've lived without him. <3
 

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Hi and welcome!

First off you need to read anything and everything you can get your hands on reguarding "fear aggression".

8 is young for a maltese I think agility would be a good confidence builder (if he likes it, be sure to recognise if he doesn 't enjoy it, not all dogs do)

To teach him to take food gently show him the food and close your hand around it in a fist) keep it closed while he mouths your hand (might hurt) . When he gives up give him a treat from your other hand. Repeat repeat repeat.

This teaches him that if he is gentle he get the reward. It also teaches him that the visible treat is not his.

Congrats on your rescue!



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Discussion Starter #3
he hasn't done much more than sit around most of his life, so he's also very lazy.. haha.
he sleeps all day, too. only when I'm not home, though. sneaky little bugger.. xD
thanks for the advice, I'll try it! =]
 
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