You are here:

Canine Behavior/Maltipoo Behavior Problems


QUESTION: Dear Madeline, I have read you biography and I promise to read and rate your response within three days.  I understand that your time is valuable, that you are most likely spending at least 45 minutes of your time in response to my question, and I understand too that when questioners read and rate your responses fairly that you make random donations to animal shelters to help homeless animals.  In the interest of being appreciative of your time AND helping shelter dogs and cats, I agree that I will rate your response and give you fair feedback. I have a question about my young Maltipoo, Audrey. I got Audrey from a breeder about four months ago. Audrey is now 6 months of age. I have spend everyday with Audrey, as I do my work from home. I have been working on potting training her since the day I brought her and have been very consistent with her. I have taught her how to "sit" and "lay down". My problem is, she is very hyper and barks a lot. I play with her and walk her daily, but that does not seem to help. She tends to bark at every dog she hears/sees and if a person does not give her attention, she will also sit and bark at them. She also barks if she is in her crate (for bedtime) and I walk away. I don't know how to help this problem. What should I do?

ANSWER: Dear Autumn

Thank you for your question and agreeing to my vittual contract.

All dogs communicate by vocalizing.  It sounds as if there may be everal things going on with Audrey.

Although it sounds as if she:s getting physical activity daily, she mau not be getting enough stimulation mentally, especially for a pup which intelligent and active breed mix.

Have a look at dog puzzle toys such as treat dispensers, Kongs which you can stuff, and other puzzle toys which stimulate the canine brain.  Take a trip to your local pet store and also vheck

As for her barking when crated, do you leave the room when you craye het?  If so, she may be ecperiencing separation

distress.  You work from home, and dogs need to learn to spend time aalone gradually amd not panic.  As well, the crate needs to be made a safe haven and completely pleasant experience for a dog.  A training profrssional with syrong ehaviotal experience can help you with the sepatation aspect ad eell as with making the crate a wholly pleasant experience for Audtey.  Most dogs sleep in the same room with family members even when crated.  Moving her into your bedroom msy cease the nighttime barking as dogs are highly social creatures

As for the barking at other dogs, it's not clear to me whether this is occurring inside (barking from a window or through door) and is.a management of environment issue, or whether she:s barking at other dogs on walks.  In either case, a training professional can help you deyermine the rreasons for any excessive barking and determine whatvkind of barking it is (fear barking, excitability, etc.).

Ask you veterinarian for the names of a few local trainers to interviee, or ask others you know who have worked with positive methofd trainers.

Thank you for your question.  Although the issues you're having don't sound seriousvat the moment,.they van become serious snd more ingrainef, so I would addtrss them as soon as possible.

Best regardd,
Madeline Friedman

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for the help,  Madeline! Audrey barks whenever she sees/hears a dog. If we sitting inside and she hears another dog barking outside, she will join in. Is there anything I can do to help the barking besides going to a trainer? I don't really have the money to go see one right now.

Hi again,  Autumn,

Thank you for providing more detail in your follow-up.

For dogs indoors who are inappropriately respondimg to outdoor distractions, give them a "job." Giving your dog safe and appropriate chew toys which are like puzzles to dogs is one way to do this.  All dogs have a need to chew.m
Stuffed, frozen Kongs are one great way to provide chew time for Audrey.  Freezing makes whatever you stuff the Kong with
Last longer.  Stuffings can Include a small amount of peanut butter, plain yogurt, apple sauce with no artificial sweeteners, wet dog food, and kibble.  Canine Genius makes excellent dog puzzle chew toys. is a wonderful resource to look at for choosing safe dog toys.

Another great way to distract your dog from barking at other dogs both indoors and out is to teach your dog to "find it."  Throw a few small treats down on the floor or ground and ask Audrey to "find it."  In the beginning, you can show Audrey  where to find the small treats by pointing to them or tapping with your foot.  Start indoors where there  ate no distractions.  When Audrey becomes good at the behavior game of "find it" indoors, start teaching her outdoors where there are more distractions for her.  Make sure you're always armed with treats when outdoors
with Audrey.  The great thing about "find it" too is that it causes the dog to lower it's head, thereby making it Impossible for the dog to focus on other dogs.

Make sure too that Audrey has opportunities to play and socialize with other dogs in a safe and secure area.  She should be matched with dogs with a play style that doesn't overwhelm her, that doesn't overwhelm the other dog, and also a dog matched in size.  If she's overly excited at the prospect of meeting other dogs but doesn't get opportunities to do so, this should help.

Another behavior to teach Audrey is to look you in the eyes when you say her name.  This will work for you both indoors and out.  Say her name, and when she looks you in the eyes, say "yes" in a pleasant tone of voice, followed by popping her a small, tasty treat.  It may take several weeks until she's fluent at the training, but these can go a long way in distracting dogs from inappropriate barking.

Make sure, too, that you have enough distance between you and the other dogs that Audrey can be successful at learning and performing these behaviors, especially at first.  Over time, you can gradually decease the distance from other dogs.  If Audtey at any time regressed, you probably need to back up to a less distarcting distance, and slowly and gradually work your way closer.

Good luck, and, again, I would be very pleased to hear how things ate going in a few weeks.

Best of luck,
Madeline Friedman

Canine Behavior

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Madeline S. Friedman, M.A.


I respond to public questions only. I'm not a veterinarian & do not respond to medical questions.Suggestions: Submit a question in one area of priority, as what I am able to address in this venue is limited. Provide as much detail re: the behavior & issue as you can. Tell me how & if behavior is a change from previous behavior & when the changes occurred. Let me know what you think may have triggered such changes & what you have tried so far to resolve it, & what the results were. Let me know what you want help with & what are your concerns & questions about the behavior. I have set up a payment/donation to myself for responding to questions. I donate most of it to animal shelters & rescues. I keep a small portion for my time. The minimum donation is $25.00 on PayPal. When I see that a donation has been made, I will respond to your question. You will be prompted to make the donation before submitting your question. When you have read & rated my response fairly, which must be at the time you read it, I will refund $5.00 back to you IF YOU REQUEST that I do so in your rating comments. If I ask for more details, please respond as a "follow-up" & not as a new question. If I don't respond to your question, I will refund your donation less $5.00. DO rate me fairly at the end of our exchange. I will be pleased if you DO nominate me for volunteer of the month - why not, if I was generous in my response? I may suggest something you were not necessarily ready to hear, but I am honest in the interest of helping your dog, & that is my goal. Please keep that in mind. Please do NOT contact me privately about Allexperts questions through my e-mail or website unless I have invited you to do so. That is an invasion of my privacy - thank you for respecting it. If you would like to contact me for actual dog training & behavior consulting, you may contact me through my Web site.


Own & operate dog training & behavior consulting businesses, Hoboken Dog Trainer, and ny-njDogTrainer, in the NYC & NYC Metro areas since 2002. Work with thousands of dog owners & their dogs, & shelter & rescue dogs. Active volunteer in dog shelters and rescues (rescues being "no kill" and shelters being municipality-run urban shelters that can and do euthanize dogs). AllExperts volunteer in "Dogs, Category 701" and "Dog Training" and "Canine Behavior" since 2006. When you submit a question, please make sure it's being submitted in the appropriate category as I volunteer in two different categories. Make sure you agree to the Virtual Contract (the instructions I outline for question submissions) and agree to read and rate my response when I answer in the body of your question. I make donations to various animal non-profits based on YOUR ratings. If you don't rate my response, or rate it unfairly, you have just denied a dog rescue org or shelter a donation. Keep that in mind.

Professional Member of APDT for five years Founding Member of Animal Behavior Associates Behavior Education Network Former Board Member of IAABC, appointed by Founder Former Member of IPDTA in Canada Founding member of Behavior Education Network

Chronicle of the Dog (APDT, peer publication, numerous articles) Popular Dog Series magazine, numerous entries AOL in Tonowanda News Morris County News Vermont News Boston NOW New York A.M. Polo Trace Newsletter The Dodo AOL

Counseling Psychology, Caldwell College Animal Science, Rutgers University Master of Arts Degree Permanent New Jersey State Teaching Certification (teach public school and university level) Numerous workshops, lectures, and seminars on dog training and behavior Ongoing self-motivated study in my area of expertise

Awards and Honors
Best Canine Coach Award, 2006, Rondout Valley Instructor's Training Course Society of Illustrators, second place international competition Jellybean Photographics, second place international competition Fashion Institute of Technology "Commitment to Illustration" award

Past/Present Clients
Testimonials from a number of clients appear on my Web site at under "Reviews." My customers include: Puppy owners wanting to get their puppies off to the best start; owners of mature dogs who want their dogs to have more obedience skills; fosters and owners of rescue dogs or shelter dogs; customers with special needs who need to train or retrain their dogs; housetraining and housebreaking; owners who have behavioral issues with their dogs such as house accidents, aggression towards humans, aggression towards other animals, inattentive dogs, unmotivated dogs, overly-exuberant dogs; and, more.

©2016 All rights reserved.