Maltipoo Aggression: Why Does My Maltipoo Growl At Me?

Know everything about Maltipoo growling and how to stop it. 

Maltipoos are one of the cutest and finest breeds of dogs. Their adorable behavior can touch the hearts of even the most stone-cold person. 

Yet, do not think of them as any less when it comes to their aggression. Maltipoo dogs can get very aggressive due to specific reasons. This may come as a huge shocker to you or any other Maltipoo owner.

However, it does not mean they don’t love you. Instead, they actually need extra help, love, and care during this period.

In this blog post, we will answer your question – ‘Why does my Maltipoo growl at me?’, and how you can stop it from happening. 

why does my maltipoo growl at me
Why does my maltipoo growl at me? What can we do to stop it?

Is Maltipoo Usually Aggressive?

Maltipoos are commonly known to be friendly and loving animals. They are one of the most intelligent dog breeds, and they can learn to be obedient easily.

They are a cross of two breeds, which are the Maltese and Poodles. These are very playful and friendly breeds, so you cannot expect Maltipoos to be any different. 

Even when they grow up, they tend to have the same small puppy behavior, and they stay as friendly and loving.

Maltipoos get along with everyone, especially small children. They are even friendly and playful with other pets and cats. They make perfect family dogs that will stay peaceful throughout their life. 

However, in certain situations, they can show some level of aggression.

maltipoo after haircut style
Maltipoo after a haircut. Fresh! Photo by T S Smith /CC BY

Maltipoo’s Signs of Aggression

Before we specifically talk about growling, you need to understand and take a look at sure signs of aggression in your Maltipoo.

Knowing the signs can help you understand if it is genuinely an aggressive period or a sudden whim.

The three most noticeable signs are:

  • Maltipoo Growling

Got a new visitor? Your Maltipoo starts growling. Picking up their food plate? Your Maltipoo is growling again. 

If your Maltipoo seems to growl at everything, even inanimate objects or toys, it is definitely a sign of aggression. 

  • Sudden Nipping

There can be two types of nipping, either playful or violent. If you notice your Maltipoo’s nipping getting more violent and dangerous, you may need to pay more attention. 

Nipping can be quick biting. If your Maltipoo has become aggressive, his nips may get close to your skin or even bite your skin. 

  • Biting

The last and worst stage of Maltipoo aggression is biting. When your Maltipoo becomes violent and totally out of control, they may even resort to biting. 

This shows that they have no respect for your command and see themselves as the dominating figure. 

So, it becomes necessary to understand why they are developing these signs.

why does my maltipoo growl

Reasons Why Your Maltipoo is Growling

Moving on to your ‘Why does my Maltipoo growl at me‘ question, there are specific reasons you need to know about to curb their aggression.

Fortunately, we have listed a few reasons to make it easier for you to understand your little puppy’s emotions and sentiments.

Reason 1: Teething Troubles

Imagine a sharp pain prickling your teeth. Now, that ought to make you feel irritated and annoyed. 

This may happen to your Maltipoo as well. When your pup is growing the teeth, they may feel excruciating pain that can make them aggressive. Itching and sharp pains often accompany teething. 

So, this can lead to your Maltipoo chewing and biting everything. In extreme cases, when they may feel you do not have control over them, they can resort to harming you too. 

white maltipoo dog sitting on couch
A white adult Maltipoo sitting on a couch. Photo by Mitchell /CC BY

Reason 2: Health and Sickness

Suppose you feel like your Maltipoo was behaving normally before but had been acting aggressively lately. In that case, you may need to get them to the doctor.

As dogs cannot communicate with us, they can only show their pain through their emotions (or by barking). Some dogs may become more silent and endure pain, while others can become impatient and violent. Your Maltipoo can belong to the latter.

Taking them to a Vet can help find the cause of aggression. It can also rule out this reason if they are mentally and physically healthy.

Additionally, if there are too many sudden behavioral changes, it may also be a neurological problem. However, the chances are low, so don’t panic!

Reason 3: Play Time Aggressiveness

Maltipoos love their playtime. Do not take their excitement for aggressiveness. They may nip, bite, and growl playfully. 

However, the real dangers begin when they start getting violent and dominating during the playtime. You may notice that your Maltipoo is picking up fights with bigger dogs. It may also begin to bite you hard without any hint of playfulness.

So, this is the time when you need to act as their parent and let them know who’s in control.

mixed color maltipoo wavy puppy
A mixed color apricot and white Maltipoo puppy cuddles. A rare color of coat!

Reason 4: Inner Fear 

Many times your dog’s aggressiveness is not because of the need for dominance rather their fear.

This can specifically happen if:

  1. You have adopted your Maltipoo from a bad situation
  2. You found your Maltipoo abandoned

It is often the fear of abandonment that is making them aggressive towards you. Additionally, if they faced abuse and violence from their past owner, they are bound to be overly protective of themselves.

If you are also getting too strict with them, they are getting scared.

You should deal with your Maltipoo with the utmost care, love, and patience to regain or build their trust in such cases.

How to Stop Maltipoo From Being Aggressive?

Here are some ways to stop the aggressive behavior of your Maltipoo. 

1. Fix Teething Problems

Teething Maltipoos experience extreme pain and itching. They always have the urge to chew on anything, which is why they might be biting you. Your puppy may show some level of aggression during that period, and your best option is to wait.

During the teething phase, try to give your Maltipoo some teething toys. Teething toys are made for your puppy to chew on and reduce their itching sensations. 

An alternative is simply to have a frozen food treat like a stuffed Kong. The ice soothes the gum and the food can distract your Maltipoo.

A super cute Apricot Maltipoo puppy. Check to the super cute puppy coat! Photo by Cindy Devin /CC BY

2. Fix Improper Hierarchy

Every dog has a natural instinct to live in a pack. Dog packs are made of alphas and betas. Alphas are the ones who lead, and betas are the ones who follow and obey

Your aggressive Maltipoo might think of themselves as the pack leader and expect you to listen and obey them. This is an improper hierarchy, and you may need to correct it.

You need to show your Maltipoo that you are the Alpha to gain their respect and loyalty. Once they start seeing you as the pack leader, they will not dare to growl or show any kind of aggression.

Before you fix the situation, you need to understand what went wrong. Dogs are not comfortable with weak leadership. If you showed your Maltipoo that you are a weak leader and lacking dominance, they would start to claim their Alpha position.

Here is how to fix it:

  • Be the First to Leave and Enter the House

When you take your dog out for a walk, be sure to be the first one to leave and enter the house. This gives them the signal that you are the leader of the pack, their Alpha.

Most dogs will not pay attention to whether you leave and enter the house first or not. However, if your dog tends to be dominant, they will pay very close attention to small details. 

Try to give him a “sit” command when you are leaving the house. Commands will show your Maltipoo that you are a strong leader. 

  • Change the Way You Give Food 

Make it clear to your dog that you have the decision of whether they can eat their food or not. Never let your Maltipoo start eating food until you permit it. This will show them that you are the Alpha.

If they showed aggressive behavior, do not give them their favorite snack until they stop. When they behave well, provide them with a treat. Make your dog realize that you are the decision-maker.

However, suppose your dog is very aggressive to the point of hurting and challenging you. In that case, it’s time to consider finding a professional trainer.

  • Try Superior Positioning

If your dog shows extreme aggressive behavior like scratching, growling, and biting, it’s time to put them in place. This is easier with Maltipoo as they are smaller in size than other breeds.

Show them that you have superior physical positioning. Try not to sit down on the floor or allow the Maltipoo to take your spot on your bed or sofa. Always keep a dog with authority issues in a lower physical position. As it resolves, you can allow more leniency and return to standard couch rules.

maltipoo model dog cute
What a beauty! Light and white coated Maltipoos can have soft and delicate fur. And a noble appearance! Photo by Brian Johnson & Dane Kanter /CC BY

Quick Summary Points

Your Maltipoo needs to realize that you are the Alpha and the decision-maker that they should follow and obey. 

Show them that aggressive behavior will not be tolerated. Stop giving your dog snacks and treats until they start behaving correctly.

If it gets too much, start ignoring them. No interaction, eye contact, speaking, or any sort of communication. They will begin to behaving correctly on their own.

If none of the methods worked, try consulting a professional trainer. 

Final Word From Us

Maltipoo is a friendly family dog and your loyal best friend. They are playful and peaceful towards all family members and even strangers. 

If your Maltipoo growls at you and shows aggressive behavior, try to address any health problems with your vet. Dogs may show aggression when they are experiencing pain. 

If no health problem is found, instill a proper hierarchy and show your dog that you are the Alpha of the pack.

However, do not forget to love and care for your adorable baby!

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