Click here to visit the most complete Maltese site on the WWW
Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that most of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinary medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.
Archived Message

Marking deterrent?
by Deanna (Moose & Squirrel)
Marking deterrent?Hi folks - hope you can help me with this one. One of our beasties has taken it into his head that the fridge is HIS, HIS HIS and nobody else's. Almost every day we come home to find a little puddle (not just a few drops) in front of the fridge with a supplementary puddle on top of the rubber seal, which is about leg-lifting height. The fridge is only a foot away from where they are fed. We have never been able to catch the culprit in the act but we are pretty sure it is Moose, as Squirrel usually squats to pee. They don't mark anywhere else but use their paper to go on, so I don't want to have to go back to confining them to one room (a bit unfair on the innocent one!). They are 9 months old but not yet neutered. I thought that this habit might have been "forgotten" while they were holidaying with their breeder, but it has started up again. After I clean it up I always spray the fridge and floor with an enzymatic odour and stain remover (the floors are wooden) but it doesn't seem to deter the culprit. Anyone have any suggestions for a deterrent which won't destroy paint or varnish? We do plan to have them neutered (as soon as we can afford it!) but I'm not sure that this will remove the problem. I know that some of you successfully used mentholatum to stop wall-eating so I'm going to give that a go. Any other ideas would be gratefully appreciated!


We have tried using Boundary by Lambert Kay to keep our Sophie from sticking her face in the fireplace ashes. What a mess! She just thinks she is so cute running away from me when I try to clean her little black face. It hasn't helped much, although a dog at the pet store took one sniff from the paper towel I sprayed it on and backed off real quick! My Sophie is just determined to get into trouble, I guess, no matter what the smell! I'm anxious to hear of other remedies.

Deanna: Hi again. Get some kind of a baby gate or dog play pen to put around the fridge while you are away. It can easly fold up and store against a wall when you are home. In other words block that area off and she what the Rascal does next. Little Shayna uses her Puppy John 90% of the time the other 10%, she uses the dinning room rug. Man, she knows when I come home she's in trouble, but she keeps doing it. I may take my own advise and block that area off. Last week in the Keys, on night she gave us a "P" mail in our bed. Based on our reaction, I doubt she'll ever consider that trick again. I think they are mad at us for leaving them and that's what the do to get attention. Negative attention is better than no attention at all.
Deanna, if they have not been neutered, the marking behavior can get a lot worse. The first time Noah did this(6 months), I took him straight to the vet, announcing, "it's time!" After neutering, he never did it again. He is a year old now and his toilet habits are immaculate. Neutering will stop the marking behavior if it is done when they are young. The longer one waits, the harder it will be to correct. My advice is "it's time!"
April B.
I agree that the neutering will probably help, but you also need to go back to training. Maybe you could do them one at a time, having the likely culprit neutered first so it isn't so expensive all at once. The baby gate will keep them away from the area (good idea for Sooty-faced Sophie too:)), or you could block off the entire kitchen, but he may start to mark something else soon. You may want to take a step back in housetraining (applies to Shelly too). For a few days, keep them confined when you aren't home, and work on praising heavily for going in the right spots. Give more freedom as the problem improves. I know it isn't fair to the inocent one, but you have to break the cycle somehow.
I don't know if this will work or not but it is worth a try. When Angel was younger, she would, not very often but once in a while, go potty (both things) in the spare bedroom, in approximately the same spot. Spraying with vinager or cleaning with Nature's Miracle didn't seem to help at all. One of the girls who works for my vet said to try putting some dog food down on that area and feeding her there several different times. (After everything is all cleaned up of course). The theory being, they will not go potty where they eat. Well, all I can say is it worked for me. And she did not pick a new spot to go potty in either. Good luck.
Sandee M.
Hi Deanna and glad you're back. I've been gone a while so I'm just getting caught up. First of all, your little precious on has entered adolescence and is a typical "adolescent male jerk" now! Teaching him not to do it there isn't the problem. You must teach him not to mark except outside and only on your property WHERE you want him to. How? By catching him THINKING about it and telling him "off" or whatever appropriate command you use and praising him the second he changes his mind and comes to his senses! Neutering does help so much, but it isn't the complete answer. He needs to know where it's appropriate!

Copyright 1998 © Jay Bianco All rights reserved.