Archived Message
Not housebroken @ 10 mos

by Ellie

Just found this wonderful discussion group. Hope someone will have suggestions for my 10 mo old female who still is not housebroken. I'm home all the time; take her out every 2-3 hours; she knows she is to "go" outside and does. She knows the "magic" words. She waits for her treat when we get in the house. She must know that going in the house is not OK because she NEVER does it right in front of me . I"ve not hit her but have scolded her verbally.Unfortunately I have NEVER caught her in the act. She always sneaks around the corner. So what scolding I've done has always been some period of time after the event. She could not possibly care less. If I even THINK about raising my voice to my older male maltese, he just gets his feelings SO hurt. But not this little female. She is about as willful a dog as I've ever know. Sweet as all get-out but WILLFUL. Does anyone have ANY suggestions? I sure need some. Thanks in advance. Ellie in So Florida


Dear Ellie in S. FL I have just gone through the same thing with my 7 month old female. She knew what to do, but if it was convenient for her, she would use the throw rugs in the bathroom instead or waiting to go out. I figured, she felt, "they use the bathroom, but I can't reach that big white thing in the corner." As of about 2 weeks ago she finally got the message. We would try confining her in the crate, well that worked fine until the next time we let her out and she decided to use the throw rug again. About 2 weeks ago I was using the big white thing in the corner, and she came in and began to assume the position. I jumped up like a crazy person yelling and chasing her. My husband almost died laughing to see me with my pants around my ankels chasing the puppy. I got the message across that morning and we have not had an accident since. Recommendation! follow her everywhere until you can catch her in the act, and then make your point well, because it may be a long time before you get the next opportunity.

Oh Shelley, What a howl of a story. I am just about crying with laughter as I type this. I REMOVED all the throw rugs in the bathrooms because that is mine's favorite place too. And she surely sees what we use "the big white thing". I've PRAYED that she would go when I could see her but I've had her since October and I have yet to see her. Yes, I just KNOW if I could only catch her in the act, I think that would bring an end to it. But as long as she thinks she can get away with it, by golly she will. Oh Gosh, but I'm chuckling at my mental picture of your situation. Thanks for the humor.

I didn't have this problem with Lucy (thank goodness), but when we were going to puppy kindergarten one of the "children" was using the rug rather than the outdoors. The dog trainer suggested the following. Crate the dog when you are not able to be with it. When you are home with the dog, keep it on a leash and keep the leash around your wrist at all times. Anytime the dog begins to "squat" jerk the leash, yell NO and immediately pick up the dog and take it out. He says this really works (1) because the "wolf genes" in all dogs tell them that a jerk on the neck is a "correction" technique (a NO) that the wolf pack leaders (and mom's) use on the other pack animals and (2) you always catch them BEFORE they do anything and make sure they do it outside, so they put all this together and learn the correct behavior. As I said, I didn't try this, but the guy swears it works. Good luck!
-cathy brown

It took my dog Christie a full year to become fully housebroken. I had all the same problems you have, and would catch her in the act, etc. But, for some reason, after her first birthday, she just finally caught on, and can last all day while we're at work, and doesn't have accidents anymore. I know a few other owners of tiny dogs who have said the same thing about taking about a year. Good luck.
-Peggy Garvey

We recently lost our precious 9-year old Abigail and have (as of this Monday night) become the parents of a precious 5 week old puppy. Abigail really did not get completely trained until she was about 1 1/2 years old. However, I think we spoiled her by letting her have the run of the house and by allowing her to sleep in our bed with us before she was trained. She pottied everywhere!!! FINALLY, however, she learned to wait until we let her outside and she was perfect. Always when we left her alone we closed her in the kitchen, not only because of the danger of her messing, but also because her sharp barking set off our burgler alarm which included a glass-break detector - on the same frequency as her bark.

I have been asking around about good methods for the new puppy, Isabel. Here is the best advice the Maltese owner swore was a sure-fire. Confine the puppy in her kennel, at first in a very small area with the door open. Use wee wee pads, available at pet stores. Put one in the space with her. As she grows more competent, enlarge the area she can roam in. Later, you can train her to outdoors if you wish. Presently I am cutting the pads in small pieces because the dog is so small. I'll let you know how we do. We are so happy to be Maltese owners again!!
-Lottie Guttry

Dear Lottie: Congratulations on your new baby. The method you described is the one I used except we got our babies at 12 weeks and they did not want to use papers they used outside. I took them out every hour at first and worked to 2 hours. KoKo made it thru the night right off. Shanya would get up at 2:00 ish for about 1 week. I increased their space as they proved they could be trusted. It worked like a charm for KoKo, Shayna had a mind of her own. Would you believe twice she pee on my bed. She is finally trained as of the above incidence. She's 7 months old today, we still crate her when we go out for longer than 1 or 2 hours. let us know how everything is going.

So here's what my four year old will do: she'll squat right in front of me & pee & totally ignores my "oh noooo dolly!" She is on steriods from an immune system problem, which makes her very thirsty & urinate alot. she's getting better, and can now last all day while i'm gone, it's when i'm home that's the problem. my question to folks out there is that she was raised with a doggy door until i adopted her & she doesn't really know how to tell me she needs to go out, sometimes she'll just fuss at me until i ask if that's what she wants, does anyone know how to train a dog to go to the door or whatever to tell you they need to go out????, for those still having problems, buy some "fresh n'clean" by Lambert Kay-it is a bit expensive, but it's great for carpets, no stain or smell & will even work on old stains.

Patti: What works for one does not work for the other. I showed KoKo to rang a bell when she goes to the door. Everytime we went outside I'd ring the bell first. It only took 2 1/2 days and she was about 4 to 5 months old. But she got it right away. Shayna on the other hand will not rang that bell. But would you believe KoKo rings the bell for Shayna? It just happened again while I was reading you post. I took them both out and KoKo just stood around while Shayna did business. That's what I call team work. You have to unteach the old habit first and introduce the new method to your dog. Good luck just keep at it. She must know she is getting to you and you probably don't realize what you are doing, but she is confused. Hope this helps.

I have a 5 month old Maltese female named Avery. I teach school, so I have had to leave her unattended at home a lot. From the beginning Avery did not like going outside. She would do the same sneaky things that I have heard you talk about. I decided to try a littler box. I keep it in the bathroom, and Avery almost imediately started using it. She rarely has an accident, and when she does, I would swear it was to "get back" at me for something such as being gone longer than normal. When I am away at school I keep her in the bathroom and all goes well. Maybe this would work for you. Good luck! I love Avery but I learn the meaning of stubborn over and over every day!

Thank you all for your many suggestions. Gabby has been better just the past few days since I originally posted. I love the idea about the bell and may start looking for one that would work with both my babies.

Shelley, that sounds great, but I'm not clear as to what kind of bell you mean?

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