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Archived Message

Housebreaking frustration

by Kimberly

Its me again. I am having a problem with getting Chelsea to potty outside. I have far too many throw rugs and oriental rugs in my house for the paper training method. When I take her outside (about every 2 hours) she sniffs the grass, eats the grass, eats the flowers, chews in the dirt, and plays. Very rarely does she potty. I stay out with her sometimes for 45 minutes hoping she will go. She doesn't go until the minute I bring her in the house. She heads for my living room or dinning room. I watch her hoping to catch her in the act, but the minute I am not looking she is done. I am getting a little tired of cleaning up and taking her out and no progress. I can't block her in the kitchen where there is not carpet, because the opening is too big for a gate. I do crate her at night and when we leave, because I have an open staircase and she tries to climb it. I do not want to crate her all the time. I thought of buying a playpen or circular gate, but I need help on getting her to know the outside is where to poo poo. I have even went as far as taking her poo poo outside and putting it where I want her to go. Not working!I hope I am just doing something wrong and someone will tell me how to do it right.


Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that many of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinarian medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.

Kimberly You need to keep Chelsey either in her crate or on her leash attached to your wrist unless she is in your view 100% of the time. Then, you need to set up a schedule (do it in 15-min intervals at first until you and the baby "hit" the right time from input to output.) The schedule should go something like this (depending on what time you get up in the morning). 6 am--outside (this is immediately upon getting up and taking the pup out of the crate--you should have all your clothes on and a leash in your hand--take the baby from the crate, attach the leash, and carry her out to where she is to do her thing). Stay outside for 15 min. Food and water at 6:15. Out again at 6:30 for 15 min. (If she still hasn't done anything, don't let her out of your sight, watch for signs that she is thinking about going to the potty and take her out again) Then do about 15 min of playtime and return her to the crate. If she didn't do anything on the first walk after eating, wait 15 min then take her again. Do this morning/evening and either walk her or have someone walk her at lunchtime if you are away. Always take her for a walk 15 min before crating her. If you are home all day, the leash way will work (or you can let her sleep on your lap or on your desk or whatever, as long as you are paying absolute attention to her). As soon as you see her look like she is about to do anything pick her up, take her out, let her do it and give her 800 pounds worth of praise. Also, everytime she does her business outside praise her (I also gave Lucy a treat--some people say don't do this, but it worked for me). This should work. If you catch her in the act, pick her up and take her outside, even if she is in the middle or at the end of doing her business. This is the hardest part of having a pup, but if you are consistent, she will get it. Dogs are basically clean animals and don't want to use the house to potty in. Hang in there, it will work.
-cathy brown

Kimberly, I just wanted to say that it sounds like you are doing a great job being a Maltese Mom! Don't get discouraged, and remember the archives if you need some more support or ideas. The 800 pounds of praise seems right on target, and it makes sense that limiting the time outside, rather than giving her 45 minutes, might help, so that your little one doesn't mistake it for play time instead of business. I'll be interested to see if %0athat works! Also, there are some tips on the "puppy John" link in the advertiser. I didn't go there, just noticed it. Sounds like you are giving it your best-an A for effort! Hang in there!

Thank you for the advise. I will give everything and anything a try. I purchased a circular gate last night, now I can keep her in sight all the time. I do keep her on a leash when we are outside. This morning when I took her out at 5:30 she was great! It was only 50 degrees, and she was shivering. I think she was in a hurry to get inside. She tinkled twice and poo pood right away. I was so happy! I am sure my neighbors thought I was nuts. I made such a big deal about it to Chelsea. I brought her in and gave her a treat. I thought it would be safe to let her play in the house while I did some work. WRONG! She went in the living room and poo pood more. Where did it all come from? I am not giving up yet, at least this is a start.

Kimberly- I agree with all. Another thing to teach her. When she starts to go in the place you want her to, use a word or words to describe what she is doing. For some it is "hurry up", or "do your business". Of course, follow with praise and a treat. Eventually, all you will need to do is give her the words and she will go when you want her to. The others are correct in saying to keep her in her crate or pen untill she is trained. My little male is 5 and1/2 months and unless he is with me, I never let him on the carpet. If I can't take him with me when I leave, he stays in his crate. I have not given him the opportunity to have an accident. Be patient, she is a baby. You will do just fine.
-April B.

Having a puppy was a new experience for us as was the housebreaking that goes with it! We've had Hallie for 6 weeks now (she's 15 weeks) and we're getting to know each other. We've learned schedule & behavior from each other I think. We take her out and say the same words every time (Go tinkle potty, go big potty outside). I put her on a leash and stand in one spot so she only can sniff and wander 15'. If she doesn't go within a couple of minutes, I pick her up and go back to the original spot and repeat. If she doesn't go, I go inside for 10-15 minutes, and go out again, always repeating the same message. It has gotten to the point that she almost goes on command (if she needs to)..if she goes big potty, I pick her up and give praise, then I say, "Go tinkle potty", and if she has to, she does! She knows to sit at the door to be let out, but now because she doesn't let us know with any sound, we're teaching her to ring a bell that is hung near the door. Patience certainly needs to be in our vocabulary...oh, but aren't they adorable!! Good luck!

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