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older dog housebreaking

by Jill Macfarlane

Help me please. I have been given a three year old who I love dearly but the problem is defecating in the house. I read in a book about older dogs. It said to put the dogs nose near it,speak rudely and then place in a closet for 15 minutes, need help, husband is threatening. Thanks Jill


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.

Jill: I don't know what the solution is. I guess you have to go back and start at square one. But pleeeeease don't rub the dog's nose in it and put him in the closet. That is kind of harsh. Patience, persistence and lots of praise when he does go in the right place will probably work better.Good luck

Jill, I agree--I can't support the idea of rubbing the nose in it or in putting your little one in the closet! Neither links the desired behavior of going outside or on a wee-wee pad with positive reinforcement, i.e., praise or treats. Your little one is not likely to to understand what you want him/her to do going the punitive route. Try searching the archives, perhaps under crate or potty training, there should be lots of great information there! Good luck in helping your new found friend and helping your hubby have patience! Let us know how it is going!

I would like to meet the person who wrote that book! I would promptly report them to the SPCA. Imagine doing punishment like that to a human child. It would never go! Your dog wants to nothing more than please you. I agree with Marie (who wrote before me) patience, persistance, lots of love and praise when your maltese does what you want it to do, will do the trick. It may take time, but you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Good Luck.
-Chuck Norman

Jill; About 7 months ago I was given an 8 year old female Maltese who basically lived her entire life in a breeders cage. She was TOTALLY clueless,as you can well imagine, when it came to house breaking.To make a long story very short what I did was "leash" her to me at all times when she was not in her kennel. By leashing her to me ,I was continously aware of her every move and was able to halt any"accidents" before they went too far,correct the behavior and then reward the right stuff! The leash was about 7 feet long and I tied it to my belt loop or around my wrist (depending on that days ensemble).This also taught her that I was the Alpha in the pack and that I was to be the ultimate boss,( I have another large dog,a'softie' husband and teenage boys everywhere so its kinda confusing around here even if you're used to it!).Please be patient and ask your husband to do the same, I promise,that if you're absolutely 100% persistant this can work. Best of luck and heaps of patience and perseverance to you.

Jill. With an older dog that hasn't a clue when it comes to doing its thing in the great outdoors you need to begin as if it were a puppy with crate training (also the leashing idea previously posted absolutely works--when you see the dog begin to squat or otherwise behave like it is going to use your floor, jerk the leash, yell NO, and pick the dog up and carry it outdoors to use the facilities thereby not allowing it an opportunity to do its thing indoors). Also, there is a book by Carol Benjamin called Dog Problems that specifically addresses housebreaking the older, untrained dog. I would be happy to fax the chapter to you if you send me a fax number via e-mail. In the meantime, you need to be patient and persistent and realize that you are responsible for teaching the dog the proper behavior and getting it outdoors to do its thing. The dog is responsible only for connecting up the idea that potty indoors is a no-no and outdoors is a good baby (use lots of praise when the dog does it correctly and give her a treat). It absolutely can be done with the correct techniques, a lot of praise and love, and a vigilant stance until the mission is accomplished. Be consistent in the training, and tell your husband just to hang in there and give it enough time to work.
-cathy brown

Jill, as for defecating in the house, be sure to give the little dog ample time outside in the morning. This usually works for Nancy Pearl. Also, most Maltese do a most distinctive "dance" when needing to go potty. Watch the dog for continuous circling of one area. And, if the dog acts as though it is trying to tell you something, it probably is. If urinating inside is a problem, you might try spraying newspaper with puppy trainer. This also worked for our former little aged kennel pup. Just be very patient and your new baby will catch on to what you expect.

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