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Archived Message

Run of the House

by KarenM

Just curious...how old are the maltese before they are able to have the run of the house a) when someone in the family is home and b) when we are all gone. Jasmine is 13 weeks old now. We have been outside training her for the three weeks we have had her. I read that some who are older than a year are still confined. It would be really nice to be able to relax on my couch and read or watch TV or be doing my own thing somewhere else and have her loose and come up to me and let me know when she needed to be let outside...is this a dream? :-)


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.

I can't speak for all maltese, but mine were housebroken at about 4 months. I usually take them out 4 or 5 times a day. My Ditto will come up and just stand there and stare at me to let me know. Princess will put her paws on me and stare. I ask them what they need and they get excited so then I know they want to go out. Mine were very easy to train. The secret, I think, is taking them out often while they are young so they get the idea really good. I would set my timer for every hour the first week of training. Of course there were times I wasn't able to do this, but I tried to stick to it as much as possible. I also used the doggy crates at night or if I had to go somewhere. For longer periods of time I just shut them up in the bathroom with food and water and they did really well. Most pups don't like to go in a small area. That's why the crates work so well. Be encouraged, it just takes a little time and effort. They are well worth it. Good Luck.

I received Bog when he was 8 weeks old. I immediately started crate training him for 8-9 hours a day. He is 3 1/2 years old and has had 4 accidents since we've been together. I kept him in the ctrate for one year. I'm a teacher who is gone for 8-10 hours a day. When the first year had passed, I kept him confined to the kitchen linoleum and I've had so very few messes to clean up. I highly recommend the crate training! And don't think that my dog has no spunk! He's a little lion dog!

Mine is 6 months, now. I would never let him have the run of the house. Of course, he is out when I can watch him. He usually follows me around the house and watches t.v. with me, etc. When I am gone, he is crated. This is not because I'm worried about an accident, but that he might chew on the furniture or find something to eat that would be harmful. Also, If I'm running late, I don't have to worry.
-April B.

Lucy trained pretty fast (about 3 wk starting at close to 12 wk of age). However, I have read that 6 mo seems to be the time they really are 100% there. One thing I did with Lucy before I started giving her free rein in the house was to be sure she was not going to eat any electrical cords or anything else bad (she learned that particular lesson by loud thumps on the desk over her head everytime she went for a cord in my office in concert with a No that would wake the dead). In terms of potty training, before I left her to cope with that on her own, I kept her on a rigid schedule for walks for quite some time. Then I started "playing with the schedule." For example, she always went out at 5 AM and immediately pottied. So, I started "fiddling" in the kitchen, making coffee, etc. (while watching her to be sure she didn't use the indoors) and would take her out at 5:15 or so instead. Also did this for other walk times. Not BIG changes at first, only a few minutes. But she learned two things: (a) she would ALWAYS get a walk when she needed one and (b) schedules are flexible. Now, if I am late getting home or get involved, she will wait until I take her out and if she needs to go and I show no indication of taking her, she comes and barks and barks until I take her out. She still is on the same morning/noon/evening/bedtime schedule, but just not exactly on the dot, and she's NEVER had an accident in the house except when I missed a cue in the very beginning days of potty training.
-cathy brown

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