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Housebreaking Woes

by Connie

My 1 year old maltese was perfectly potty trained within a month of living with me. I currently use wee wee pads in the house. However, recently (after 8 months of becoming the perfect potty trained doggy) he has been peeing on my bed-the very bed that he sleeps with me in!! Also when he was watching TV with me once, he did his deed on the sofa. Any ideas why? He is the only dog-or pet that I have.


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.

Some routine must have changed to have affected your dog's habits. Cut down on salty treats/foods take more walks did you use crate training?

There is a book (Dog Problems, by Carol Benjamin) that says that a truly potty trained dog will die before it uses the indoors and there is no such thing as leeway for the occasional accident in the same breath as potty trained. Her solution is to take the dog back to day one of crate training and start over. This may be too big a step for these "indiscretions," only you know that answer. It may just be something unusal triggered this lapse. But C. Benjamin says she believes it is a dominance issue--that the dog is, in effect, peeing on you etc. If you see no more of this type of behavior, I'd chalk it up to some quirk in schedule or change that has literally "pissed your pup off," to coin a phrase. However, if you experience this again, I would say you are looking at a problem and maybe should return to the crate until the baby "earns" back his freedom.
-cathy brown

I agree with Cathy completely. I have a male that begain going on the corner of my bed skirt. I took him to the vet and had him checked for kidney problems and all was o.k. Then I realized that it started when I began putting Prissy, who was pregnant and due any day, in bed with me. I knew then what was up so I put his crate by the bed where he went, so the spot was in front of him and put him in it telling him bad boy. He quit. These little guys are vey smart, and many times it is not a slip but a spite.
-Marsha A.

I had an experience with Lucy yesterday that will underline the "pissed off" issue. I brought home a new foster pup (who goes to a new home today) on Sunday. He is a real "baby" at 5 yr old and wants to be held, on your lap, etc. Yesterday morning, everyone had their walks and when we came in the house I had all three babies downstairs. Usual routine is that Lucy sits on my lap and goes back to sleep, Carty lies down beside me, and I watch the news. But yesterday, the new baby was beside me on the couch with his head on my lap. Lucy put her paws up to be picked up for her lap nap, saw Raimie was "on me," stood there for about 30 seconds looking, then calmly walked across the room and peed on the rug. She has NEVER once peed indoors since I first trained her (she's 2). And, she just looked at me the whole time to be sure I got that she was purposefully doing a "bad" thing because HE had my lap. So, who says dogs "can't talk"? This kind of behavior is likely a one-time occurrence, not an indication that potty training has gone bad. So you might want to put some thought into whatever was going on at the time your little one felt the need to "use" your bed/sofa for a bathroom before deciding whether to re-crate him.
-cathy brown

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