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Maltese Puppy?
by Mary

Maltese Puppy? I will be getting a Maltese Puppy next month, I think. I have been so excited and have read just about everything there is to read on a Maltese, including this web site. I am getting her from a very very reputable breeder in Michigan who has been breeding Maltese for about 35 years. She is a judge and her husband is the president of the Maltese Club. I have no concern about this puppy. My concern, however, is this. I was told, and have read that Maltese are very easy to train, this by the way, was one of my deciding factors in choosing a Maltese. Well after reading some of the problems in this web site, I'm totally confused. There are many of you that are having problems with the housetraining end of it. I presently don't know what to do. My Aunt has a Bishon, that is 3 years old, and still not housebroken. I wouldn't be able to tolerate this. Have I made a mistake in choosing this adorable breed? Please help me decide what to do now. I didn't know that so many people were having trouble housebreaking this particular breed. I had a lab, now let me tell you, they are very difficult to housebreak. I plan on using a crate, so I hope this won't be a long drawn out process.

Sorry, I didn't mean to ramble on and on, but I'm just getting a little nervous. Thanks.

Now, before you really start to panic, let me assure you that most maltese are easy to average in difficuly training. Don't want to take my word on it.. look at the survey results! Only 18% answered hard to train... I think thats pretty good. Remember when reading a forum like this is that most people tend to write when they are having a problem and are looking for help.. so it may seem like there are more problems than there really are. You are started in the right direction with crating and reading up on this.. now relax and enjoy your puppy:)Remember PATIENCE and CONSISTANCY are key. Try to be understanding of the baby.. they really do want to please you.. you just have to give them time to know what you want.
Dear Mary; You only read about the problems - for every problem in this chatroom, there are thousands of maltese-owners who read the problems and say "Whew!" I am glad I don't have any of those problems." I had absolutely no problem with my Otto, who is now 7 months old. He took a month till he was perfect. I used an exercise pen and papers - and trained him to go outside and on his papers when I am at work. Don't be scared. Your little maltese puppy will steal your heart and bring you such joy!
Mary-- there are two sides to the coin, if you have a pup that was easy to housebreak why would you have to discuss it. my female maltese is 8 months old now and she is and has been housebroken for5 1/2 months. It all depends on how much time you wish to devote to the pups needs Just like with a baby they train you. you must take them out at regular times and watch for signs. Please don't be discouraged they are worth every minute it takes.
Miriam Rose
Mary, Lucy was housetrained in less than a month and since that time I think she would burst before she would use the house for a bathroom. That said, my last dog, Higgens, had "accidents" many times in his 14 yr. I suspect the difference in the equation was not the dog, but the "trainer" (I plead guilty!). Housebreaking requires time and effort--it is not a "magical" occurence. It also means developing an appropriate "input/ouput" schedule and sticking to it, no matter what (even through the midnight to dawn outdoors excursions when you'd rather be sleeping) during the training process. If you are going to crate train your new baby and if you stick to the process until the fluff ball is REALLLY trained--that means first time there's an accident, it's back to the crate and back to square one--you will train your dog. If you give him or her run of the house BEFORE you are sure there will be no accidents, then you may have to clean up the mess AND go back to square one. Also you need to understand that pups just are not physically capable of controlling their bladders and so on much before 5 or 6 mo. At 4 mo, they can last about 4 hr. Best advice I got was "if you can't see your pup, it should be in the crate." Seeing it, by the way, means paying 100% attention to where it is and what it is doing, not keeping an eye out while you are in the kitchen and the baby is in the living room (keeping the dog on leash and the leash on your wrist or attached to you otherwise works best for this unless you are not easily distracted). I also found that once the housebreaking process was complete (100%), I could work on extending bit by bit the window of time between walks. Now Lucy waits for me if I am a little (or even a lot) late for her regularly scheduled times, but for many, many months, I did not deviate from that schedule-if she needed to be walked at 5PM, I had the leash on her at 4:59! I believe that my Lucy is the smartest dog I've ever had and am sure you will find that to be the case as well. Your job is to be "smart" too and make sure you do the training correctly and consistently until you have a baby that is 100% trained. If that doesn't happen, don't blame the dog...the process went astray somewhere and you would be well advised to return to the crate and re-do the training. Sorry for the length, but I have had more than one little rescue guy come through my doors who was billed as "not potty trained." All of them just needed some consistency on my part to resolve the issue.
cathy brown
My Maltese was very easy to train and I am definitely no expert in dog training. I set out newspapers in the garage for her and showed her where to go. When she had an accident on the carpet, I showed her an told her no very firmly and placed her on the newspapers. This sounds cruel, but I left her alone for about 30 minutes. Once, she even barked very loud. When I opened the door, she was standing on the soiled newpapers to show me she went where she was supposed to. Don't forget to praise your dog for good behavior. This "time out" worked very effectively because she hated to be alone. I did not believe in spanking her but did what she hated most which was brief isolation. She had a few accidents but was perfectly housebroken at 12 weeks. Good luck and I hope my tips help!
Lucy C
Ditto, on all of the above. My Maltese, Buster is 5 1/2 mos old and potty trained. I used the newspaper theory. It took 1 month to train him and he has done great. I am teaching him the basics of sit and come and stay now. I'm a working mom to my little guy so it takes longer but they are very smart and learn very quick. Patience and persistance is the key. Go for it and keep us posted.
Libby & Buster
Thanks for all your replys in such a short time! This message board is absolutely wonderful! Ok, I THINK, I'm convinced. I really appreciate all the input and would welcome any more.
Mary - Everyone's advice is great! I would like to offer one more tip that helped my housebreaking regime: the Puppy John and WeeWee pads. Check out Jay's advertising list. I had the Puppy John here and lined with the pads before I brought my fur-baby home. I swear - she used her paper within 5 minutes of being in a completely new environment! She had a few accidents through the process - all of which were MY fault. If I had it to do over again, I would have 2 Puppy John's - one in each of the two rooms we spend most of the time in. Good luck!
Jackie Smith
I agree with EVERY word from Cathy Brown--substitute the name Sofi and you have our scenario. Time and loads of it are required for a well trained dog.
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