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Discouraged and Wondering
by Annette
Discouraged and Wondering Hello everyone, I need your advice...again. Just when I thought I knew EVERYTHING about training puppies..I met Mikee!

Since Mikee and Angel were ten and six weeks old (the day we got them - he's OLDER), they have wet and pooped on litter pans (two in the kitchen.) I was so proud of them! For weeks and weeks, actually EVERYTIME either of them used the litter plan, I exclaimed "OUTSIDE! OUTSIDE!" They understood the word with what they were doing. Then, "Yea! Good Puppy!" Then, as the weeks went by, I started letting them play in the living room from 5 minutes at a time up to - now - from 30 minutes plus - at a time. Angel quietly leaves the living room and goes into the kitchen to use the litter pan. Remember, she's ONE MONTH younger than Mikee. Mikee, however, wets in the living room on the carpet! I'm so discouraged! He's so smart! He loves carrots...so I tried saying the word he's very aware of that he associates with pee-peeing and pooping in the litter pan, which is "Outside!" I wouldn't give him a carrot until he went into the kitchen and wet or pooped. It worked three nights in a row! I was so happy. Then, the next three nights, AFTER he has wet and pooped in the evening, I let him and Angel in the living room. She goes into the kitchen and he wets on the carpet.

My question is: he is the first little boy we've ever had in the house. Our little Precious that died was told "once" not to wet in the house and she didn't ever again. Angel wasn't even scolded for accidents because she doesn't have any. Are little boys ever house-broken? Do little boys just take longer?

I am convinced he is not "marking" territory as he never marks in the kitchen and there is plenty of furniture to mark if he wanted to. He doesn't mark the living room furniture. He just wets when he wants to.

One more clue to the mystery. I feel he loves the living room so much that he is afraid if he steps back into the kitchen the gate will go up again and he will be stuck back into the kitchen.

I love them dearly. I just hope he isn't condemned to the kitchen forever. Thanks for your time and help.


Annette, you're not alone. I, too, am dealing with a very similar situation. Rudy is four months old tomorrow and we have had him for a little over a month. He caught onto training so fast it was amazing. I can trust Rudy anywhere in the house without having to watch him EXCEPT the family room. For some reason, he reverts to "brand new puppy" behavior in that room. I also have barred him from there when I cannot watch him.

Male dogs do train easy. I've had Baxter for two years and he is wonderful. Rudy is, too, it's just the family room where he reverts. When in that room (where we spend our evenings) I have to keep an eye on him and take him to the puppy john as soon as that nose goes down. I'm hoping he'll get it soon. I'm wondering, because he did actually pee a couple of times before I could get to him, if the smell is there and that is what he is responding to. He does tend to stick to the same area. I've used Nature's Miracle when cleaning it up, but how well does that stuff really work? Anybody have any suggestions?

Annette, There are many ideas on housebreaking, and mine seems to be the least used way of all, but here it goes, again. Any dog I have had, has full reign of the house. I feel that if they are housebroken from the entire house, then they understand better. I do not use a wee wee pad anywhere, Taffy goes outside, I do realise this is not possible for everyone though. It could very well be that he does not want to go in the kitchen for fear the gate will be put up. I treat my dogs like I did my kids....I kid proof, or in this case, puppy proof, and train. Taffy is only used to a crate for in the car sometimes, and enough so if she has to be in one at the vets, she doesn't freak. Otherwise she is never confined to a crate or anywhere. I have her now, I have had a poodle, a shih-tzu (sp), a German Shepherd, and a German Shepherd/doberman mix, as well as dogs I rescued from the pound and found homes for, and I only had problems with one dog. I think it's a pretty good track record. If you are home with them, housebreaking goes faster, if you work it takes longer. Good luck, your babies sound so cute!!
Robin K.
I think it just depends on the individual dog. My boy was so easy to train when he was a baby 8 years ago. My seven month old female has been a real pill. I sometimes wondered if she would ever get "it" I can see some rays of hope at the moment, but all I can say is to have patience. It will all eventually click with your boy.
Annette, How old is Mikee? Just take him in the kitchen frequently,stay with him, instruct him to potty, praise him and reward him when he does and take him back to the living room to show him that he gets to go back. Or, put him on a leash and keep him right by your side at all times, returning him to the kitchen frequently and staying with him till he "goes". He will most likely not soil in front of you and you won't have to do this for more than a few days. You sound like a very patient and loving mommy. When one thing doesn't work just try something different. You'll make it. Mikee will make it. Best of luck.
I wish I could give you encouraging news, but... All I could tell you is my experience. I have had three dogs in my life time, 2 girls and 1 boy ( we will be getting another little girl Maltese next month). The 2 girls were housebroken in NO time, and I do mean NO time. One had 1 accident, the other one, not a single. Now, for my little boy, monster, he I don't think ever became fully potty trained. He was my 3rd dog, so I knew what I was doing, he just didn't. He was 14 when we finally had to put him down, and he still used a crate. I could NEVER leave him unattended, and I could NEVER trust him out of the crate unless I was watching him 100% of the time. This is one reason why we are getting a little girl this time around. Oh by the way, this will be our 1st Maltese. The others were a Sheltie, and 2 Yorkies. (IT was one of the Yorkies that was a little bad boy) I'm sure though you will get many many that will disagree with me, that's fine. This is just my opinion and my experience that I have had. I'm sure not all little boys are bad!!!
All dogs are different, some mature and learn faster than others.. and most dogs will go through at least one or two "relapses" in training in the early stages. You just need to be patient and keep it up. I don't know if males are harder than females, I've only had a male and didn't find him particularly hard to train, but until he was about 5 or 6 months, we sill had occaisional "accidents", especially if he got excited or if there were any changes.
Annette, How old is Mikee? Try taking him frequently to the kitchen to relieve himself. Go with him and stay with him, instruct him to potty, praise him when he does and take him back with you to the living room. Or...leash him to you and keep him with you, once again returning him frequently to the kitchen to potty and taking him back with you. He'll begin to see that he gets back out after he potties. It sounds like you're a very loving mommy. Best of luck.
Annette - This post may be duplicated as I was in the middle of a response and suddenly was disconnected from AOL. Anyway, I was asking if you had tried putting the papers and Puppy John (or litter pans) in the living room? I did this for Mali because she loves playing and romping and being with me in the living room and would have "accidents" so I put her Puppy John and WeeWee pads in the living room (intending for this to be a "temporary" location.) She likes this arrangement and always uses her paper. (I have WeeWee pads in the bedroom also which she uses during the night.) I have considered moving the papers from the living room by slowly changing the position towards the bathroom, but it's working great and I hate to take a chance on "messing" things up!
Jackie Smith
KoKo (female) is 2 1/2, hasn't had an accident since she was 5 months old. She'd rather die than mess the house. Shayna (female) is 14 1/2 months and as recent as last night wet the rug in front of the bathroom door after she pooped in the puppy john. During the night, she used the puppy john to piddle, go figure. We had to pick up all throw rugs because she seemed to feel they were her piddle pads. She knows she's to go outside, but does not go on command like KoKo so we have to have an alternative or crate her, so I got a puppy john. She uses it 95% of the time, but if we forget to pick up the throw rug, she'll use it. I'm going out today to buy new throw rugs and hope that will work because we are sure she still smells her piddles in the old ones. We love her dearly and she gets in trouble everytime she misses her puppy john, but she still forgets. KoKo goes to the puppy john, smells it and says "OH MY GOD WHAT HAPPENED HERE?" Good luck to you and Mikee.
What a wonderful caring bunch of friends you are! I could hardly wait to open the Discussion page this morning and was so excited to see your suggestions and help. I did forget to mention their ages. January 1, Mikee was six months old and Angel was five months old.

Yes, I do make the trip from the living room to the kitchen many, many times "reminding" Mikee where OUTSIDE is. About his going in the same place as the smell, that's not the problem as he is going "many places" and actually never in the same place. One of my sons loved playing outside so much when he was little that he ALWAYS wet his pants as he didn't want to miss anything! I wondered if Mikee was doing the same thing. He and Angel have a very active playtime in the living room. They love to run and chase each other on the CARPET! It feels so good to run on and feels so different than the slick kitchen floor...which they can get up to 30 miles per hour on!

Sharon, you won't believe this, but last night, remembering someone's post several months ago...and it might have been yours....I put a little harness and leash on Mikee and kept him by me for three hours in the living room. He loves to lay by my feet anyway while I'm watching TV or reading. So does Angel. But, MANY times last night, I drug the poor little thing out of the living room and into the kitchen and TO the litter pan, all the time saying, "Outside, Mikee, Outside!" He would stand on it and look up and me and ...nothing. But, I would say, "Let's go back in the living room." And I repeated and repeated until...finally! He wet on the litter pan and I gave him a carrot. He was so pleased and I was so pleased. Angel was pleased too, because she kept making the trips to the litter pan with us silently pleading, "Mikee, it's no big deal, just DO IT!" Twice he wet on the litter plan, but I kept him on the leash the entire evening. There was another added reward in doing this. He didn't drive Angel crazy chasing her all night and she wasn't punished to the kitchen because Mikee is having potty problems. I would trust her all over the house, but I don't think Mikee's little legs would get him back to the kitchen the same day as he felt the urge...at least not at this time in his life. Sharon, you were right. It seemed he didn't want to soil in front of me...or at least not chained to me! And, another advantage to this training method, by the end of the evening...he was really quite accomplished to having a harness and leash on him! He is so cute just trotting alongside me. He's weighs three pounds after he eats! Jackie, I had thought of putting yet another litter pan in the living room, but hesitated as Angel doesn't require one and I hated to give in at this point. I really, really like using the litter pans as I do work five hours in the afternoons and, since September, the two of them have pottied at least 600 times on their litter pans. That's 600 times I didn't have to stop and go outside in the weather or dark of night. Also, I would imagine it is healthier for them to not have to hold it until the two of us can make the trip outside. The beauty of the litter pans, besides the obvious advantage of not having to be there when they need to go is...they don't get wet, muddy, and paws full of fresh mowed grass! Finally, thanks to everyone for the kind words that I seem like a "loving, caring and patient Mommie"...I needed that! I'll keep you posted as to the "leash method" with Mikee. Wish you could see them, they both wear little bows and barrettes, of course - pink and blue - and have their pictures taken OFTEN!!!! See my new post today regarding how to fix "red eye photos". Thanks, again!

the way i trainned Susie Q wasi would hang her leesh on the door handle and when we went out at morning noon and night and when she went outside i rewarded her with a treat and good girl but if she wet inside scolled her by saying bad girl loud and sent her to the door where her leesh is. one day she brout the leesh to me and did her littel dance, and thats how she lets us know that she needs to go out, watch your dog it may be leting you know it wants to go out and you just haven't picted it up yet.
Keith & Shelley (Susie Q)
Housebreaking problems.....All my present dogs were crate trained by 4 months. One was more of a problem than the others (I have golden ret., cocker mix, and a Maltese) but the results were excellento! The reason for the crate isn't just to keep them from harm's way while you're busy, but rather to strengthen their spinchter muscles which in turn helps them hold it longer. Two hours in the crate )they can have food and water there) followed by a potty walk...on leash...praise and a treat...then back inside for a 10 or 15 minute supervised (yes!)romp with Mom, then back in the crate. Repeat and add to the romp time as improvement continues. Always keep a good eye out during the fun time! Maltese are smarter than alot of the toy breeds and easier to house break also. There's nothing like a crate though, especially one a little larger than they need...20x17, say. And a cage type so they can feel a part of what's going on when they want to. GOod luck!! It ain't fun no matter which method you choose!! The time out of the crate will increase quickly and believe it or not, the dogs actually like their crates the rest of their lives. Like a den to them. I'm enjoying the advice and hints so much. I have a grooming problem that I suspect there's no easy solution to. We live on the beach (SAND!) and Ellie loves to walk with me and she loves to wade in the tide pools. Well...needless to say, we have to bathe legs, feet, and tummy alot. Any suggestions for getting the sand off? (easily) I'm so lucky...no allergies, but bad cottony coat, 11 pounds, too long, almond shaped eyes, but we do love her!!
My 7 month old female Maltese is still having difficulty with bladder control. She seems to have to constantly go to the bathroom and it's becoming quite frustrating to constantly be stepping in her little surprises. I have been crating her more frequently with the hopes of teaching her better control but I hate doing this to my little friend. I want her to be able to be in the middle of the action with the rest of the family not in her crate. Am I handling this correctly. She is praised with treats when she goes outside and shown where to do when she has accidents. We have been consistent . In the past I've owned a poodle and he was so much more easier to train that my little girl Maltese. Is this breed generally so stubborn that they just do what they want. I feel like I have another child.
Hi, Kathy! Have you had your Maltese checked for a bladder infection? It's not uncommon and could be hampering your crate training. Ellie had her first accidents since she was 4 months old just a couple of months ago and turned out to be a urinary tract infection. I was at a loss until I got my veterinary health book out and did some reading. The vet agreed and after a round of antibiotics, she was fine. Good luck!

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