Click here to visit the most complete Maltese site on the WWW
Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that most of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinary medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.
Archived Message

no luck in housetraining
by Kim
no luck in housetraining Ellie is 7 1/2 months old and is a very friendly and playful puppy. Since I got her at 10 weeks, I have taken her to the same place outside to poop/pee and have used keywords, so she always goes when we take her out. However, when we take her out of the crate to play, even after she has been outside, she'll go on our carpet, without any shame. My question is, while I am doing what is right to housetrain, when should she be housetrained? Although a lot of people have this same problem, I see a lot of you owners have no problems with this. What do I do? I would love to leave her out of her crate, or out of the gated kitchen, and let her roam, but can't. Please help!


Kim, go back to square one as though Ellie is not trained and you are just starting. Take her out before and after play, eating and drinking, and sleeping. Praise her when she complies. I love the leasing method and it is very successful. Leash her to you and take her with you from room to room. She should not go potty in your presence. Be sure to take her out frequently. She'll love being with you. This shouldn't take more than a few days. Also, make sure the carpet is clean. Good luck.

It sounds to me like you are doing everything right. Some dogs just take longer to really get it than others. Just keep being consistent and never give up and she will eventually get the idea. My mom's dog took 3 years to fully train. You just cannot give up. Good Luck!
Kim ! Seems the pup is doing it's thing in reverse ! If you keep her in the crate all the time..it's no wonder when you let her out she's got to go.....try giving her more space ! Get a pet surround or put her in the kitchen with paper in a corner..that usually works..I don't believe in locking them in a crate for more than half an hour at a time...try that..and let her go outside each time and praise...gooood girl ! I raise puppies and mine are paper - trained ( from 4 weeks on ) by the time they go to their new homes at 10-16 weeks old ! The most important thing @ training a puppy is bonding..bonding...bonding ...praise.... spending time and being patient ! You may want to use potty drops,outside !!
Dear Kim; I tried for so long to use the "reward and praise good behavior" method of housebreaking. Otto learned where to pee and poo outside. He also did it in the house. until... when he "made" inside I would grasp him by the scruff of the neck and shake him a little (they are sooo small) and tell him "bad dog!" now he knows that behavior is unacceptable. you have to make sure that there is no scent of his accident left or he will go there again. Don't use ammonia cuz it smells like pee. Good Luck - this is a hard thing to correct.
Dear Kim, I really, really understand how you feel. You love them sooooo much and want them to be soooooo good, and it is very upsetting. Bottom line: There are no two people alike. There are no two Maltese babies alike, and there are no two identical ways to housebreak our babies. Some are similar, but when it comes down to it, every baby requires his or her own special UNIQUE system.

I wouldn't have responded to this post except after going through a frustrating experience with Mikee, I discovered something that finally clicked in his little sweet brain. If you read my previous "discouraged" post about how sweet little Angel at five months just naturally understood you don't wet on the living room carpet...but Mikee, who was also 100% paper trained at ten weeks, would wet wherever he happened to be in the living room. Didn't matter if he had just wet BIG TIME in the litter pan.

The breakthrough came by giving up my life for five days (mornings before work and evenings after work..I work from noon to six)and everytime he was in the living room, I drug him every ten minutes (in harness and leash)from the living room to the kitchen to the litter pan and said over and over, "Outside Mikee! Outside!" About once an hour he would wet a little on the paper and I would not just praise him, I would say in a high excited voice, "Outside, Mikee! Outside Mikee! YEA!!!! (and this is the part he really liked...I would clap my hands about ten times very fast while I was saying YEA!) He would look up and me and smile and jump up and down...and he was almost as happy as I was. I would then say, "Mikee, want a carrot?" (his favorite treat in all the world)and he would "dance" on his back feet all the way to the counter for his reward. He would even go back to the litter pan and walk across the paper to see if that would get him another carrot! That's when I knew HE GOT IT!

It's been three weeks now and he is still going - on his own - to the kitchen to the litter pan without any mistakes in the living room. The most difficult part of this was not to reward Angel when she didn't go and not to reward Mikee when he didn't go. They discovered they each had to produce the goods to get the goods. Talk about being worn out...training two at the same time! The funniest thing to come out of this is, when one of them goes to the kitchen to use the litter pan, the other one heads for the kitchen because they know it's "party time"!

Now, about keeping the areas clean where he had gone before. I don't think you can ever get all the urine odor eliminated, so everytime he or Angel go near those areas, I get the TV guide out, hit my hand with it, and yell NO! once, loudly, and they leave that area. They seem to understand this is not carrot territory! Good luck, and let me know how it goes with your sweet little Ellie. Mikee GOT IT on his seven-month birthday. I was so happy as I had heard all the horror stories about "how little boys mark their territory and are impossible to train". Mikee proved them wrong! YEA Mikee!!!

My little Snowball is still having accidents at times. I find that being consistent with them and praising when they do the right thing helps. She loves the positive attention she gets when she does the right thing and therefore tries to please. She knows that an accident will earn her a time out and she doesn't like being separated from the rest of the family even if it is for a little amount to time. Good luck things will get better; just always treat your dog with compassion and kindness and she will eventually do the right thing.
She obviously does't think its wrong to go in the house. You need to watch her like a hawk in correct her at that time. you cannot scold her after she has done her deed or after she has left the area. If done right and you are home for 4 or five days in a row, thats all it should take to housetrain most dogs.(per my school instructer) Its more of a challange when they have already gone in the house. You need to get rid of the odor as much as you can. Regular cleaners don't do that. You need to make sure it has the proper enzymes. Odormute and Natures Miracle for example. As a general rule feed your animal on a regular schedule. They need to go 1 hr after eating. Give your dog water 2hrs before bed and take outside, Then again right before bed. They will go potty after: eating, drinking, waking up and extensive play. Good luck and have fun with your baby.
Kathy S.
Malteses and housebreaking, ugh.....My little darlin' just turned 6 in January and is still stubborn when it comes time to pooping. Oh he will go outside and knows darn well thats the right place, but he is still pooping in the house occasionally. When we go out he has been known to do it......the vet has said it is in spite, but then again he will just decide to poop right in front of me in the house.......I just dont know what to do with him. Punishing and scolding doesnt seem to work.....Does anyone else have a problem with a Maltese that "talks back" . Benji does it all the time when scolded,,,,,,,just like a snotty kid. I have to say being a first time Maltese mom, he definitely has a personality like no other dog I have ever had before. I love him to pieces.
My little Snowball is still having accidents in the house. The other night, just when I thought she was over going in the house she did both in the kitchen (this was soon after coming in from playtime outdoors). I have to admit they have a lot more personality than any other dog I've owned. I think that's why we all love them so much. It's so hard to reprimand this cute little creature with these big brown eyes and she knows it. Prissy little thing ---- I love her.

Copyright 1998 © Jay Bianco All rights reserved.