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Maltese potty training problems

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Floyd, in- loving- memory

Howiling at the- moon is fun
 
 
Barked: Tue Oct 25, '11 7:56am PST 
Hello, a good friend has recently got herself a Maltese puppy, and she was coming along fine using a pee pad, the puppy that is smile. However, the past few days, all of a sudden the puppy has stopped using it and appears to have taken several steps backwards.

This all began when the puppy began to tare up the pee pads. So she's asking me for advice but I've never come across this problem before. Although that said most of my doggy experience is with larger breeds such as German Shepherds. shock
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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Oct 25, '11 8:19am PST 
Why the pee pads? Is the dog going to be outdoor potty trained eventually? I ask because it's often easier to just train them to go outside to begin with, rather than potty training twice. That is essentially what a person is doing who trains to pee pads, then moves to pottying outside. If your friend wants to potty the dog outdoors, it'll be easier to just switch to that training entirely now.

If the dog is only going to be pottying indoors, it might be time to figure out another toilet setup. Once a puppy starts loving tearing up the pee pads, it's tough to go back because you can't always be there to stop/redirect them. So if your friend intends to use a litter box or potty patch type of thing, it's probably best to just start on that now.
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Floyd, in- loving- memory

Howiling at the- moon is fun
 
 
Barked: Tue Oct 25, '11 10:52am PST 
Hello there and thank you for the reply. Eventually the dog will be potty trained outside, though the reason for the pads at the moment is because the dog is still undergoing its shots and the vet has advised not to take her outdoors until she's had them all...

I think her main concern is that she herself has or is doing something wrong with the dog thus creating a problem. However, I really don't see any problems. A further problem is that several people are telling her she needs to create the dog, however, she is fine in a create so I don't see how this could help.

I will pass on the idea of a kitty tray, I was also wondering if she used some type of enclosure so that the dog has a little freedom but doesn't have the run of the house.
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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Oct 25, '11 11:48am PST 
Definitely no kitty litter, a puppy might eat that and get sick. Basically, just use a tray. Really the best bet for outside potty training, is just to start outdoors as soon as possible.

If your friend eventually wants the dog to potty outdoors, she can start now. I know that vets are super-cautious about outside time before all of the shots are done, and that makes sense if the only spot outside has tons of dogs using it. However, if your friend has an area outside her place that is not frequented by many dogs, short potty trips are ok with many vets.

If your friend starts taking the dog out on a regular schedule, and rewarding every time the dog goes outside, she should be fine. Using a crate does work and for many dogs potty training goes smoothly using one. For that you take the pup out of the crate on a schedule to the outdoors to potty. Another method is called the tether or umbilical method. Basically, your friend would wear a leash around her waist attached to the dog indoors and whenever the pup sniffs or signals that she's about to go...it's outside quick! then a big reward every time the pup goes where it should. These methods work equally well, it's up to your friend to pick the one that she can be most consistant with that will work best for her pup.
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Floyd, in- loving- memory

Howiling at the- moon is fun
 
 
Barked: Wed Oct 26, '11 12:36pm PST 
Hi again and thanks for the advice. I didn't want to just say take the dog outside because all of my experience is here in the UK whereas my friend lives in the US, she does however, have a number of raccoons passing in the area but the dog will not be outside alone or off the leash at this early stage. However, one problem she is having is more to do with the dogs size and that is spotting when she is ready to relieve herself. There have been a lot of false positives. But, I'm guessing that sooner or later she'll begin to recognise the real signs.

I have however got her leash training the puppy in the house. I started her off with just placing the leash on whilst playing, thus getting the puppy used to the feel of it. I've always done this with Shepherds and its worked fine with them so I thought it would work with the Maltese. And so far so good. Although she is finding it difficult to find a collar small enough to be secure.
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Conker

OBEY ME!
 
 
Barked: Wed Oct 26, '11 6:03pm PST 
Ditch the pads, take the pup outside.

Conker was a PAIN to housebreak. I had to take him out every 20 minutes, whither he had to go or not, just to be sure. There were no warning signs with him. And the pup not being leash trained is no excuse to not go outside. Conker wasn't leash trained until he was 8 months old.
I had to stay on top of Conker constantly. He was never allowed outside of my sight when he was not in his crate or the kitchen. Like I said before, I had to take him out every 20 minutes. Then after a few weeks it was every 40 minutes, then every hour, then every two hours, etc.
If the pup goes inside DO NOT YELL. That will make it nervous to go wither it be inside or outside. Give much praise for going outside. Clean up any messes with a product that eliminates pet enzymes like Nature's Miracle.

Skip the collar, get a harness. Little puppies can easily slip out of a collar or get hurt by it if they run and hit the end of the leash or something like that. Have your friend go to a pet shop and fit a harness on the pup and make sure it's correct. Not too loose or too snug and able to be adjusted for growth.
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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Oct 27, '11 12:09pm PST 
I always took my pup out to potty on a leash, never off. And this was in a fenced enclosure. She was 8 weeks when I started and not even a bit leash trained. I just held the 6' leash nice and slack, never tugged on it or tried to teach any directional cues, she was too young. It was just to get her used to wearing a collar and leash outside, plus it was potty training at the same time.

She was housetrained by ten weeks, and I didn't start formal leash training until a couple months after that. Baby steps...big grin
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Floyd, in- loving- memory

Howiling at the- moon is fun
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 12, '11 6:46am PST 
Hi, well she has begun taking her out frequently and maintaining a she dual and the puppy is responding well. I had encouraged her to begin leash training at once, as this is what I’ve always done with the Shepherds I’ve trained although she has responded very well. It took about 4 days but shes walking fine and loving every moment. I don’t however go for a stringent routine, but keep it basic. So many places these days including vets require dogs and puppies to be leashed I just think it’s a good idea.

Anyway the puppy still wants to use the pads every now and again; we found that when they were removed completely she occasionally will have an accident where it was located, usually during the night, so I figured it maybe better to simply phase it out. However, one new problem that has arisen since she began pottying outside and that is she, on occasion will potty in her bed. This is something I’ve never seen or even heard of before without some external reason such as illness.

She is a happy well cared for puppy and no one is shouting or raising their voices to or around her, and there is no signs of any form of separation anxiety or any obvious stress. In fact today she was playing with her ball and just went to her bed, urinated and then continued playing.

Now I’ve spoken to a trainer friend here, although she specialises in large breeds, in particular larger and older rescued dogs and admits she has never had any experience with small breeds, but even she was at a loss. We’ve covered all the usual things like infection and dominance etc. But none of these appear to fit. She’s been checked by a vet who simply thinks it’s a phase and she’ll grow out of it, the puppy is about 3 months old.

I’d even wondered if it was a fear brought on by the outdoors but again she appears eager to go out and not afraid at all. Everywhere we’ve looked we have not been able to find any information on why she would suddenly do this.
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Scruffy- (R.I.P.)

In Loving Memory
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 12, '11 12:39pm PST 
Is marking the bed or full on peeing on it? How is the bed cleaned? It should be cleaned using a pet enzyme odor eliminator. If there is any pee scent left on the bed she will pee on it again. If she isn't marking the bed and is clear of infection, etc then the reason she could be peeing in the bed is because sometimes when puppies are pee pad trained they get a little confused and will pee on any soft serface on the floor.
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 12, '11 5:52pm PST 
What was this puppy's background? If she was not kept terribly clean and was confined closely with her littermates and her bedding it is possible that they all learned to use the bed if they had to go.
The same is true of pet store/mill puppies...rather than stand on the bars of the crate bottom they prefer to use the bedding as it is softer and easier on their feet, and usually somewhat cleaner.
In either case it will take time and making sure the bedding is cleaned with an enzymatic cleaner, as a previous poster pointed out. She may have to even remove the bed temporarily until the issue is resolved.
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