Maltese House Training
Housebreaking your Maltese may seem overwhelming. However, by following the rules of nature and remaining consistent, this does not need to be a stressful task. The Maltese is a very intelligent breed.
A dog can become fully housebroken within a month or so. The time that it takes will depend greatly on the routine that the owner follows. You may have heard this before, however we cannot stress enough the important of consistency.... A Maltese will learn house training so much faster when they are shown the same method each day...each time.
When a puppy is shown 2 different methods... or if 2 people in the household differ in how they house train a Maltese, there will be issues. One must remember that the puppy is has zero idea what you expect.
All they know is what they learned when they were with their mother and litter-mates when they were at the breeders. It is the owner's job to lovingly show the puppy what is expected and where to go....What is acceptable and what is not.
A few things to keep in mind for Housebreaking a Maltese:
Maltese puppies under the age of 12 weeks have no control over their bladder. An owner will need to bring their dog outside or lead them to a litter box or a piddle pad a minimum of 6 times per day. The puppy should be taken out:
Puppies can only do what nature allows them to do. A puppy can only hold it's needs for a certain amount of time. A general guideline is that a 5 month old Maltese puppy can wait about 5 hours and a 6 month old Maltese can hold on for about 6 hours and so on. However, the longest amount of time a dog can be expected to hold their urine or bowel movements is 8 hours. To expect more than that is to go against Mother Nature.
- When waking up - from naps and after their nighttime sleep
- After each meal (3 times per day)
- Every hour that equals their age. For example, a 3 month old will need to be taken out every 3 hours (if they have not been taken out for these other reasons)
- Before bedtime
50% of dog owners swear by the crate method, 50% do not want a crate near their home! While any of our house training methods work, it is a personal decision if you wish to use the crate. Many dogs learn to love their crate; it is a place for them to retreat to.
Crates should always be used as a temporary method in regard to training. Once a dog learns how to hold their needs and "tell" you that they need to go outside, the crate should be given to another puppy owner. A Maltese, once trained, should never be left in their crate.
The basic crate training works as such: The puppy is placed into the crate and taken out the minimum of 6 times per day. The crate serves as a method of "watching" the puppy and keeping him or her confined so that the dog does not have accidents all over the house. A crate must be large enough for the dog to stand and turn around; smaller crates that do not allow this movement qualify as neglect.
Umbilical Cord Method
Since puppies tend to bounce around from room to room, this method is an easy way to stay close to your Maltese. You simply attach the end of their leash to your belt loop. As soon as the dog makes a motion implying that they are going to eliminate, you would bring them outside or to their litter box or piddle pad.
Outside, Litter Box or Piddle Pad?
While many dog owners bring their canine family members outside to "use the bathroom", smaller breeds dogs such as the Maltese can be trained to use a litter box. This is fast becoming a popular and well accepted method for a dog to eliminate. Training is quite simple, as the dog only needs to be led to the litter box instead of an area outside the home. While an owner does need to keep the box clean, this can be a very handy way to have your dog take care of business!
Piddle pads are becoming popular as well. Once the dog uses one, it is disposed of and a new one placed down. One of the benefits of having a small breed dog is the option of inside housetraining; especially if you live in an area with unpredictable weather.
If you do bring your Maltese outside, it is important to choose one area in the yard for your dog's needs. At the same time, within that area, your dog must be given the opportunity to choose "just the right spot". Sometimes owners become frustrated with housetraining but this can be fixed by allowing their dog to take their time.
Training will work best if you keep them on a 6 to 9 foot leash and allow them to use that room to search out a spot. Some dogs need up to 15 minutes. If your Maltese does not go to the bathroom within 5 minutes and you bring them back inside, this will confuse the dog and will most likely lead to your pet having an "accident" in the house. But without being given enough time to find their spot that feels just right to them, it is not the dog's fault for having the "accident".