Now that you 1)
have a good method to keep your Maltese in one area when inside (with a playpen being a great choice) 2)
have decided exactly where your Maltese's designated bathroom area will be and 3)
have your chosen reward ready, it is time to start house training him.
#1 The exit from the house must be done quickly, so have your shoes, coat, etc. near the door, and have the training treats in a small zipped plastic bag.
#2 Follow supervision rules.
Pups can pee in the blink of an eye, so close supervision is needed.
- Any time that you cannot closely monitor your Maltese, have him in his playpen.
- Any time that you are home and are not busy with other things that would distract you, keep your Maltese right by your side. If you have him on a harness (and not a collar) you can safely keep him tethered to you with his leash.
#3 Any time that the pup makes a motion to pee, clap your hands loudly to distract him, and immediately bring him to the designated bathroom area.
#4 You will also bring him there
according to the schedule as shown earlier.
#5 As you head to the area, say a chosen phrase
that your Maltese will eventually associate with the act of going to the bathroom. "Piddle-paddle', or 'Pee-poo' are some favorite choices; however, choose something that you feel comfortable saying.
#6 Allow your Maltese to time to choose a spot.
Stand in the middle of the designated bathroom area, and allow your Maltese to move around within that area to choose the perfect spot. Keep your retractable leash on a 6 to 8 foot setting.
It can take puppies anywhere from 1 to 15 minutes to sniff around, pick a spot, and for bladder or bowel muscles to relax, so plan to stay outside long enough.
#7 As soon as your Maltese is done
peeing or poo'ing, say 'good' coupled with your chosen phrase to reaffirm the action. So, for example, 'Good pee-poo' in a happy and enthusiastic voice. At the same time, offer the reward treat, with an open palm.
While you can
shout 'No!' as a puppy is peeing and it will startle him enough to stop (at which point you should pick him up and carry him to his designated spot), shouting 'No!' once the deed is done does very little to help the puppy learn.
It is best to react in a calm manner, clean the mess properly (next point), and do a better job next time in regard to supervising or keeping your Maltese in one area (see #1 Create an Area above).
: It is very important that any messes are cleaned properly. If you only use water and soap this usually does not remove trace amounts of urine..
And dogs, with their superior sense of smell, will pick up on this. It is metaphorically akin to leaving a sign with a big arrow that says 'Bathroom Area Here'.
If you use an overly scented product like Pine-Sol, if a dog is peeing due to marking, this can trigger the dog to re-mark to compete against that strong smell.