Sunday, April 25, 2010

House Training Maltese Puppies

Cute Maltese puppyImage by via Flickr
Some Basic Concepts for you to Understand

Maltese develop elimination habits during their first few months of life. Maltese do not want to eliminate where they rest.
Being creatures of habit, dogs will return to their "usual spot" whenever it is convenient.
Maltese can be conditioned (trained) to react to a conditioned stimulus in a certain way. (they can be taught to eliminate when you say a word over and over).
A behavior is likely to be repeated if it is positively reinforced. (You will therefore be using food treats and praise to reinforce elimination at the proper time, in the proper place

Crate Training
To some people a dog crate seems like cruelty to the dog. However, if presented correctly, it is just the opposite. It gives your Maltese a place that belongs to him, a safe den where he can go if he wants to be left alone or rest. It also give you a place to keep your Maltese at the times when you do not want him underfoot, and a safe way of traveling your dog. If you crate your Maltese in the car, he can be left with the windows completely down. It is extremely dangerous to leave your Maltese in a closed car in warm weather or ride loose in the back of a truck. Also if you should have an auto accident, your dog is not likely to be thrown out of the car or escape in the confusion. Motel rooms generally prefer crated dogs, also. To crate train your Maltese, first select a crate which will be large enough to fit him as an adult. The puppy should be fed in his crate, and encouraged to sleep in it with the door open. He may be left with the door closed for short periods of time once he is used to it. Avoid leaving a Maltese puppy in a crate for extended periods of time. NEVER use the crate as a punishment. The location should be out of the way but near family activity.
Helpful Hints for Housebreaking

The goal for "house breaking" your Maltese is to have it "potty" outside and not inside your house...right? Why do so many people train their dogs to do it inside ???. Let me explain further...people use the "old" newspaper method in some cases until their Maltese are 4 to 5 months old, this is wonderful. It saves their floors from getting messed bet...but it's also "IMPRINTS" the dog that its 'OK" to eliminate inside the house. Think about it, sure the dog will relate the scent of "printers ink" to elimination, but what does that have to do with "GOING OUTSIDE" ?. I've had many Maltese owners call me wondering why their "ADULT" dogs (totally housebroken ???) loves to urinate on or around the coffee table, the one that this weeks newspapers are stashed under ....get the idea ???
Here's some hints to make house training a little easier

* Keep your Maltese puppy up on a "consistent" housebreaking schedule. Feed at the "SAME" time ever day.
* Designate one area outside as a "potty" area.
* Take your Maltese out every 2 hours to the "potty" area, whether it has eaten or not.
* The times that a puppy will most likely want to eliminate are after eating or drinking, after a nap, or after a period of play or vigorous exercise.
* Make up a written time log showing feeding and trips to the "potty" area, this really helps.
* Bring the puppy on a leash to the designated area. Initially you want to teach the puppy what the words "go potty" mean, but don't distract the puppy from its business by constant "YAPPING" quiet...say "go potty" just before you see it is about to, say "good Potty" (not too loud or distracting) as it eliminates, and then get really excited and be as loud as you wish, saying "GOOD POTTY" once the puppy has done the "business"....and give it a treat . I suggest "moist flavorful treats as opposed to the dry kind.
* The two most important words in house training are "WATCH" or "CONFINE". Never give a puppy full run of the house, start in a small area like a utility room or a small pen, don't graduate to a larger area until it has PROVEN (no accidents) itself in that area for a period of time. "Watching" means ....CONSTANTLY being aware of where the puppy is. I prefer most people to put the puppy on a leash when not in the puppy pen or crate. (Outside dog runs are a great investment too !!)
* Get yourself a suitably sized "Crate" the same day you buy your puppy. It's not inhumane or cruel (cruel is constantly reprimanding, scolding and possibly getting physical with the puppy for eliminating inside the house). DO NOT fill the entire floor area of the crate with newspaper or bedding of any kind, just put make a 1/4 of the crate a 'Bed", if you wish. Always make sure the crate is in a well ventilated area out of direct sunlight. Also, if you live in colder climates, be sure the room temperature stays fairly constant, not too hot...or too cold.
* NEVER BE PHYSICAL WITH A PUPPY FOR ELIMINATING INSIDE... In fact..."never" be physical with your puppy ...period. Being overly physical with your Maltese will make it not want to perform in front of you, and will actually cause the puppy to leave gifts for you out of your sight .You know... "the ones your dinner guests find behind the furniture"
* You can start a very young Maltese puppy on newspaper, but get rid of the paper as soon as you can and begin formal crate training. Be patient, consistent, and diligent in taking the puppy outside, regulate what goes into your puppy's tummy, so you can regulate what comes out. "WATCH" or "CONFINE" , gradually extend your pups living area, keep track on your "housebreaking log" and in a matter of a few short weeks....PRESTO !!! No more Accidents.

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