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Old 05-28-2008, 06:56 PM   #1
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Default Housetraining


I have a 7 month old maltese who is well on his way to potty trained, but I had some logistical questions I wanted some advice on.

When we got him in February (at 3 months) he had been in ex-pens with his brothers and sisters and was originally going potty on paper, but some of the pups began eating this, so the breeder switched to blankets...which in retrospect I think wasn't such a great idea...but I'll get to that in a minute.

We originally lived in a 3rd floor apartment and Wickett (after the ewok!) was very reluctant to go outside in rain, wind, or cold. It's now warm out and he's gotten past the rain and wind part and we live in a house with a backyard (which will soon be fenced, thank goodness!)

Since bringing him home he's been using a combination of puppy pads and outdoor elimination. The puppy pads work GREAT for when we're at work. We admittedly work a full day and have not found a reliable dog walker.
Our current schedule is - out in AM when we get up, eat, out before we leave - and for the last week or so he's been peeing ONCE on his pee pad and not pooping until we can take him outside - then it's home, out, eat, out. He's begun asking (more or less...he's really silent about it) to go out, sitting at the door. And if I say "need to go outside?" he RUNS for the door, I open it, he goes potty, then comes in. So he's DEFINITELY got the "outside is potty time" thing down.

If we leave (which we do from time to time) plastic bags or clothes on the floor, he's likely to find them and take a pee break. If there's NOTHING on the floor - he'll hold it. He sleeps in bed with us and has never ONCE had an accident. And hasn't woken us up to go outside in 2 months.

So my question is - do you think the clothes/bag peeing is stemming from his early training, the puppy pad training, a combination of both, or he just isn't quite totally trained yet (well obviously...) And for the long run, does anyone consider a combination puppy pad for when we're not home and outside when we are home house training approach GOOD, or too confusing? I would definitely love to have him just completely outdoor trained, but we're just gone too long during the day to do that to him. Obviously a walker would be ideal, but we haven't found a reliable/affordable one yet. So it may not be a viable option.

I am such a proud "mommy" though. We're on our first WHOLE WEEK of no poops inside and he NEVER pees unless it's one of the situations already mentioned. Which is huge for us! YAY Wickett!

Thanks everybody, in advance! And sorry for the ramble!

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Old 05-28-2008, 08:23 PM   #2
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Hi Wickettsmom and welcome to the forum!
My answer is that it seems that anytime someone has trained their dog to go inside for whatever reason - papers, pee pads, the dog gets confused. You and I may see that the pee pad is different from a plastic bag or other surface, but dogs go by smell and feel. So my personal feeling is that from early on, the puppy should be trained to outside period. Doesn't matter if the weather is nasty, the only acceptable place to pee and poo is outside.
I think you are in luck that Wickett asks to go out.He definitely understands that some places are considered acceptable and some are not, he just has different criteria than you do.
So I think long term you can ask yourself what you want- do you want to train him to use the pee pads only, or do you want to give up on them?
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Old 06-03-2008, 06:56 PM   #3
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Hello, I wanted to say two things. One, I love the name, and two, considering what a confusing start Wickett had between being far too long untrained with a breeder and then living in an apartment in winter, it sounds to me like you have made very very good progress recently and he is well on his way to being fully housetrained. Give yourselves a heap of credit because this could have been a very challenging scenario with a smaller dog.

Going forward I do think using the pads blurs the issue slightly, but it is still a workable compromise and perhaps a necessary evil. It is vital that you use management to prevent undesirable habits from forming so will need to prevent access to rooms with bags and soft stuff that might confuse him for the timebeing. Every time you allow him to make a mistake of this nature through lack of management or supervision you will set the housetraining back again.

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