Housebreaking Your Maltese
Maltese dogs posses in their disposition a mixture of keen intellect and tenacious stubbornness. However, they are also very loving animals who want nothing more than to please you. The best way to train you Maltese to eliminate in the outdoors and not in your living room is through patience, persistence, and above all else, consistency.
Tips for House Training Your Maltese Dog
Maltese dogs are notorious for being among the hardest dogs to house train. Although they are very intelligent animals, they also possess a strong stubborn streak that makes them want to do things their way. However, with enough positive reinforcement you can successfully teach your lovely new Maltese puppy the proper place to eliminate, which is not on your brand-new couch! Read on to learn some vital tips for house training your Maltese.
Using Positive Reinforcement, Or Maslow's Method
Students of psychology are already familiar with Abraham Maslow's psychological study that conditioned a response from a dog through the ringing of a bell. You, the humble dog owner, can take advantage of this famous psychological discovery by shaping your dog's elimination behavior through rewards. Many puppy owners actually use a bell when training their puppies. Simply tie the bell to the door that you will use to take your puppy outside. Whenever you take the puppy outside to eliminate, push his nose to the bell so that he rings it, and learns to associate it with going outside to eliminate. Make sure you take a treat outside with you whenever your puppy eliminates so you can immediately give it to him or her. Don't feel embarrassed by making a huge fuss over your dog's accomplishment. Your puppy will only learn the right way to eliminate by experiencing the satisfaction of your praise. It's very, very important to give your puppy a treat immediately after he eliminates in the proper place. If you do anything in between the elimination and the treat, he may associate it with something else. Your job is to make sure your puppy connects the dogs between the desired behavior and its reward.
All canines are den animals who abhor the idea of eliminating in the same place where they sleep, and humans have learned to use that to their advantage by implementing the process of crate training. Although some people may feel that crate training is a cruel and unusual punishment for a dog, canines actually seek out areas to use as their makeshift den, and you will be providing this “den” in the form of a crate. Simply acclimate him to his new environment by leaving him in his den for a few hours at a time, and when he is released, he will most likely need to eliminate. You can then use a bell tied to your door so he can learn to ring that bell to indicate his need to eliminate. However, you will need to teach him the entire process. Simply take him to the door, put his nose to the bell to ring it, and lead him out to the place where he is expected to eliminate. Give him plenty of time as dogs will often sniff around, looking for the ideal place to do their business. Sometimes they will return to the same place where they eliminated before, so don't rush him through the process, now matter how impatient you may be. Also, it's important to make your dog walk on his own the entire way to the elimination site and back. He needs to ingrain this path in his memory so he knows where to go in the future. It may take several months for puppies to learn this process, so it's important to be as consistent as possible.
There are some people who refuse to use a crate to house train their dogs because they believe it's a form of cruel and unusual punishment. Unfortunately, people believe this because they don't have a proper understanding of canine nature. All dogs want a den, a place that they can call their own, a place where they can relax and sleep that they consider to be their own territory. If you don't give this to your dog, they will scope out their own area in the house that will serve as their makeshift den. However, you can make this process easier for your dog by providing a clean, comfortable crate for them to take over. Your crate can be the go-to place for your dog whenever he or she wants to rest, or simply just get away from the world. It also comes in handy whenever you're doing something that you don't want your dog to get involved in. Armed with the knowledge that dogs cherish their crates and don't like to soil them, we can use the crate as a vital tool for house training.
How to Crate Train Your Maltese Puppy
To begin crate training your puppy, you must first find an adequate crate. The crate should be large enough for your puppy to feel comfortable in, but not large enough for him to be able to “section” it off in his mind, using one area for sleeping and another area for “doing his business.” Try putting your puppy in his crate to sleep for a few hours, or during the day when you have to leave. Don't leave him in the crate for several hours at a time, and keep his crate time brief in the beginning so he has time to adjust to it. When you let your puppy out, it will probably be time for him to eliminate. Take him to the door, let him ring the bell and take him outside. Don't get frustrated if you don't see quick results-it can take several months for fully house train a Maltese puppy. Your puppy will make mistakes and forget every now and then, so don't get angry and definitely don't yell at your puppy. Patience is incredibly important when house training a dog, but nothing will compare to that feeling of pride you both will experience when he finally catches on to what he's supposed to do.
Training Your Maltese to Obey Commands
As is the case with house training, teaching your puppy to obey commands requires patience and consistency. Training sessions should be short, repetitive and consistent, and you should have plenty of treats on hand to reward your dog. Maltese puppies are intelligent and catch on quickly, but they need your enthusiasm to push them toward their goal. There are many commands that you can teach your dog, but the most common are “sit,” “stay,” and “down.” Some owners use clicker training to teach commands to their dogs. You can purchase a clicker at your local pet store. To utilize clicker training, say your command and place your dog in the position you want him to be in, and you can use a collar and lead to assist you. When the dog performs the correct action, that is your cue to click. After you click, you reward the dog with a treat. Eventually your Maltese will learn that when you click, a reward is coming. Then he will learn that his behavior is what's leading to the clicking, which then leads to a treat. Always make sure that you click immediately when your dog performs the action, so he knows to associate that clicking with his action. Otherwise he will become confused as to which one of his actions is leading to the clicking. With time and patience, you and your Maltese will experience the feeling of accomplishment that comes with successful training.
Persistence, Persistence, Persistence
Don't feel embarrassed about making a fuss over him and make sure to give him a treat immediately after he eliminates, so he associates his reward with that particular action. Keep an eye on your dog in the house to see if he is sniffing the floor or walking in circles. This is usually a good indicator that he's looking for a place to eliminate, and your role is to take through the process of eliminating outside all over again. Whatever you do, don't yell at or, worse, yet, hit your dog out of frustration if he eliminates inside the house. Puppies don't understand why you're angry with them, they can only detect your emotions without being able to relate it to their exact behavior. Patience is key when house training a Maltese puppy. Regardless of whether he needs to go or not, try to take him outside every two hours to give him the opportunity to eliminate. Puppies are also more likely eliminate after eating, drinking or taking a nap.