Even if you are not adopting a puppy from us, we are more than happy to help advise you with potty training.  A trained puppy makes for a very happy home, and less puppies in the shelters! Potty training starts with the breeder and it is extremely important that they are diligent in starting this process! If not, well, you may have a task ahead of you, but take a deep breath!! Your puppy IS potty trainable! 

We highly suggest owning a playpen like the one pictured here. This makes life a ton easier. It will fit a bed, play area, food and water, and puppy pads. The perfect place to keep puppy safe and happy while you are not home. It also makes potty training a lot easier! This is almost a must unless you have a small room you can gate off. But you want their area to be compact, not leaving much to choose from for potty business area. That's why these playpens are ideal. You can find this exact playpen in our store. An investment worth every penny!

Our adult Maltese are fully potty trained to go outside. Our male, who is a teacup, also goes on a puppy pad when he can't hold it due to us being gone for over five hours. Which isn't very often. But, If you adopt a puppy from us, it will be started on puppy pad training, which starts at birth here. We have a fine tuned process in making sure our puppies "know the rules." It is highly suggested for you to continue puppy pad training until your puppies bladder has matured, and then if you wish to train for outside potty, gradually move your pads towards the door until they also/only use outside methods.

Housebreaking Tips:

You should begin housebreaking your puppy as soon as you bring it home.  Once bad habits are allowed they are harder to break.  Decide whether you are going to train you puppy to go indoors, outdoors or a combination of both before bringing him home. Inside training is favored because you don't have to worry about your puppy getting wet, dirty or soiling his white coat if the weather is bad. Indoors, you can paper train, puppy pad train, or even litter box train. But have puppy pads or a litter box ready for when you get home with puppy so you don't have to fumble around.

Indoor training is recommended for Maltese especially because they are tiny and have small bladders. Housebreaking can be very difficult, especially if not started at birth, but not impossible. Maltese are very smart and can be trained to go outside. We trained all three of our Maltese at once time and it was easier than training one dog of any other breed we have ever owned.

For indoor training, Immediately upon arrival, introduce the special place where you have chosen for your puppy to do his business indoors.  Place plentiful newspapers or special pads for the purpose on the floor. Preferrably pads, which is what our puppies are use to. If you have carpet, it would be wise to confine the puppy to just a few rooms without carpeting while the routine is being learned.  Young puppies need to relieve themselves frequently, so if you see the puppy about to squat away from the pad, just say "No" firmly and whisk the puppy away to the pad and say "potty".  Our dogs got so use to us saying "potty" when they went, that now we tell them "go potty" and they go on demand! Give lots of praise when the task has been completed.  Rewards and treats are highly suggested. Your puppy wants to please you! So, be sure to let him know when he has! Give your puppy something to look forward to when he does the right thing! Also, many puppy pads are pre-treated with a scent to attract puppy business, these are helpful..

For outdoor training, a 10-12 week old puppy should be taken outdoors every one to three hours.  Older puppies can wait longer between outings.  You will need to choose an appropriate area outside.  Always walk you puppy to this spot on a leash.  Always praise your puppy when he completes his business in the appropriate spot.  By giving praise and/or a food reward immediately after your puppy finishes you can encourage him to go to the bathroom in a desired area.  Odor left from previous visits to the area will quickly mark it as the place for the puppy to do his business.  Be sure to promptly remove the puppy's soiled waste and dispose of it properly. For older dogs, some pet stores sell scented stakes for males. So they will lift their leg in a special spot. I haven't tried these, but they exist.

Most puppies should be taken out after waking in the morning, after naps, after playing, after eating, and before going to bed. And it is absolutely imperative to be consistent. It may seem like a burden to be constantly on top of training, but it will pay off in the end!

"Teacup" house breaking:

Many people contact me about housebreaking a "teacup". First of all, no matter how small your Maltese is, they all housebreak the same. Maltese have tiny bladders.

Maltese dogs are notorious for being difficult to housebreak because most breeders don't bother to start training their puppies right away! They just want to get them weaned, get their cash, and get them out the door! The rest is your problem! If this is your case, I sympathize with you.

Potty training MUST start at birth! But if it isn't, thankfully Maltese are smart and diligence can pay off. It is very important with a Maltese, for you to be consistent and not give up. Be the boss. They do have teenie bladders and can not be expected to hold it for too long obviously. But realistically it CAN be done! They are also usually very spoiled and it can be hard to scold that tiny little face! Don't let them mesmerize you! LOL.

A constant play pen is almost mandatory, and many owners need to puppy pad or litter train to prevent accidents. But that can be desired as well if you don't want to let them out all the time. It takes dedication and patience. Maltese will try very hard not to have an accident, but if they do, it is imperative not to be too harsh with them. They can't hold it. And their feelings get hurt very easily. Thus, it is very important to have a pad available. A simple firm "NO" and MAYBE a tiny swat to the rump will suffice, and then immediately take them to their place to potty. You have to watch them like a hawk, and do not let them roam the entire house until potty habits are established!! Read the general housebreaking tips above.

Maltese are very smart! Rest Assured, your diligence, patience, and commitment to the potty training stage will pay off. Just remember that once they are trained, it will be well worth it, and everybody will be very happy in the end. 

Feel free to pour a cup of coffee and email us if you're pulling your hair out!

We use the Rascal Dog "Big Squirt" Potty Box!

  • Box has 9 inch sides! Keep the mess in the box! 24 by 24 by 9 inches

If you order this puppy potty box, the company usually sends a bottle of special spray to attract your puppy to the box! We don't usually need this.