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Hi guys,

First time on the forums. I have a slight problem which has brought me here in search of advice. I would really appreciate if you would take the time to read my problem and hopefully contribute your thoughts. Thank you.

Here's how the story goes...

We are a family of 4. We are currently living in a rented house. We bought a new house, and are moving into it next week on the 18th August. We also currently own a 6 year old male Maltese x Shitzu. In our current house, he lives indoors with us and when he needs to relief himself, he either goes into the toilet where he does it on the newspaper or he signals for us to take him outside into the backyard to do his business. All his life, he's been an indoor dog and he doesn't like being outdoors for long periods of time.

He is very well part of the family and we love him lots. He isn't perfect and has a few flaws. Since he has long-ish white hair, he occasionally sheds his fur and they drop on the carpet. He also might smell a bit...but hey what a dog doesn't?! He is also toilet trained from young, but within the last couple of years, he has urinated in a few places indoors - on the carpet, on plastic bags placed on the floor, at the corner of door frames, etc... Sometimes I think he can be a bit forgetful and does it. It has become more frequent recently. He has also done #2's on the floor instead of on the newspaper or outside. He knows he's not suppose to do all these, because when we scold him, he goes all sad and shows his sad face and tries to walk away with his tail between his legs...so he knows! But through all these faults, we still love him for who he is. When he's in the house, we occasionally play with him during the day, but he's always 'around' us when we are watching TV, eating dinner, surfing the net, etc...

Now my mom's saying when we move into the new house, he is strictly going to stay outdoors and not to come inside. (I think mom doesn't really like him as much as my dad, brother and I do, as she sometimes has to clean up after him when he mistakenly does his business on the floor). That's the thing that bothers her the most, because she wants to keep our own house clean.

She has made it very clear that he is not to come into the house. I feel like if we put him outside, he will feel like he isn't as loved and part of the family like he used to be and he will be less sociable and sad and i just can't bear to see him like that.

I told mom that we (dad, brother and I) agree not to let him upstairs on the second storey, as we will place one of those gates at the bottom of the stairs. But she still insisted that he is to be outside.

Right now, I just feel so so depressed how she can have no feelings for him and can just blatantly insist that he lives outside. He was born to be an indoor dog...putting him outdoor all of a sudden will be a massive change for him, I'm not sure how will it affect his health, feeding habits, etc...

I'm sure this has come up before...does anyone have a good suggestion and advice that I can use to support the case for having the dog in the house?

I would really appreciate your input into this, as I'm sure a few of you have been in the same situation with experience you can share.

Thanks in advance,
Josh :D
 

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Couple things here....

1. do NOT scold him for going inside, when a dog runs from you with his tail between his legs that is sad and not a good reaction. He needs to simply be picked up and placed outside to go potty then praised for doing so.

2. forcing an indoor dog to be an outdoor dog will only depress the dog. Have you considered a doggy door? Stress and depression can lead to serious health problems and a dog who has been indoors for this long should not be suddenly thrown out.

3. The dog should be played with more than just "occasionally". Dogs need stimulation constantly. Try taking him outside a couple times a day and playing with him. He could be trying to get your guys' attention that he needs to go and is simply being ignored.

4. Has he been checked by a vet? If this is a recent occurance it sounds like a medical issue is the underlying problem, especially due to his age. Has his sight been checked? He sounds confused to be honest.

I find it odd your mother is more concerned about keeping her owned home clean but not the rented home...
 

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it sounds to me like your dog needs to be taken out for more regular walks...

you can help to prevent your dog from going potty in the house by letting him into your garden, or preferably taking him for a short walk, more regularly.

a good way to spot if your dog is about to go potty (and so to prevent any indoor accidents) is to keep your eyes peeled for him sniffing a lot in one spot (ie as you said near door frames or near plastic bags etc)

dogs often to potty where there is an interesting smell so that they can 'mark' that smell as their own.

you should try to make an agreement with your mum that you will take responsibility of cleaning up after him, and of letting him out much more regularly. explain to her that he is not doing it on purpose, and probably is just being left too long without the chance to go outside to potty.

making an indoor dog live permanently outside is cruel because they have become used to life indoors.

it might help to ask your mum for a 'trial period' in the new house - if the behaviour doesnt improve (which it will if you let him out more and clean up instead of waiting for your mum to do it) then she can have it her way.

i hope my suggestions help!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks for the replies. I appreciate it.

My dad takes him out for walks everyday. Maybe I should rephrase myself...we do play with him everyday, but not all the time everyday. Maybe in the morning for a bit, and in the evening when we get home and always at night time. We never ignore him, because he follows us everywhere we go, and we're always stroking and patting him.

The problem with having agreeing with mum that I'll take responsibility in cleaning up after him is that when I'm at work, my dad's at work, and my brother's at school, no one's home except for mum to clean up. And if she doesn't clean up quick, the urine will soak into the carpet and leave a stain and a smell.

Is it hard to train a dog that's this old? You know how the saying goes..... Is it still too late to re-toilet train him? if it isn't, is there a specific way for an elder dog?

Yes, he goes for regular vet checkups. His eyes are perfect and very sharp if anything, nothing wrong with them. I do think he is confused.

Why should I not scold him for doing it inside? That way he knows what he did is wrong and hopefully not to do it again. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't work.

We will look into a doggy door for the new place, however the only entrance to the backyard is a sliding glass door, how will a doggy door get installed there?

I should also note that mom has been slowly leaving him outdoors for longer and longer periods of time at our current place, but whenever I see him, I let him in, cos I know he doesn't like being outside for too long. He just sits and whimpers at the door waiting to be let in.

My plan is to hopefully change her mind...as I do think it is rather unhealthy for an elder dog to be placed outside suddenly.

I like the idea of a trial period. Will bring that up. Cheers.

Thanks for the suggestions, please keep them coming!
 

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one thought on the doggy door... my parents house has glass doors for back doors too... they managed to get a builder to knock a little hole right through the base of the wall though, enough for the cat to get through.... it might be worth looking into... :) good luck hope it works out
 

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Thanks for the replies. I appreciate it.

My dad takes him out for walks everyday. Maybe I should rephrase myself...we do play with him everyday, but not all the time everyday. Maybe in the morning for a bit, and in the evening when we get home and always at night time. We never ignore him, because he follows us everywhere we go, and we're always stroking and patting him.

The problem with having agreeing with mum that I'll take responsibility in cleaning up after him is that when I'm at work, my dad's at work, and my brother's at school, no one's home except for mum to clean up. And if she doesn't clean up quick, the urine will soak into the carpet and leave a stain and a smell.

Is it hard to train a dog that's this old? You know how the saying goes...

Yes, he goes for regular vet checkups. His eyes are perfect and very sharp if anything, nothing wrong with them. I do think he is confused.

Why should I not scold him for doing it inside? That way he knows what he did is wrong and hopefully not to do it again. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't work.

We will look into a doggy door for the new place, however the only entrance to the backyard is a sliding glass door, how will a doggy door get installed there?

I like the idea of a trial period. Will bring that up. Cheers.

Thanks for the suggestions, please keep them coming!
When you scold the dog he could start associating going potty in front of you with negative consequences, even if its outside. So what will happen is he will start to find hiding spots, or go away from you and go potty. Instead of scolding him, put him outside and say "go potty" and praise him when he does so. You said sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't...what I learned here is that if a CORRECTION does not work the first time or two (no more than that) it will NOT work.

They make dog doors that fit into your sliding glass door. They do not lock and its easy to put it up and take it down, we put ours up when we are home and take it down at night and when we go to work.

I take it you guys did not crate train your dog?
 

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Why should I not scold him for doing it inside? That way he knows what he did is wrong and hopefully not to do it again. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't work.

Dogs have no concept of right and wrong. Only safe and dangerous... you dog will only learn that peeing in front of you is dangerous...so he will begin to do it when your not looking which is "safe".

He will never learn that peeing inside is "bad". You must teach him that peeing outside is the best thing ever(praise, toys, food), so he will hold it in hopes of peeing outside (the best place to pee ever!)



Dog | Forum | Rocks!
 

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Thanks for the replies. I appreciate it.

My dad takes him out for walks everyday. Maybe I should rephrase myself...we do play with him everyday, but not all the time everyday. Maybe in the morning for a bit, and in the evening when we get home and always at night time. We never ignore him, because he follows us everywhere we go, and we're always stroking and patting him.

The problem with having agreeing with mum that I'll take responsibility in cleaning up after him is that when I'm at work, my dad's at work, and my brother's at school, no one's home except for mum to clean up. And if she doesn't clean up quick, the urine will soak into the carpet and leave a stain and a smell.

Is it hard to train a dog that's this old? You know how the saying goes..... Is it still too late to re-toilet train him? if it isn't, is there a specific way for an elder dog?

Yes, he goes for regular vet checkups. His eyes are perfect and very sharp if anything, nothing wrong with them. I do think he is confused.

Why should I not scold him for doing it inside? That way he knows what he did is wrong and hopefully not to do it again. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't work.

We will look into a doggy door for the new place, however the only entrance to the backyard is a sliding glass door, how will a doggy door get installed there?

I should also note that mom has been slowly leaving him outdoors for longer and longer periods of time at our current place, but whenever I see him, I let him in, cos I know he doesn't like being outside for too long. He just sits and whimpers at the door waiting to be let in.

My plan is to hopefully change her mind...as I do think it is rather unhealthy for an elder dog to be placed outside suddenly.

I like the idea of a trial period. Will bring that up. Cheers.

Thanks for the suggestions, please keep them coming!
it can be difficult to potty train, any dog, especially when you have so much going on with moving and changing his routine and things like that, but it is not impossible. an older dog can actually be easier to train for many things, just depends on the situation:) you really just have to be consistent and patient with him... the best thing is to reward good behavior rather than punish bad behavior.

if it only works sometimes, that means it really isn't working....it is way more effective to praise him for going potty when it is appropriate than to scold him when it isn't, no matter how hard this seems to understand. also, when you scold/correct a dog for something, you need to do it at the exact moment they are doing the behavior, and corrections are only appropriate for certain behaviors. when you scold him for going potty, you are only teaching him that he will get in trouble for going in front of you. keep in mind too, that your dog doesn't always "know" what he is getting in trouble for, you can point your finger at anything and tell your dog he is bad and he will behave like he is "guilty" what if i walked up to you and told you that you were bad and that i am angry with you? even if you had no idea what i was talking about, chances are you would feel bad and behave like you were in trouble.

they do make doggy doors for sliding glass doors! this is an easy fix, you don't have to do any construction or anything crazy on the new house:)

i think it is great that you are trying to solve this and looking out for your dog. i agree, it is not good for the poor guy to be shoved outside dogs are social animals, they do best when they can interact with their family.

on the other hand, i can also understand that your mom doesn't want to take on this responsibility, nobody wants to clean up this kind of mess. could you call a family meeting or something, and discuss training the dog?if she is home with him, could she be a part of the potty training? and since you are working, maybe you could purchase some enzymatic cleaner made specifically for cleaning up pet messes, this might show your mom that you are serious about taking on this responsibility. try to get everyone on the same page about what to do, this will be good for the dog, and hopefully better for your "case" with your mom...

good luck:rolleyes:



Dog | Forum | Rocks!
 

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Agree with your mom for now.

You can bring him inside when you're in the house. He can sleep outdoors that won't hurt much, would it?
 

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I agree with the advice you have been given and would like to add it's possible he is confused about where he is supposed to go. Meaning he was primarily indoors being let out to go potty, now your mom is leaving him out longer and bringing him in for shorter periods of time.. a reversal to him which may have him thinking "OK now I am supposed to go in here". Also the excitement and everything surrounding moving can also impact how he acts, moving is stressful on pets and they react to the stress in different ways.
You may also try crating him or putting him in a room with no carpeting and puppy pads when there is no one but your mom to clean up after him, she can let him out of a crate and take him out a few times a day while everyone else is gone.
I don't know about Maltese cause I've never owned one but I have had Shih Tzus and they are very people oriented and can go into a depression when separated from their human families, even though you pay attention to him being confined to the outdoors away from you will only add to his stress.
 

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It would be cruel to put a dog outside to live after it was raised in the house. It would be better to use a crate or block the dog in the house where it would be easier to clean up and there is no carpet or rugs. And keep working on the toilet training. Dogs can learn if you train them the right way. Punishing doesn't work.Praise works better.
 
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