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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! I am the new mom of a 6.5-month-old Morkie, Maui. He's currently about 5.5 pounds. To be frank, we are struggling with housebreaking badly! I had a Maltese for almost 11 years (she passed away this past January) and even though they are notorious for being difficult to housebreak, I successfully had her 100% housebroken in 7 weeks and 6 days by the time she was 5 months old. I have had this little guy for 13 weeks this coming Saturday and he just does not "get it"! I am doing EVERYTHING there is that I know to do......crate training, strict schedule, potty bells, rewarding, praising, etc. I have researched this to death and I just do not understand what more I can do. I also know that Yorkies are notorious for being housebroken as well. So, with both breeds being mixed, I think I have a doozy of a case on my hands. My reason for coming on here is I would like to talk to others who have or are struggling with the housebreaking of a Morkie. I would love to be able to share my entire story and see if others have any advice. I am not dealing with the norm here (at least I don't think I am anyhow)......it is more than just a few accidents every 3-4 hours and all of the accompanying potty behaviors just do not add up! Anyone willing to help me please? Thanks for reading and your time!
 

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it is more than just a few accidents every 3-4 hours and all of the accompanying potty behaviors just do not add up!
Take the puppy to your vet to rule out any medical issues.

I had a Maltese for almost 11 years (she passed away this past January) and even though they are notorious for being difficult to housebreak, I successfully had her 100% housebroken in 7 weeks and 6 days by the time she was 5 months old.
I'd say you got lucky with your Maltese.

Most puppies are not fully house trained until about 10 months old, and smaller breeds usually take even longer. Neither of my two large breed dogs were house trained until 10-11 months old.

I have researched this to death and I just do not understand what more I can do.
Relax and be patient. Your puppy sounds perfectly normal to me. If you really do think there's an issue, take him to the vet.
 

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Can you give us a little more information? Like when the accidents are occurring? How often? Where? What are you currently doing? Be specific.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for responding and YES, I will be more than happy to give more information! That is exactly what I want to do in hopes that someone will read this and be able to help me! This will be lengthy but I will try to condense it as much as possible while still including pertinent details. From the beginning, this has been Maui's schedule.....

6:30am - 8:00am = wake up, potty, breakfast, play and training time, short walk
8:00am - 11:00am = crate time (we are all out the home during this time each weekday morning)
11:00am - 12:00pm = out of crate, potty, lunch, play and training time
12:00pm - 2:00pm = crate time
2:00pm - 3:00pm = out of crate, potty, play and training time
3:00pm - 5:00pm = crate time
5:00pm - 6:00pm = out of crate, potty, dinner, play and training time, short walk
6:00pm - 8:00pm = crate time
8:00pm - 10:00pm = out of crate, potty, play and training time, and downtime on the sofa with the family
10:00pm - 6:30am = bedtime in crate

The first few weeks he was in our home, we did take him out in the middle of the night so he didn't have any accidents. We were able to wean that down in a few weeks though and he has been sleeping through the night in his crate with no accidents for a long time. And, I will go ahead and add now that he NEVER has accidents in his crate at any time!

So, back up to the first week we had him home.....he was 15 weeks old and urinating every 20-30 minutes. He was small and a puppy so I knew this was somewhat the norm. Then he went to urinating every 5-7 minutes. I took him to the vet and he had a really bad UTI and struvite crystals in his urine. 10 day course of antibiotics and then urine was rechecked and it was clear as a bell a normal PH and no signs of crystals. He still continued to urinate about every 20-30 minutes at least, sometimes more frequent. I collected urine samples on him numerous, numerous times after this and they were all normal.

Ok, so back to day one of housebreaking (even when he had the UTI before we knew and while he had the UTI), his potty spot is always the same spot and we always go through the same door. We have bells and he learned to ring them in 1-2 tries. We have him ring his bell and say "good boy, let's go potty" then take him outside immediately to his potty spot. He has, from day 1, always urinated very quickly almost as soon as his feet hit the grass. While he is pottying, we say, very quietly, "go potty" and immediately when he is finished, we praise praise praise him ("Good boy....good potty outside!" and petting him) and he has a treat in his mouth within 1-2 seconds if that long even. At first, we would bring him back in and he was confined to the kitchen with baby gates and we stayed with him the entire time. We did this for about 2-3 weeks. During that time, he had accidents in the kitchen right in front of us.....on the floor, in his doggie bed, on his blanket, on toys, etc..... and this would be during the 15-20 minutes after he had just been to potty. I cleaned the doggie bed a few times with enzymatic cleaner, washed the blankets and toys each time, and cleaned the floor with enzymatic cleaner each time. After the third time of urinating on the doggie bed, I trashed it. I took up the blanket thinking maybe it felt like grass to him. Only gave 1 soft toy and one hard toy at a time. Didn't matter. He would still urinate in the floor and if a toy happened to be in his stream, oh well. During this time, I am collecting urine samples and having them tested as mentioned above and there were always fine. And, let me add that sometimes during his hour out of the crate, he would not have any accidents and we would feel like we were on the right path. Then the next time out, it would be right back to him peeing wherever he wanted to. So, we started thinking (and I realize now this probably wasn't the smartest), "How is he going to tell us that he needs to go potty if he can't get to the door?" Maybe that was why he was having the accidents. So, down came the baby gates. And, guess what, he would go ring the bells and we would take him out and he would do his business and all was well. I still had him going outside every 20 minutes by setting an alarm on our phone. Sometimes he would make it and sometimes he would not. Again, when he would have an accident, we would firmly say, "NO" and take him to his potty spot. Sometimes he would ring those belles every 3-4 minutes and he could always manage to squeeze a drop out just to get a treat. Still, I didn't mind as I thought at least he knew what the bells meant and what he was supposed to do. Even at that, he would still urinate in the house. By this time, I have taken up all rugs so it's only hardwood. He is being watched 24/7 by us. So, we would flip-flop between all of these things.......him going every 20 minutes while he was out and doing this successfully, having accidents, and ringing the bells nonstop at times. We kept on doing all we knew to do. Let me add when he is out of his crate, he is a very hyper and excited little guy! Super smart and learns commands and tricks within 1-2 times but very curious, stubborn, and distracted easily. It was impossible to get him to relax and just realize that he could chill with us in the family room and just be calm. So, I started thinking that maybe he was being confined too much to the crate. So, fast forward to about 3-4 weeks ago and I started giving him more freedom out of the crate and sure enough, he did start to calm down a bit and relax and would go over to the family room and just chill by himself at times. And, let me add that at this point in time, I began to keep a leash on him 24/7 because he will, without fail, run from us for no reason whatsoever. I guess he has a reason but I am at a loss as to why. So, more freedom being out of the crate but still being watched 24/7 and now on a leash and still having accidents. I should mention that he was neutered On October 2nd and did well with his surgery and I do think it contributed to him calming down a bit along with not being confined in his crate so much. So, once again, he's ringing his bells sometimes every 15 minutes and sometimes every 3 minutes......there is no pattern here......just what he wants to do when he wants to do. He's still being taken out every 20 minutes by the alarm and sometimes he makes it and sometimes he doesn't and we have an accident. All accidents are cleaned with Nature's Miracle and my house is spotless......I clean it up immediately and clean it well. He somehow can still smell it though it seems. We have even had a period of like 3-4 days with no accidents whatsoever and then he will just go back to doing whatever whenever. He seemed to be uninterested in the treats so I changed them up and even made him boiled chicken breast. That made him literally go outside, pee, get the chicken breast treat, come back inside, and LITERALLY go right back to the bells ONLY so he could get the chicken breast treat. Of course, he only would get the chicken breast if he did urinate BUT he could usually manage to always do a little something, which I think is weird that he can even do this. We did this for a few days nonstop.......NONSTOP! I stopped the chicken breast and once he realized he wasn't getting that anymore then he stopped ringing the bells so often and we were back to all I have mentioned above. About a week and half ago, I bought him disposable male wraps thinking this would assist and they did for a few days. I still did everything I was doing with his housebreaking.....just using the wraps as an assistance. He doesn't mind the wraps and I have some of the good wraps coming from BellyBAnds.net as well. He urinated in the male wrap one time and that was all it took......free reign to urinate in the diapers now I guess. So, now my floors are staying clean at least which was one of the reasons for doing this so he would not continue to smell his accidents in the house and think it was okay to continue that, but he will just pee in his diaper whenever he feels like it. Doesn't seem to bother him that he's wet when he does it either. I've left it on for a little bit so he can feel the "discomfort" but at the same time I can't leave it on him long because I don't want to cause an infection in him or promote uncleanliness either. It doesn't seem to bother him one bit that he has on a wet diaper. Contacted a behavior specialist last week and she said she recommended I take him and have an ultrasound first before she saw him just to rule out anything medically. Spoke with my vet and took him in yesterday......urinalysis was perfect, perfect PH, urine was well-concentrated which means the kidneys are doing their job perfectly, no crystals in the urine, etc.... My vet is totally on board with us getting an ultrasound but also said that he does not feel anything is wrong medically with him. I was going to go ahead and proceed and I may (waiting on a call from the animal hospital as to when they can schedule the ultrasound) but I just know that it's like taking hundreds of dollars and flushing it down the toilet. If he has something wrong with him, he wouldn't be able to hold it in his crate like he does and my vet agrees. I am aware that when they are sleeping their bladders are relaxed. But, he is not always sleeping when he is in his crate. For instance, yesterday and today as I type this, he is in his crate barking and howling to get out (I assume since he has experienced the freedom the last 3-4 weeks that I have been giving him) but no accidents when I do go get him out, which is, by the way, NOT when he is barking and howling. Also, he has always loved his crate......never cries at night and usually doesn't during the day when he is in it, but as I said, I think me having him out more during the day has spoiled him somewhat. Yesterday, he wasn't getting the attention he felt he needed on my daughter's bed as he kept throwing off his toy and she didn't get it for him after about the fifth time so he stood right on her bed, lifted his leg, looked at her, and urinated......of course he had on a diaper but that's not the point! Had he not had the diaper on, it would've been on her bed. What makes him think that would be ok?????? So, I am really leaning more toward this is behavioral BUT WHAT IN THE WORLD HAVE I DONE WRONG AND WHAT DO I DO NOW??????

I am just a loss right now and don't know what to do. I told my husband this morning that we need to start over but I don't know what I did wrong in the beginning for this not to work in the first place. Do I go back to the crate schedule and him only being out an hour at a time? Do I confine back to the kitchen? Do I continue to use the male wraps? Do I take out every 15 minutes versus 20 minutes and in asking this, is that teaching him a habit that he doesn't have to hold it? Do I crate him longer than 2 hours at a time? I just don't know what to do!

I am sure I left out A LOT as much as I did include. SO, feel free to ask me anything. I am an open book and only want him to achieve success with this housebreaking thing as well as us. By the way, no small children to antagonize him......just me, my husband, and our 17-year-old daughter. We are all very responsible and not just yelling, "He can't be potty-trained".......we are literally doing everything we know to do! I have bought book after book and book and researched this to the ends of the earth. As I mentioned in my original post, I know Maltese and Yorkies both are notorious for being difficult to housebreak. My maltese was difficult but nothing like this and I had her completely housebroken in 7 weeks and 6 days. I know one reply said, "I got lucky with her" and apparently I did. And, I know my Morkie isn't my Maltese, but she's the one I had experience with and the only personal comparison I have.

I am open to anything and like I said, ask me whatever or give me whatever suggestions you have. I am hoping (as bad as I hate to say that) that someone else has been through this with a Morkie or Maltese or Yorkie and can give me some insight on what they did.

THANKS TO ANYBODY WHO IS WILLING TO HELP US! :)
 

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Lol, what a stinker!

I would remove the bells. They clearly mean to him "Lets go outside and get a treat!" rather than "I need to go potty!"

I would remove the diapers, too. Just because his urine is not getting on the floor, he is still urinating in the house. He's still building a habit of releasing his bladder in the house.

Stop saying "No" when he has an accident. It likely means nothing to him. If you catch him in the act, interrupt of course and rush him outside. But no scolding. Just a non-threatening "oops!" and rush him out.

Take him out more frequently. If he's having an accident within 15-20 minutes of going outside, take him out every 12. And when you can't 100% watch him and be prepared to swoop in and interrupt an accident, it is perfectly fine to have him crated. Sometimes super strict management is needed to properly house train a dog. He has to earn his right to have freedom in the house! This isn't forever, just until he learns. It sounds like he hasn't quite learned he needs to hold it inside the house and wait to go outside.

Keep up the praise and treats! It sounds like he knows that going potty outside gets him a treat, but he just doesn't understand that he SHOULD NOT go in the house. That's where your super strict management comes in. He will build a habit of always going outside and NEVER going in the house.

As for your dog peeing "out of spite", as in he's not getting enough attention, no, he's not. If the dog had thrown the toy off the bed five times and he and your daughter were playing a little game, I'm betting it took about 10-15 minutes. He likely just had to pee and nobody took him out. Play and activity stimulates the digestive system. If he's playing and active, you need to be aware of how long since his last potty trip and take him out.

I think you're on the right track, but I think this dog needs more potty trips outside and more management inside the house! That might mean longer crate stays until you can dedicate 100% of your attention to the dog. Stay very aware of how long since his last potty trip. Only when he is consistently reaching the 12 minute goal of no accidents should you increase to 15. If he can't make 12, decrease to 10. It's a long and sometimes frustrating process, but he'll get there!
 

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I completely agree with Lilith. Honestly, a lot of dogs just ring the bells because they want to go out, and it has nothing to do with potty training. I'd definitely limit opportunities to pee inside - take him out every 12 minutes, praise like crazy when he pees (stay with him until he does). Crate him when you can't keep an eye on him at all times. Completely ignore accidents inside - just praise like crazy when he goes outside.

Honestly, some dogs are just harder to train than others. My friends have a dog door and their 2yo 13 lb dog STILL pees in the house (a poodle bichon mix).
 

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I can really sympathize with your frustration. It seems like you are doing everything right but not getting the results you want fast enough. My mom has a 5 year old malti/poo. He was very hard to train and to this day still has the occasional accident. I had actually started a thread on another dog forum several years ago asking for suggestions to assist with his potty training. One of the member replied with the advice below. Maybe it will be helpful for you. Wishing you lots of luck with your sweet pooch.

"He's still young enough to not fully understand house training. He's got too much freedom if he can wander off where you can't see him. I tether trained my poodle puppy, it was a major pain with the leash BUT, it made him the most reliable dog I"ve got potty-training-wise!

So you keep him on a 6' leash indoors, always attached to you. When I was in the kitchen, I had his leash looped on a cabinet knob (he's small enough that the cabinet knob could hold him). I was able to catch him twice peeing in the house because I was right there, able to instantly correct him (clapping hands, yelling no loudly) and then take him right straight outside to finish (and praise and party like crazy).

Young dogs seem to regress now and again. My puppy was great from 7-9 months, never had an accident, then started regressing, so I kept him tethered for about 6 weeks, and has been good ever since (he's 16 months).

hope this helps. "
 

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Discussion Starter #8
THANK YOU SO MUCH! I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I just purchased the "How to Housebreak Your Dog in 7 Days" and am almost finished with it. I am not at expecting him to be housebroken in seven days however. It sounds like I am going to just have to go back to a lot more crate time in order for him to recognize he does have the ability to hold it. He's the smartest little guy and for whatever reason, he is just outsmarting us on this particular issue.....lol! Thanks again!
 

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Thank you! I PRAY we are not 2 years old though and still having accidents. Surely he will get this soon! I am determined to do whatever it takes for him!
 

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Thank you so much! We do currently keep him on a 6 ft leash anytime he is out in the house. He's just a challenge but surely some progress will stay to occur!
 
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