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Re-training a 5 year old dog... To not pee/poop in house!

Hi everyone,
I just signed up here because I need some help. I have a maltese who is five years old and still continues to pee/poop in the house. I have tried over and over again to "re-train" him but I am at my wits end. When he was a puppy, we went to training school and he was just great. He is a smart little guy and picks up on new tricks so quickly, but he STILL has this one problem. He has an area in our house in particular where he LOVES to pee and poop on the carpet. I've cleaned this carpet more times than I can count with our deep cleaning machine. I am so ready to just rip the carpet out!!! The thing is, he seems to know that it is bad. If I catch him after the fact he lowers his ears and puts on his "i just did something bad" face and i take him outside to show him the correct place to pee. I have done so much training with him and take him out numerous times a day, but he continues to sneak off whenever he finds the chance. I work from home so I keep him close to me at all times and am constantly here to take care of him... but whenever I take my attention off of him for a short time he seems to take advantage and sneak off to his spot. I sometimes don't even notice it for hours afterwards because I have no idea when he finds the time to do this. After he is done he will sometimes run over to me and paw at my leg all excited as if to tell me that he just made a mess all over the carpet. It's like he's doing it backwards.... instead of telling me if he has to go out, he tells me after the fact.

I don't know how to correct this problem anymore. I love him with my whole heart but do not understand why he just isn't "getting it" when I try to train him. I know that usually this is the owner's own fault but I need some advice as to what to do next, because these traditional methods are not working. How can I train him to let me know when he has to go out (even though i do take him out a bunch of times throughout the day) instead of after the fact? Is it too late for him to learn this considering he's already become so used to peeing on my rug!?

Thank you!
 

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If it were me ... I would first rule out any UTI ... and then I would begin potty training 101 ... and since you work from home and he "sneaks" off to go potty ... I would reintroduce his crate. He would remain there during the potty training ... until he "gets" it again. The crate is not a punishment tool ... but a training tool. He should eat and get treats while he is in the crate ... and all good things and only good things should happen in the crate. When you are not working he gets his freedom to play, train, exercise, etc.

By "not" allowing him to make a mistake is the key to this issue. We humans are in charge of this part. :)

Using an enzymatic cleaner will thoroughly take out the urine odor ... unless it is so embedded that you need to replace the carpet IMO. Just a minute smell of urine or feces will make them think it is a potty spot and is OK to use. :)
 

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Thanks for the advice! The only problem I have with using a crate is that he absolutely hates it and it drives me mad. He will bark non-stop while in there. I used to keep him confined to a room instead of a crate when he was young because he was too noisy. Do you think keeping him locked in my office with me would be sufficient? or should he be nowhere near me so he doesn't think that when he's NOT with me it's ok to sneak off?
 

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You need to reduce his access to the house. Other than a crate (which you could fix by putting him in the crate, cranking music with headphones on and you won't hear him bark, and only let him out when he's quiet, also invest in a stuffed frozen kong and only give it to him in the crate) is to tether him to you. Keep him on a leash in the house. Since it appears he doesn't spend nights in the crate then you'll need to enclose him into your bedroom or wherever he sleeps at night so he can't wander. Baby gates are awesome ($10 at Wal-mart).
 

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You can also use an x-pen instead of a crate. It doesn't really matter what you use, as long as it prevents him from sneaking off.

I think the scent may be too ingrained after 5 years for even Nature's Miracle to work. You may have to rip up at least a section of the carpet, clean the floorboards underneath and then replace the carpet.
 

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Much to what many have said. Reduce access to certain parts of the house particularly to that area where he is peeing. Merlin- our little pup - although has only been training for about a month is pretty good as long as I block off one room. For some reason this room seem appetizing to pee or poo in. I think the previous owner had dogs and that was a room with lots of accidents. 95% of the time Merlin makes it outside and does his business. That other 5% is me! I turn my back for a second and he'll pee by the door where he needs to go out.

Crate training is another great idea, but as you mentioned your little guy is not a fan. I would then recommend a an exercise pen. He can still see you but you don't have to go around with baby gates blocking out the bad areas. It will also give you the freedom to feel that he won't sneak off.

Another thing you could try is Bell training (for dogs) - just type it in to google. My friends Maltese lives in a large house where no one could hear him asking to go out. With a little practice you could hear the little guy asking. Worked like a charm and the dog seemed to enjoy it! ;)
 

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I have a sneaky pee-er too. I totally sympathize. My dog also hates his crate and barks continuously while I'm gone unless he has free roam of the house (during which time he goes on the carpet) so yeah, tricky. I am going to try gating him in a small area (hoping he doesnt bark!) and if that doesnt work he will stay in my bedroom when I'm gone (I really think and HOPE he won't go in there, its usually places that are out of the way). I am still trying with the crate, he sleeps in there now with little protest but in the day as soon as I leave he goes nuts. He's a little too attached to me so the combo of SA and barrier frustration pushes him right over the edge. Let us know how it works out, maybe we can learn from each other's mistakes.
 
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