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Dog trouble

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I'm at my wits end with our dog and I really don't know what to do....


He's a 1 year old Maltese - about 4lbs - and as sweet as can be.. gentle with the kids and doesn't bark too much considering he is a toy breed.


But he poops in the house. every. single. day.


Making a long story short.... last summer when we got him and within 2 weeks our life was completely and unexpectedly turned upside down. DH took a job 900 miles away - I was flying solo w. 3 kids (1 was 6 months) and the new dog. Then we moved, etc. It hasn't been fair for him b/c there is hasn't been consistent training, etc but honestly, I'm at full capactity. If things had never changed, I could have trained the dog (as planned).


Dh is no help. I guess he sees no problem with poop in the house. I still nurse the baby at night and she sleeps in our bed (baby, no dog). So, he is to bed later and up earlier. He **REFUSES** to take the dog for a short walk. He's not physically unable - he goes to the gym 3 nights a week - he just won't walk the dog for 10 minutes. His reason - "he never wanted a dog."


Well - before we made the commitment, I told him we were IN ThIS TOGETHER. He apparently didn't want to be the meanine who said 'no". Well, that would have ben better than this. I never "wanted to move away from all my family and friends" and have to set up a "temporary home", but I did it b/c he wanted this opportunity, yet he will not consistently take the dog out. He will open the door and if the dog goes out and pees, great. If not, he'll either stick him in his pen or let him roam the house.


DD7 cries whenever I talk about getting rid of the dog. And complains whenever I tell her to take him for a walk. And for the record - we live in a beautiful, safe place. One of Forbes top 10 beautiful towns- so it isnt like it is huge punishment to have to go outside here!


I logically know the only way it will get done is if I do it. But honestly, I'm at capactity. Whenever ANYTHING new comes up, it falls on MY plate. I'm borderline miserable between the kids lack of obedience, DH's indifference and the darned dog. I just can't add "train dog" to my plate. For the record, I think he is completely trainable - whenever given the proper chance at the right time, he does go outside.


Right now, there is a "3 strikes" sign up on the fridge. I've vowed to get rid of him at 3. I don't know if I'll really do it. Dh wouldn't care if I did. He doesn't really care if we keep the dog - but he won't get rid of him himself. He'll wait until I've had it and get rid of him b/c then I'm the "bad guy".

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I'm afraid you can't force your DH to do it, so if you want the dog and you don't want poop in the house, you'll have to do it yourself. I had the same problem with our dog, only I was the one who didn't want it in the first place and I was the one who ended up cleaning up messes throughout the day and night (plus, she was also biting). We were planning on taking her back to the breeder when she ran away the night we got back from vacation.

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Honestly, I think it's time to call Maltese Rescue. I don't know where you live but there is undoubtedly a chapter in your area.


You don't have the time, support, energy, patience, consistency, etc. to solve this problem and any others that may arise with this dog. Little dogs are notoriously hard to housebreak and more than other breeds take an enormous amount of effort, especially if patterns have become ingrained, as it sounds like his have.


The very fact that you're here, desperately looking for help shows that this morning's poop was Strike Three. Hard decision, yes, but I think from what you've written, it's the best decision for all involved.


So sorry--- I know it's a tough sitch. :grouphug:



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Okay, I re-read the post and I agree the dog is only a small part of the issue. Have you talked to your Dh seriously about how you feel and tried to work out some sort of compromise? I do not vote for getting rid of the dog. I vote for sorting out the issues that are upsetting you.


I think it is going to be important for your Dd to see that you and Dh work together. I also think it is important for you to enforce your Dd's walk with the dog. Make it short at first. Set a timer if you must. Increase the time daily. Make a chart of things you'd like to see her accomplish with the dog. You can make a reward chart for her or make it fun in some way. She is young to have a lot of dog responsibility, but you have the dog now, and she is attached to it. You say you think the dog is trainable.


I think the dog is raising some issues that need to be sorted out in your family life. Make a schedule for Dd and for the dog. Ask your husband to *only* put the dog in his pen and not roaming the house. Schedule when the dog will go out and when it will have supervised playtime inside or out. Include your Dd. Also schedule crate time (or pen time) when you do not have to do anything with the dog--this is a life saver. You can include your Dd in the schedule making and allow her to decorate it. Put it on the fridge and inside of a page protector. Let her check off when the dog goes out for potty breaks, when he has his crate time, playtime, etc.


I know it's a lot of work. I've btdt. Husbands and wives rarely agree on dog training imho. I've had to step up for all the serious training, though Dh did help some. Once I accepted that a lot was going to fall on my shoulders and came up with a plan I had a much easier time and felt better. Dd who got her own puppy last year has been responsible for a lot of the training, but she needed teaching about how to do it and supervision. She learned a lot.


I see this as a huge opportunity for you to address the issues bothering you. You mentioned obedience. I would have a talk with your Dh about that issue too. Come up with a plan and enforce it. If your Dd and other Dc won't comply, start sending them to sit on their beds and do nothing until they are ready to comply, or come up with some other consequence. I use the bed thing b/c it works, especially when I go about my own business completely ignoring the offending Dc. I have other consequences I use too, like if you are fooling around and having a bad attitude instead of doing what I asked you to do, you will lose free time and do nothing but chores until I decide your attitude has changed. I require them to report to me after each chore. If I'm busy, they sit on a chair at the kitchen table and wait until I am able to talk to them about attitude,or assign a new chore.


I truly believe this is an opportunity to put some structure and guidelines in place for your family---so that you are not overburdened and feeling used---and not so much about the dog.


ETA: I could be convinced that Astrid's advice is appropriate too, depending on just how desperate you are and whether it will pass or not. I still think other issues within the family need to be worked out. I'll also say that I had not been considering the difficulty of small dog housebreaking in my previous comments.

Edited by shanvan
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Thanks everyone for the advice and comments. :-)


Before I got a chance to come back and read everything, I did have another chat with DH.


He seemed to not want to commit to doing that "every night for a dog". I *think** I got through to him that he wouldn't be doing it *for the dog*, he'd be doing it *for his wife*. The dog doesn't care if he poops in the house - ***I**** care if the dog popps in the house. That make it FOR ME, not FOR THE DOG, kwim?


We are lucky to be in the situation that my (two dog, no kids) sister would LOVE to take my dog and would "adpot" him in a heartbeat. She lives almost 1000 miles away so it wouldln't be like the kids saw him all the time, but they'd know he was okay. Even if I adopted him out some other way, I think she'd be heartbroken - so despite my frustrations, I would never just drop him off somewhere. His breeder would also take him back no questions asked if we found ourselves unable to take care of him.


I really DON"t want to get rid of him. He is the sweetest, gentlest little dog you could imagine - I just hate poop in the house!!! (And I'm probably more frustrated than usual b/c I just paid hundreds to get the carpets cleaned last week).


Really, after rereading it, the title of my post probably should have been "Husband Trouble".


So... where we are is that I asked dh to commit to 2 months (I think it sounded less dauntng then "forever") and he agreed. I think DD can "maintain" much better than she can train. I am going to insist that DD go with DH. If nothing else, an added benefit will be those two having a few minutes alone together to talk. Who knows, DH may even end up enjoying it!

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Many small dogs are just hard to housebreak.


Another idea to consider....I have a Yorkie, and he has potty issues (which is putting it mildly.) :glare:


One thing that has worked for use is to switch from outdoor potty training to indoor potty training. We use an indoor doggie litter box lined with a puppy pad. It is placed out of the way of traffic ( in our 1/2 bath.)


While he still goes inside, our dog has gone from pottying all over the house to pottying in an 'approved' place, and he can go there anytime he wishes - whether we are out for the afternoon, or sleeping, or just not aware of his 'signals.

It has been a good fit for us, as I was at wits end and ready to get rid of him, as well.

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I personally would try regular long walks, high reward treats for pottying outside, and either CONSTANT supervision/restricted access and/or a doggie diaper to try to retrain him. Good luck; small dogs can be stubborn!

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