As an Iowa Morkie breeder, we of course know a lot about how to train your teacup puppy. If you would like to view any of our Iowa Maltese puppies, check out our happy customers page! Also, all of our teacup puppies for sale in Iowa come with a puppy kit!
Housebreaking can be challenging but can also be rewarding when done successfully. The following will help you understand the habits of your puppy and assist you in teaching him where to urinate and defecate. Having a routine is very important. Constant supervision when you are at home and confinement when you are not will have most puppies housebroken within 12 weeks.
A new puppy in you home will need time to adjust. This can take up to three months, depending on the puppy’s age and level of confidence. Every puppy is unique and will respond differently to having new family and to living in a new home (indoors and outdoors) and getting used to a new routine. Factors that will affect your puppy’s behavior include changes in diet, exercise, anxiety, and excitability.
Taking Your Puppy Potty
Start by only taking your puppy outdoors when it is time to potty. If you have to wait for an extended period of time or walk a long way, carry your puppy or walk quickly, giving no time for your puppy to stop. Go to the spot you have chosen for his potty place, use a verbal command of your choice and repeat it over and over till you have success. Do not let your puppy leave his potty place. After the puppy relieves himself, immediately reward your puppy with plenty of praise and a treat. Give your puppy only about 10 minutes to relieve himself. After your puppy does his business, you can then go for a walk or have some playtime. If your puppy does not go or does not completely empty out, return him to his crate and try to take him out again in about a half an hour.
Whenever a puppy drinks or eats his digestive system begins a process that often ends up with elimination. Shortly after finishing his meal, your puppy will have to relieve himself. This an be anywhere within about 30 minutes. So when he is done eating, do not let him roam around the house and do not let him out of your sight. Watch for signs that your puppy has to relieve himself such as intense sniffing, pacing back and forth, and/or circling.
By feeding your puppy at the same time each day, you will be able to see a clear pattern of behavior develop. The number of meals per day that you feed your puppy will figure into the total number of times you can expect to have to take him out to relieve himself. Feeding a highly digestible, premium formula food helps in getting and keeping your puppy on a schedule. Young and or small puppies need to be fed more often than older and or larger puppies.
Suggested Feeding Schedule
Puppies 7 months to adult – 2 times a day
Puppies 3 to 6 months – 3 times a day
Very young or small puppies – 4 times a day
Puppies generally need to urinate after waking from a nap or from an overnight sleep. Again, supervision is critical. If you do not see your puppy wake up, you may miss seeing him relieve himself. Always be ready to take your puppy outdoors. Vigorous play can also stimulate a puppy to urinate. A puppy may have trouble controlling the urge. Your puppy may squat suddenly, urinate and then resume play. Watch him carefully because he may give little or no warning. Typically a puppy has the capability of holding one hour for every month of age.
Some puppies and dogs use urine and feces to make their territorial boundaries. This type of soling (not related to normal elimination) can happen during the night if you sleep away from your puppy or when you leave your puppy alone in the house. Dogs are social. Some puppies become stressed and anxious when separated from their family. Males that are not neutered often lift their leg indoors, not because they have to go, but rather as a way of posting a “No Trespassing” sign. It is important to get a male puppy neutered before he reaches sexual maturity. It is recommended neutering be done by 6 months of age, but be sure to consult with your veterinarian. Waiting to neuter until one or more years of age may not correct what has become a habit in marking their territory. There are also health benefits to neutering as well.
Caught You In The Act
If you catch your puppy in the act of eliminating in an inappropriate place, a deep firm “NO” is all that is needed to communicate your displeasure. If you succeeded in interrupting the act, take your puppy outdoors quickly and clean up when you get back. Hitting your puppy or rubbing his face in his feces is not necessary. Tactics using intimidation work against relationships based on mutual trust and respect. Puppies like to be praised and want to please their masters. Supervision and consistency are critical. Your puppy is always learning, even when you are not actively teaching. A puppy that is not closely monitored ( you will find more accidents than you see happen) may become confused thinking he may eliminate indoors because sometimes he gets yelled at and sometimes he doesn’t. A puppy that is closely monitored understands quickly what he may and may not do and generally becomes reliable much more quickly.
When your puppy is very young and he has an accident inside, all you can do is clean it up and vow to be more diligent in watching. Correcting your puppy is useless because he does not remember doing it. Once your puppy is older, recognizes his smell, and remembers the command you use for elimination, you can take him to the accident and firmly scold him and reinforce verbally that he “goes potty outside”. When you cannot supervise your puppy, he should be crated or confined to a small dog proofed area.
All accidents should be cleaned with a commercial odor neutralizer. This type of product, which is available in pet stores and catalogs, breaks down the organic matter that causes the odor. Typical household cleaners will not neutralize the odor. If there is any residual odor left after cleaning, there is a good chance that your puppy will return to the spot. Be sure to follow the product label.
If you are considering paper training, think about what the end result is that you want for your puppy. Teaching your puppy to eliminate indoors can cause confusion when he is away from home. Unless your puppy is carefully trained to respond to a specific set of cues, he may have indoor accidents where you are visiting. Males that are not neutered are particularly difficult to train because they want to lift their leg and leave their scent in many different places. Males that are not neutered must be trained to use only indoor scent post. Some people are experimenting with litter boxes. However, it may work very well at home, but if you want your puppy to travel with you, you may have problems when away from home.
Crate – Security For You Puppy
Many people associate kennel crates with imprisonment or punishment. However, puppies view these as a personal den or safe haven. Crates minimize the stress and activity that comes with being left alone and having to deal with a large area. A puppy that is in a crate cannot pace back and forth or dart from window to window. A puppy can not work himself into a frenzy that may include chewing and ransacking. These type of activities also lead to indoor accidents. Puppies are much more content when they feel secure. Having his own personal “house” when you are away will give your puppy the security he needs. This also assures you that he is behaving and you will be happy to see each other when your arrive home.
Puppies will try very hard not to eliminate in their quarters. They like to have clean beds. This is the reason it is very successful to use crate training as part of your housebreaking. Most puppies enjoy tight spaces with little headroom. However, some puppies need room to sprawl. Notice how your puppy uses space when he is let loose in a room The size of the crate is very important. You may need to experiment. If your puppy soils the crate daily, it is probably too big. If your puppy can curl up in one corner and soil in the other corner, the crate is definitely too big. Do not put any absorbent bedding in the crate until you are sure that your puppy can control himself and keep it clean and dry. If your puppy continues to soil it, make sure that you are following the correct schedule and the puppy has been fully exercised before being crated. Do not be late in getting your puppy out to eliminate. A puppy that is forced to soil his crate is a very unhappy puppy.
Introduce your puppy to the crate slowly. Feed him in it, put his toys in it, and hide his treats inside it. It should be fun to go inside. Put a chew toy inside, close the door and stay close by. Talk to your puppy, laugh, and then let him out with a big “Hooray”. Increase the length of time your puppy is in the crate in small increments. Also distance yourself. Sit across the room and then sit in the next room If he begins to whine, a sharply spoken “Quiet” is necessary. If he quiets, wait a moment or so and then let him out. As long as he complains he stay. Do not reward a tantrum with freedom. If you have introduced the crate correctly, and taken the time to make it fun, your puppy will be complaining not because he does not like his accommodations, but because he can not be with you when he wants to. (Note- in rare cases some puppies will not accept being crated. For whatever reason, they become extremely anxious if confined. Some make every effort to escape. Some signs of stress include incessant barking, shaking, trembling, extreme salivation and lathering. In most cases, the crate will continually be soiled. If your puppy becomes hysterical, do not force the issue. Some puppies just can not be trained using crates).
Feeding & Watering
We have provided you with feed from Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy Food. If you choose to switch your puppy to a different food, we recommend that you make the change gradually over a period of 7 to 10 days. Start with the food we sent for a few days. After about 3 or 4 days you may begin lessening the amount of the old food and increase the amount of the new food. Continue the switch gradually until only the new food is being used. Remember to provide your puppy with fresh water at all times. Usually puppies need to stay on puppy food for about one year of age. Always be sure to consult with your veterinarian.
Other Things to Remember
The younger you start to trim your puppies nails the better. Your puppy will become accustomed to having you work with his nails.
Remember to keep the hair trimmed around your puppies eyes. This will help prevent getting eye infections because of overgrowth of hair around their eyes.
Begin bathing your puppy every few weeks with an appropriate puppy or dog shampoo. Human shampoos are not balanced for the skin pH of dogs and puppies.
It is important to start brushing your puppies teeth when your puppy is young. Again the younger you begin working with your puppy he will be accustomed to having his teeth brushed. Start with a toothpaste that is flavored for dogs. Do not use human toothpaste because it is not meant to be swallowed. Note – some toy breeds such as Maltese do not lose their baby teeth as they should. These may need to be removed at the time of spay/neuter to prevent dental problems. Again consult with your veterinarian.