How to Potty Train a Maltese Puppy – A Quick Guide

How to Potty Train a Maltese Puppy - A Quick Guide

Improper, little, or no potty training makes for a messy home, which is discomforting to both owner and dog alike. Hence the essence of this article is a quick guide on how to successfully potty train your Maltese dog. But, are Malteses difficult to potty train?

Some small dogs have problems holding their bladder, probably because of smaller bladders. But although little, the Maltese is usually clean and easy to house-train. But you might be having quite a hard time house-training your Maltese if they have been raised in their filth.

Pet shop dogs, originating in a puppy mill, internet puppies, shipped through brokers, and dogs forced to lie in their filth through improper crate training are all prone to being difficult to house-train.

You needn’t despair, though; a poor start does not necessarily make for a bad ending in potty training your Maltese. Continue reading to learn more tips and techniques to successfully potty train your Maltese puppy.

When to Begin Potty Training Your Maltese?

You must begin housebreaking your Maltese pup from the first day because you want your Maltese to form good habits from the very beginning. Dogs are intelligent animals, and they have an excellent memory.

If they learn the wrong things, then you will have to work twice as hard to get rid of those bad habits.

The time required to completely house-train a Maltese pup typical varies from one puppy to another, but on average, it takes between two and four months. 

Potty Training Your Maltese: What to Do?

It is very vital to pay attention to every potty training step. Missing a step could result in partial or failed outcomes. Even if a breeder tells you that a puppy has been paper-trained, you will still want to follow through with all of the training.

Puppies can only physically hold their bathroom needs for so long, but this does not mean that they will. You may have heard that a 2-month-old puppy can hold his needs for 2 hours, a 3-month-old for 3, and so on.

These are generalizations, however, and are not valid for every puppy. Consistent training and maturity improve sphincter control over time.

The owner’s absence limits potty training success, and it may take longer to achieve success.

Getting Ready

Before beginning to potty train your Maltese, it is important that you are well prepared. For example, ensure that you have an area for your Maltese puppy inside of the home. This is to avoid toilet accidents occurring all over your house.

When trying to choose where to restrict your puppy to, consider the following:

  • Avoid using a dog crate: It does not allow your puppy room to move or play.
  • Consider gates: By using gates; you can carve out a corner of your apartment that can function primarily as your Maltese’s living area. This area should be large enough for your Maltese to have the freedom to stand and move around. The great thing is that gates are not permanent, so you can remove them once the dog is fully house-trained or change their position in the house.
  • A playpen is the best: It is the most recommended method by many Maltese owners and your Maltese will love it very much. Playpens allow your Maltese plenty of room and can also hold all their toys.

Siting Your Puppy’s Playpen

Your pup’s living area should be close to the most common area of your apartment, so it doesn’t feel isolated. This avoids separation anxiety.

Don’t site the playpen in an area that is uncomfortable or dangerous for the Maltese puppy, such as near a heater, or direct sunlight.

Ensure your Maltese playpen is well furnished with everything it would need to be comfortable. Things to equip your dog’s playpen with include toys, beds, and beddings. Try not to have food and water on standby, as that will mitigate your ability to regulate your Maltese’s feeding pattern. 

Your Maltese’s playpen should have a door for easy access, among other benefits. Having an entry in the playpen, you have the option to leave the door open so that you can supervise, and the puppy is allowed to have some freedom. This allows your puppy to feel more at home in its space and more likely to enjoy spending time in there.

Select a Bathroom Area for Your Maltese

Maltese puppies can be trained to go to the bathroom indoors by using pee pads. Teaching them to go outside is often better and more successful.

If you intend to try the indoor training, then you would need to use scented pads. These pads are specifically built to attract dogs to potty on them.

The pads should not be placed too close to your Maltese’s bed but shouldn’t be too far away from its playpen, either. Choose a spot which is some distance away from the playpen as otherwise, the playpen will start to smell.

The first thing you need to do if you decide to apply outdoor training is to choose the best location for your dog to potty. This is ideally an area that is accessible to your Maltese regardless of the weather.

And it should be at least three meters away from the door and other family areas like children’s play equipment or a BBQ, for health reasons.

Consistency in your choice matters. Potty training is about creating repetition and a habit or routine of where they go when they need to go to the toilet.

Supervision is essential, too, especially when they are younger and exploring. This avoids outdoor hazards.

Use of Positive Reinforcements

The use of positive reinforcements has a very high success rate when it comes to teaching and training Maltese dogs. It involves using devices like verbal encouragements and dog treats.

This is a significant part of potty training. While any food would usually do, specific training treats are useful. I suggest that you use the same treat every time for all training, such as learning commands. This way, your Maltese will associate it with getting this treat for doing the right thing.

How Often Does a Maltese Need to Go Potty?

This usually varies from one Maltese to another, so it’s important to watch your Maltese closely and figure out what works best for it.

However, on average, these are the times when a bathroom call is necessary: 

  • Your pup may need to go to the bathroom after waking up from a nap.
  • 20 minutes before they go to bed.
  • 20 minutes after they eat.
  • A Maltese dog bathroom needs will depend on its age. For example, a 3-month-old pup will need to go every 3 hours, and a 6-month old pup, every six hours.
  • Before and after their daily walk.

Easy Steps to Potty Train a Maltese Puppy

  • The exit from the house must be done quickly, so have your shoes, coat, etc. near the door, and have the training treats in a small zipped plastic bag.
  • Follow supervision rules. Supervision is key while potty-training any dog. Whenever you cannot closely monitor your Maltese, have him in his playpen.
  • Any time that the pup makes a motion to pee, clap your hands loudly to distract him, and immediately bring him to the designated bathroom area.
  • You will also bring him there according to the schedule, as shown earlier.
  • As you head to the area, say a chosen phrase that your Maltese will eventually associate with the act of going to the bathroom. “Piddle-paddle’, or ‘Pee-poo’ are some favorite choices; however, choose something that you feel comfortable saying.
  • Allow your Maltese to time to choose a spot. Stand in the middle of the designated bathroom area, and allow your Maltese to move around within that area to choose the perfect spot. Keep your retractable leash on a 6 to 8 feet set. It can take puppies anywhere from 1 to 15 minutes to sniff around, pick a spot, and for bladder or bowel muscles to relax, so plan to stay outside long enough.
  • As soon as your Maltese is done peeing or pooping, say ‘good’ coupled with your chosen phrase to reaffirm the action. So, for example, ‘Good pee-poo’ in a cheerful and enthusiastic voice. At the same time, offer the reward treat, with an open palm.

Dealing With Accidents

Scolding: Shouting ‘No!’ as a puppy is peeing will startle him enough to stop (at which point you should pick him up and carry him to his designated spot). Scolding once the deed is done is of little use.

It is best to react calmly, clean the mess properly, and do a better job next time with supervising or keeping your Maltese in one area.

Cleaning: Any messes must be cleaned properly. If you only use water and soap, traces of urine remain that your dog’s stronger sense of smell may perceive as a marker for the bathroom area.

If you use an overly scented product to clean an area your Maltese pee-ed on to mark, then your dog is likely to re-mark that spot. For these reasons, it is recommended to clean all accidents with an enzyme cleaner. This works on all types of surfaces.

Potty training your Maltese requires patience, but it is an overall rewarding process for a genuine dog lover. 


Karin June 26, 2022 - 12:42 am

I have done all the things you recommended, but rarely does my dog go on her pad. We will stay in the bathroom up to a 1/2 hr at times, but she will hold it and then race out of the bathroom and squat. It is very frustrating.

Nanci July 19, 2022 - 10:57 pm

Can I purchase a miniature Maltese that’s trained?

Robert Coppola July 21, 2022 - 8:06 am

Loved your article. We have a 2.5 lb Maltese puppy at 3 months old. Sleeps from 11 pm until 6 am in a closed crate, no accidents. During the day, she has a playpen and a good size room with open crate and dog beds. We take her out every 1/2 to 3/4 hour. She is having one accident a day either in playpen or on floor in her room. All different times. Using enzyme cleaner. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


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