Training your Maltese dog

Caring for the New Arrival

These are just a few hints and tips to make you and your puppy’s life a little easier. There is much preparation to be done in advance. Your garden must be made safe and comfortable for a small dog. Check all fences and gates are sound and escape proof, remembering a small inquisitive puppy can squeeze through an impossibly small space. It must be completely enclosed, and even so, a puppy playpen or crate is a good investment for when a door is unexpectedly left open.

Feeding Bowls
Plastic is not recommended as they become chewed and unhygienic. Stainless steel is the best investment for very young puppies as they can be washed in a dishwasher and will last a lifetime. From 5-6 months my Maltese have Portmeirion & Denby rice bowls which are dish washer safe. Don’t forget dogs must have access to fresh water at all times – strong bigger bowls with a larger base so they don’t move when in use.

Collars and Leads
Don’t invest too heavily as puppy will soon outgrow it. Leather or padded nylon. It is all personal taste in choosing what is right for your Maltese. I like matching collars and leads in soft leather. Why? Gentle on the dogs neck and your hands.

Bed & Bedding
Probably the plastic type is best under 6 months old because they are still teething and likely to chew it. It can be cleaned easily and a nice snug liner can be put in and washed easily. Wicker basket would do well to carry a label saying ‘chew me’ and never a beanie bag type as one nick and they are all over the kitchen floor! Mine have raised beds with washable bedding.

Safety
Ensure all plugs and leads and any trailing wires are concealed. It only takes a puppy seconds to munch through a cable, sometimes with fatal results.

Feeding
When feeding puppy try to feed him in his playpen or crate so he associates it with something pleasant and not a punishment.

Food
The breeder will supply puppy with food including a diet sheet with amounts and suggested meal times, there are various types of food available.

Dry Food  this is a complete food and there MUST  be a constant supply of fresh water available at all times to prevent dehydration.

Wet Food comes in various packages tinned, pouches, in small medium and large, biscuits can be added.

Raw Food which is Frozen and will need to be stored in the freezer and will require defrosting. Most companies do home delivery.

How Often Do I  Feed puppy is having 4 meals per day but reduce to 3 then 2 within the next 3 months. Obviously the portions increase as the frequency of feeding decreases. The Breeder will advise you on amounts and number of meals required for puppy.

Bedtime
Firstly before retiring ensure puppy has the opportunity to go outside to perform. Praise gently. I believe that the easiest and the least stressful way to get puppy to sleep is in a puppy pen. On the first night just reassure the puppy but when crying or moaning say ‘no’. If you sympathise at this stage puppy will read this as condoning their action and will make them continue to whimper. If you ensure from day one that you put the Freedom Pen in the place you where want puppy to sleep, eventually he will just crawl into it and sleep.

Worming
Puppy has been wormed with Panacure at 4, 6, 8, 10 & 13 weeks of age.  Speak with the breeder regard to further worming.

Vaccines
Puppy has been vaccinated at 10 weeks and requires a further one at 14 weeks.                                                           This means puppy can go out at an earlier age, thus allowing for the important early socialisation.

Travel
ALWAYS crate your dog when in the car . If you are involved in an accident the dog could kill you as it would be like being hit by a cannon ball! Also if you are involved in an accident the first thing onlookers will do is run to the car and open the door. Your dog is shocked, bolts and either is lost or run over. In a more serious accident your dog could be lodged under the seat and rescuers would not be aware of its presence.

All good reasons to crate dogs in cars.                                                                                                                                                                         I shudder when I see dogs sitting free in a car. I would also say the best and safest type of carrier is the Vari-kennel type. Must be fastened securely so to can’t slide about.

Play Time -Toys                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ensure you regularly play with puppy. He should have plenty of toys to stimulate him.                                                                                     Ensure no ball is small enough for them to swallow. What is too big at 10 weeks they may find no difficulty choking on at 20 weeks! Remember all toys must be accounted for after playing.                                                                                                                                              Use toys made for dogs because children’s soft toys contain a fire retardant which if swallowed could destroy the gut/ bowel of your precious puppy.

Naughty puppy!
NEVER NEVER ever smack a puppy. Verbal chastisement by changing voice tone is far more effective. Ignore them and no petting.  Keep turning away, arms folded and no eye contact. They will quickly get the message he has displeased you!

Grooming
You need a double ended tooth comb to get to the roots. A small one with a handle and a large one ideally.. The small one is great for puppy as he grows and as an adult is great for face and feet.                                                                                                                                 Ensure the coat is knot free before bathing. THIS IS MOST IMPORTANT. Try spraying any knots with a weak solution of conditioner and this often relaxes it enough to remove it. Some owners cut the coat which is not recommended for a number of reasons. Trimmed coats tend to lie close to the skin which can cause skin complaints as well as making the dog overheat. It is the looseness of the free-flowing coat that keeps it cool in summer and warm in winter. If you walk everyday through rough terrain it can be troublesome but unfortunately that is the price of a coated breed.  Remember the coat has a purpose!
Nails
Need regular attention and also remember to trim hair between the pads. This can be very painful for a dog to walk on if left untrimmed.
Ears
Maltese do get hair growing in the ear canal which requires removal. From early in his life gently pull the hair from his ears.
Teeth
Brush teeth using Dorwest Tooth Paste regularly and give Petzlife to remove tartar. This will preventing a visit to the Vets for a General Anaesthetic and a Scale & Polish.

Any questions don’t hesitate to contact the breeder of your Maltese by  calling or emailing, they will be delighted to hear all about your Maltese.

Socialisation Is The Most Important Part Of Puppy Training

Socialising and puppy training are of utmost importance as puppyhood is the most important and critical time in your dog’s development. What you do and do not do right now will affect your dog’s behaviour forever.

A properly socialised puppy is well adjusted and makes a good companion. It is neither frightened by nor aggressive towards anyone or anything it would normally meet in day to day living.

An un-socialised dog is untrustworthy and an unwanted liability. They often become fear-biters. Often they like to fight with other dogs. They are difficult to train and are generally unpleasant to be around. Unsocialised dogs cannot adapt to new situations and a simple routine visit to the vet is a nightmare not only for the dog itself, but for everyone involved.

Don’t let this happen to you and your dog. Start socialising your new puppy now!

However, at 12 weeks, the puppy must continue socialisation to refine its social skills. Socialisation most easily occurs before the puppy is 3 months old. Any later than that and it becomes an excruciatingly difficult and time-consuming process that very few owners have the time, energy, money or patience to cope with.

Socialisation Do’s

Make sure that each of the following events are pleasant and non-threatening. If your puppy’s first experience with something is painful and frightening, you will be defeating your purpose. In fact, you will be creating a phobia that will often last a lifetime. It’s better to go too slow and assure your puppy is not frightened or injured than to rush and force your pup to meet new things and people.

Invite friends over to meet your pup. Include men, women, youngsters, oldsters, different ethnic backgrounds, etc.

* Take your puppy to the homes of family’s and friends with dogs, and dog-friendly cats.
1. Carry your pup to shopping centres, parks, school playgrounds, etc; places where there are crowds of people and plenty of activity.
2. Take your puppy for short, frequent rides in the car. Stop the car and let your puppy watch the world go by through the window.
3. Introduce your puppy to umbrellas, bags, boxes, the vacuum cleaner, etc. Encourage your puppy to explore and investigate his environment.
4. Introduce your puppy to new and various sounds.

Socialisation Don’ts

Do not put your puppy on the ground where unknown animals have access. This is where your puppy can pick up diseases. Wait until your puppy’s vaccinations are completed.

Do not let your pup socialise with dogs that appear sick or dogs that you don’t know, that may not be vaccinated.

Do not reward fearful behaviour. In a well meaning attempt to sooth, encourage or calm the puppy when it appears frightened, we often unintentionally reward the behaviour.

It’s normal for the puppy to show some signs of apprehension when confronting anything new and different.

* Do not allow the experience to be harmful, painful or excessively frightening. This can cause lifetime phobias in your dog.

* Do not force or rush your puppy. Let your puppy take things at his own pace. Your job is to provide the opportunity.

* Do not do too much at one time. Young puppies need a lot of sleep and tire quickly.
It is much more productive to have frequent and very brief exposures than occasional prolonged exposures.

* DO NOT WAIT!! Every day that goes by is an opportunity of a lifetime that is lost forever. You can never get these days back. If socialisation does not happen now, it never will.

Toilet Training Puppies

You might be a little frustrated right now because house training is not progressing as fast as you had hoped.
Your puppy just doesn’t seem to get it… Or, maybe you are planning ahead and want to start toilet training on the right paw !
Every puppy presents different challenges, but there are common instincts that will facilitate the house training process.
This article will detail a training with techniques that will house train your puppy as soon as possible and foster a trusting and loving relationship between you and your pup.

It’s normal for a young puppy to be a little piddle / pooh machine. Since they are growing and developing rapidly at this stage, they eat more food, burn up more energy and seem to need to eliminate constantly!

Puppies have not yet developed bowel and bladder control, so they can’t ‘hold it’ as long as adult dogs.
Puppies need time to developed a “den” instinct to cause them to want to ‘hold it’ and not soil the den, i.e., your entire house.
In their litter, puppies just go whenever and wherever they happen to be! Successful house training depends upon your diligent supervision so you can be there to show your pup where to eliminate.

Just so you know, a puppy is never completely house -trained until they are 6 months old. For some breeds, even later.
This means that though you may be making tremendous progress house-training, there will be “mistakes”.
Sometimes for reasons you can’t understand ! Don’t fret about it. Stay focused on the progress you are making. Your confidence in the techniques you are using to house train your puppy will ensure your success.

A Few Rules for House Training Puppies

Give your puppy frequent access to his toilet area – prevent soiling in the house.
Reward the pup for peeing or pooping in the right place – use a special treat.
Never punish the pup for house-training “mistakes” – scolding has dire consequences.
Put your puppy on a regular and timely feeding schedule – in/out clockwork. Know when your puppy last eliminated – keep a diary. Immediately upon your puppy waking up (morning, noon or night).

Immediately after they finish eating, get a big drink of water, and after excited play •
When you think they might have to go – about every 45 minutes.

Better too often than too late!
When your puppy cries in the crate in the middle of the night or barks in their pen during the day.

Take them out to toilet, reward for going and put them right back.

When your puppy is standing at the door to the outside. Why not just let them out, you say? Well, he may not make it all the way to the garden area, or poop in the “wrong” place and you have missed a house-training opportunity!
Carry your puppy outside for about one or two months until the pup is about 4 – 5 months old as this should give the pup enough time to develop some bladder and bowel control.

By doing so, you will prevent many mistakes. At the same time you will train a strong preference in your pup to eliminate in your chosen spot.

The pup will also learn that being picked up gets – kisses !