Maltese, pooing and peeing and more..


New Member
We have a Maltese dog, Basil, who for the last 5 years has been giving us trouble.
Our first issue appeared about a year and a half after we brought him home. We had purchased a small Yorkie puppy when we purchased him and by this time the two of them, who had previously been very friendly towards one another, began to fight. Basil, the Maltese, also began to pee all over our home.

We gave the Yorkie to a family member, thinking he was the one that instigated the fights. We soon found out that the Yorkie was actually a wonderful dog and that our relatives had absolutely no problem with him. Basil, however, continued to pee in our home.

We tried everything from diapers, to frequent bathroom trips. Nothing worked. He still continue to wreak yellow-stained havoc on our house. Only now, he would pee when he was angry with us as well. Frustrated, we played around with the idea of selling him, but he's very aggressive and we were sure that no one would take him. He'd scare them away with his snarling and barking, like he always did with anyone that visited our home.

So, with no alternative, we put up with his pee-pee fits. We would try to scrub behind him, but it proved useless. In this period, another year and a half had passed. We decided to try keeping him contained to one room. We got a leash and a long chain and put him up in one room. It seemed to work for a minute, until we discovered that upon our leaving the room -he would pee everywhere. So began the ritual of one person staying with him in the room at one time.
Basil was never alone, and he never peed.

This became tiring, as you can imagine and eventually, even staying with him in the room wouldn't work. Turn your head for a moment, and there were 2 or 3 tiny pee puddles on whatever he could manage to reach. Plastic bags have always been his favorites. He will pee on every plastic bag he sees. (This has always confused us.)

So, at our ropes end, we transferred his posting to a small room in our basement. He has food and water and he can move about freely. But now arises yet another problem: He barked incessantly. All hours of the night too. Even when he was in his bed cage. I suspect he did it out of spite, since he can't be around the family anymore, due to his bad habits. (We have another 2 dogs that are female who are almost no problem at all.)

This became irritating, and we decided that it was cruel to keep him cooped up in the room all day. (Potty breaks included.) So we began to let him play around outside. He loved it, as long as one of the girls was with him, and the barking did stop. Unfortunately this solution didn't last very long, because he would begin to bark loudly all day long OUTSIDE. Literally all day long.. (He also has a long history of fighting and barking with the neighbor's dog next door.)

We've tried alternating between letting him stay outside and in the house. That never worked. And now he's presented us with another problem. He's outside barking the majority of the day, but when we bring him in (the alternating.) he poos all over the floors and inside the other dog's bed crates and he pees on everything.

We are at our wits end. What do we do about this dog? He's driving us nuts, and after 5 years we still have no solution. He seems to be getting worse. He started off so nicely too. I never imagined such a small dog could be such a big problem.

Does anyone have any suggestions? We would ALL greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance from a family of four.


Honored Member
Staff member
Sounds like a big territory problem. First of all, don't just use sprays to clean the spots. Use a pet-specific shampoo and spot-clean as much as you can. If he is not neutered, do so. If he is, how long as he been neutered, and how old is he now? If you got the Yorkie and had the two unneutered males, this is most likely where your problem arose. It becomes a competition for dominance. There will always be a dominant dog, even if they don't have issues with each other. Males can get along quite nicely, but one will always be the dominant one and it will be established.
How did you originally potty train him, and how old was he when you first got the Yorkie? How much exercise does he currenty get?
Check into buying some kind of indoor repellant. I am not referring to Bitter Apple spray for chewers---I mean a deterant, such as Stay Off. You may have to buy several, several cans, but it will definitely help. Carefully read the label and then spray...everywhere if necessary. Try to catch him in the act or before, and when you do, give a very firm(but do not yell), short "Ah-ah!" HOPEFULLY, it will startle him. If he is already older and rather dominant, he may look at you and continue whizzing away. Watch for pre-pee signs. Sniffing, circling, etc. Catch him beforehand as often as you can. If the "Ah-ah!" does not work, fill some kind of can with pennies or rocks. When you catch him, SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE! This should definitely startle him. Immediately go outside with him on leash.
You may have to wait forever to get him to use the bathroom, but do it. Lavish him with praise when he goes outside, and then he can go back in. Do not let him get out of sight. Think of him as a puppy who you cannot trust yet inside. Try to centralize a place where the other dogs use the bathroom. This is where you can utilize his territorial nature.
Here's where it gets really time consuming, but will definitely help. Take the girls to one specific spot in the yard--one corner or whatever. Wait for them to relieve themselves completely here, then take him out to this exact area by himself. Lavish with praise when he relieves himself. (With mine, they are kenneled at night, and in the morning I expect at least 2 urinations and one pooping, then it's back in for breakfast, then back out again. Normally mine are just let into the fenced backyard, but under certain circumstances they are taken to the front yard on-leash.) Do this at least 3 times a day, plus whenever you catch him. (When you catch him, simply return to the spot. You don't have to take the girls out first.)

He is not barking out of spite. He is simply irritated or lonely because he is alone, segregated from his normal stomping grounds and family. He has been exiled from his pack and is asking to be allowed back in.


Experienced Member
You're probably not going to like my answer, but I think you need to seek help from a behaviorist. You have let this go on for five years which means you have a lot of training to do. there is going to be no quick or easy fix. In addition, because of the behavioral problems your dog isn't even allowed to be a part of the family anymore which only compounds the problem.

Dogs do not do things out of spite, revenge, etc. They do NOT view their pee as a weapon to use against you. Even if he were to grovel to you and look "guilty" when you yell at him, he is just trying to appease you.
I suspect that along with fear issues (of strangers, dogs and probably a lot more), your dog has separation anxiety. In addition he most likely isn't getting any exercise (a small walk doesn't count, nor does running in the back yard) or any mental stimulation. All this adds up to one very unhappy dog who needs a lot of training help and a very frustrated family because of it.

I'm not trying to be mean, I just really want you to seek professional help from a trainer who uses positive methods. Good books you may want to read are "The Other end of the Leash" by Patricia McConnell, "I'll be home soon" by Patricia McConnell, and "The culture clash" by Jean Donaldson. Good luck with everything


Experienced Member
i also agree a behaviorist. this no way for u guys to live. getting new dog can be very stressful for existing dogs and as the new dog matures they test animals and people too. this sounds like it started with competition and evolved into anxiety maybe combined with incomplete smell removal. u need a urine/feces specific enzymatic cleaner like natures little miracle sold at pet stores. i got a stink light when we moved and it does work in finding uncleaned urine/feces residue. for about $20 it's worth it in this case.

be sure to wash crates rugs bedding etc with it too or he will remark.

also watched dogs don’t pee in the house. i would not give him run of the house and watch closely. consider tethering him to you if you want him to have more time with you. do you socialize him with other dogs at all??

more exercise and training may increase his confidence. u really need to find out why and address that. i rarely see potty regressions w/o a fear issue somewhere. as a last resort there are meds but i don't suggest tranqs..then u get drunk & more scared. SSRI's like Prozac can help. they are not magic pills and will NOT work without behavior modification training.

check the below links or a nearby university vetmed behavioral science dept. if no behaviorists are near call & email. they all refer and all returned my calls & email. good luck. in the mean time do not punish this dog, it could just make it worse.

last just check with the vet and be sure there isn’t a medical reason why he can't help it, diabetes, epilepsy, infection, kidney failure, pain, cancer etc

best of luck !!