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13 Mar 2004

nervous male dog wees indoors in the dark
hi I have a small maltese cross neutered male of 2 years old, he was abused as a puppy and it's taken us a long time to get his trust in us. But now we have this habit he is making a wee on the rug in the lounge each night as he is too scared to go outside as a tom cat attacked him one night and since then he won't go out at all after dark even with me. I tried rubbing his nose in in a scalding him but then he just went to another spot in the lounge the next night ??? we have a hole in the back door and he can go out at any stage during the night but wont. Comments please ???
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Expert
CyberVet
cybervet

01 Jan 0001

Hi Lin
Your Maltese has a phobia of the dark. To get him over this you will have to be patient and kind - no punishing and reprimanding him! Put a light on outside at night. Take him out as often as possible during the night or, if he's too terrified, then at dusk at first. Play a game with him or give him a treat, just for going out. Don't force him, but you could carry him out at first. Gradually get him used to going out with you and get him to associate outside with fun. After a few days or weeks he should be able to go out on his own, but be patient as this may take a long time and lots of encouragement from you. In the meantime make a toilet area for him near the back door using a piece of lawn on plastic or even straw or soil in a very shallow box. Close off all areas that you can so he has little choice about where he can do his business. As he gets used to going outside you can move the toilet outside the door and then gradually further away into the yard. If he's really traumatised then you may need to use a mild sedative like Rescue Remedy for the first few night excursions.
Karen Gray-Kilfoil
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