How to Train a Pomeranian to Use a Litter Box

Medium
4-8 Weeks
General

Introduction

Your cute, fuzzy Pomeranian is small enough to learn to go potty inside your house. But in an effort to control where he goes, you can train him to use a litter box. When you train your little guy to use a litter box indoors, you give him the freedom to be home alone for longer periods of time without the worry of having accidents. This decreases your stress as well as stress on your Pom’s mind and body. 

Not only is litter box training your Pomeranian a great idea because he's such a small dog, but it's also a great idea for owners who don't exercise with their dogs much. Because Poms are so little, inclement weather can make it difficult to take them outside. Pomeranians who live in high-rise apartments in the middle of large cities with very little grass can also benefit from the ability to go indoors.

Defining Tasks

Training your Pomeranian to use a litter box is not much different than training him to go potty outside. It will require lots of repetition and an understanding of when he typically goes so you can put him in the litter box at the appropriate times. Your Pomeranian will typically need to go potty after meals, upon waking, and at regular intervals throughout his day. During these times you will take him to the box and show him where he's supposed to go then reward for success. Repetition will be key for litter box training. This breed has a reputation of being difficult to house train, so if you're training your Pomeranian to use a litter box indoors, you may want to consider training him how to go outdoors as well. This will be helpful when you visit dog parks or go to someone else's home and he needs to go.

Getting Started

You will need to choose a litter box and appropriate litter to use for your Pom’s box. Be sure to clean it each day. Some owners use a leash to take their pups to the box the first few times. Avoid carrying him to the box as he might only go in the future if carried. You will also need some treats to reward for using the box. Consider making these treats different than the treats he gets every day, and only use them for litter box training. Be sure you are around to take him to the box during the times he will most likely have to go while he’s learning. This sets him up to succeed quicker than if left to figure it out on his own. 

The Potty Command Method

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Step
1
Litter box
Set up a litter box for your Pomeranian to begin using inside your house. You will want to pick a place your dog can get to easily and a place you are happy utilizing for your pup’s potty area.
Step
2
Introduce box
Once your litter box is all set up, you will need to introduce the box to your Pom. Take him to the box and begin using a command such as "go potty." If you are working with a puppy who is potty training, this should be the command you use moving forward. If you are retraining an adult Pomeranian who is used to going outside or has been having accidents in the house, use the command you have always used.
Step
3
Getting to the box
It's pretty easy to carry your Pomeranian to the litter box because he's such a small guy, but if you create this habit now, he will be expecting to be carried each time he needs to go and may have accidents if you're not around to carry him. If you need to place him on a leash or entice him to follow you to the box with a treat do this.
Step
4
Rewards
Be sure to offer your Pom a treat each time he uses the box successfully.
Step
5
After eating
To get your Pomeranian used to using a litter box, take him to the box after every one of his meals. This doesn't have to happen right away, but be sure to take him within a few minutes of eating.
Step
6
Waking up
As soon as your Pomeranian wakes from a daytime nap or first thing in the morning when he wakes from nighttime sleep, he should need to go potty. Be sure during these early training days, to a walk him to the litter box so he has an expectation of where to go.
Step
7
Day and night
If your Pomeranian is young and just now training, he may not be able to hold his needs for as long as he will be able to when he's a bit older. You will need to take him to the litter box at regular intervals throughout the day and expect him to wake you up throughout the night in his early months to go potty.
Step
8
Repetition
Potty training your pup is more about time and repetition than anything else. You will need to know the times your little guy typically needs to go potty such as after meals and upon waking, but it's the repetition of taking him to his litter box that will condition him to understand your expectations of where he should be going and begin to go on his own.
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The Familiar Box Method

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Step
1
Choose a box
You want to pick a litter box that is perfect for your little guy’s size now as well as when he's a bit older and a tad bigger. You can use a tray liner from a crate if you would like or you can even use a cat litter box. If you have a cat, it's a good idea to avoid using the same box for both animals.
Step
2
Choose filler
Though you can use cat litter in your litter box for your Pomeranian, it's not always the best idea for dogs. Your dog will be happy with a dog litter, newspapers, pellets, or even puppy pads. The idea is that the dog litter box is giving your dog permission to go inside but in a specified place such as a box.
Step
3
Pom to box
Take your Pomeranian to his new box and show him where it is so he can find it on his own as he trains to use the litter box. At this point, you can begin to use a command such as 'go potty' that will trigger him to go to the box when you use the command.
Step
4
Notice signs
If you happen to notice your Pomeranian sniffing around the house or turning in circles, it's a good time to take him to his litter box to try to go. Catching him before he has an accident helps him succeed in using the correct spot and sets him up for positive reinforcement instead of redirection.
Step
5
Times to go
Typically, dogs need to go potty after they have eaten a meal or have been drinking water. Your dog will also need to go potty upon waking from sleep. Depending on his age, he may need to go every couple of hours throughout the day and night. Set him up for success by helping him get to the litter box during these times.
Step
6
Repeat and reward
Depending on your dog's age, it shouldn't take too much time for him to get used to using the litter box. But you will need to commit to taking him to the box anytime you think he needs to go or when he shows the signs that he needs to go. Another trick to getting him to understand this is his special spot is to reward him when he does go in the litter box.
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The Regular Visits Method

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Step
1
Tray or box
Decide which kind of box you would like to use or whether you would like to use a crate tray. If you decide to use the crate tray, do not allow your dog to go into the crate for other activities such as sleeping.
Step
2
Line box
Line the box with newspapers or pellet material in lieu of a litter. This will give your dog a soft surface on which to stand and an absorbent material for times when your dog goes potty.
Step
3
Exploring box
Wait for a time you think he may need to go to introduce the box to your dog. Set your Pomeranian inside his litter box and talk to him about going potty. Let him sniff around. If you have put him in the box at the right time such as upon waking or right after a meal it is likely he'll need to go.
Step
4
Reward
If your little guy is successful right away, give him a treat right on the spot.
Step
5
Potty
Continue to take him to the box at regular intervals after meals and as soon as he wakes up to give him an opportunity to go in the most common times.
Step
6
Accidents
As your little guy is litter box training, know that he may have an accident here and there. If you pay attention to the signs such as sniffing around your floor or walking in a circle and you are taking him when he wakes and after meals, you may be able to avoid accidents. If he does have an accident, simply redirect by placing him in the box, giving him a command reminder.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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