Ah, the joys of getting a puppy! You and your family select your new little furball and get to enjoy the excitement of preparing for the pooch to come home. Heading to the pet store, you grab a little doggy bed, some cute, wee toys and a litter box. Wait, what?
Yes, you read that right. For the small breeds, a doggy litter box might just become your best friend. And thankfully, teaching a pup to use their box is about the same amount of work as teaching them to “go” outside.
Most of us have seen a kitty litter box, but doggy litter boxes are far and few between. They're similar in size and shape, although they usually have one side lowered for easy entry. You can fill them up with a variety of things, although word on the street is puppy pads or newspaper are the best options. Some even put down a little square of sod every few weeks to help their dog transition between indoor and outdoor bathroom breaks.
It's easier to train your little guy to use his box from birth, but mature dogs can learn too! It can take weeks or even months of persistence, but if you succeed, your pooch will have a convenient place to go without wrecking your home.
To help your pup make an easy switch to the litter box, it's good to be prepared. Remember, it can take some time to perfect, and even adult dogs may make the odd accident where they shouldn't. Good things to have for this task include:
Keep in mind, small dogs simply can't hold it as long as their larger cousins. Puppies are notoriously bad for this, but even fully grown minis have a hard time with accidents. A litter box can be the perfect solution to this problem, saving both of you from the unpleasantness of puddles and piles on the floor.
Below are some great methods for getting your pupper used to their box. If at first, you don't succeed, try another method! Different dogs respond to different things, so hang in there!
I adopted my chihuahua about three months ago. I do not know much about his history. When he got to us he appeared to be semi potty trained and i have been working on him pottying outside. so far so good. he alerts me that he needs to go by going and standing in front of the door . He never barks though. I am now working on getting him to use a litter box as he can not make it through the night long enough to not interrupt my sleep. i have been putting the litter box outside, but he will not use it. I put him in the box he jumps out to pee so i put him back in mid stream. He will sniff the box and even lay on it, but not use it. So i took the litter out and used a pee pad thinking that maybe he didn't like the texture of the dog litter. I also have the spray to encourage him. I have put the box in his crate, but he has only used it twice when I overslept. I'm worried that even though he used it it was more of an "accident" than training. I've considered "oversleeping" more so that he will get used to the box, but I'm not sure this is the right thing to do . Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.
Hello Momo, If Julio is not having accidents and is going in the litter box during the morning when he really needs to go potty, then do the following. Set up an Exercise Pen with a bed for him that he will not pee on in one end and a litter box in the other end. Spray the litter with the encouraging spray. Set up a camera to watch him while you are in the bedroom or some other room out of sight. If he is likely to pee on a bed, then do not give him a bed at first. Place him into the Exercise Pen overnight or for a very long period of time during the day, until he is forced to use the litter box because he cannot hold his bladder any longer. When you see him go in the litter box on the camera from the other room, then quickly go to him, praise him enthusiastically, feed him several treats, one at a time, and then let him out of the Pen for a while. Start this process when you will be home most of the day, like on the weekend, so that you can catch him going potty on the camera at first. Only do this if he uses the litter box instead of the floor when he needs to go. After a couple of weeks of using the litter box in a row and being rewarded for it, he should gradually get used to the feeling of the litter and start going in the box more often to receive a treat when you are around. Once he is going in the box more often, then you can just use it at night for potty trips. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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