There are many reasons why you might want to train your large dog to use an indoor litter box. Some dog owners are gone for long periods of time and don't want to run the risk of even their large guy have an indoor accident. Your adult dog large might feel as if he'll be punished if he has an accident indoors. With a dog litter box, you can give him the opportunity to relieve himself while you're away from the house. He will be able to go potty while keeping a clean house and staying out of trouble. If you know you're going to be gone for long periods of time, longer than your dog can handle holding it, setting up a large litter box for your dog is not hard to do.
Don't think of a large dog litter box as the same as a cat litter box or a small box that you may use for a small breed dog. He just needs a space where he knows he can go without getting in trouble to relieve himself when he's unable to go outside. You can also use newspaper to line a box that your large dog can step into or set up a litter box using a tray liner or crate liner and a thin layer of cat litter. Potty training your large dog to use a dog litter box is not much different than house-training him. It's going to involve a lot of repetition, reminders, and rewards.
If you choose to train your large dog to use a litter box, be sure you have it set up and ready to go before you begin training. It will be best if you pick a confined area within your home that your dog can rely on anytime he needs to go. This means the area needs to be kept clean and cannot change from day-to-day or week-to-week. Be ready for some potty training exercises and lots of rewards for making it to the litter box and not having accidents in the house during training and while you are away from the house.
She is good in most every other aspect except for barking in the car. She goes crazy, barking at anything and everything. She going absolutely bonkers when I have to use the windshield wipers or go through the drive thru. What can I do to get her barking under control?
Hello Dianne, First, pup needs to be physically restrained while in the car to help pup learn calmness, keep arousal lower by avoiding her looking out the windows so much, and keep you safer while driving. I would either crate pup in the car or use a padded car harness that can be clipped to where pup rides on the floorboard of the car if there is space for pup there, if not, the middle row seats. I would avoid pup riding in the front for your safety. The back can be used, but the middle row if an option is less likely to make pup car sick. Second, I would work on desensitizing pup to the car in general, and working on a Down-Stay in the car, and teaching the Quiet command to be able to use in the car. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Start by simply feeding beside the car while its off, then feeding treats along the runner with the door open, then inside the car with it still. For at least a couple of weeks practice the Down Stay command on the middle seats' floorboard or seats (if a row seat). Gradually move to practicing with the car in the driveway but still while on - don't turn on in the garage for gas breathing reasons. When pup is completely relaxed in the car and can do a solid down-stay, recruit a second person to drive or train, so the driver can only focus on driving. Have the person training enforce Down, while the driver simply pulls out of the driveway and back in When pup can stay relaxed during that (which will require a lot of repetition before pup relaxes then too - once pup sees that the driving is boring through repetition), then drive down the block and back. Gradually increase the distance and level of excitement as pup improves, only moving onto further distances or more exciting locations once pup can stay relaxed at the current level of training. For most dogs who are simply overly excited, this protocol alone is enough. Since your dog may also be reacting to the passing of other cars , you may find that you need professional help to go a step further with the training. For a dog who is reacting out of instinct like prey or herding, you may also need to do some low level e-collar training to interrupt the fixation on other vehicles. This is done in combination with teaching Down-Stay, desensitizing pup to the car in general, safely restraining pup during the ride, and recruiting someone to help you drive/train so the driver can focus on just driving. To do the low level e-collar training, pup would wear the e-collar around with it turned off for a few days to get them used to it, and avoid them becoming "collar wise". You would find pup's "working level" on the collar, which is the lowest stimulation or vibration level pup response to when calm. You would then practice a down stay in the car, but start using the e-collar to briefly correct pup when they tried to stand up, guiding them back into the down position with a leash, and using treats to reward pup for lying down or staying in the down position. This should be practiced calmly with the car off. As pup improves, you would gradually move through your desensitizing/down training again, this time with the e-collar for interrupting as needed. Progressing from next to the car, in the car, car on and still, car driving in driveway, in neighborhood, to a calm location, to a more exciting location, to longer trips, ect... At all points pup would be physically restrained, probably with a car harness that allowed a little movement from sitting to down position but not walking around, be required to stay Down, and be calmly rewarded for staying in a calm mindset and in the down position. This would all need to be done very gradually and often to keep pup calm enough for them to be able to learn and not get overly aroused. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Was this experience helpful?
I have recently rescued Darcie from a local shelter. Most things are going well with adjustment, but potty training. I see her cues for needing to go, take her outside and stay at least 20-30 minutes but she doesn't go. Instead, within 5-10 mins of going outside she goes in the house. I have put puppy pads down to save the floors and she uses those about 60-70% of the time. I am considering litter training because maybe she prefers to go indoors?? Not sure what to do next.
Hello Shanna, Would you prefer she go potty outside or in a box inside? I would not give up on outside training just yet if that's what you want pup to learn; if you prefer she use a litter box I will cover that as well though. If you want pup to learn to go potty outside, I would first consider a doggie jacket that's comfortable, insulated, and will be easy for her to go potty while wearing. Her lean build and thin fur might be part of the reason, in addition to simply not understanding the objective, why she isn't going potty while outside. She might be cold and simply trying to hurry up and get back inside. Check out brands like www.ruffwear.com for an example of a dog coat built for function and comfort not just style. For the potty training, I recommend crate training her for potty training. Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for her. Make sure the crate is only big enough for her to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that she can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the small and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. The method I have linked below was written for younger puppies, since your dog is older you can adjust the times and take her potty less frequently. I suggest taking her potty every 3-4 hours when you are home. After 2 hours (or less if she has an accident sooner) of freedom out of the crate, return her to the crate while her bladder is filling back up again until it has been 3 hours since her last potty trip. When you have to go off she should be able to hold her bladder in the crate for 5-7 hours - less at first while she is getting used to it and longer once she is accustomed to the crate. Only have her wait that long when you are not home though, take her out about every 3 hours while home. The method will cover what to do when you take her outside and she doesn't go potty (return her to the crate for 30-60 minutes, then take her back outside, repeating this process until she finally goes potty while outside when you take her). It will also cover some tips on getting her to go potty more quickly when you do take her, like walking her around slowly to get things going, teaching "Go Potty", motivating, ect... You want her to get into the habit of holder her bladder between trips and not just eliminating whenever she feels the urge and you want to encourage that desire for cleanliness in your home - which the crate is helpful for. Less freedom now means more freedom later in life. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If she is not already used to a crate expect crying at first. When she cries and you know she doesn't need to go potty yet, ignore the crying. Most dogs will adjust if you are consistent. You can give her a food stuffed hollow chew toy to help her adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of quietness to further encourage quietness. If she continues protesting for long periods of time past three days, you can use a Pet Convincer. Work on teaching "Quiet" but using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell her "Quiet" when she barks and cries. If she gets quiet and stays quiet, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. If she disobeys your command and keep crying or stops but starts again, spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at her side through the crate while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. If she stays quiet after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward her quietness. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Only use the unscented air from the Pet Convincers - don't use citronella, it's too harsh and lingers for too long so can be confusing. In order to make progress with potty training accidents inside have to be prevented first (the crate), so pup will start generalizing a natural desire to keep a confined space (crate in this case) clean to keeping your entire home clean, over a long enough period of time that pup develops a long term habit (potty trained). If you decide you would rather pup be litter box trained, check out the article I have linked below. Pup will also need to be confined to avoid accidents in other locations for this to work most of the time. I recommend either the Exercise Pen method or the Crate Training method from that article. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Was this experience helpful?
This is a rescue dog and I have no background she instantly potties outside but also inside when I'm away
Hello Chirmere, Assuming you are trying to teach pup to go potty in an indoor potty, like a doggie litter box, I would use the Exercise Pen method from the article I have linked below. Having pup stay in the exercise pen when you are away. Since pup is larger, I would use the type often used in training classes with the more stable fencing, and also secure it to the wall or something else secure to ensure it can't fall over if pup jumps up on it. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Another option without using the pen, would be to use a crate when you aren't home to supervise pup if you aren't gone for longer than pup can hold their bladder for. Pup's freedom needs to be limited when you are away in order for pup to develop a habit of keeping your home clean even when you aren't there supervising pup. It sounds like pup's main issue right now is too much freedom too soon in the potty training process. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Was this experience helpful?