To begin with, let's take a look at your dog. Obviously if you already have the dog or puppy going outside in a selected area, you may not want to undertake tyring to litter box train them. They may not readily change from a place they're use to going at.
Now having said that, I have trained dogs to use litter boxes that had been trained to go outside or on newspapers. I'm not saying it's impossible, just a little tougher once they get used to going in one area.
One reason the litter box training a dog or puppy suits the small breeds is because they have such small bladders. They're less likely to have "accidents" and it's a bonus for them to be able to go whenever they need to.
Here's a short list of things you'll need to get started litter box training your dog.
- A dog litter box. Yes, you heard right. A litter box meant for a dog. Purina actually makes dog litter boxes in three sizes, just do an online search for them. They'll work perfectly for what we need them for. (I should warn you now if you have a Male dog. Just like human males, they sometimes miss the target...if you get what I mean!) If for some reason you can't find it, then get the largest cat litter box you can find. Before you use the cat litter box though, cut the hood off.
- Next, choose your litter. I personally do not like the clumping type litter. And yes, they do make dog litter but it isn't necessary. Many people have a concern over the clumping litter because it could harm you dog if he or she ate it. Why take the chance?
- Next, you'll want a container for the "used" litter. I recycled my son's old diaper pail and dump the used litter into it. What I like about the diaper pail is that it's designed to contain odors. You can thank me later.
- While you're rounding up the supplies, go ahead and get one of those large litter scoops. They're perfect for dogs.
Now that you have all the essentials of litter box training a dog together, it's time to start.
If this is your first attempt at teaching a dog or puppy to use the bathroom in a certain area, then you have your fun cut out. Just remember, keep a good supply of cleaning equipment handy...and no ammonia products!
Start by designating one area as the bathroom. Preferably away from their food. Also, you want to make sure it's on a hard surface such as concrete, wood or tile. This will make it much easier to clean up.
To minimize "accidents" outside the bathroom area, close off all other rooms to the dog. His only area where he can be is either with you or in the bathroom area. This is so you can watch him and so he has a direct path to the litter box.
Should you have to leave the dog alone, make sure you can leave him in the bathroom area or crate.
When you see the dog showing signs of going, such as sniffing or circling, encourage the dog to go to the bathroom. I use short commands such as "Pee" or "Go Pee". When the dog does use the bathroom, heap praise on them while using the Go Pee command. This will get them so that they know the words "Go Pee" means go to the bathroom.
If you catch the Pup peeing any other place that the litter box, you want to be stern with him by telling them "NO"! Show a little aggression, anything to get the dog back to their bathroom area. Never hit a dog!If the puppy does go on the paper or in the litter box, then by all means reward them with hugs and kisses! When you dog see's you happy and realizes that he/she gets rewarded when going "in that box thingy", they're more apt to do it. Once they develop a habit of going in the litter box, the rest is history! These are the basics of how to litter box train a dog.