Training and Behaviour

Litter Box Training your New Dog
Litter box training your new dog

Potty training your little pup is quite a challenge, and we speak from experience. Your small canine friend may have smaller bowels and bladders, yet they have a huge appetite. They process more food and water for their size than larger dogs and then eliminate more often that you could expect. The surprising fact is that most pups are kicked out of homes because they failed their House-training test.

House training your dog is a huge responsibility that is why many small dog owners have adopted the litter box training. The litter box training has proved effective. Those who support litter box training say it can virtually eliminate "accidents" since these dogs are free to go to the bathroom anytime during the day as needed. Litter box training provides greater convenience for owners, too. There are no inconvenient trips outside, no braving the cold, wind, and rain, and no tracking in dirt and mud. Owners simply clean the litter box once a day.

How to start litter box training

Your first step would be to look for a litter box designed especially for small dogs. You will find these at your local pet store. If you fail to find a dog litter box, go for a large cat litter box,or use almost any type of low, open plastic container. You'll also need bags of litter.

Just as in outdoor training, you should take your dog to the litter box when he first wakes up, after he's eaten, and periodically throughout the day. Watch him carefully for signs that he needs to go, such as sniffing around or circling, and quickly take him to the litter box. Always immediately praise him enthusiastically if he goes in the right spot. As with any type of house- training, accidents may happen. Be prepared with cleaning supplies and a generous amount of patience.

The bottom line

Keep in mind that dogs do not have the instinctive behaviours of cats for using a litter box and burying their waste. While many dog owners succeed with litter box training, you need to be aware of the risk: some litter box-trained dogs may continue to have accidents off and on for life and you need to be patient with this. If possible, also train your young dog to eliminate outdoors on grass, sod, or other outdoor surfaces. This can provide essential house-training insurance for down the road.
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