Your Ultimate Guide to Dog Litter Box Training

Are you curious about litter box training for dogs and wondering if it’s something that would work for your pup? Me too! That’s why I decided to do some in-depth research to find out if litter box training is a good idea and how it’s done. So please read on; you’ll soon have everything you need to decide if it’s right for your pup.

litter box training for dogs

Litter Box Training for Dogs: Will It Work for YOUR Puppy?

The first thing to understand about dog litter box training is that it is not suitable for everyone. Some dogs/owners just won’t make it or are incapable of doing it, period. However, there are a few scenarios in which this training would be perfect.

I’m going to discuss a few to see if you fall into one of these categories. It will then become clear if litter box training is something to explore with your dog. So without further ado, here is an overview of several compatible circumstances:

1. Live in higher level apartments

Dog owners living in high-rise buildings will do anything to minimize the number of walks per day. Honestly, I don’t blame them, especially if they don’t have access to an elevator. I can’t imagine going down/up more than 15 steps with my dog ​​three to four times a day.

Litter box training therefore becomes a valuable tool to minimize these movements. This gives your puppy a place inside your home to go potty without consequences. Plus, you won’t get exhausted climbing those stairs multiple times a day.

2. Owners with mobility issues

Some people are not ready to walk their dog several times a day. For example, they may suffer from an illness or disease that makes movement more difficult than before. This creates a problem as to how their dogs will get out when necessary.

So they turn to other ways for their dogs to relieve themselves. Placing a litter box inside and training them to use it can make it easier for these owners. This has certainly been effective for my grandparents and their English bulldog.

3. Dogs with poor bladder control

Some dogs will not have the level of bladder control others do. Especially, smaller breeds with small bladders often have difficulty maintaining their bathroom essentials over long periods of time. This is why many veterinarians recommend litter box training for these breeds.

The same goes for puppies who don’t have house training experience. In these cases, a litter box is a temporary option while they are house trained. This will help them limit accidents while helping them understand that there are appropriate and inappropriate places to carry out their activities.

For example, I successfully used a litter box when I first broke in my parents’ Chihuahua. She immediately took to the litter box, which made the process of getting her completely broken down much easier. Today, she uses both to ensure an accident-free lifestyle.

4. Bad weather conditions

Raise your hand if you’ve woken up on a winter day where going out to walk your dog was a near-impossible experience. If your hand is up, I bet having an indoor litter box for your dog sounds like a great idea.

These litter box areas will help you avoid going out in these horrible conditions multiple times a day. You will no longer have to feel those terrible gusts of cold wind on your face. Plus, I’m willing to imagine that your dog won’t complain much about it, especially if he’s short hair.

5. Older dogs or dogs suffering from illness/injury

Our final situation is not one any dog ​​owner wants to experience. But a puppy with a specific illness or injury won’t like to go outside. You can therefore make it easier for him by teaching him to do his business in a litter box.

Some owners of older dogs also adopt this method. This works well with dogs who are no longer as mobile as before. A veterinarian may even recommend it if your dog’s movements have become severely limited or if he is suffering from arthritis.

What type of dogs do well with litter box training?

As I mentioned earlier, litter box training is only for certain dogs. Below is a short list of compatible breeds for context. They are far from the ONLY dog breeds capable of learning to use a litter box, but they will give you a good overview.

With the exception of number 5, tUltimately, most of these suitable breeds will be smaller (under 40 pounds) for obvious reasons:

  1. Chihuahua
  2. English Bulldog
  3. Cockapoo
  4. Maltese
  5. Border collie (obviously they will need a larger litter box)
  6. Bichon Frize
  7. Shiba Inu
  8. Miniature Schnauzer
  9. Pug
  10. Yorkshire Terrier
  11. Japanese chin
  12. Shih Tzu

All of these breeds have a reputation for using litter boxes effectively. However, if you need further clarification on your dog’s compatibility, I recommend consulting a veterinarian. This is a simple way to ensure that a litter box is ideal for your specific situation.

How to Train Your Dog to Use a Litter Box

Since I’ve outlined the situations in which litter boxes might be useful, it’s time to discuss the actual training process. So anyone who thinks this technique would be worth it should follow these next steps to do it correctly:

How to Train Your Dog to Use a Litter Box

Step 1: Find a Place to Place Your Dog’s Litter Box

Finding the perfect spot for a dog litter box can be tricky. After all, you need to find a balance between hiding it from guests and being accessible to your dog. Unfortunately, this combination leaves only a few potential options.

I recommend a guest bathroom or enclosed outdoor spaces like a porch or patio. Both options would keep him away from everyone while still providing a comfortable space for your dog to do his business.

Step 2: Show your dog his new location in the bathroom

Once you’ve chosen a spot, it’s time to show your dog his new toilet spot. But it’s not just about showing them the site: you need to indicate that it’s for their bathroom business.

As you can imagine, this next part will be disgusting. It starts by taking a paper towel and collecting some of your dog’s urine. You can then place this paper towel on the location to indicate its new location in the bathroom.

You will have to repeat this crude process until your dog understands what it means. Fortunately, it shouldn’t take them long to figure it out. But some dogs require more patience than others, so I hope yours learns quickly.

Step 3: Use positive reinforcement

No Dog Training Technique Works So Well positive reinforcement. So the next step is to find your dog’s favorite treat and use it as a reward. In other words, give your dog one every time he uses his new toilet spot.

After a while, your dog will quickly understand that using this spot is good behavior. It’s just about staying consistent with the treats and giving them some time. You should also avoid getting discouraged by one or two small accidents. If you follow the process, your dog will eventually suffer.

Step 4: Clean the Litter Box

Litter boxes require some maintenance because they get dirty quickly. For this reason, owners will need to clean them regularly to ensure their dogs continue to use them. Otherwise, he risks turning his nose away and having an accident elsewhere.

If you need help cleaning the litter box, I recommend checking the instructions. Most litter boxes come with detailed instructions on how to clean them effectively. Please avoid using bleach or other strong cleaners.

Woman's hand cleaning a dog's litter box

Step 5: Enjoy your accident-free home

The final step in dog litter box training is enjoying your bathroom accident-free! You will no longer have to worry about turning a corner of your house and stepping in a puddle. Instead, your dog will know exactly where to go when nature calls!

Our list of recommended litter boxes for dogs

If you need more clarification on which litter box to buy, here is a list of my favorites. Each has an excellent reputation for being dog-friendly. Additionally, it will provide you with some context on what you should look for in these products..

For your information, this section includes affiliate links. If you purchase something through them, DogVills earns a small commission at no extra cost to you.

If you need help choosing a good litter, here are some options I like:

In conclusion,

Litter box training is only effective with certain dogs, especially smaller ones. But with compatible puppies, it can be a boon for owners. Especially those who simply can’t walk their dog as often as they would like.

If you have any further questions about litter box training for dogs, please use our comments section below. I would also like to know your experience if you have tried it. Thanks for reading!

  • Ben Ro

    My name is Ben Roberts and I have been writing about animals for many years. Honestly, I couldn’t ask for a much better job, considering I’ve been around animals my whole life. I can’t remember a time when there wasn’t at least one cat or dog in my house. Currently, I am the proud owner of a Beagle and a Pitbull who ensure that my life is never boring.

Last updated 09/25/2023 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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