Southern Charm Mini Aussies/Mini American Shepherds of Georgia
Karla and Chelsea Benjamin
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Dog litter training is similar to cat litter training. You can teach your dog to pee and poop in a litter box. Unlike indoor cats, dogs should however also learn that it is okay to pee and poop outdoors and be trained to do so. Dog litter training does have several advantages compared to ordinary outdoor training, and a lot of dog owners are today training their puppies to go in the litter box as well as outside.
If you teach your puppy that it is okay to go in a litter box, it will always have a place in your home where it knows that it is okay to go. If you get stuck in traffic one day and is late home from work, your dog does not have to relieve itself on the carpet (which it hates to do because it knows that it is a bad thing that you do not approve of), it can instead go to its litter box and relieve it self there. Cleaning up a litter box is much easier than taking the stains out of a carpet.
When a dog gets sick, it may need to go several times an hour and on a very short notice. If you recall the last time you had food poisoning you probably understand how the dog feels when it has to 1.) Alert its owner. 2.) Wait for the owner to get ready. 3.) Be taken outside. 4.) Relieve itself. If the dog is litter box trained, it can instead sprint directly to the litter box as soon as it feels the urge to. This makes the dog feel better and is of course much more practical for you, since you do not have to walk your dog several times an hour or clean up after a long series of “accidents”.
Dog litter training is especially popular among owners of small dog breeds. Teaching your Aussie to go potty in a litter box is of course theoretically possible, but a tad impractical. It is also more common for owners of small breeds to live in apartments, while owners of really large breeds tend to have a backyard or similar where the dog can be thought to relieve it self.
If you want to try dog litter training you should ideally start when the dog is still a very young puppy. It is much more difficult to teach an older dog to go on a litter box. Really small puppies can have a hard time climbing into an ordinary litter box made for cats, and a low tray is therefore a better choice. As the puppy grows older, you can replace the tray with a standard litter box. When male dogs start lifting their hind leg, many owners opt for a covered litter box. Mike and I have always have wonderful results with using a baby pool for the puppies and adult Aussies! We put a step in front of the pool so that the little ones can get in and out of the pool.
The choice of litter varies from owner to owner. Many people use ordinary clogging cat litter, while others are afraid that their dog might eat the cat litter and become sick. Today, some manufacturers have started to produce special dog litter, but it can still be hard to find in pet shops. Compressed wood pellets are popular and easy to get hold of. Newspapers and absorbent “pee pads” are two other alternatives, but I personally never recommend this as I find it only teaches the dog they can potty on any surface in the house, like the rug in front of the front door. Keep in mind that when a dog gets used to a certain type of filling, it might not wish to switch to a new one. If you use wood pellets during the dog litter training, it can for instance be difficult to suddenly switch to newspapers.